Silas

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Some Quick Thoughts That I've Been Thinking This Week

Okay, some a bit ranty, some a bit paranoic/"tin-foil hat" brigade and one complaint about the weather.

Complaint first. If I manage to timestamp this correctly, you should notice that it's posted at somewhere about 3am. On a Tuesday morning. When I should be in bed and asleep ready for another fun and exciting day at work. However, due to the fact I am particularly useless at dealing with heat, I cannot sleep. Cold, brilliant, don't even notice it. Anything above 21c during the day and I'm beginning to have problems, at 2am these problems increase rapidly. So yeah, I'm being very British and complaining about the weather. And that's that out the way. Now a quick rant.

Somehow the police have managed to get to the stage where they can announce that they will be able to track 50million vehicles a day - using their recently extended network of CCTV cameras and related databases - and there's not an uproar about it. Let me rephrase that rambling. The police will be able to track exactly where you have been and when you were going there, without you having to commit a crime or even be suspected of committing a crime.

Now, I don't know if I was asleep the day we had a vote about this infringement of civil liberties, but I suspect I would've remembered being told about it. Without my consent, the police have effectively been given the ability to monitor my movements. Which is interesting as I was still under the impression we had an "innocent until proven guilty" system, which obviously can't be true anymore as, by being tracked by the police cameras and logged on their database, I MUST be a suspect.

This isn't the tin-foil hat brigade section either, so don't discount this as not being true: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/11/15/vehicle_movement_database/ &
http://www.spy.org.uk/spyblog/2005/11/anpr_automatic_number_plate_re.html

A "24x7 Vehicle Movement Database". Oh. My. God. Without getting all Daily Mail Island about this, doesn't that seem a little, well, worrying? And there's no real definition of how long they're going to hold the data for. Could be two years. Could be six years. Could be forever, as it's going to be outside of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, yet, effectively breach the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. And now I'm about to go into the tin-foil hat section.

This is one of many removals of civil liberties that the Labour government have managed to get through parliament without many people kicking up a fuss. A Labour government. Drink the irony - drink it! - of the "Things Will Only Get Better" launch in 1997 of this new way. I'm not so sure I like the new way we appear to be going.

I do, however, marvel at the almost Machiavellian way in which this has happened. You can now, as a British Citizen, be extradited to the US for a crime that allegedly took place in the US at a time when you were definitely in the UK. You can, somehow, now be put on trial in the UK and not have a jury decide whether you're innocent or guilty. You can, and will, be tracked on every car journey you make in the UK.

You cannot protest about this, or anything else, within the earshot of the Houses of Parliament because you are now classified as a terrorist threat. You cannot complain about your liberties being eroded, because that means you have something to hide or, handily, are a terrorist. You can't vote for a different political party, as no-one is going to be stupid enough to say "Vote for us, we won't protect you from terrorists".

You were going to be forced to carry an Identity Card, but at the minute it looks like Gordon Brown has decided the cost is going to be too high. You may think the ID Card was going to be voluntary, but, no, sadly this was not to be the case had they come in: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/14/id_cards_compulsory/

The whole idea of ID Cards has been done much better than I could ever hope to write here on the http://www.no2id.net/ site and I do recommend you visit there. And do it before you start composing a "but these are necessary measures to protect us" comment.

I believe that this government is managing to fuck up the rights of the people more effectively than the Conservatives did in 18 years. If I remember my history classes correctly - and I'm prepared to be corrected on this as it was about 20 years ago - Hitler managed to rule an entire country by using pretty much the same "these are necessary measures to protect us" line for every removal of rights he put in place on his quest for power.

And normal people backed him. Backed him because of his strong personality. Backed him because of the mess the previous government had left the economy in. Backed him to the "extreme" position of invading a foreign country (tick), blaming their country's problems on immigrants (tick) and singling out a religious group for everyone else to be scared of (tick). Hmm. I think I just compared Tony Blair to Hitler *and* managed to support my argument.

It might be the heat frying my brain here, but, I think there's more to this whole tin-foil hat paranoid conspiracy theory than they let on.

3 Comments:

Blogger kingoftheforks said...

Silas - you don't feel the cold because you are fat. You can't sleep because you are fat. And unfit. Take some exercise you fat fat hobbit.

There is nothing in the content of your latest whinge that I disagree with.

That doesn't mean that I approve of your "blog". I may agree with what you say, but by God I'll fight to the death to deny you the right to say it (in a "blog").

You posting a couple of links to articles in the register and regurgitating some stuff you've read does nothing for me. I don't need you to tell me that this government is pissing on my back and telling me that it is raining.

Oh, did I mention that I think "blogs" are very sad? Why don't you go out for a long walk this evening and go to bed tired? You might sleep better, and after a while you won't be so fat... and you'll stop writing "blogs" at 3am, so I'll feel better too.

17:46  
Blogger kingoftheforks said...

Oh, and this night-time piece of wank was apparently posted at 7:44pm, not 3am. Apparently you are delusional.

As well as fat.

17:48  
Blogger Janie said...

He's not fat, he's big boned. Bizarrely, he's the healthiest eater I know.

14:58  

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