That Clicking Sound

When I was a kid, I was often puzzled by the reaction of adults to things that seemed normal to me. The reason for that is you come into the world taking it for granted. It’s just the way it is and always has been as far as you know. Old people, on the other hand, usually exit a world that is vastly different from the one they entered. It’s not always so, but that has been the norm now since the industrial age.

When I came into the world, the idea of the state rounding people up because they had bad thoughts or showed signs of having bad thoughts was the basis of Cold War. The Ruskies did that sort of thing. Free countries did not do those things. That’s why we fought Hitler and Tojo, so people couple be free of that sort of tyranny. It looks like I will exit a world, however, where crime think is as normal a sunshine.

A three-year-old child from London is one of hundreds of young people in the capital who have been tipped as potential future radicals and extremists.

As reported by the Evening Standard, 1,069 people have been put in the government’s anti-extremism ‘Channel’ process, the de-radicalisation programme at the heart of the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy.

The three-year-old in the programme is from the borough of Tower Hamlets, and was a member of a family group that had been showing suspect behaviour.Many of the government’s counter-extremism measures typically relate to older children and adults – buy very young children can be referred if authorities are concerned about the effect of their families on them.

In the past, police have gone through the family courts to bring care proceedings in cases involving these children, and measures have included taking away the children’s passports, to make it harder for them to be taken overseas.

With figures obtained from the London Assembly, the Standard found out that London accounted for around a quarter of all ‘Channel’ referrals nationwide since the start of 2012.

Since September 2014, 400 under 18s, including teenagers and children, have been referred to the scheme.

It’s a funny thing about this world. There are no results that don’t lead to the demand for more state control. The government imports millions of Muslims, resulting in domestic terrorism and the default solution is even more state power. Reversing course and rolling back a policy is never an option. In fact, you can be thrown in prison for suggesting that Britain stops importing Muslims.

The startling thing to me is that no one finds any of this strange. The reporting is not quite enthusiastic, but you get the sense that the reporter thinks this is a good thing. How is it possible to reach adulthood and not see the connection between this sort of thought policing and just about every dystopian science fiction movie every made?

It goes back to what I wrote at the start. You come into the world accepting it as it is, because it is all you know. Young people don’t pay much attention until they get into the world. That means most of the reporters these days think the custodial state is just the way the world works. Giving a little more power to the game wardens so they can police the populace probably does not strike them as a big sacrifice.

It’s the one thing I think Orwell got right. People will put up with an enormous amount of abuse from their rulers. It’s not just the threat of violence either. People adapt and they adjust. Before long it is just what passes for normal. The ratchet clicks and people adjust. A new generation comes along full of optimism, the ratchet clicks again and they adjust. It’s only on your way out can you appreciate how many times you’ve heard the ratchet click, but then it is too late.

5 thoughts on “That Clicking Sound

  1. . Free countries did not do those things. That’s why we fought Hitler

    hmmm America did not get involved in ww2 until 1941, long after Hitler rose to power, only after getting attacked.

  2. Do you mean to tell me that the vast Muslim underclass imported in the name of “diversity” – which we all know to be a great and universal good – must now be “managed” aggresively by technocratic agents of the state in order to achieve the rainbow-hued social perfection and harmony that we have been promised? I don’t know if they have a sense of humor, but if so the rich and rather grim ironies here must certainly give Sisi and Assad a chuckle.

    • I think the management of which you speak is more a continual appeal to the tribes’ elders not to let things get too much out of line. I remember living in one muslim-dominated area where the greatest threat to any miscreant would be the hurt person would “tell the Imam.” Once the Imams become the problem, there isn’t much one can do other than promise more diversity and hope it all works out in the end.

  3. I don’t know if the journalist who wrote the Evening Standard article was enthusiastic or less so. The important thing is this is that the media are mostly, though not always, likely to be servants of the left. The ones who aren’t tend to keep their mouths shut, but most of the hacks I worked with in my time were members of the NUJ, the British National Union of Journalists. As such, they embraced all things leftwards though oddly, journalists who usually work in mostly comfortable conditions (the joke is that you can go to war zones and risk your life reporting, or sit in the office and type up press releases. Both jobs pay the same) identify themselves as toiling workers forced by nasty capitalist owners to hew rough words in deep and dark places where the chirping canaries expire for lack of a powerful headline. Given they have a lot of stress-free spare time in their job, they tend to eagerly discuss why we should try to make socialism work despite all its myriad failures. Curiously part of making socialism seem wonderful appears to be accepting people into your midst who may not speak English (and thus don’t a flying poo about what lefty journos write) and don’t even care about the UK as a whole.

    There is also the fact that journos must submit their copy to a sub-editor who, perhaps, is even more lefty than them. I worked for a brief time as a sub editor so you get to have fun with the headlines and alter the text to make it fit in to the holes available. Altering it means any sub can subtly revise the tone of the piece.

    Plus we mustn’t forget that Tower Hamlets is one of the increasing number of muslim territories in the UK. This borough of east London (not far from the Tower of London) a few years ago applied for city status so they could make their own laws more effectively. I recall interviews with the leaders of towns that wanted to become cities at the time: the best Tower Hamlets’ bosses could come up with was that they had a lot of young people living there. Not sure why that was a good reason for city status, but that was it. They didn’t ‘win’ but still harbour dreams of being an islamic state in the heart of an infidel nation that made the mistake of accepting them as citizens.

    As for ‘radicalisation’ it seems to me that it comes with the territory of being a muslim. One may as well put them all through a ‘anti-extremism’ adjustment procedure but as almost certainly will not change their fundamental views, it’s all a bit pointless.

  4. If I remember correctly, Huxley wrote in his afterword for Brave New World that 8% of humans would not “take” the hypnotic conditioning in the studies that he based his novel on. That is very close to the 10% of children growing up in the very worst conditions who nevertheless turn out to be decent dudes and dudesses. That number comes up in multiple studies. I have long suspected that those two populations are really one in the same. Ten upright men. Ten percent of the population.

    Those are the numbers that give me hope.

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