Thursday, November 22, 2007

Anarchy in the Archives

It's official. Archives are now a hotbed of anarchy, revolutionism and terrorism. Hard to believe?

The Daily Telegraph (15 November 2007) reports the government is to launch a hearts and minds campaign to root out terrorist extremism. It is not clear quite who the target audience is (whose minds? whose hearts?) although we are informed the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is to agree a common approach to inflammatory and extremist material held in or propagated by museums, libraries and archives, no doubt to be implemented through its gauleiters in the Euro Regions.

We observe that normally hearts and minds operations are aimed at indigenous populations, for example the Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, Chinese and Malays during the Emergency in Malaya, Afghans since 2001 and the Iraqis since 2003. If this new campaign nearer to home is true to form, the indigenous British population will bear the brunt of this propaganda and censorship, even to the extent the government is prepared to politicise archives. This is reminiscent of developments in Iraq, where the Iraqi National Archives were reportedly ransacked with US and British collusion in order to impoverish indigenous cultural evidence and thereby create a thirst for the occupiers' agenda.

So it seems the government is not going to stop at identifying printed matter in pursuing its Leninist inspired EU agenda. This time, unusually in the history of political paranoia and fear of criticism and the written word, archives have been identified as a threat, perhaps an unintended consequence of the Archives Awareness Campaign whose theme this year ironically is Freedom and Liberty.

It is rather trite to say SQA is aware of the dangers of religious hatred and racism. However, we are clever enough to understand that first of all the government's policy is not concerned with improving relations between religions and secondly that what constitutes inflammatory and extremist material is a matter of interpretation and political context. The object is to gain ever more control over the unwashed masses, many of whom still cling to inconvenient ideas of accountable government.

We asked Benedict Crumplethorne, principal spokesman of SQA to discourse on this thorny subject.

Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano, seen here with HM The Queen. He has described critics of the EU as terrorists.



It is possible to form a pretty shrewd idea of the way the wind is blowing thanks to our subjugation to EU law and the European Arrest Warrant. Under EU law terrorists include eco-warriors, protesters and anarchists. Furthermore, the Italian President, Giorgio Napolitano has stated
those who are anti EU are terrorists.....It is psychological terrorism to suggest the spectre of a European superstate
(quoted by the Daily Express Monday June 18, 2007)

We also know how the EU deals with whistleblowers and its critics from the experience of Bernard Connolly and Marta Andreasen.

Many of us can remember the decades of IRA terrorism and how lax the UK government was in its response. We now face a miniscule threat from Muslim extremists by comparison but we are being indoctrinated to believe such a small threat justifies massive suppression of civil liberties, won over centuries. It is clear that what SQA has foretold over the last three years is coming true: archives as evidence of accountable government are to be hidden, destroyed, discouraged, removed from the National Curriculum, dumbed-down or re-interpreted.

Prof. David Coleman

The government is clearly anticipating what Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, Pakistani-born Bishop of Rochester believes, that in several decades England and the UK will have ceased to Christian or Protestant. Indeed, according to Professor David Coleman of MigrationWatchUK, by 2050 1/3 of the UK's population will be non-white. Most of this non-white section of the population will be Muslim. By around the same time, Holland may be mainly Muslim. One can understand why many people in the UK and the rest of the EU fear the Islamisation of the UK and Europe. The Israelis share this concern.

For archives, the implication is that the documentary heritage of a mainly indigenous population will either become irrelevant or endangered. You see, with such a burgeoning Muslim population, we will see renewed and more effective calls for the introduction of Sharia Law. Not only that, but the government of the day, if the present one is anything to go by, will be even more drastic in its policies towards indigenous thought and culture.

I can think of several archives that might already be at risk: Keele, the International Institute of Social History and University College London. These no doubt will soon reverberate to the jackboot of the EU thought police.

Now if you will excuse me, I must dash in case the EUSSR thought police arrest me for spreading anti-EU smears.

We thanked Benedict for his contribution.

Further reading

Report by 24 Hour Museum

Our previous blog on Archives and the Terrorist

Sources for anarchist history on the web MathabaNet

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