Desert Tale

Number 17, Volume 2


Censorship Bullies


Repressive governments are bent on complete control of its citizens. Privacy and individual rights go hand in hand, and it is no coincidence that in a totalitarian society privacy is the first thing eliminated. Last month when I was in Scotland visiting my dear mother who will be 94 this December, Dundee City Council, forced me to sign a letter with their demands, or I could not see her, in violation of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which protects the right to freedom of assembly and association;” and Article 17, “abuse of rights… no one may use the rights guaranteed by the Convention to seek the abolition or limitation of rights guaranteed in the Convention…where individuals might undermine other human rights.” DCC gave no legal or logical reason to Dundee Sheriff’s Court for this censorship other than the fact that I am a writer and they had something to hide.

When a taxi driver told me: “you can’t win; they all stick together. We are fed up with the Council.” He was so right. I signed their letter, ‘under duress,’ because I had not seen my mother in over one year and I was in Scotland for only two weeks. This was not only a direct violation of a court order which made no mention of conditions on visitations, but a gross violation of my mother’s rights to see her daughter, and a violation of Scots Law 2011; yet when I complained to the Sheriff about this, he ignored the situation for political reasons. Talk about sticking together like chewing gum on a shoe!

Freedom to think as you will, and to speak as you think, are indispensable means of protecting the truth and democracy. Yet, there was a council staff member sitting next to us eavesdropping to every word my mom whispered, then went back and wrote her report for the Council’s files. If mother was not happy with her situation, she had every right to tell me her concerns so that I could help her. Dundee City Council with its leftist thinking are on dangerous grounds by attempting to control its citizenry by supressing any part that might threaten their power.

When people don’t speak out with their opinions, the government will assume those opinions don’t exist fermenting a sense of quiet conformity which gives them a sense of invincibility. “We don’t care. We don’t have to. We are the Council. We can ignore the law, because who are you going to complain to?”

People need to be free to express their opinions without the fear of government reprisal. I am releasing a book about a military biography of a Polish soldier’s journey through Europe during World War Two and his experiences in Scotland, but when I think that these heroes died fighting to protect the freedoms of democracy I wonder how far have we have really progressed? They eliminated Nazism only to have Fascism raise its ugly head.

Last week North Korea threatened Sony to remove a film from distribution or else there would be retribution, and out of fear the company caved in to Communists’ demands. Now Russian authorities convinced Facebook to delete a page inviting readers to attend a rally in support of an opposite politician, or else!

Some time back a romance author in the USA was writing a fiction adventure about theft of antiquities in Cambodia, and bought books and checked out books from her library, and surfed some related websites on the subject. Her neighbours had told her that they had seen a man lurking about her house; her mail had gone missing and the man had been seen rummaging through her trash. There were postal inspectors snooping through her website. She notified the police and her publisher. They told her lawyer they did have a search warrant, but it was not specific to items pertaining to her research and writing. Does this behaviour remind anyone of Kristallnacht?

Censorship in the arts, whether film, websites, or books, is a means of preventing certain ideas and memories from emerging and therefore used by bullies as a means of political control.

English novelist, Edward George Bulwer Lytton (1803 – 1873) stated in his novel: “Beneath the rule of man entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.”

The Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, (which houses all my books) has the adage on a wall: ‘the pen is mightier than the sword.”

Euripides, 406 BC, “the tongue is mightier than the blade.”

Epistle to the Hebrews, Verse 4:12, “the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” King James Version, Bible.

Alinka Zyrmont