By Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and Rector (i.e. president) of the University of Dundee. Craigmurray.org.uk.
British citizens are now watched by Big Brother more closely than any other people in the world. All activity by British people on the web or on the phone is now monitored and stored. The British government employs more secret police – GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and SO15 – per head of population than Russia. Let me repeat that. The British have more secret police per head of population than Russia. British people are watched on closed circuit television more often than any other people in the world. Under the Prevent programme, “radicals” like me can only speak in universities under monitoring so intense and conditions so onerous that organisers give up, as I can personally witness.
The Prevent strategy provides for informants in every governmental institution who report any expressions of dissent. The UK has effective levels of surveillance – and a far higher volume of intelligence reports on their own citizens – than were ever achieved by the Stasi in Eastern Germany.
But of course, it is all “essential” to protect the citizens from the “threat” of Islamic terrorism, which is a fundamental threat to our existence, right?
So how big a threat is Islamic terrorism?
Since 2000, 57 people have been killed in the UK by Islamic terrorism.
Since 2000, 74 people have been killed in the UK by cattle.
So cows are actually a more potent threat to our personal society that terrorism.
Or more seriously – since 2000, 15,612 people have been murdered in the UK. Of whom only 57 were murdered by terrorists. You have in fact almost a 300 times greater chance of being murdered by someone else than by a terrorist. Indeed you have over 200 times a greater chance of being murdered by your partner, a family member or a close friend, than a terrorist.
The surveillance state has fundamentally changed society in response to a “threat” which is statistically miniscule.
It has greatly increased the power of the state, at a time when the state is both facilitating and protecting the greatest growth in wealth inequality in human history.
That is not a coincidence.