George Orwell & Big Brother Laws. Peter Myers, September 4, 2002; update May 18, 2006. My comments are shown {thus}; write to me at contact.html.

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(1) Bicycle-Riding - an Act of Defiance against arbitrary authority? (2) NFF warns of 'social control' (3) The Keating Connection (4) Fake Multiculturalism (5) The Rule of Law (6) George Orwell's warning (7) Caution (8) You mustn't say "Ladies and Gentlemen" (9) Penelope Leach - you mustn't say "Mother" or Father" (10) THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF OLIGARCHIAL COLLECTIVISM

George Orwell's book 1984 is online at

Orwell's book 1984 (which he wrote in 1948) envisaged a division of the world into three warring blocks, following James Burnham's book The Managerial Revolution. Orwell was a Trotskyist; the hero in 1984 is modelled on Trotsky: burnham.html.

Orwell's books Animal Farm and 1984 are listed under "TROTSKYISM IN LITERATURE" at the website:

I do not think any the less of Orwell, for considering himself a Trotskyist. He probably didn't know that Trotsky had written a book justifying the Red Terror: worst.html; or that he had advocated the destruction of marriage, parental authority, and the family: trotsky.html.

(1) Bicycle-Riding - an Act of Defiance against arbitrary authority?

August 30, 2002 - ACT Police Minister Ted Quinlan ordered a 2-week police blitz on bicycle-riders, from August 26 to September 9.

Police are issuing Traffic Infringement Notices to bicycle-riders. These are the same notices issued to Motor Vehicle drivers, and, on the back, threaten loss of Motor Vehicle Licence - for non-payment of a bicycle-riding fine.

Here is a scanned image of the front of the notice: fine-front.jpg

and here is the back, with the threat of cancellation of Motor Vehicle Licence (at item 4, in the lower part of the left column): fine-back.jpg

How many of these intimidating infringement notices have been issued, and for how many dollars in total?

After riding a bicycle for over 30 years, I was booked in Civic recently for "not wearing a helmet".

At the time, I was riding my bicycle on the pavement, not on the road, and was wearing a special padded hat that straps under my chin, and which protects my ears from the cold winds off the snow. I pointed out to the officer that I wear a normal helmet in the warmer weather, but, having had recurrent ear infections, must wear this special hat in winter.

This made no difference to him: citing a recent "Operational Order", he issued me with an Infringement Notice and a fine of $45.

Only the honest get caught. If I had given a false name & address, I would have escaped the fine. Will cyclists be forced to carry Identity Papers next?

I have now obtained a letter from my GP confirming my ear infection problem, and intend to continue riding my bicycle, wearing the same hat in the cold weather, and carrying that letter with me.

Here is a copy of my doctor's letter: fine-ears.jpg

Riding a bicycle has become an act of defiance against arbitrary authority.

The ACT Greens, and Pedal Power, support Ted Quinlan's blitz on bicycle-riders. Pedal Power, representing the cyclists who wear "hot pants", has called for blitzes against the ordinary back-streets cyclists, such as university students.

The Greens are showing their authoritarian streak.

To be consistent, Ted Quinlan and the Greens should also extend their crackdown to skateboard-riders (on footpaths and roads), and disabled drivers of electric vehicles on footpaths and roads. Skiers might be next. And why not car drivers?

(2) NFF warns of 'social control'

The Australian, Wednesday March 9, 1988, p. 19

By rural writer JULIAN CRIBB

{quote} THE electorate should be warned of cynical moves by government into "big brother" social regulation, the director of the National Farmers Federation (NFF), Mr Rick Farley, said yesterday.

Mr Farley told the conference that as government progresively withdrew from the area of industry regulation, it was seeking new areas of social regulation to provide a basis for political debate and an appearance of activity. ... {end quote}

See the original article: farley.jpg

On the one hand, they've deregulated the economy (letting Big Business do what it likes); on the other hand, they're meddling in our private lives.

