Attack on social media is synonymous with authoritarianism denial and stupidity
Aug 12, 2011
freedom of speech
Attack on social media: Blaming it for unrest reflects authoritarian denial and stupidity
The Italian saying, "La madre degli imbecili è sempre incinta" ("The mother of idiots is always pregnant"), accurately captures recent events in England. Following the death of a young man, people took to the streets, promoting looting and destruction. The conservative government's response? Suggest blocking social networks because they were used to organize the chaos. This leads us to a revised version of the saying: The mother of idiots is occasionally the mother-in-law of the first lady.
David Cameron, the Tory prime minister, epitomizes mediocrity. He's likely the most unremarkable English politician since John Major—another conservative, coincidentally. Cameron symbolizes the segregationist, oligarchic, and damaging aristocracy, harking back to the English imperialism era. A product of Eton, the bastion of British aristocracy, Cameron was once known for his affiliation with Oxford's Bullingdon Club—an exclusive association renowned for restaurant destruction and physical assaults. This is the same man who enacted the most substantial social benefits cut in Great Britain since Margaret Thatcher (another conservative, curiously). From the House of Commons, Cameron suggested England block social media, alleging they "aided in organizing the recent criminal actions"—a statement befitting a banana republic dictator, not a leader of an established democracy.
Cameron's audacious suggestion aligns with his track record. He was elected with Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation's support, slashed educational funding by nearly 50%, ended the British Film Council—an extraordinary state entity that supported cinema—and is gradually suffocating the BBC, arguably the world's best public TV. Cameron's desire to shut down social media stems from his dictatorial tendencies and his aspiration to restore 10th Downing Street's Bullingdon dynasty, reclaim the colonies, and subjugate Northern Ireland.
Blaming social media for the London riots is akin to blaming the railway system for the hooligan incidents in the 70s. Yes, a significant portion of the country's looting involved criminal action. However, the public's dissatisfaction and despair were fueled by the harsh reality that they would never attain even 1% of the wealth flaunted by millionaires, football players, and celebrities in Murdoch's tabloids. Now, with reduced access to education, health, culture, and justice, their chances have shrunk even further.
Cameron's decision to not propose shutting down newspapers and TV stations is simply because he lacks the power to do so, though he would undoubtedly desire it. The London events, like the Paris incidents years ago, are not merely criminal actions. Social networks have shown people that they are not alone in their misery, revolt, and dissatisfaction—a realization also evident in dictatorships like Libya, Syria, and Egypt. It begs the question: Will David Cameron continue to condemn these governments' repressive actions, or will he adopt their modus operandi in his administration?