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Topic: It Might Have Happened to You - Defence Regulation 18b.  (Read 7372 times)

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« on: January 17, 2008, 10:11:54 AM »

It Might Have Happened To You - by Guy Aldred & John Wynn
ISBN 978-0-906879-10-8
Published by Historical Review Press.

Aimed specifically at a British readership this book describes itself as an account of;
"Britain's 'Guantanamo Bay' - a contemporary wartime account of how British citizens were arrested and imprisoned without trial under 'Defence Regulation 18b'.

This book is in effect a reprint and upgrade of an earlier book published in 1943 by a recently released inmate of one of Britain's civilian detention camps.
The publishers intend the re-publishing of this book to draw parallels with the panic driven Defence Regulation 18b of 1940 and the mass arrests and imprisonment without charge of thousands of political radicals plus none British aliens, with the current rush of 'emergency powers' being sought by British and European governments to counter the supposed Islamic and "world terrorist threat."
(In the USA the Patriot Act etc. has a similar motivation)
The book is published by a radical publishing house given to publishing works of interest to the political far-Right fringes, but leaving that aside, the book is an interesting insight into how a supposed democracy can put its statutes of freedom on hold and mass arrest and intern without charge its own citizens for extended periods of time, without any kind of trial or explanation.
The anecdotal accounts of arrest, mistreatment and petty tyranny makes unpleasant reading.
There is little doubt that fear of a 'Fifth Column' in Britain in 1940 drove the mass arrests of native fascists, political radicals and anti-war activists in a catch all campaign of arrests.
It does not take a great leap of imagination to see such situations repeated now in the 21st Century if the circumstances match the fears of current governments.
This book needs to be read as a warning of what can happen when a 'democracy' panics.
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