Very early in the Deregulation process, Rick Farley drew attention to the connection between the two.

We're losing at both ends of the stick.

(3) The Keating Connection

I did a radio interview on Canberra's 2CC, about the police blitz on bicycle riders, and my letter was published in the Canberra Times of September 2.

That night, I had a phone call from a Bill Curnow, who informed me that there is a group called Cyclists Rights Action Group (CRAG), which has been opposing these Big Brother laws for years.

Their website tells the whole story of how these laws were introduced, including the Hansard debates.

They also document the decline in the number of cyclists, as a result.

Bill Curnow informed me that the Hawke Government, with Paul Keating as Treasurer, forced "compulsory bicycle helmet" laws on the states, by withholding federal funds unless they agreed.

Does Paul Keating ride a bicycle? And if he did, to judge by his taste in clothes, it would not be the average backyard variety.

Keating, of course, is the "Labor" leader who deregulated the Australian economy.

The Federal Government is not empowered by the Constitution to make laws about bicycle helmets - that's a state matter. Yet, Paul Keating blackmailed the states into this, by withholding funds until they complied with this and other dictates.

(4) Fake Multiculturalism

I was fined for riding with a padded hat instead of a plastic helmet.

I bought that padded hat in Western China, which has hundreds of millions of bicycle riders. It's the biggest bicycle-riding country in the world.

In Northern & Western China, where temperatures fall to -20 degrees in winter, all the bicycle-riders wear these hats in winter. They keep the rain out, and protect the face and ears from cold winds.

Hundreds of millions of cyclists in China wear the very type of hat, for which I was fined in "Multicultural" Canberra.

A bicycle helmet is just a bit of plastic; it's no more protection than my padded hat.

By "Multiculturalism", the yuppies mean, simply, diversity of food and dancing. It would never occur to them that we might have something to learn from China, about how to live.

At the very least, the yuppies should change their Helmet law to allow such padded hats. It could be done simply by re-defining the word "helmet".

(5) The Rule of Law

We hear so much about the "Rule of Law". Yet we're also told that Democracy means the "Rule by the People": the Cold War was fought on this ground. The model, we are reminded, was Ancient Athens, where decisions really made by the citizens in assembly.

The assumption is that today's system, where the public makes ONE decision every few years (electing a parliament), and the politicians do what they like until the next election, is equivalent to the Athenian one.

Yet the "Law" is incomprehensible to the public. How many laws govern our lives, and what are their names, dear Reader? If they were stacked one on top of another, how high would they be? What would their weight be?

Do you confess yourself ignorant of the Law? Yet, in Law, ignorance of the Law is no excuse. And one never knows what the Law is until it is interpreted in the courts, which varies from time to time. Such are the Catch-22s of "Democracy".

There are so many laws on the books, that they would suffocate us if they were all enforced. The police have to use some discretion, weighing the spirit or purpose of a law, against its literal interpretation. Prostitution was illegal, yet condoned, for many years. Pedestrians crossing against a "Don't Walk" sign are probably breaking a law, yet it's not enforced. Most police are good people, but there are a few "narks" who overdo it.

Must we assume that "the People" approve of all that a parliament does? That all the Laws it makes, are made by "the People"? Why then do the People get so angry that they "kick" the politicians out - only to find that the new lot are much the same?

Every law in Australia must receive the "Royal Assent" of the Queen, or her representative the Governor-General; else it is not "Law".

Why not replace this requirement with a referendum, by which a law is endorsed by the electorate? Would that not be more fitting for "Democracy"? But the politicians know that the public would reject many more of their laws than the Queen does.

(6) George Orwell's warning

Orwell wrote his dystopian novel 1984 in 1948. Reversing the digits, he came up with 1984; but the lesson, and the danger, are as great or greater now.

During the Cold War, readers of 1984 in the West identified the thought-control with the USSR. The book was a potent weapon which made its readers fear the USSR.

