Skip to main content
Read page text

Page Text

Vol: I No.2. July/ August 1966. Two Shillings & Sixpence,

contents

F'J:iitorial New Hope for Vietnam

Peter Cculogan African Revolts

John Papuorth Famine in India

Olwen Battersby Cartoon - ABU· Intermediate Technology

E. F'. Schumacher Poem - Tina Morris Amsterdam Provos

Bernhard de Vries London Free School

Peier Jenner Resurgence Notes Poem - Roger Barnard The Duke of 13uen Consejo

Leopold Kohr The Fate of the Nagas

The Rev. Michael Scott

Contributors

P. 2

P. 4

P. 5

P. 6 P. 7

P. 8 P.13

P.14

P.16 P.19 P.19

P.20

P.26 P.28

editorial group

John Papworth Graham Keen Dave Swaff er Brenda Jordan Neil Collins Peter Allen

Editor Cover Artwork Artwork Money Circulation

2

editorial Nobody, viewing the climate of opinion on questions of liberty and freedom a mere matter of two or three generations ago, and comparing it with the new practices, the new institutions (and the new assumptions behind them) which prevail today, can fail to be amazed at the manner in which liberties our forebears fought for and frequently gave their lives to assert or preserve, are now being tamely surrendered at multitudinous points.

The early Victorian period, for example, saw the introduction of a regular police force. The innovation was rightly regarded with the most intense suspicion. Men asked, with foursquare pertinence, how the liberty of the subject could be preserved against tyrranical forms of governmental power if government itself was to be armed with the control of a permanent professionalised constabulary? They concluded that the new step spelt a danger to liberty and fought strongly for the principle of local control of police forces in the hope that th'! baby of freedom might not be thrown out with the bath-water of crime control. In this they were only partly successful, the power of local watch committees to appoint a Chief Constable, for example, was qualified by the need to secure the confirmation of appointments by the central government.

Today, under the energetic promptings of a socialist government, police-force mergers are proceeding apace and it seems likely that the day when we shall have a unified state police, subject to no form of local control whatsoever, is not far distant. It will be noticed that these mergers are taking place with scarcely a whimper of protest froin any quarter, and with an almost complete absence of public discussion of both .the merits of the matter and of the truly vital issues that are at stake. In this connection the recent suggestion from official quarters that the entire population of Britain• 'should be compulsorily finger-printed is surely both a portent of future developments and an indication of the quite boundless effrontery of the central government. It will be noted, too, that the proposal was received with the electorate's customary passivity, whilst one leading organ of what is still euphemistically referred to as the 'left wing' went out of its way to endorse it!

This pattern. a pattern in which power is being evaporated from the base and rapidly absorbed at the top, is observable in almost every aspect of organised social life today. Do you like or dislike your conditions of work enough to strike or not to strike? It is a minor matter since a poweriul union bureaucracy has already decided the matter and you must act accordingly. Do you insist on your right to strike, even in defiance of your Union bureaucracy? It might be better to conform, since laws are now being prepared which will enable the cost of an unofficial strike to be deducted from your wages at source i.e. before you receive them; a device with obvious applications over a wider field, applications which are,already being canvassed.

Do you desire your children to be educated at a particular kind of school? Relax. The central government has plans to make all schools alike, so that your individual preference will become merely irrelevant. Do you feel your local hospital can be improved? An idle questio!J.. since pla~s are afoot from Whitehall to

Skip to main content