As Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, comes under increasing Chinese terror, murder and genocide, it is always useful to suspend thoughts like 'It couldn't happen here' and question the nature of the freedoms we hold dear.
One of the problems in Tibet, as in Burma, is that when the ruling junta own the media, there is little possibility of the truth of their appalling atrocities reaching the outside world. And without media coverage to remind us, the rest of us, cosy in our Western democracies, go back to sleep or turn on some more enlightening reality shows instead.
After all, who's in uproar about Burma now? Nobody is who. And without support in the West, Tibetans will be equally crushed. They will be crushed because they can be crushed and no one will know because no one will hear about it.
The silencing of independent media is where a police state begins.
Now, here's a story, fresh today that should raise concerns. Four BBC journalists have been arrested by Gardai while making a programme about dissident Republicanism.
No doubt, as we still have a semblance of an independent media here and in Britain, the facts of this case will emerge over the forthcoming days. What is already clear is that the BBC are standing by their reporters and have stated that they were on duty, working on a programme for the network.
It will be interesting to see what charges, if any, the Gardai seek to press against them. It will be interesting to see what programme, if any, is eventually aired on television.
In the meantime, let us all hope that this isn't the start of something sinister.
I mean, it's not like the Gardai in Donegal to invent evidence, fit people up for crimes that didn't happen and generally behave like amoral criminals themselves, is it?