Psychiatrists snatching our children? That's Stalin's trick

By Peter Hitchens
PUBLISHED: 17:09 EST, 24 March 2012 | UPDATED: 17:11 EST, 24 March 2012

I must continue to warn, as long as I can, against the threats to our freedom now massing on all sides.

My blood ran cold at the story of a psychiatrist who is alleged to have labelled parents with mental ‘disorders’ so that their children were snatched away from them.

One has been exposed, and thank heaven for that. But how many others continue undisturbed?

There are growing signs of the State's power to burst in on private lives and wreck them

Such ‘disorders’ are 90 per cent jargon and ten per cent guesswork.

There is no objective test for them. If a qualified person says you have one, you have one, and goodbye to your children for ever.

How can this possibly be permitted in a supposedly free country?

Like the secret family tribunals, in which parents struggle in vain against loaded accusations, from which they are not permitted to defend themselves, these are growing signs of the State’s power to burst in on private lives and wreck them.

The abuse of psychiatry is a symptom of tyranny. I have no doubt that many psychiatrists are honourable and thoughtful people.

But their discipline, which largely lacks any objective measures, can all too easily be used to crush individuals for the purposes of the State.

If it can be deployed to snatch children, then there is not far to go before it is also used to terrify or subdue opposition.

The old Soviet Union employed it for this purpose. I once met (and I will always be proud to have shaken his hand) Dr Anatoly Koryagin, the fantastically brave Russian psychiatrist who spoke out against this perversion, and who was then himself locked away without trial in conditions so vile that his own wife could not recognise him.

When the USSR was still there, we always had before our eyes a great glaring warning of where the seemingly nice ideas of ‘progressives’ and reformers can so easily lead.

Since its collapse, we have assumed that the danger is gone. Far from it. Our homegrown revolutionaries were liberated by the fall of the Soviet Union.

No longer were their weird anti-family, anti-patriotic views associated with treachery and oppression.

And so they fanned out into the schools, the Civil Service, the newspapers, the universities, the BBC and even the medical profession.

And those of us who experienced Soviet power and remember it are endlessly reminded, in the politically corrected one-party state that is modern Britain, of that miserable place.
Those of us who experienced Soviet power (Stalin, pictured) and remember it are endlessly reminded, in the politically corrected one-party state that is modern Britain, of that miserable place

Gone to pot
Unsurprising facts from the non-existent ‘war on drugs’.

Far more people are prosecuted for not having TV licences than for possessing cannabis.

The number of offences is similar. It’s not that they don’t have the time to punish drug-takers. It’s that they lack the will.

How fitting... a joke uniform for a joke Navy
No style: HMS Daring's Guy Robinson in his new gear

Is there anyone in the world who looks better with a baseball cap on his head than he does without one?

British policemen and women put them on when they wish to look tough, shoot people, or at least pose on rooftops with guns.

I always hurry from the area when I see this. So should you.

Prematurely bald men seek to hide beneath them (a mistake. Perhaps this is why William Hague suffered his fatal headgear malfunction).

There was a period, happily past, when teenage boys seemed to have them surgically attached to their heads.

But now they are to be imposed on what is left of Her Majesty’s Navy.

Captains on the bridges of destroyers have been photographed, looking understandably grim, in this revolting headgear.

It makes them resemble Florida boatmen, taking rich, fat New Yorkers on a shark-fishing expedition.

This is not a good look for the heirs of Nelson, Rodney, Hawkins and Drake.

Once, I would have bridled at this deliberate humiliation of what used to be a great fighting service.

But now, as I accustom myself to being an exile in my own country, I just laugh. If Britain is a joke, it might as well look like one.

Who's the 'man who stole our pensions' now?
How's it going for you now, all the gullible ones who voted for the Useless Tories because ‘We have to get Gordon Brown out’?

Who now is ‘the man who stole our pensions’?

And how are you liking the slow but steady emergence of 40 per cent as the new standard rate of Income Tax?

David Cameron has given the green light to planning laws set to ruin our green and pleasant land

Sinking in Mr Slippery's sea of concrete
If any of us was challenged to explain the roots of patriotism, he would not think of flags or wars, but of some small, beloved landscape.

It probably wouldn’t be anything special, much like the way Rupert Brooke described a friend’s sudden sense of England on the outbreak of war in 1914: ‘Grey, uneven little fields and small ancient hedges rushed before him, wild flowers, elms and beeches, gentleness, sedate houses of red brick, proudly unassuming, a countryside of rambling hills and friendly copses.’

Well, not any longer. In the midst of the Budget, Mr Slippery has slid through new planning laws that mean all that unassuming gentleness can be bulldozed by developers, to build nasty supermarkets and ugly houses for all the immigrants our Left-wing rulers keep letting in.

Old Slippery even boasts about it: ‘I can see the furious objections – the banner headlines – already.’

But he’ll ignore the sentimental old fools who want to save the countryside.

‘We will take difficult decisions, we will risk short-term unpopularity,’ he proclaims.

How very brave. Well, I wish him long-term unpopularity, so that he is remembered for centuries to come as the man who concreted over Britain.
  • Mr Slippery speaks about ‘tough’ community sentencing. There is no such thing. The phrase is as absurd as ‘diet pizza’. If ever this man promises anything good, you may be sure it will not take place.

Ode dear, they just don't care any more
Each year, the once-enjoyable quiz programme University Challenge becomes more politically correct and more boring, stuffed with kilometres, ‘Common Era’ instead of AD, and endless science questions nobody can answer.

And each year, at the final, Jeremy Paxman argues the show is proof that education isn’t being diluted. Not this year, though.

Even Jeremy Paxman looked pretty tight-lipped when not one of the winning team from Manchester University could identify well-known lines from Ode To Autumn by Keats (right)

Even he looked pretty tight-lipped when not one of the winning team from Manchester University could identify well-known lines from Keats’s Ode To Autumn, one of the greatest and best-known poems in the English language.

To anyone properly educated, it is like not knowing that water is H2O, or that Paris is the capital of France.

Not only did they not know the poem. They didn’t know they didn’t know, and they didn’t care. It’s the not caring that pains me most.

PETER HITCHENS: Psychiatrists snatching our children? That's Stalin's trick | Mail Online