Haven\’t we got a lot of snitches in Britain?

Although it has not yet been publicly launched, the National Allegations Database is already receiving tip-offs at the rate of one every six seconds.

The deluge of claims – the equivalent of 100,000 allegations every year – suggests there are far more illegal immigrants in the country than is estimated.

 

No, it means that we\’ve got an awful lot of snitches in the UK.

Imagine that one of the 20th century vilenesses had actually managed to take over the country. Anything from the various flavours of fascism through socialism to Tony Benn\’s autarky or even the imposition of some Bible Belt style Christian conservatism. Wouldn\’t they have found a lot of people willing to give up snippets of information, victims, to whatever would be the equivalent of the Stasi in such a State?

One of the reasons we never do want the State to have detailed power over individuals is that there\’s an awful lot of pissants out there willing to be the Block Captains who would impose that power.

The essence of liberalism in short. People are shits so don\’t let them have any power.

39 thoughts on “Haven\’t we got a lot of snitches in Britain?”

  1. Well you could chose to look at it that way. Or you could say the lax entry controls that have flooded the country with illegals combined with the forced imposition of the ‘multi-cultural’ agenda, neither of which had the assent of the population, are responsible. There is the possibility that people who are ordinarily reluctant to snitch on their own are more likely to do so when the targets are unwelcome strangers they consider foisted on them.
    There’s not even anything particularly anti-libertarian about it. We agree libertarianism is based on the observance of the law. When laws are broken the effects are felt, not by the ‘State’ which is an insensitive abstraction, but by ordinary people . The analogy would be the difference between making an unprovoked attack & legitimate self defence. At least people are utilising the system of law enforcement rather than taking direct action themselves, as has happened in other countries.

  2. Er… the essence of liberalism is that people *aren’t* shits and therefore don’t need to be overseen in every detail by la Toynbee and her mates. I’m sure you’ve pointed this out before, on different subjects.

    You personally like unlimited migration. Others don’t.

  3. I used to know illegal immigrants who did a lot of harm to this country – I think this is great.

  4. Whether it is good or ill it certainly co-opts the public into state operations. It is no better than cctv though in that it is aiding detection much more than it is any kind of deterrent.

    One of Robert Peel’s maxims was that an absence of crime was the evidence for an effective police force rather than numbers of arrests wasn’t it? If the Home Office was any good this wouldn’t be happening.

  5. Not sure you have the libertarian readership you might want. If bloke in Spain lives in spain, there is a little hypocrisy in him complaining about liberal immigration policies.

  6. But that assumes that people have the same attitude to something that is hard to morally defend (illegal immigrants) with something that is easy to morally defend (Jews being allowed to live, Catholics being allowed to pray).

    Personally, I think the illegal immigrant problem is massively overplayed, and disguises the real cause of economic problems, but illegal immigrants do still have costs to society.

  7. Luke, there is a difference between being an illegal immigrant & being a legitimate one. I live in Spain & France, Tim lives in Portugal. Other commentators live around the world. If they’re anything like me, they do so respecting the fact they’re a guests in their host countries & behave accordingly, not abusing the hospitality. I respect & abide by the laws of this country a great deal more than many of the locals. I take nothing from it it doesn’t offer me freely & contribute to it’s economy by spending my money here. The unemployment in this region is the highest in Spain. Without ex-pat spending it would be a whole lot worse. What’s un-libertarian about that?

  8. If bloke in Spain lives in spain, there is a little hypocrisy in him complaining about liberal immigration policies.

    Possibly (says Manx / Malaysian exile on Portuguese exiles blog), however one of the reasons why we got the fuck out of the UK was that it was being filled up with people who should never have been allowed in through the fucking door.

    At least where we live we live legally, work and pay our taxes.

    On the whole, I agree with Tim. I would prefer that this snitches database didn’t exist.

  9. Now combine this with the government’s idea of having magistrates holding hearings for ‘simple’ cases in local police stations or community centres….

    A few more minor tweaks to the system…

    And we’re starting to get a proper control system running in the UK (for the good of the people, don’t you know).

  10. something that is hard to morally defend (illegal immigrants)

    Erm. No. The only thing illegal immigrants have done wrong is to break a gibberingly unjust law banning them from living their life. Just like laws against Catholics praying, or laws against people saying the Communist Party are a bunch of arseholes, in fact.

  11. “I would prefer that this snitches database didn’t exist.”
    But surely, if you’re going to have laws then they should be abided by. And it’s not un-libertarian to suggest that people contribute to that process. If you saw somebody breaking into a car, informing the appropriate authority would be a responsible act. Why should illegal immigration be different? In practical terms, a ‘snitch line’ is rather better than the alternative the State might provide. Intrusive examination of everyone & the power it would award itself to do so. To further the car break-in analogy, stopping & searching everyone on the street on suspicion of theft, irrespective.
    To add to my earlier, for Luke’s benefit, in case he suspects me of the ‘other thing’. My ex-wife is French & still lives in London where we met. The current squeeze is extremely mixed race, from a shanty town half way round the planet & actually was an illegal till we regularised her situation.

  12. John Galt, Bloke in Spain, Tim – do any of you UKIPpers actually live in the UK?

    (Being in exile doesn’t stop your views being valid/interesting, and it suggests you are not xenophobic, but I’m just curious.)

  13. Bloke in Spain, “To add to my earlier, for Luke’s benefit, in case he suspects me of the ‘other thing’”

    I’m not sure what I’m meant to suspect you of, but I can’t off hand think of anything I suspect you of. Apologies if I gave that impression.

  14. Perhaps, Luke, there’s a difference between practical internationalism & the theory.
    Just a thought.

  15. And another thing following Bloke in Spain’s post at 12. Are any of you UKIPPERS married to/partnered with British people? Isn’t Farrage’s wife german?

    Again, nothing wrong, far from it. I’m just having to re-appraise my views on you all as Little Englanders.

  16. Little Black Sambo

    “…the essence of liberalism is that people *aren’t* shits.>…”
    And the essence of conservatism is that they are.

  17. John B: “Erm. No. The only thing illegal immigrants have done wrong is to break a gibberingly unjust law …”

    If a law truly IS ‘gibberingly unjust’, you’ll have no problems convincing the people to insist their representatives change it, legally.

    Won’t you?

    And if you can’t, then you might just have to accept that your opinions are startlingly out of step with everyone else’s…

  18. No Julia, I’m with John here. let’s get rid of all these gibberingly unjust laws.
    Of course, that’d mean the end of the Social Democracy thing. How could you have redistribution of wealth, the whole progressive thing if you can’t actually establish who’s living where? Being able to come presumes being able to go as well. round about tax due date seems favourite. Bring it on!

  19. I’m in favour of getting rid of them, should the people vote to do so.

    Should they not, then, well, the peole have spoken, haven’t they?

  20. BTW I am UKIP and my wife is from South America.
    I know a Colombian whose visa expired and was told to leave the country and did so.
    If we are to give an amnesty to illegal immigrants (many of whom are entered legally but over stayed) we are discriminating against honest foreigners who wanted to stay here but could do so honestly.
    Who in their right mind thinks that is a good idea?

  21. Welcome to East Germany!

    Or even Paris 1940. The Gestapo initially encouraged the “corbeaux”, then got fed up with the sheer amount of petty neighbour denunciations.

    Denunciations to the police are today illegal. (The shame of ooccupation casts a long shadow.) I tried to alert my mate the police inspector to a drug ring but he said it wasn’t worth it because if he was shown to have acted on a tip-off the dealers would get off.

    I have a suspicion that this snitch line will be cut off by the ECJ, sharpish.

  22. 230 a day (as per the article) means 1 every 6 minutes – the Telegraph is out by a factor of 60.

  23. Don’t we all have a responsibility to report criminal activities to the police, and this is just an example of that?

  24. Monty: There’s no general duty to report (suspected) crimes. Morally, you may argue otherwise, but legally it only applies to certain types of crime, notably treason, terrorism and motoring offences. If there were such a duty, it would be a good reason to keep the list of crimes short, sweet and limited only to those necessary.

    Peter Risdon: Nope, there’s quite a long line of liberals and democrats (not necessarily Liberal Democrats…) who are willing to say that humans are, in the round, sufficiently nasty that we don’t trust any of ’em with too much power.

