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The polite manner of “counter-terrorism” in the UK

I could not help but be struck by the nice, polite, and almost friendly manner of the police officer making violence-backed threats in the video below (“If you refuse this [random] search, you will be arrested.”). It may not be news to you that the face of the police state is often a perfectly pleasant one, but I think it is worth spreading the word.

(Full disclosure: I work for Qik, and it was one of our users who live streamed the above video from his mobile phone to the web using our software.)

34 comments to The polite manner of “counter-terrorism” in the UK

  • the other rob


    What’s really depressing is that everybody involved knows what a charade it is, but each party plays out his role, according to an agenda. No need to elaborate.

    Still, one day:
    – What’s this Sir?
    It’s a covert mobile phone.
    – And what are all of these SIM cards Sir?
    Each one corresponds to a different covert identity.
    – And what’s this Sir?
    It’s my notebook. It says inside the front cover that, while you do not have to say anything…

  • Whatever happened to our constitutional right to go about our lawful business without let or hindrance.?

    When was that right repealed.?

  • WalterBoswell

    ” They told me that you had gone totally insane and that your methods were unsound.”

    ” Are my methods unsound?”

    ” I don’t see any method at all, sir.”

  • fjfjfj

    I’m afraid I’m finding the video very slow.

  • James

    I’d watch it all, but Qik is pretty qap at being qik, it seems.

    Any chance of it being posted on YouTube instead?

  • John

    Makes me feel proud to be British…

  • fjfjfj

    So interesting, but so choppy!

  • “So passed, to all appearance, from the minds of men the strange dream and fantasy called freedom. Whatever be the future of these evolutionary experiments and their effect on civilization, there is one land at least that has something to mourn. For us in England something will have perished which our fathers valued all the more because they hardly troubled to name it; and whatever be the stars of a more universal destiny, the great star of our night has set. The English had missed many other things that men of the same origins had achieved or retained. Not to them was given, like the French, to establish eternal communes and clear codes of equality; not to them, like the South Germans, to keep the popular culture of their songs; not to them, like the Irish, was it given to die daily for a great religion. But a spirit had been with them from the first which fenced, with a hundred quaint customs and legal fictions, the way of a man who wished to walk nameless and alone. It was not for nothing that they forgot all their laws to remember the name of an outlaw, and filled the green heart of England with the figure of Robin Hood. It was not for nothing that even their princes of art and letters had about them something of kings incognito, undiscovered by formal or academic fame; so that no eye can follow the young Shakespeare as he came up the green lanes from Stratford, or the young Dickens when he first lost himself among the lights of London. It is [not] for nothing that the very roads are crooked and capricious, so that a man looking down on a map like a snaky labyrinth, could tell that he was looking on the home of a wandering people. A spirit at once wild and familiar rested upon its woodlands like a wind at rest. If that spirit be indeed departed, it matters little that it has been driven out by perversions it had itself permitted, by monsters it had idly let loose. Industrialism and Capitalism and the rage for physical science were English experiments in the sense that the English lent themselves to their encouragement; but there was something else behind them and within them that was not they — its name was liberty, and it was our life. It may be that this delicate and tenacious spirit has at last evaporated. If so, it matters little what becomes of the external experiments of our nation in later time. That at which we look will be a dead thing alive with its own parasites. The English will have destroyed England.”

    – G. K. Chesterton, EUGENICS AND OTHER EVILS

  • Impatient

    My god make it stream faster

  • Streams just fine for me

  • nick g.

    I don’t know of the right place to mention this, so here goes- another word for our opponents occurred to me- if you mix up the words Nanny-stater and Nazi, you come up with Nanzi! A Nanzi can also be described as a nanonazi, a dwarf variety of Nazi!
    So there is another swearword in the world. Use it wisely!

  • Even Jack Straw has admitted that S44 is a bit much.

  • I would love to watch this video, right up my street BUT watching in 3 second bursts with longer waits between bursts is rather irritating…

  • My apologies, pause the video for a couple of minutes and then it will stream more than happily.

  • “I’m just doing my job, sir.”

    Well that’s fucking swell. These pigs will be “just doing their jobs”, too, when they’re machine-gunning “undesirables” and pitchforking the bodies into the ovens.

  • I thought the second officer didn’t even bother to seem nice and polite.

  • Rob

    From our far-sighted writer, Orwell:

    “Fascism is coming; probably a slimy Anglicized form of Fascism, with cultured policemen instead of Nazi gorillas and the lion and the unicorn instead of the swastika.”.

