Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “CCTV”

Mass Hysteria or Control?

Let’s put aside for a moment the actual and terrible events in France last week and take a look at what has happened since.

Thousands of people gather in demonstrations on the Saturday following and on on Sunday (11/01/15) over a million citizens march through Paris and World leaders fly in to France from all points of the compass in, as they say, a show of solidarity with France and in support of free speech and expression, including Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel where 17 Journalists were killed last summer 2014 by the Israeli Defence Force, plus four more languishing in Israeli jails.  Journalists who reported the atrocities carried out by Israel in Palestine. This Paris march is not a spontaneous demonstration of anger, of collective grief or any other emotion, it was organised by the French government and they who created this mass hysteria. Why would they do this?

They do it for the same reason that the UK in London projected the french Tricolour onto buildings and the UK Prime Minister expresses the ‘need’ for more controls, more surveillance of the Internet and to close borders that are at present open for business and inter nation interaction. Governments generally seek more and more control over their citizens and seize upon any and every opportunity to increase their grip.  The deaths of the 17 people in France is a tragedy of course but is a golden opportunity for governmental control freaks. Here in the UK we are the most watched people on Earth with CCTV cameras on nearly every corner, our emails and telephone calls are recorded, through various requirements our very existence is monitored from birth to death. Demonstrations are again controlled, filmed and participants ‘kettled’ to ensure maximum discomfort in the hope of putting people off taking part in the future. New laws are proposed to make strikes all but impossible and so forcing workers into virtual slavery.

They need the population to be afraid because the people will turn to government in hope of protection and will accept even more curtailment of their rights and their freedom. Without diminishing the horror of the terrorist killings, if looked at calmly and rationally it was no more than a couple of nasty traffic accidents and the chance of similar happening to any particular individual are miniscule almost to a vanishing point. Most people though do not react rationally but with emotion which is so easily manipulated by the powerful.

It is not the terrorists we need to fear but our own governments.

Police State Gets Closer

Almost a year ago I wrote about the ever-increasing surveillance that is making the likelihood of a police state possible if and when the conditions are right. It gives me no pleasure to point out that this scenario comes even closer with the report out today in The Times.

Yes, Liberty will fight this in the courts, maybe even the European Court of Human Rights and will probably but not definitely win but will this change anything? The ECHR found against the Government on storage of DNA taken from innocent citizens which to a large extend government ignored or found a way around the ruling.  We are fast approaching the time when either we surrender the freedom that our forefathers fought for or we must rise up and demand our rights and the Poll Tax riots spring to mind for definite change forced upon those who usurp the power that we loan them. Unfortunately state surveillance does not, yet, hit the people in the purse or the wallet and so I fear the worst.

Police State Nearly in Place

It had to happen because if they can they will; thousands of cameras linked to computers are very soon to be logging our car registration plates as we drive to our destinations.

Along with records of our telephone calls and emails being kept, the highest number of CCTV cameras on the planet watching our every move, personal information on multiple electronic storage systems, ID cards on the way and a Government that is increasingly bypassing Parliament by using ‘Orders in Council’ and other non democratic powers derived from the Crown, our civil liberties are in grave peril. Add to this millions of DNA samples, of even innocent citizens, are kept, so far, even in defiance of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 – ‘the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence’ – should provide protection in our private sphere, and can extend into our working lives and encompass matters relating to our identity, independence and autonomy. The Government has done little to inform the British public of this Convention which they signed in 1998 and when found to be inconvenient will find ways around it. The Tory’s want to get rid of it altogether.

The old argument that ‘if you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to worry about’ is regularly trotted out by those who seek to control but it’s just not true. Freedom that is granted conditionally is not freedom, freedom to keep your phone calls and email letters private, to go where you wish without it been recorded is a fundamental right and surely is simply natural justice. My DNA is a part of me, indeed in a sense, it is me and yes it should be used responsibly if I am suspected of a crime but no part of me should be kept, in case I commit an offence.

Worse still the conditions are almost complete when it is possible for a future malignant government to take total control, refusing to allow the democratic processes continuance and so leaving a return to true freedom all but impossible. Yes, this is a worse case scenario but it has happened in even recent history; Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Saddam Husein’s Iraq spring easily to mind. We must therefore consider it possible that it could happen here and make every effort that we can to reverse the intrusion of the State into our everyday lives before it is too late.

Underage & Binge Drinking

The Scottish Parliament is to consider setting a minimum price for alcoholic drinks in an attempt to decrease underage drinking. Well meaning yes but surely doomed to failure.

An increase in price high enough to have any effect will at the same time make buying booze in low price England and bringing it into Scotland an attractive proposition for many and a thriving black market will soon develop. Amongst the young some bright spark will quickly catch on to buying a bottle of Vodka and selling it on at an affordable £3 per nip and either end up being stabbed for his profits or become the next Sir Fred Goodwin.

Public Houses, particularly in rural areas, are social centres and an important part of our heritage and yet are closing down at an alarming rate. A good pub landlord will quickly spot an under age customer or someone who has ‘had enough’ and not serve them, providing a degree of gentle but effective control. The Government could introduce a two tier taxation system on alcohol whereby supermarkets and off licences had a very high tax rate and pubs a much lower one. This way young people are financially discouraged, adults are not penalised and the pubs have their survival chances greatly enhanced.

All that said, the real question is ‘why’ is there such an increase in drinking particularly among the young? Affordability is certainly a factor, the price of alcohol is quite cheap and in fact in some supermarkets cider is cheaper than bottled water.

Consider for a moment though, if you are brought up in a system where you are regularly tested on your ability to conform to narrowly defined educational achievements. You live your life watched by unseen eyes through CCTV cameras and you are judged by society not by who you are or what you can do but by what material possessions that you have. You see your parents working longer and harder just to keep abreast of the mortgage repayments or exorbitant rents and are too tired to engage you in a proper family life and can see this as your future too. On top of all this the media constantly gives the impression that your life is in imminent danger of being lost by stabbing or shooting and rarely highlights anything good happening. Wouldn’t you be tempted to escape into an alcoholic haze? I know I probably would but I was lucky, very lucky, as I grew up when the people of Britain were working together rebuilding the nation after WW2, when the NHS came into being and relieved the fear of accident or illness. A period of time when there was less inequality and trying to improve the quality of life had yet to turn into greed.

Euro Rights

It’s sad state of affairs when we in the UK have to depend on The European Court of Human Rights to stand up for us in our fight for rights and freedoms. Having given their unanimous verdict that keeping DNA samples of innocent people is a violation of human rights we will now, I guess, have to sit and watch the unedifying spectacle of our government trying to find ways to wriggle out of implementing the decision.

What with police raids on the House of Commons and anti terrorism laws being used against collapsing Icelandic Banks, Billions to spent on ID Cards and CCTV cameras on every corner, we have every cause to be worried, very worried indeed.

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