The state is now your enemy, harassing you at every turn, and road pricing black boxes are the latest example of overbearing interference.Imposing law is serious business. It should not be done lightly and certainly not without very careful and informed debate.
• As a libertarian I am, of course, horrified by the prospect of a government controlled spy box in our cars. However this is really a symptom of the demise of freedom in the western 'democracies'. As a 'baby boomer', I am trying to figure out when this government hostility to freedom came about. Was it in my lifetime? Before? How much before?
One might go back to the 19th century Reform Act, a major extension of enfranchisement in the United Kingdom. But, perhaps that is going back too far. The slippery slope started in 1914. As always, war is the major encroachment on liberty. Governments get us into wars and then persuade us in order to win we must curtail freedoms born of centuries of political advancement.
Continental countries have always had sinister political appointments like a Minister for the Interior. Even sounds spooky. The Gestapo trawling the train in the 1930s movies is a cliché – 'papers', the raincoat, the trilby and rimless glasses; the fear in the eyes of passengers. This sort of intimidation is now focussed on smokers, public enemy number one. The 1939 to 1945 war, part two most would argue of one war, brought further curtailment of freedom. Identity cards, conscription, ration books all drastically increased the power of the state. When wars end, nothing is ever rolled back. It is the ratchet effect so well known in the European Union.
Incidentally - how many people know that with a prescriptive legal system, Corpus Juris, sometimes known as the Napoleonic Code – 75 per cent of our laws are made in Brussels by unelected commission bureaucrats. We have under this system had more laws passed since 1997 than the whole period post the Bill of Rights in 1688, up until 1997.
When I was in Washington, I was fortunate to have a cup of coffee with a United States Supreme Court judge. He told me, rightly, "laws should be difficult to make". That is the nub. Imposing law by one section of the community on another is serious business. It should not be done lightly and certainly not without very careful and informed debate.
As in war, we now have a political mindset that believes any law deemed to be in the public's own interest is legitimate. It is for the people's own good. Climate change and Al Qaeda are god given opportunities for the state to claim control over your lives. Health fascism is another. The effect of all this is the boiled frog syndrome. Put a frog in a pan of cold water and slowly bring to the boil, the frog is dead before it knows it. The electorate is that frog. Salami slices off our hard won liberties has meant we have woken up one morning to find scores of government agencies that can bash down your door and enter your home under any pretext.
The state harasses you at every turn. If you want to educate your own children at home, it wants them 'in the system'. There is almost no aspect of our lives that the state does not control. My grandfather, a well educated Edwardian of the old school, would be horrified at the world in which we now live.
I return to the 'black box'. The state admits it is a device to steal even more money from the motorist, but this is another step too far. What misuse will the state bring to this device? If you are a free born Englishman, worker, taxpayer and law abider - the state is now your enemy. You are thousands of times more likely to be robbed by the state as a burglar. And far more likely to have a run in with the police over a minor traffic offence than a burglar is likely to be apprehended.
Forget party politics, which are no longer really relevant, ask yourself what kind of world do you want to live in. What about your children and your grandchildren? Because I do not like the way the world is going at the moment, not one little bit.
Godfrey Bloom is a UKIP MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire