The events that I am about to describe to you are 100% true.
They have already happened to various people across the United Kingdom, which in some respects is leading the charge to 21st century “Big Brother” authoritarianism.
It’s all real, and it’s all disturbing. To humanize it a little bit we have pulled several true events together into a single story about a man we’ll call “George.”
George thinks he might stop by the community garden. His neighbors regularly gather there around a waist-deep, inflatable pool they purchased to beat the summer heat.
But then he remembers that the landlords ordered the pool removed… they were concerned that a burglar might inadvertently hurt himself while attempting to rob a home, so the pool needed to go.
Instead George figures he’ll get a start on some errands. He hops in his work van and stops for a bite to eat on the way into town.
But when George’s meat-lovers pizza arrives, it looks quite sparse and smaller than he remembers.
“Public Health England has new standards we’re following,” the man behind the counter explains. “We’ve cut the meat and reduced the size… it’s to combat childhood obesity.”
Well I’m not a child, George thinks, but politely keeps it to himself.
George parks downtown, and still feeling a bit peckish, throws away the empty pizza box in the trash bag in the back of his van.
But before he can get his shopping started, a member of the local council enforcement approaches. He noticed the trash in the back of George’s work van.
“Do you have a waste carrier’s license, to carry rubbish in a commercial vehicle?”
“What, to throw out my lunch? I didn’t toss it out the window, did I?”
George received a £300 fine. Yes, in the UK, you now need a license to have trash in your private property.
By now George is understandably feeling a bit peeved. And when he sees a sign that says police are conducting a facial recognition trial, he pulls his sweatshirt up over his face.
But he hasn’t gone 12 paces before officers pull him aside.
“It says participation isn’t mandatory,” George protests.
“Awful suspicious to cover your face,” the cops say. “What do you have to hide?”
“Oh piss off!” George shouts. So the bobbies issue George a £90 public order fine for swearing. No, apparently you can’t opt out of “optional” facial recognition or swear in the UK.
Exasperated, George continues to the hardware store.
He has to buy a hammer and nails so that he and his neighbors can build a barricade in front of their homes.
There’s a big festival coming to town… and last year, police failed to stop revelers from inflicting massive property damage on shops and homes, in addition to multiple stabbings and a number of acid attacks.
At first George thought the barriers were a bit overkill. Perhaps he could just get some pepper spray instead?
But when he checked the official UK police resource website, George was appalled to read that “The only fully legal self defence product at the moment is a rape alarm.” So, no pepper spray – too much liability.
George arrives home, ready to build, but gets a knock on the door.
It’s the UK anti-terrorism police unit.
They received a call from a concerned citizen who had seen the recent Life has No Rewind Button commercials. The videos tell citizens to report any suspicious behavior, because “Reporting suspicious activity won’t ruin lives, but it might save them.”
Just like in the commercial, the citizen grew concerned when she saw George buying a hammer… Citizens are told to report on others who make purchases of weapons or “other objects that could be used to cause harm.”
It takes George the better part of an hour to prove his innocence to the officers. By the time they leave, his damn tooth is aching again from all the stress.
What ever happened to that National Health Service request I made a year and a half ago? George thinks.
He contacts the NHS, who tell him to wait patiently, he will be seen when the resources become available. But he’s already waited over a year. And he’s losing patience. Who knows how much longer it will take.
So George clamps a pair of pliers around his tooth… and he yanks it clean out.
Just another day in the Socialist UK.