AT ONE TIME the ‘enemy within’ was well defined as being the working class, especially its militant trade unionists and Trotskyists.
Now capitalism is in such a deep crisis and the ruling class feels so insecure in the saddle that the whole nation, minus the relative handful of bosses, bankers and their pet politicians, make up this enemy within.
There are now millions of CCTV cameras covering the entire country, inch by inch, street by street, making it possible for the state to track an individual from the moment he or she leaves home (where they could well have been bugged and filmed) to the moment they return.
As well, the state has at hand the hacking and tracking ability that mobile phones and other electronic media and travel systems give, to keep track of ‘targets of interest’ and, in the process, trample the freedom of the individual into the dust.
These developments have been built on the foundation of the anti-union laws that both Labour and Tory governments have brought in, under which seven million trade union members find it impossible to have a legal strike, once the employers appeal against a ballot result on a technicality.
Alongside these measures, and already on the statute books, are laws that allow individual police officers to declare an emergency situation in an area, giving the state the right to use draconian repressive measures to deal with a situation.
It now turns out that the crisis of capitalism is so grave that even chains of this type are not enough – more are required.
Thus we have the Leveson campaign for state regulation of the press, and now we have the proposed bill to allow spying on every email, and every internet operation carried out in the UK.
The draft Communications Data Bill (CDB) is desperately needed to stop serious crimes and terrorism says the ruling class. This is at a time when the government is boasting that crime is falling and that terrorism and terrorists – actual and potential – are under the surveillance of large numbers of Special Branch operatives.
The CDB will require internet service providers to store for a year all details of online communications in the UK – such as the time, duration, originator and recipient of a communication and the location of the device from which it was made.
They would also have to store, for the first time, all Britons’ web browsing history and details of messages sent on social media, webmail, voice calls over the internet and gaming, in addition to emails and phone calls.
Police will not have to seek permission to access details of these communications and will only require the nod of the Home Secretary to study the content of the communications.
The four bodies having access to data are the police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the intelligence agencies and HM Revenue and Customs.
A report from the Joint Committee on the Draft Communications Bill, made up of MPs and peers, warned ministers that the four agencies would be given ‘sweeping powers to issue secret notices to communications service providers, requiring them to retain and disclose potentially limitless categories of data’.
The Home Secretary wants the bill in place next year.
The truth is that capitalism is going down the pan, and that the only way it stands a chance of being kept alive is if every person in the country, outside of the privileged few, is treated as an enemy of the state to be followed, bugged, tracked and no doubt fitted up as required.
So much for the land of the free. By bringing in these measures the ruling class is admitting that its system no longer has the willing support of the people.
It is historically outmoded and deserves to perish. It must be replaced by freedom under socialism! Forward to the socialist revolution!