A Land of Petty Dictators.

Jeremy Taylor, balladeer and (erstwhile) anti-apartheid activist periodically lampooned the South African government .Having had one of his ballads “banned” he approached the relevant government minister, asking why this ballad had been banned. The answer was: “We (the government) will decide who is offended”.

Is this the bizarre authoritarianism of a dictatorship? Perhaps that is not necessarily so.

In June 2015 a representative of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children appeared on BBC television. It seems that she, or the Society, objected to a short recording, on Facebook, of a crying baby being dunked in water. It is not possible to tell whether the baby was distressed (crying babies are common) or the purpose of the dunking. Nevertheless, this spokesperson demanded that the government instruct Facebook to remove that item “since it will be offensive to some (unnamed)”.

This assumption of authoritarian “knowledge” and attempts to impose it upon others in the population has become common in Britain. So common is this in Britain that this attempt to impose personal views, and so dominate others in an authoritarian fashion appeared to have invoked little reaction and surprise – although Facebook resisted this intimidation and refused to remove the recording.


About jp

Orthopaedic Surgeon
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