But Orwell deliberately set 1984 in the English-speaking world. O'Brien's Inquisitor says to him:

"Later, in the twentieth century, there were the totalitarians, as they were called. They were the German Nazis and the Russian Communists. The Russians persecuted heresy more cruelly than the Inquisition had done. And they imagined that they had learned from the mistakes of the past; they knew, at any rate, that one must not make martyrs. Before they exposed their victims to public trial, they deliberately set themselves to destroy their dignity. They wore them down by torture and solitude until they were despicable, cringing wretches, confessing whatever was put into their mouths ... And yet after only a few years ... The dead men had become martyrs and their degradation was forgotten. ... In the first place, because the confessions that they had made were obviously extorted and untrue. We do not make mistakes of that kind."

Reference: pp. 203-4 in the Penguin paperback (Harmondsworth 1955); p. 889 in the hardback.

This hardback edition is George Orwell: Animal Farm, Burnese Days, A Clergyman's Daughter, Coming Up-For Air, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Secker & Warburg/Octopus, London, 1976.

The above passage proves conclusively: Orwell is warning us NOT about the SOVIET UNION but about OUR OWN SOCIETY. Here. Now.

George Orwell's book 1984 is NOT about Nazism or Communism. It's set in Britain in the future, AFTER Nazism & Communism. And it's based on INGSOC, the acronym for "English Socialism". This is the ruling system in Oceania, i.e. the Anglo-American block.

The Rulers in 1984 say:

"We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares to trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm." (hardback p. 898; p. 215 in the Penguin paperback).

" ... a heretical thought - that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc - should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words ... excluding all other meanings ... This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings." (hardback p. 917; p. 241 in the Penguin).

"What was required in a Party member was an outlook similar to that of the ancient Hebrew who knew, without knowing much else, that all nations other than his own worshipped 'false gods' (hardback p. 921; p. 246 in the Penguin).

"History had already been rewritten, but fragments of the literature of the past survived here and there, imperfectly censored, and so long as one retained one's knowledge of Oldspeak it was possible to read them. ... A great deal of the literature of the past was, indeed, already being transformed." (hardback p. 924; p. 250 in the Penguin).

In the novel, 1984 is the year the Dictatorship becomes entrenched:

"In the year 1984 there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or in writing." (hardback p. 917; Penguin p. 241).

"In 1984, when Oldspeak was still the normal means of communication, the danger theoretically existed that in using Newspeak words one might remember their original meanings." (hardback p. 924; Penguin p. 250).

{end quotes}

(7) Caution

In Canberra, cyclists can ride on footpaths, pavements, bike paths, and roads. Some cities are much more dangerous; I'm not suggesting that anyone be wanton with his or her own safety. However, even in busy areas, there are usually quiet, back streets with few cars - it's always a good idea for cyclists to learn such routes. At busy streets, one can always dismount and walk across. On country roads, ride on the edge of the road, not in the middle of a lane.

The media glorify speed and bigness, and encourage a grasping, competitive mentality. Cyclists encounter rude motorists who toot their horn to scare them, or shout rude remarks, or throw things at them.

A person adjusts his behavious to the risks he faces: by this means, even difficult situations can be faced. It's harmful for Big Brother to take all the responsibility for our own lives out of our hands; we do not stay in bed all day to avoid crossing the road. The Litigation industry has a vested interest in promoting a culture of suing for damages (this may be one reason for Big Brother laws), but the main beneficiaries are the lawyers themselves. Japan, I hear, has fewer lawyers than a single city in the U.S., Washington D.C. The Japanese know that a litigation culture is divisive, expensive, and unnecessary. In decades past, Australians were more like that: a handshake meant more than a signature.

(8) You mustn't say "Ladies and Gentlemen"

In 1997 I enrolled, as a mature-age student, in the Diploma in Education course at the University of Canberra, in Australia. This is a requirement for all new schoolteachers.

