It seems to have taken just over 50 years for the reach of the state to become near ubiquitous. There’s little any of us do now that does not involve the parasitic actions and attitudes of it; ultimately we have a malignant monkey on our backs. We have become servile in our acceptance of state actions, but recently (partly as a response to the heavy handed reaction to terrorism and its presumption of all citizens being equally guilty) the heavy fisted approach has spread further.
The evidence can be seen in the case highlighted by Henry Porter, who writes of the arrest of a painter for taking a picture in a public space. The checks on government actions have eroded away, and these instances (also Andrew Pelling MP stopped by Police for photographing a cycle path) highlight the extent that the freedoms we once enjoyed are gone. Perhaps key to this growth, is the state’s capture of our subconscious fears and the implied interpretation that our actions are ultimately entirely criminal.
There is nothing that remains that clearly delineates and protects spaces that keep us, and our actions, from the state’s intrusion. The mindset of the state’s agents and, to a lesser extent, a minority of the general populace, has moved to regard all within their domain, believing that they must act so as to preserve a mistaken public good. The United Kingdom, it could be said, now resembles nothing more than the personal fiefdom of the political elite, an elite with no understanding of the unintended consequences of their actions and mistaken legislation.