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How Do We Get A Police State?

News that a re-elected National government will give police extra power to seek compulsory DNA samples is causing ripples in the human rights community. John Howard asks; "How does a police state happen?"

If the idea of a police state was announced in advance, it would never happen. The people would resist, find leaders, rise up and stop it.

But, the loss of personal freedom never happens in one moment of time, but gradually, bit by bit, never moving fast enough to cause much opposition - taking a step backward now and then, in order to take two steps forward later.

How do we recognise it? And what do we do about it?

History has shown there are a hundred-and-one symptoms, chief being absence of justice for the weak. When one person cannot find justice, all are endangered.

There's no road-sign saying "Big Brother Has Arrived." But you can hear his footsteps before you see him. Here are some of the vibrations.

1. When the person you elected can look you straight in the eye and tell you the opposite of what they promised when asking for your vote.

2. When they tell you your personal liberty must be sacrificed for the "common good."

3. When the state numbers its citizen's from birth and the tax department is the most feared institution in the country.

4. When all your communications can be tracked and traced.

5. When the jurisdiction of the independent courts can be ousted.

6. When your next door neighbour doesn't want to get involved because he's scared what's happening to you, may happen to him if he speaks out.

7. When the media has become a public prosecutor, in which it stereotypes, accuses and judges those it disagrees with in its articles or programs.

8. When reporters will film for two hours to find one statement they can use to misrepresent what you really believe.

9. When untrue headlines on page one can condemn you nationwide and a forced apology appears in the smallest print possible on page 148 three months later.

10. When your producer or business association has set up an expensive headquarters in the capital, awarded its staff large and permanent salaries and stopped speaking for your interests.

11. When Trade Unions, Business Associations and Producer Organisations have made their peace with the government in office, and push the "establishment line."

12. When the perks, benefits and superannuation available for elected and appointed people is more generous than the average voter.

13. When statistics become more important than human beings - when GDP is more real to politicians than human happiness.

14. When a growing number of people no longer care who wins elections.

15. When entry to your home without a warrant becomes a government provision.

16. When all forms of activity come under "surveillance," regulation and are subject to licence and inspection by government.

17. When men and women will hurry by an injustice on their way to Sunday service and then bemoan the fact their faith is not taken seriously.

18. When the only political response to problems is more legisaltion and more regulation.

19. When politicians see their party and orders from their party whip, as more important than their conscience or their electorate.

20. When a minister in government will allow a greater injustice to be perpetrated with the excuse that "Cabinet solidarity" prevents personal committment.

21. When a minister in government will not take responsibility.

22. When an elected government allows public servants to set the rules.

23. When debt is the major factor in every public and private enterprise and is used as the excuse for more regulation, confiscation and public asset sales at fire-sale prices.

24. When ordinary people don't realise that a police state begins when they no longer care enough about freedom to speak out.

When the state claims it can raise your children, run your business, spend your money, make your decisions, run your life, and defend your family and property better than you can - and it makes it a crime for you to disagree - then Big Brother Has Arrived.

He will call himself by sweet-sounding names, even a "free society." But your own personal freedom is the price you pay.

'Silence, when we should protest, makes cowards of us all.' - Abraham Lincoln

ends

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