Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

The Thought Police are Here

propaganda-7287298 Thought Police & Surveillance

I was raised to consider the police to be the friends of ordinary people, there to protect us from criminals and thugs. As a youngster I found this to be true and later, as an adult I met many policemen, when playing in teams against them, at various sports, such as golf, tennis, squash, football etc. Now retired I know a number of retired officers as fellow members of our bowls club, and play against one of their teams twice a year.

However, recent events have made it clear that, while H G Wells wrote 'The Time Machine', it almost seems George Orwell actually had such a device. His great dystopian novel 1984 is taking shape around us, not least in the rise of the Thought Police, an organisation used by the oligarchical dictatorship of Airstrip One (Britain) to monitor not merely the actions, and speech of the Outer Party, but even their thoughts.

We increasingly hear of instances where our modern police force is taking upon itself the task of, as one of its officers said when harassing Harry Miller, a retired member of the force, who had dared to question the consensus on gender "I'm here to check your thinking."

Harry Miller was charged with a hate incident over alleged transphobic tweets he wrote in 2019. His tweets had offended an anonymous member of the transgender community and so he was reported to law enforcement. The Humberside Police followed up on the complaint which was classified as "offensive" and "transphobic." It took a two-year-long legal battle, but he's finally been vindicated.

Miller, took legal action against the police and the College of Policing's guidance which states a hate incident can be any non-crime incident that is "perceived, by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice. As he told the officers "look it up, 1984 was a dystopian novel, not a police 'how-to manual'.", arguing that offensiveness toward someone is not a crime, "only when speech turns to malicious communication, or targeted harassment against an individual should it be a problem.", and submitted to the Court of Appeal that the current police guidance unlawfully violates citizens' right to speak freely.

Dame Victoria Sharp, DBE, KC the President of the King's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales agreed, ruling that, "The recording of non-crime hate incidents is plainly an interference with freedom of expression and knowledge that such matters are being recorded and stored in a police database is likely to have a serious 'chilling effect' on public debate." More recently, a judgement handed down in an employment appeal tribunal ruled that gender-critical beliefs, including the belief that sex is immutable, and not to be conflated with gender identity, was a protected philosophical belief. Yet despite the fact that these legal victories made clear that such beliefs are perfectly lawful, officers still persistently trample over freedom of speech, and even the law, in the name of trans rights.

In May, His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Andy Cooke, made clear that the police were not to act as a thought police, and that chief constables needed to "avoid politics with the small p", follow the law and remember that "different thoughts" are not an offence.

In July 2022, the Chief Executive of the College of Policing warned that the police should stop wading in to spats on Twitter and focus on solving crime, while in October, at the Tory party conference, the new Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, said "We need to get back to common sense policing, empowering the police to tackle the issues facing the public, not policing pronouns on Twitter or non-crime hate incidents." "Unfortunately," as Toby Young, the Founder and Director of the Free Speech Union, pointed out "it seems like Surrey Police didn't get the memo." The continued willingness of the police to defy a number of recent legal rulings and go after critics of transgender ideology is a case in point.

Caroline Farrow, a mother-of-five who is married to a Catholic priest, was accused of harassment and malicious communications, and has criticised Surrey Police after officers "swooped on her home and arrested her in front of her children" over a series of allegedly "malicious" posts on chat board KiwiFarms, which she denies writing. As she says "I have been arrested for what was a twitter spat about gender issues."

The police involved confiscated Ms Farrow's electronic devices, including one used by her autistic daughter for home schooling purposes, and she was subjected to the indignity of a body-search, and was then held in a cell for several hours. She was released under investigation after several hours, and reports "Posts were printed from online forum KiwiFarms and given to the police as evidence, and the police have taken the complainants' word for it in the utter absence of evidence. It's unreal."

Ordinary people might like to reflect on the truth that, in the year of our Lord 2022, a wife and mother could be treated in this manner by police who clearly see themselves as above the law, but this outrage is just the tip of an iceberg.

Earlier this year, women's rights campaigner Jennifer Swayne was arrested and detained for 10 hours by Gwent Police for allegedly causing "offence". Her crime? Putting up posters saying "No Men in Women's Prisons". In July, feminist campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen was visited by police after warning online that gender self-identification would be exploited by male sex offenders to get access to vulnerable women. Police recorded this as a 'hate incident'. In August, lesbian campaigners from Get the L Out were ejected by police from Cardiff Pride for carrying signs reading "Lesbians don't like penises".

As widely reported, last month, an official Sussex Police social-media account warned users not to question the gender identity of convicted child sex offender John Stephen Dixon (now identifying as Sally Ann Dixon), who is reportedly being sent to a women's prison. Sussex Police told critics that any "hateful comments" directed towards the convicted child abuser would not be tolerated. They claimed that referring to Dixon as a man met the definition of a 'hate crime' and advised critics not to express their views. In other words, the police's bias towards trans ideology led them to prioritise the feelings of a convicted paedophile over free speech. It took an intervention from Suella Braverman to get Sussex Police to apologise.

I find it hard to believe that, unless something very dark has happened, ordinary coppers agree with these sort of violations of free speech, but it may be that there is something very "Rotten in the state of Denmark" as far as the senior echelons are concerned. The problem is not incompetence, but an increasingly clear political bias fuelled by lobby groups like Stonewall.

A Labour government would clearly exacerbate the problem, as Sir Keir Starmer seems unable even to define what constitutes a women. This sort of behaviour by the police, clearly ultra vires, is more than disgraceful, it is the canary in the mine warning that, unless something is done, all decent people face a fate like that of Winston Smith in Orwell's novel. 

Font size: +

Related Posts

Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames