Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

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Archive for the tag “police state”

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.

More Control

We are now one day into yet another law that gathers our personal information and yet another step down the road to a police state.

Our ISP’s must now keep a record for at least a year of all our email usage and telephone calls made via the Internet. Land-line calls are already recorded by the way. This is an all EU law and was pushed through largely by the efforts of the UK government deviously under the guise of ‘civil law’ requiring a simple majority vote rather than a ‘policing law’ that would require unanimity of all EU states. Sweden, to it’s credit, has refused to implement this law and Germany is mounting a challenge to it.

More information can be found at The Open Rights Group.

Risk Assessment

The Government is making public it’s National Risk Register according to the BBC today. Not surprisingly it considers a terrorist attack the most likely risk and the gravest threat to be a flu pandemic which could cost between 50,000 and 750,000 lives. The stated aim of publishing this list is to ‘stimulate a mature debate’ with the public and business as to the possible risks facing this country.

Three thoughts sprung immediately to my mind. Firstly, no amount of ‘debate’ mature or otherwise will make the slightest bit of difference to the risks and what the hell do we pay politicians for if not to consider risks and take the necessary precautions on our behalf. Secondly, if they are going to come up with a risk variant of 700,000 lives as a result of ‘flu the usefulness of this statistic is virtually meaningless. Thirdly, put a terrorist attack at the top of the list and what do you get? You get a public that is fearful and worried and therefore willing to accept more and more restrictions on civil liberties.

Top of the Risk List should be a loss of freedom, democracy, accountability and the emergence of a police state.

More surveilance

Yesterday my son who is a heating engineer was on his way home when he was directed by police into a lay-by where there was a Ministry of Transport check. He was doing nothing wrong just simply driving along.

While one official is walking around the van another one asks my son “do mind telling me where you have come from?” Being, happily, a chip off the old block, son replies “I do mind.” “Well, where are you going to?” says the official. “I’m not telling you that either says son.” Why won’t you tell me” says official? “Without appearing rude it’s none of your business, I’m driving in my own country, in my own van and going about my lawful business and unless you can show me proof of your legal powers to demand that information I’m not telling you.” The guy gives up at this point and son continues on his lawful journey.

The questions arise. Who instigated such checks, for what purpose are these checks being made, who holds the information accrued and with whom do they share it and why? In addition the setting up of such checks, including police time and so on must be at huge cost without any published benefit that I can source.

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