Friday, 8 August 2014

TOTAL WAR :: TOTAL STATE

This post should by rights carry black borders. A hundred years ago today, just four days after the start of the War, Parliament passed the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA), the most reactionary, statist, centralist and draconian law ever passed by the British Parliament. So enamoured of these extraordinary and novel powers were Westminster and Whitehall that parts of the Act remain in force today. It was an end to localism, and the start of the modern State, and the people of this country have never yet succeeded in clawing back those freedoms and democratic rights they enjoyed up until 7th August 1914. 

There will be more on this as time allows.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

the most reactionary, statist, centralist and draconian law ever passed by the British Parliament

wait till they start just taking money they 'claim' you owe in tax

Anonymous said...

That was educational. Thanks Raedwald, look forward to seeing more..

Steve

Anonymous said...

Who was it said that "a Liberty surrendered was a liberty forever lost"?

Or was it just me, just now?

Anonymous said...

Everything said against income tax - has been proven true.

Edward Spalton said...

The gold thread reminded me of an incident from the last war. A chap who had been on the Arctic convoys to Russia related that the escort ship he was in had a very unusual, high priority cargo - gold thread for the epaulettes of the officers of the new Guards Divisions which Stalin was creating.

Anonymous said...

no doubt the cargo of gold thread was concealing the atomic secrets which the various fellow travellers were shipping out to the USSR - see America Betrayed by Diana West - a fascinating read.

hovis said...

Reminded me of the AJP Taylor quote about the Great War:

"Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home. For that matter, a foreigner could spend his life in this country without permit and without informing the police. Unlike the countries of the European continent, the state did not require its citizens to perform military service."