I had occasion to visit a small NHS facility recently. It was a lovely, quiet unit, with only about a dozen or so patients, those patients living, prior to discharge, in several large “bays” and a few individual rooms. The unit was surrounded by flower gardens with small flowering trees and a few classical statues. Beyond that (out of sight) was a very small town (little more than a village) and the countryside of Southern England. If you have to go to a hospital, you could do worse. So why am I blogging about this?
While waiting to go in to see the patient in question, I perused the literature rack by the nursing station. One leaflet caught my eye. I have it before me as I write. Under the NHS logo and the name of the NHS foundation trust running the unit at the strategic level, the title:
[the words contained within a shield device; with two hands –dark blue and light blue (the old KGB colour..ironic) and perhaps (?) representing white and non-white– clasped]. The leaflet was then sub-headed:
Preventing vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism
Inside the leaflet:
What is Prevent? Prevent is part of the government’s counter terrorism strategy; aiming to prevent people of all ages from being radicalised and drawn into terrorism.
The leaflet continues:
What kind of extremism does Prevent aim to deal with? It aims to deal with all forms of extremism; for example far right extremism, animal rights extremism and religious extremism.
So we see that “terrorism” has already been conflated with or replaced by “extremism”, an even less easily-defined idea. Moreover, we see that Islamist terrorism, the only kind actually posing even a slight threat to public order in the UK, is not mentioned by name (no doubt that would be called “Islamophobic”…) and only coyly implied, sub nom “religious extremism”. No doubt the Jewish Zionist fanatics, who go in their hundreds to be trained by the Israelis in Israel, are not considered “extremists”, “terrorists” etc. No, they just go to an alien society to be trained in the use of weapons and in the techniques of killing with bare hands (oh, and of course, how to “bring down” British MPs thought not to be pro-Israel or pro-Jew…).
Who are these “extremists” in pole position in the Prevent leaflet? Ah, yes, the “far right” (also left undefined, presumably social nationalists, those who hate mass immigration and the trashing of the UK by certain groups and types) as well as those who hate the cruelties inflicted on the animal kingdom by some humans and by human society; but let us now return to the leaflet:
What are some of the possible signs of radicalisation?
- you may notice changes in the person’s behaviour or mood;
- the person’s appearance may change and they may spend excess [sic] time on the internet;
- the person may start to express extreme political or radical views;
- the person may become withdrawn or have a change in their circle of friends.
So now we have travelled from “terrorism” and even “extremism” to people who have or may have merely “radical” points of view about, say, the disastrous effect that mass immigration has had on the UK, or about the exploitation and cultural contamination carried out by Jew-Zionists, or even about animal welfare.
The leaflet then asks what the reader might do should he or she actually suspect that another person has changed lifestyle or perhaps have acquired “radical” views:
- NOTICE: Be aware of an individual’s vulnerability to radicalisation, any change in behaviour or ideology. An ideology is a set of beliefs an individual may have. [this section of the leaflet also contains the iconic alien-looking “all-seeing eye” motif…]
- CHECK: If possible and appropriate check out any concerns with the individual…your line manager and the [NHS] safeguarding team. [this section of the leaflet contains a motif of a magnifying glass with a little humanoid figure inside the lens…]
- SHARE: You need to share your concerns with the [NHS] safeguarding team. They can advise you on any relevant partner agencies who will need to be contacted. [note “will need to be contacted” not “may need”…presumably police, MI5 etc].
The leaflet then goes on to list telephone numbers and internet contact details, before ending with these dystopian remarks, which would not have been out of place in an early 1970s BBC Play For Today, or perhaps George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four:
What happens to my referral? [“my referral”, note, not “my denunciation”, “my informing”, my accusation” etc…]. Prevent referrals are shared with the MASH (multi-agency safeguarding hub) or [name of city] SPA (single point of access) depending on where the individual lives. Referrals are then screened for acceptance in to the channel process.
What is channel?
Channel is a multi-agency process whereby professionals and partner agencies can share resources and expertise. The aim of channel is to work with the individual to reduce risk. If your referral is accepted into the channel process you may also be asked to attend the channel meetings to share relevant information as part of effective multi-agency working.
I have sometimes been accused of being, inter alia, a “grammar Nazi”, and am, of course, (also) appalled by the poor English displayed in the leaflet. I have no idea by whom the leaflet was written. Perhaps the Home Office and MI5 are now less likely to recruit graduates from Oxford or Cambridge, or perhaps the near-illiteracy shown is just a function of the UK’s sliding educational standards. The main impression given, though, is that of a police state operation which would be recognizable to an official of Stalin’s Russia or any similar society. The saving grace is probably that it is not (though I am guessing) very efficient.
Indeed, shorn of the millennial “nudge”-government, fake “sharing caring” and armchair psychology nonsense, the leaflet could be seen simply as a method of recruiting agents…
Finally, think about where this leaflet was found– not in a prison, a government office, nor even in a university library, but in a normal NHS clinical environment in the heart of the South of England…