I sometimes think that Craig Murry deserves some kind of Nobel Peace Prize for journalism (though perhaps something uncontaminated with dynamite might be better). Sometimes he seems to veer a little towards the conspiracy side (there was one minor mistake in his coverage of the Salisbury affair where I think he confused chemical purity with a question of dirt in the sample) and he is better writing on topics about which his experience in the FO qualifies him to write. But overall he is great. A rare (very rare), serious and honest voice in the British media landscape.
I’m linking to this because I think he sums up a particular trend which has taken place in Britain in the last 25 years very well. This is the same theme which Josie Appleton tackles, from a different perspective. The country has become one of petty officialdom – petty officials (or stooges) are constantly doubting you. You have to produce ID and all kinds of documents to do anything. (My most recent example was having to go through a complex process of producing documents to change address for my Building Society). The assumption is that everyone is lying and no one can be trusted. And, as Craig points out, the result is that …. truth and honour do indeed become devalued. People reason “if they assume I am a liar anyway why don’t I tell a few lies where I can get away with it?”. A horrible, horrible, state of affairs. And the key question is – how do we get back from this to a more decent and trusting society? It is much easier to lose innocence then to regain it once lost.
As far as an amnesty of illegal immigrants. Why not? They are here anyway.