    CS Lewis, for example: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/174939

  25. @blokeinfrance, how on earth does France control crime if any evidence/witness statements that someone may be able to identify the perpetrators is effectively inadmissible?

    Or have I misunderstood something? Are the police really obliged to ignore me if I say “I saw the blue Peugeot getting nicked and it was Mr ABC who did the nicking”?

  26. JamesV
    Question of timing, I think. If the crime has been committed, the enquiry opened, then the police seek witnesses. Not before.

  27. Luke,

    I’m a Euro-skeptic. I live in Scotland. Which isn’t yet “abroad” but may soon be.

    Wife, kids, cats and fish are all British-born British passport holders (well, not the fish. Pet passports don’t reach that far, yet.)

  28. If they’re anything like me, they do so respecting the fact they’re a guests in their host countries & behave accordingly, not abusing the hospitality.

    I’ve been trying to get deported since I got here.

  29. I realise that by the nature of a tip-off line this would be impractical but it would be *fascinating* to know the immigration background of those tipping-off the UKBA.
    My experience has been that legitimate non-EU immigrants are rather resentful of those who a) immigrate and don’t even try to assimilate, and b) immigrate illegally or overstay visitor visas. Their POV seems to be “if we had to jump through all the immigration hoops, pay the thousands of points for right-to-remain/UK citizenship and ensure the citizenship ceremony with some halfwit local mayor, why in buggery should those freeloaders get away with it?”
    I suspect there’s also a lot of cases where restaurant owner A suspects competing owner B to be saving money on the staffing, and uses UKBA to take the wind out of his sales.

  30. To sidestep all the moral agonizing about wives etc: such a database would be useless.
    Because for it to work the nation would need a competent Border Force to investigate the tipoffs, which by definaition it does not have, since otherwsie there would be no illegals.
    A far better solution would be to stop paying/giving all state benefits to people who lack either birth certificates or immigration docs.
    It follows that the database is just another sop to the peeps.

  31. Weird. I’m delighted to find that my pre-conceptions about UKIPPERS are wrong, but puzzled that all those who moan about EU expenditure living in places that suck off the teats of tax payers like me. Are there any UKIPPERS who aren’t subsidy junkies? See also Krugman – tea party nut cases live in states that depend on federal govt transfers (can’t be bothered to link).

  32. A far better solution would be to stop paying/giving all state benefits to people who lack either birth certificates or immigration docs.

    This is ALREADY THE FUCKING CASE.

    Nobody is eligible for state benefits unless they:

    1) have Indefinite Leave To Remain (equivalent of Green Card), which requires you to have legally migrated and to have lived for five years on a temporary visa without recourse to state funds, or three years if you’re married to a UK citizen.

    2) are an EU citizen who’s been *working* in the UK for at least a year.

    (refugees whose applications are being processed and hence are banned from working are granted a basic ‘not starving to death’ payment, which is completely separate from the state benefits system. Again, they aren’t illegal immigrants. Failed refugees awaiting removal or appeal don’t get benefits either).

    If you are an illegal immigrant, you aren’t eligible for any of the above, and don’t get paid it. If you are a legal non-EU immigrant without ILR, you aren’t eligible for any of the above, and don’t get paid it (that’s why legal immigrants have “no recourse to public funds” stamped on their passports).

    And if you’re a member of the Great British Public, you’re an ignorant cunt who believes completely spurious bullshit about immigration, but thinks your worthless opinion based on no understanding whatsoever of the facts should be taken into account by politicians.

  33. Incidentally, allowing free immigration wouldn’t require the abolition of the benefits system at all.

    1) allow anyone without a criminal record to come in on a non-recourse visa, subject to lodging a bond equivalent to their air fare home.

    2) keep all the other requirements as they are.

    Then, people who want to work can do so; while people who want to claim benefits will still need to work for five years before they can do so, which is a pretty major deterrent to the terminally lazy.

  34. john b

    ‘refugees whose applications are being processed and hence are banned from working are granted a basic ‘not starving to death’ payment, which is completely separate from the state benefits system.’

    Saying something is not part of the state benefits system doesn’t make it not a state benefit. It just means you’re a smug liar like the your purported rulers.

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