Thursday, 29 March 2007


I am not going to start bandying around the word fascist, it’s used far too much about things that aren’t nearly as terrible, but am I the only one to be slightly unnerved by the title “Ministry of Justice”.
Such is the power of Orwell’s fiction that most New Labour phrases sound like Newspeak. The “Ministry of Justice” just sounds un-British. Whatever the pros and cons of the new system, one suspects there will more taxes wasted, more mangled language and less freedom and of course less justice.

In fact the first character that sprung to mind wasn’t Winston Smith but Judge Dredd. Although nominally set in a post nuclear war America, Mega city one is a very British creation. Like all good pop culture it carried deep truths in A candy coloured wrapper. Perceptive and well written Judge Dredd, whose central character is a cloned quasi-totalitarian policemen, has been an good predicator of our present (rather than some mystical future). Sure we don’t regularly use hover cars or have pills instead of solid food but the list below shows the many areas where “Toothy’s” predication have come true.

So don’t say you weren’t warned when our flat screen digi boxes crackle into life with the beaming face of Chief Judge Blair.

On the spot law enforcement
Riot foam
Banning of sugar

Excessive electronic surveillance
There was a long story on the “get ugly craze” in Judge Dredd that mirrored the whole body piercing tattoo nonsense
Dredd was arresting huge obese “fatties” long before channel 5 BBC3 had nightly programmes about food obsession.
2000 AD even had a celebrity graffiti scrawler, Chopper long before the sad little man that is Banksy was still smearing the contents of his nappy on his playpen. Chopper’s tag was a smiley face funnily enough, just to show Banksy’s lack of originality.

I sure there are plenty more examples putting aside the fact that we have a government that tramples on basic civil liberties, uses armed police and brute force to enforce it’s ill-written, ill-begotten laws.

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