The British government has taken yet another step toward a total authoritarian state by making it illegal for British citizens to leave the country.
After four hours of emotion-laden debate, the UK’s House of Commons has approved the measure that prevents citizens from leaving the country without a qualifying excuse. We are told that the measure is meant to curtail the spread of Coronavirus. But the new rules were passed using the precedent of the Public Health Act, which- interestingly was passed in 1984.
Beginning this week, anyone who wishes to leave England must file papers, declaring their reason for leaving. Travelers who leave without a valid reason may be fined several thousand pounds. Authorities have complete discretion in deciding what is a valid reason and what is not. Visiting family abroad may not be a valid reason. Leaving for work may be valid, but only if they consider your work essential. It is a perfect example of a law designed to give the government arbitrary control over a people.
Now, if you think it cannot happen in the US, we urge you to reconsider. The passport system is already a means by which Americans are required to pay and ask permission to leave the country. Make no mistake, you can be detained for any reason, and that has always been the case. But under the current state of fear, there is yet one more excuse at the government’s disposal to stop you, jail you, question you, and hold you — and as long as they say you are a danger for some reason.
The culture war has been on for far longer than most of us realize. As it reached more noticeable levels of intensity in the years leading up to Trump’s run for office, critical differences between the protections for people’s rights in the US and other English-speaking counties started becoming apparent.
The United States is similar in culture and legal precedent to countries like Canada, England, and Australia. But protections for the freedom and dignity of the individual are more heavily enshrined in law in the US because our nation was founded by profreedom rebels from the UK.
Nevertheless, it has been surprising to see freedom of speech and similar rights we hold dear trampled on by the governments of those other countries. People in all of the three countries mentioned have been arrested for posting opinions on sites like Twitter and Facebook. Australians have had their firearms “bought back” by mandate. Last year, an elderly man was dragged out of his home and beaten by police in Canada for not wearing a mask, and in England, anyone who speaks up against the predominantly Muslim child grooming gangs is targeted by the media, jailed, fined, and silenced.
Do not think these types of things have not happened in the United States. They have, and on similar timelines for similar reasons. But they are fewer and further between.
Also, our news media is worse than theirs, similarly bad, but worse.