    He was wrong about the lion and the unicorn but spot on about the other.

  • Rob

    If only the police showed as much dedication and effort patrolling the streets of my town at night, as they did in harassing this innocent citizen, then perhaps where I live wouldn’t be such an intimidating, violent dump.

    When middle-class, law-abiding people distrust and loathe the police, we are in big, big trouble.

  • This really is too slow, I have been looking now for over half and hour and am only a quarter of the way in.
    i have tried the pause and wait suggestion above but that seems to make no difference.

    Can this be converted into a format that we can all see.
    many thanks

  • Miv Tucker

    “The two of them took the local rail to the school. A fussy little man met them, a Mr Plaudet; he was enthusiatic and wanted to shake hands with Manny. it was evident to Elias Tate that this was the government. First they shake hands with you, he thought, and then they murder you.”
    Philip K. Dick, The Divine Invasion

  • (1) “qik” is very very very slow – no good at all. Yes you can pause, load up your RAM and then stream a block but so what? The phone has rung, or the window cleaner has come, and you have lost the thread.

    (2) It is disgusting, since I take it that this scenario was not played by actors.

  • Daveon

    Is there a way I can get a link to this to embed in my Blog and other places? This really needs to be shared widely.

  • Is there a way I can get a link to this to embed in my Blog and other places? This really needs to be shared widely.
    There is:
    It has a download link as well.

  • Hey look … the new and improved fascist … Now comes with manners!

  • Daveon

    Thanks, found it soon after I posted. Still annoyed by it.

  • Midwesterner

    The pause trick is absolutely not working for me. Every time I pause it stops downloading. It is playing maybe three second bursts every 10 seconds or so. I’ll have to rely on this thread to know what is in the video.

  • Sunfish

    I tried to watch. I really did. But the skipping and stopping is too much for someone with one of those headaches where it feels like my forebrain is about to explode out through my left eye socket and I wish it would just get on with the exploding.

    Would someone with more skill or patience than I have post a transcript? Pretty please? With Kenyan Unfair-Trade Coffee on top?

  • I downloaded the damn thing and tried to watch, but couldn’t make out a single word they were saying. Oh well, gift horse and all that.

  • guy herbert

    Even Jack Straw has admitted that S44 is a bit much.

    Hm. Even without s44, there is a lot of scope for offering the public the option of be searched/answer questions or be arrested:


    Use of scanners and dogs is not regarded as a search. And,


    “The police officer will ask a few questions and then if necessary search you.”

    … Failure to answer questions you don’t have to may yet be regarded as suspicious in practice. (American readers my wish to note that just because a search is unlawful, it doesn’t stop someone being tried and convicted on the results or consequences.

    And don’t get in the way:


    If you are arrested for any reason whatsoever, lawfully or otherwise, your fingerprints and DNA will be on file for ever and you’ll have a supect-record if nominally not a criminal one.


    Welcome to the country that invented individual liberty.

  • Laird

    Chilling. Fortunately, we aren’t quite to that state (yet) in the US.

    Interesting that this post elides perfectly into the discussion under the “Nannies Good and Bad” post. Here’s another quote from de Tocqueville:

    It would seem that if despotism were to be established among the democratic nations of our days, it might assume a different character; it would be more extensive and more mild; it would degrade men without tormenting them. I do not question that, in an age of instruction and equality like our own, sovereigns might more easily succeed in collecting all political power into their own hands and might interfere more habitually and decidedly with the circle of private interests than any sovereign of antiquity could ever do. But this same principle of equality which facilitates despotism tempers its rigor.

    Welcome to the brave new world of polite despotism.

    [FYI, I had trouble playing the video a few days ago when it was first posted (3 seconds, pause, 3 more seconds, etc.), but now it’s running just fine. Perhaps the problem was with my internet connection and not with the Qik software. However, it would be nice to have a bar along the bottom showing how long the clip is, where we are in it, permitting rewinding or jumping ahead, etc. Just a suggestion to the software developers.]

  • archduke

    wow – this is freaky folks – i actually SAW this search occuring.

    now its on here.

    i have noticed a lot of these random searches at waterloo station.

  • archduke

    i tried to download the .flv version – but thats a whopping 318 MEG in size… huh? for an 18 minute vid of mobile phone quality???

  • Laird

    Note: Youtube now has the video blocked. The message says: “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.”