What is a ‘failed state’?
A ‘failed state’ is a state which has completely failed to function. The exact definition is debated by the experts, but, a ‘failed state’ is often described as having the following characteristics:
- inability to maintain its territorial integrity
- loss of monopoly on policing and judiciary
- failed social structures
- corruption of its governance structures (failure of its government to function as it was meant to)
Now, a ‘failing state’ has not quite become a ‘failed state’ – yet – but is certainly heading in that direction. Some suggest that a failing state may attempt to assert totalitarian-type control over its populace in its last attempts at remaining in control…
Yes, I know, my definitions are not perfect – I don’t have the technical lingo down pat. Yet, from the little bit of reading I have done, this seems to be the ‘rough’ idea behind the concept.
Britain is not a failed state – yet! My question is, just how far on the road to becoming one is it?
Let us look at the major characteristics of a ‘failed state’, as per my definition, and see if they are applicable to Britain:
1. Inability to maintain territorial integrity
‘It is therefore actually both impossible and illegal for British immigration officers to obtain hard facts on why people are entering Britain, because an EU passport gives someone from Poland or France as much right to enter this country as I do – no questions asked.’
All right – it is not a ‘failure’ in the ‘classical sense’, but rather the surrendering of responsibility for its territorial integrity to a supranational legal structure. Yet, it also means that the British government has, in a very real sense, lost the control over maintaining its territorial integrity…
2. Loss of monopoly on policing and judiciary
Last year, it was revealed that a parallel legal system, based on Sharia law and in no way answerable to the state, had been operating and deeply entrenched in Britain. In September 2008, acknowledging that they cannot control or abolish this parallel legal system, the British government formally recognized its legitimacy.
Even though this parallel legal system is not based on British laws or traditions, and is completely outside the control of the British government, it is fully functioning and its authority is officially recognized by the British government.
In other words, the British government has failed to maintain a monopoly on its judiciary.
Of course, many people would argue that Britain has also lost its ability to police its society… or even the ability to understand their basic role to charge those who disrupt peace, not those who protest the disruption. That is not functional policing…
3. Failed social structures
When a state begins to issue civil court orders known as ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) against toddlers, it is a rather unequivocal sign that its social structures are failing.
How is an ASBO issued against a person?
Well, according to Wikipedia, the accuser brigns their complaint against the defendant in front of a magistrate (my emphasis):
‘Applications for ASBOs are heard by Magistrates sitting in their civil capacity. Although the proceedings are civil, the court must apply a heightened civil standard of proof. This standard is virtually indistinguishable from the criminal standard. The applicant must prove that the defendant has acted in such a manner beyond all reasonable doubt.’
OK, you might say, so what is the problem? I know lots of toddlers who display ‘anti-social behaviour’! Beyond all reasonable doubt, most toddlers DO engage in ‘anti-social behaviour’… After all, they ARE toddlers.
Yeah, right… But ASBO is usually issued against ‘football hooligans’ and unruly youths and so on, forbidding specific behaviours. If the order is broken, and the individual engages in the behaviour prohibited by the order, that individual is subject to arrest. In other words, it’s sort of a ‘probation’ thingy for specific behaviours.
So, could an ASBO ever be issued to a two-year-old boy? In England, apparently, it could… and against his sisters, aged 4 and 5 (one of whom is autistic). From Dvorak Uncensored:
Lennon Poyser received the warning along with his sisters Olivia, five, and four-year-old Megan, after neighbours complained about their behaviour.’
And, yes, the kids had been told they could be arrested if they continued in their anti-social behaviour. While the whole thing had eventually been cleared up as a ‘mistake’, the fact is that such a complaint did go before a judge, been proven to be true ‘beyond all reasonable doubt’ to a standard which ‘is virtually indistinguishable from the criminal standard’ and the order was issued and delivered – ALL IN ERROR?!?!?
Sounds to me like things are seriously breaking down in England…
While all this is going on, what are the local councils worried about? Are they addressing the breakdown of their society? Are they working hard to plug the holes in their governance structures, so 2-year olds won’t get tossed into jail for kicking a football?
Of course, these are not the only examples – there are too many to fit into an itty-bitty blog post… One would need a few volumes to even scratch the surface! And, if THIS is how the local councils are attempting to fix their failing social structures, then, in my never-humble-opinion, England is doomed.
4. Corruption of its governance structures
Britain is the cradle of our modern-day democracy: the home of the Magna Carta (or is calling it by its Latin name no longer legal in England?) Its parliamentary system is designed with checks and balances. It ought to work!
But, when one unelected parliamentarian can assert his will by threats of terrorism – and do so openly, with impunity, and which no consequences – it is unequivocal that the British government has failed in its function. It has become corrupted and dysfunctional.
And, if this letter can be interpreted as anything other than a threat of increased domestic terrorism should the British government not submit its foreign policy to the will of the Islamist lobby, then I don’t know what it could possibly be.
So far, I think it has been demonstrated that Britain is slowly but surely advancing on the road towards becoming a ‘failed state’. Are there any signs that it is behaving according to the patterns of such states? Is it beginning to attempt to impose some totalitarian, oppressive policies it its desperate attempt to stay in control?
Well, perhaps admitting that the state is unable to keep peace after dark is the reason for the imposition of a curfew which bans all teens from being out at night. And the populace’s response? They are squabbling about the ‘how’, not the ‘what’ of the order…
Or, how about this? The British government not allowed – by EU treaties – to control its immigration, so they are going all out to ‘big brother’ every Briton’s travel plans?
If THAT were not enough, now the British government is actively encouraging its citizens to go through each other’s garbage in order to report ‘anything suspicious‘…. and attempting to villify anyone who does not approve of being monitored by cameras 100% of the time!
Having considered the above – how far along the road to ‘failed state’ do you think Britain is?