Little Brother is Watching: English Police Show Elementary Students a Video on Reporting Extreme Views

imageslogoElementary students in England are being shown a Lancashire Police film where a lion and a cat tell them to turn in people who espouse dangerous thoughts. It is the latest work of the Preventing Violent Extremism office, which seeks to uncover extremists in the country like Guy Fawkes.

I am a firm believer using public school to instill tolerance and teach pluralism. However, enlisting children to report extremist statements makes me very comfortable and seems to send the wrong message on free speech. Ironically, they reference Guy Fawkes, who sought to blow up Parliament. Fawkes is the historical hero in the movie V, which features an England where freedoms are curtailed in the name of fighting unseen terrorists. T011533A

For the full story, click here.

35 thoughts on “Little Brother is Watching: English Police Show Elementary Students a Video on Reporting Extreme Views

  1. This is quite disturbing. I wonder what portion of England’s violent crime is at all related to ‘extreme views’.

    Jill,

    “…why people followed a totalitarian leader. I think that is a very important question.”

    It is an extremely important question, and fortunately it has been rather extensively studied for some time.

    For those interested, I recommend:
    Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality
    Altemeyer’s writings on right-wing authoritarians, especially his free book The Authoritarians (available online: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/). [Note: in this context ‘right-wing’ means ‘pro-establishment’. So, Nazis, Soviets, and a great number of members in both wings of the establishment party (Reps and Dems) in the US would all qualify as ‘right-wing’.]

    These wiki pages are decent for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_dominance_orientation

    Of course totalitarianism is not the result of only psychological factors–economic, nationalistic, religious, etc. factors contribute–but they seem to be very important.

  2. Gyges:

    “Your freedom ends where mine begins. That’s the whole point of the law. Why should companies have more freedom than individuals? Regulation is necessary to have the most freedom for the most people. Since you don’t cry “I’m not free because I can’t steal from my neighbors” I’m sure you recognize that fact.”

    So regulation is freedom? You sound like big brother now. Shall we also say that keeping everyone from making more than say $35k makes us all better off.

    A Platonist to the end, or so I surmise due to your using Gyges as a pseudonym. Or maybe you just like the story?

  3. IS,

    The pseudonym is a comment on the anonymity of the internet. I’m not a huge fan of Plato, but that may just be because of the translations I read. I am guilty of coming at philosophical writing from an aesthetic angle.

    Regulation is not freedom, nor did I say it was. I choose my words carefully, and generally say what I mean. If I mean is, I’ll use “Is,” or “equals,” etc. I know debating people on the points you want them to be making makes life easier, but it makes for a more interesting conversation if you actually listen to what they are saying.

    Does the First Amendment grant a right, or regulate the government?

  4. Does the First Amendment grant a right, or regulate the government?

    Forgive the intrusion, rights are protected, not granted.

  5. Gyges:

    “Regulation is necessary to have the most freedom for the most people.”

    “Does the First Amendment grant a right, or regulate the government?”

    Obviously the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are a limitation on governmental abuses and so a regulation if you will of governmental power or at least that was the intention.

    However you were not speaking of regulating governments but corporations, which to my knowledge have no ability to subjugate millions of people. But governmental regulations do have that ability.

  6. Patty Cp:

    Gyges knows what they are, he was merely asking a rhetorical question to obfuscate the point I was making.

    Our rights are neither protected, nor or they granted. The nature of our rights are inherent in our being human. A protected right is not a right at all, who is doing the protecting? A protected right implies a protector.

    Governmental power should flow from the people and so we should be the protector(s) of our rights. If that is what you meant I agree.

  7. I could have used the word ‘guaranteed’, I suppose.

    I was simply pointing out that rights are not granted (under the First Amendment) as you and I both have stated many times.

    Power is conferred.

  8. Patty,

    That was the point.

    IS,

    Once again, the conversation is much more interesting when you listen to what I’m saying rather than respond to what you think I’m saying. I was just clarifying what I meant by “regulation is necessary to have the most freedom for the most people.”

  9. I am pleased to say that I have not Hijacked anyones screen name yet today or in days gone by. However, I presume that one will figure out a way to cast dispersions. Could it have been the one who complained the most?

    I have used Not a Patty Look A Like but I have never used the other Patty’s

  10. Anonymously Yours:

    may I inquire into why you have, on several different threads, declared your innocence to having used other names?

    It has happened a few times so I assume what?

  11. Indentured Servant 1, June 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Anonymously Yours:

    may I inquire into why you have, on several different threads, declared your innocence to having used other names?

    It has happened a few times so I assume what?
    *****************

    Apparently, someone has been using a nom de plume of a regular here. One actually was funny where the stated that “she was sorry for being so mean” and other things like that. The real real person comes accusing me and I figured I’d take the heat. And was rather ambiguous in the response. Apparently someone is going around using a variation of that name and I want to make sure that the regulars know that it is not me. and Nor am I going to take responsibility in even a half joking manner.

    The person not being named takes over and commands the thread for and chides individuals for nor saying it the way she wants it said. Going to far as to critique the use of language and punctuations.

    Case in Point the author of this site misspells and has other challenging usages of the language that we call English.

    That is the reason for the stuff. So don’t go pirating other screen names. I guess you can do it here, most sites are restrictive in email address must match name. I guess its easy enough to do here. Bt as of yet, I have not. Not that I have not thought of it yet.

  12. IS,

    Best not to ask about AY. He and Patty don’t get along, I hope we can ALL just leave it at that.

    To address your earlier point: You must have skipped some American history classes, and not like the Platters, if you don’t know that corporations have the “ability to subjugate millions of people.” Although I’ll grant you millions might be off, but a pretty sizable percentage of humanity has been subjugated by corporations and other private businesses.

    Sorry, I just really like this song.

  13. IS,

    Best not to ask about AY. He and Patty don’t get along, I hope we can ALL just leave it at that.
    ****************************

    Have you noticed that someone has to be the victim of unreasonable wrath. Stay around long enough IS you too could be the next, Jill, FF LEO, Myself and a few others have received scoldings for, frankly nothing that was any of her business. Buddha has stated to her to settle down. Apparently unless you are of the Original Turlees you just don’t have the right to say anything unless approved by the submistress.

    That is all.

  14. IS,

    I’d also like to just tie everything together for you, since I realize conversations that happen over a few days tend to loose the original topic.

    This all was to explain how it’s possible to believe in a regulated economy and personal freedom. My apologies if that was unclear.

  15. What the authorities should perhaps remember is that, although they like to interperet “bonfire night” in the UK as denoting the saving of parliament when Guy Fawkes was apprehended and that is indeed indicated by the burning of a “guy” – an effigy. However, these days, although by far the vast majority of Brits simply regard it as an excuse for fireworks and a bit of fun, they also think of it as celebrating his attempt to destroy the politicians – something that most of us, whilst not actually advocating it, certainly think of it as a hypothetical idea to be applauded!

    The government is usually regarded as being the biggest bunch of thieves in the UK, closely followed in the rogues gallery by most other politicians and bringing up the rear are the “normal” gangsters, master criminals, drug dealers, rapists, muggers and petty crooks.

    The fact is, though, 1984 may have arrived a bit late, but it’s definitely here now and it’s virtually all there in Orwell’s novel – prophetic, or what?

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