On March 26, 1997, we were given a lecture on Gender policy. The lecturer stated that it was wrong to say "good morning, ladies and gentlemen" or "good morning, boys and girls", because this language is not "gender inclusive". Instead one must say, "good morning, people".

The lectures were recorded on audio cassette, for the benefit of absent students. In the class of 200, I was the only one to question the lecturer.

A few days after, I withdrew from the course, and have since remained unemployed. Better poverty with dignity.

The Canberra Times published my letter attesting the above, on Sunday July 6, 2002. I checked its Letters page every day for the next week, but the University did not reply, even though its reputation was on the line. Clearly, the University could not reply, because my account was true.

I have now placed the first 6 minutes 41 seconds of the lecture on the internet, where I draw out from the lecturer the reasons for his prescription. You can hear for yourself how new schoolteachers are being brainwashed in Trotskyism.

For Mac users: gender.aif

Allow a few minutes for it to play.

For Windows users: gender.wav

To download, use the zipped version:

Many who have been to university before will be shocked to discover how they have changed; it's a clear example of the Thought Police in action.


(9) Penelope Leach - you mustn't say "Mother" or Father"

Penelope Leach is the author of Baby and Child, an excellent guide to the care of young children. In another book, Children First, she tells how Feminist activists tried to stop her using the terms "Mother" and "Father".

Penelope Leach, Children First (Michael Joseph, London, 1994):


Mother, Father or Parent?

LAST YEAR in New York I gave a talk that referred to 'mothers' and 'fathers' and was taken to task by a joumalist for being politically incorrect. These terms, she explained, are unacceptably sexist and elitist. I was not altogether surprised - there is real difhculty here - or unrepentant: I had not intended to challenge, let alone to distress. But I was, and I remain, stymied. Mother and father are biological terms; as such they clearly differentiate both genders and genes but equally clearly they imply no value judgements. Biology is often sexual but never sexist; it is naturally selective but never elitist. The political incorrectness - and cruel stupidity - of sexual and genetic discrimination is not in the rootstock of the human species but grafted on to it by human behaviour.

The individualist social ethic of Western societies makes everyone responsible for his or her own success or failure but promises each an equal chance. Many individuals frown on differential opportunities resulting from accidents of blood and birth, and take an egalitarian view of natural justice. But sympathetic though such attitudes may be, they are neither generally shared, even in the West, nor problem-free. The more determined we become to rid ourselves of discriminatory attitudes and practices, the more we are inclined to reject the gene and gender differences that provoke them, as if those differences were themselves reprehensible. Differences between mother and father, and between parent or other, are in the rootstock of our species. If we try to get rid of them in our anxiety to be rid of what people have grafted on to them, we risk throwing out the babies along with the dirty bathwater. We must try to see where our biological and social heritages meet.





"The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city.. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of power of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival."

"It does not matter whether the war is actually happening, and, since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war is going badly. All that is needed is that a state of war should exist."

"In his capacity as an administrator, it is often necessary for a member of the Inner Party to know that this or that item of war news is untruthful, and he may be aware that the entire war is spurious and is either not happening or is being waged for purposes quite other than the declared ones: but such knowledge is easily neutralized by the technique of doublethink. Meanwhile no Inner Party member wavers for an instant in his mystical belief that the war is real, and that it is bound to end victoriously, with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world."

"War prisoners apart, the average citizen of Oceania never sets eyes on a citizen of either Eurasia or Eastasia, and he is forbidden the knowledge of foreign languages. If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies."

"Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in his bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected."

"Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."

"The mutablitlity of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc. Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it. It also follows that though the past is alterable, it has never been altered in any specific instance. For when it has been recreated in whatever shape is needed at the moment, then this new version is the past, and no different past has ever existed."

"the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies, all this is indispensibly necessary."


Orwell was warning us to be ever-vigilant. Is the pen mightier than the sword? We must hope so; our lives depend on it. More on George Orwell: burnham.html

Write to me at contact.html.