By Hilary White – May 6, 2009
A deliberate campaign to enforce “diversity” and political correctness by “unelected or quasi-governmental bodies” is turning Britain into the “the first modern soft totalitarian state”, an Australian political science expert and author says.
Hal Gibson Pateshall Colebatch, an Australian historian, author, poet, lecturer, journalist, editor, and lawyer, has warned in an editorial in the Australian that while there may as yet be no concentration camps or gulags in Britain, “there are thought police with unprecedented powers to dictate ways of thinking and sniff out heresy, and there can be harsh punishments for dissent.” He points to the dozens of cases over the last ten years in which Christians and others who hold traditional moral views, have been targeted by police and other governmental agencies for their beliefs.
Colebatch warned of legislation that is currently being pushed through Parliament that will outlaw the telling of racist, “homophobic” or politically incorrect jokes, with a potential sentence upon conviction of seven years in prison. An attempt in the House of Lords to insert a freedom of speech clause was shot down by Labour Justice Minister Jack Straw.
Colebatch cited “innumerable cases” over the last decade in which public employees such as nurses, policemen, teachers, marriage commissioners and others have been threatened with the sack or suspension or disciplinary measures for sharing, or even privately revealing, their religious beliefs. Colebatch also mentioned arrests of school children for allegedly uttering racist remarks, and police warnings to a bishop who had failed sufficiently to “celebrate diversity” in his ministry.
In an editorial last week in the Church of England Newspaper, [Martin] Beckford wrote that the public sector in Britain is engaging in an all-out campaign against Christianity. It is “no coincidence that most of these cases are occurring in the public sector, where it is easier for political leaders to spread their ideas of what is not culturally acceptable,” he wrote.
The operating principle, he said, is government suppression of freedom of speech and religion, and once the legal mechanisms exist, even those groups, such as the National Secular Society that have been used to promote the government’s agenda, will not be safe. Once the laws are in place, he writes, “there will be little to stop future governments or local authorities interpreting ‘equality and diversity’ in different ways to silence other groups – atheists, perhaps, or climate change skeptics.”