I am the law!
Judge Dredd, 2000 AD
[Note: This was written in November 2013.]
Few writers are quoted with approval by both the political Left and Right; George Orwell is one. Orwell, and particularly 1984, seems to be everywhere as creeping totalitarianism steals across the West. Newspeak, Doublethink, thought crimes and Big Brother are familiar, but one of Orwell’s lesser-known pronouncements in this most quoted of books may be about to take its turn in the limelight. ‘If there is hope’, writes 1984’s hero Winston Smith in his clandestine diary, ‘it lies in the proles’.
1984 had the working title The Last Man in Europe, and European proles are beginning to show signs of unrest. Dutch newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden reports that 22-year-old Erwin Wisser was badly beaten by up to 20 youths ‘of Moroccan descent’, in the north-eastern Netherlands town of Assen. In contemporary Europe, this is now as entirely unremarkable as a British Midlands child sex grooming gang, a ‘carbecue’ of blazing automobiles in the Parisian banlieue or an eviction of Greek squatters by the fascist Golden Dawn Party. In Holland, as elsewhere, police and security services looked on but did nothing, but it is the reaction of Wisser’s father that holds the attention.
Koos Wisser has warned police that if this type of attack continues, he and a group of like-minded friends, operating under the name ‘Dutch Attack’, will begin to dispense vigilante justice, and it’s difficult to fault his logic. After all, it looks very much as though the European judicial system is turning a blind eye to sharia, so why not another scratch legal system to enforce justice? And this self-mobilisation of the citizenry is not confined to Europe.
Mexico is hardly Holland, but there may be similarities. Unofficially ruled by lawless drug cartels and with a toothless government operating minimal law enforcement, some Mexican proles have had enough too. We all know Winston Smith’s famous vision of the future; a boot stamping on a human face. Possibly. But in Xaltinguis, a small town near Acapulco, the boot is on the other foot.
Two months ago, 100 of the town’s citizens were sworn in as members of the policia communitaria, a locally organised police force which included some of the town’s housewives. They were all issued with guns. They made trouble for the local drug lords, and they were not alone. Other Mexican towns followed suit and, predictably, when the government could no longer ignore this devolved response to the nightmare of the drug barons, they acted in the town of Aquila. They acted, of course, in the same way as they will act and are acting in Europe. Government forces rode into town looking not for los narcotraficantos, but for the policia communitaria.
Perhaps the drug wars are what make so many Mexican citizens want to try their luck in North America, legally or otherwise. But, across the border, they may not find it as easy to get into the USA as they might if the job of border control was left to government.
Arizona’s Mountain Minutemen have been unofficially patrolling their state’s borders for years and, although their numbers have dwindled, those cells that remain are said to be more extreme than ever. Humanitarian group Humane Borders leave water stations for would-be border crossers, but the Minutemen are not keen. Juanita Molina of Humane Borders says: “It’s not uncommon for us to receive threats or to have our offices, our trucks, our water stations vandalized, stabbed, shot.” It seems a far cry from London’s Westminster, where I have seen volunteers on tea and soup runs for eastern European immigrants verbally harangued by local residents, but the impulse is the same and the difference is one of degree only. Resident populations have had enough of government-sanctioned immigration and have decided to take action on a local and extra-legal level.
In the UK too, it is the citizenry who fight back who are more likely to attract police attention than those they oppose. Take, for example, the apparently short-lived organisation Letzgo Huntin’. Members of this group targeted paedophiles online in the Midlands, duping a man into meeting what he thought would be an under-age girl in a local park. Group members chased the man and filmed the chase, posting it on YouTube. Four days later, the man was found hanging in his garage. Police, notoriously unable to protect the innocent from child grooming gangs in the Midlands, are now concerned. Detective Inspector Martin Hillier, of Nottinghamshire Police, said his police force was encountering "a worrying increase in those who think they can take the law into their own hands when it comes to internet grooming cases". He added that posting videos of alleged offenders online could "compromise any subsequent criminal proceedings" and lead to the collapse of court cases. It could be argued, though, that from the point of view of this type of group justice has been meted out to Gary Cleary in a way that the British judicial system could never provide. Letzgo Huntin’s YouTube promo bears the legend: ‘If the police are failing us... who can help us?’
Vigilantism is what Western governments fear. In the UK, radicalised mosques spook the government far less than radicalised pubs, even though groups such as Islamic Emergency Defence, and the various Muslim patrols targeting drinkers, gays and scantily dressed women in the east end of London, take much more direct action than the media whipping boys of the newly leaderless English Defence League. And to look at media archives, you could be forgiven for thinking that the so-called ‘sharia patrols’ began and ended in January of this year. As soon as the compliant press realised what it was reporting, the reporting stopped. The Muslim patrols, however, have not.
Even more worrying for the UK’s political elites must be their hold on their public sector attack dogs. Having emasculated the nation’s police force – not least by re-branding them a ‘police service’ – and hobbled the army to the point where vocal demonstration by high-ranking officers has occurred at Conservative party conference, how confident can the current bunch of fungible coalition administrators be that the police and the army would fight for them in a civil war? One of the least reported incidents following the hacking to death of Drummer Lee Rigby by Islamists (which they were, according to everyone bar Prime Minister David Cameron) was the appearance of two soldiers from the local barracks, in full dress uniform and within an hour of the murder, at the local police station. They wanted more information. I’ll bet they did.
The coming vigilantism is not spurred on simply by xenophobia and fear of the other, but by biased financial profligacy. Take Denmark, where a 5% Muslim population receives 40% of the country’s unemployment benefits. Something must give when indigenous populations and the support systems funded by their taxes have been pushed to breaking point by the open-door immigration policies of successive governments. These governments, in turn, are in thrall to the politically correct, morally relative, multicultural diktats of the political class and their courtiers in the media or, as Pamela Geller calls them, the enemedia. Any hope of change, rather than hope and change, may have to come from the proles.
Which returns us to the Blair it’s okay to like – Eric Blair was George Orwell’s real name – who might have agreed with an adage from the Prime Minister in office before the somewhat less popular Tony Blair. John Major was an ineffective PM, always resembling a cricket commentator who had wandered accidentally into Downing Street. But he did say that the essence of Englishness was as follows: Step on my foot and I’ll apologise. Step on my foot again and I’ll apologise. Step on my foot a third time and I’ll knock you down.
For the proles of the West, the third time may be here.