Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 17 August 2007

'Big Brother' (err... 'Big Sister') - Swedish style

A man in Stockholm was forced to accompany a police officer to the police station and give a urine smaple, because she suspected that he had "unusually large muscles, particularly large arm muscles, which are a sign of steroid use". The urine tested negative for steroids.

An officer at the police drugs unit suggested the arresting officer had been "a bit too ambitious".
(thru Andrew Sullivan)

Is this what we've come to? A maverick police officer armed with far too many powers for the comfort and safety of your average citizen gets bizarre notions into her (in this case) head and frog-marches a perfectly ordinary (if muscle-bound) citizen off for a urine test, 'just to be sure' there is no illegal use of steroids? What next?
- You're too fat, sir - you must be over-indulging in health-damaging fats, carbohydrates or alcohol and will be a charge on the health services in the future. Please accompany me to the station so your blood can be tested. Couldn't happen? Well there have been reports over the past few years alleging that some medical treatments have already been withheld from patients considered obese, not on medical grounds, but because the lifestyle was disapproved of.
- You're too thin, sir - you must be suffering from bulimia. Please accompany me to the station so a psychologist/psychiatrist can evaluate why you are doing this to yourself.

It seems that the advance of the 'Police State' and 'Big Brother' isn't only happening in Britain! Yesterday I read about an even more draconian system being developed in China - where of course the 'one child' policy has already led to female infanticide being practised, particularly in rural areas, and an imbalance in genders with there being too few women for men of similar ages to marry. If you read right to the end of this article you'll see that the US is getting in on the act, too - but of course we knew that already, since the Patriot Act was made law.

It is clear that now a police office needs only the flimsiest of reasons to require one to accompany them to a police station. It is clear also that the police in many countries now regard themselves as existing solely to protect the interests of the 'State', not to protect the citizen. Ask Jose Padilla.

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