Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of Touch, Soon Out of Office

Tom Harris, the Carlsberg of Labour bloggers, has responded to my post last night about the letter in Der Spiegel. He reckons I am talking a load of nonsense. Well, he is not particularly original in thinking that, but I do think he strectches his case a little when he says this...
The regular accusation that we are living in what is close to, or is in reality, a “police state” is not only ridiculous - it’s offensive to the millions of people across the world who do live in such states and who regard the UK, rightly, as a beacon of freedom and democracy. So there.

I didn't actually mention the words "Police State" but if the cap fits. He then responds to something I said in the comments on his post about the proliferation of CCTV cameras by saying...
But can you explain to me exactly why or how our civil liberties are even remotely infringed by our being “the most watched society in the world”?

You know, if a Labour Minister like Tom asks that question, suddenly you realise just how out of touch this government has become. And he's one of the more sensible ones!

86 comments:

Ian Deans said...

As an Australian who travels regularly to the UK, I have to agree with Mr Harris' comments - I've never felt like this is a police state (indeed, were it so, perhaps crime would not be such a significant problem).

CCTV cameras are not a problem on their own. It is only when they are used by authoritarian regimes to pursue illiberal and oppressive policies that they become objectionable.

I agree with you on many things, Mr Dale, but this is not one of them.

Tom Harris MP said...

And yet still no explanation, Iain, about how civil liberties are infringed by the presence of CCTV cameras. What is the actual, real, practical diminution of our rights as a consequence of their presence?

dearieme said...

I see that the Wikipedia entry on "police state" gets all worked up about the modern use of the term. But as I understand it, the British used to think of many continental countries as "police states" because of the excessive regulation. Thus you had to have an official address, you had to carry an identity card, and so on. By those mild standrads, it's clear that New Labour are indeed converting us into a police state - and it's true by more demanding standards too.

Martin said...

There are no sensible politicians.

I think the time has come to limit how long any MP can remain at Westminster.

When I see sad losers like George Galloway and Dennis Skinner I just wonder if they have any sort of a life?

Look at Ken Livingstone. This sad little man kicked out of power now wonders the corridors of the BBC looking for work and when he's not doing that he's at City Hall watching Boris doing 'his job'

I think no MP should be able to serve more than say three terms then they are out and have to get a proper job. They should all be banned from working for the BBC and any other public service body. If they had to earn their corn they might think twice about the rubbish they pass through Westminster.

Anonymous said...

In all fairness most of the people in my mill town are begging for CCTV I know it's not the answer to everything but it makes people feel safer and it shuts up Legal Aid solicitors when shown the footage of their clients kicking people to death
freedom to prosper

Elusive Pimpernel said...

Its just a shame that Dominic Grieves plans with regards to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act show that the likely incomers are just as out of touch.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

"The Carlsberg of Labour bloggers" How very dare you!

Yeah. I read his blog for a while. On your recommendation. He's a decent enough bloke but he's taken his eyes out and shoved em where the sun don't shine and he's stuffed his ears with treacle. How else could he be one of the most toadying party-line voters in the Government? During the Glasgow East fiasco he was dutifully doling out what Labour central was feeding him and fluffing up their crap candidate, who was a ranting harridan with the charm of Lucretia Borgia. I am mystified as to how someone with his obvious intelligence and chutzpah cannot see, not only the writing on the wall, but the writing in the sky, on the floor, in the loo, etc., etc. that denotes in no uncertain terms that Labour is about as popular as a gas bill impregnated with Anthrax.

He's not the Carlsberg of Labour bloggers. He's not even the Irn Bru of Labour bloggers. He's the New Recipe Coke of Labour bloggers that you have to sick up, half-way through consuming the can.

He is one of the luckier lackys. Harris can have a decent other career after the election, at Star Trek conventions, as a Captain Kirk look-alike.

AfricanMum said...

Police state isn't far off - about a year ago, my son then aged 19 months fell at his playgroup and hit his head. He seemed alright but my husband suggested we run him down to A & E, just in case. Doctors checked him over and said he was fine. A few days later my husband got this call from a lady who said she was a health visitor. She said they had records of our son having a fall and wanted to check if he was fine. My husband wanted to know how it was her business, and she said the govt now obliged them to check on every child brought into hospital for anything. I've lost count of the number of times my brothers and I fell and got hurt. My elder sister even broke an arm when we were little. Wonder how my mum & dad would've fared under new labour. Anyway, I mentioned this at playgroup and it turns out our experience wasn't unique. In fact, one mum said a lady with a clipboard called round to hers after her daughter went to A & E and wanted to know if she'd suffered from post natal depression.
Plus when our son was born we were given a little red book and ordered to record everything about our son in it - first smile, first word, etc. My husband asked if it contained the words of chairman Blair. We were told it was an important document to be checked when he's 5. If any of your friends have young kids ask them about state interference, Iain. I bet they'll have loads of stories to tell you. This is why I've fallen out of love with the Labour party (one of many reasons, though).

Labour Matters said...

So the Tories will be removing CCTV will they? Get real Iain (and post about the proposed new police powers that nice man who replaced David Davis explained in The Guardian about yesterday).

gordon Brown's Moral Compass Swinger said...

Typical Zanu Labour! What a remarkable ability to ignore reality and present a rose tinted view of life...it is almost as if they actually believe that if they keep saying that everything in the garden is rosy, we will actually believe the propaganda.

I was gobsmacked a few days ago when in response to Tory demands for not bailing rapists, attempted murderers et al, that some labour gobshite actually said that they thought the tory proposals were a grave infringement of our liberties! This from the government that has thousands of innocent people on the DNA database, that wants id cards, thinks 42 day detention without charge is barely acceptable and would prefer 90 days, that will encourage councils to criminalise householders who park their dustbins in the wrong place or with the lid open.

These fuckwits have so lost the plot that I am not surprised that the morally bankrupt government ministers have voted themselves inflation busting pay rises because they can all see that in the relatively near future they are going to have their snouts removed from the trough.

Auntie Flo' said...

Chilling comments from Tom Harris:

"can you explain to me exactly why or how our civil liberties are even remotely infringed by our being “the most watched society in the world”?"

It's as though a curtain has been pulled aside on the government's disregard for our civil liberties and the scene revealed chills to the marrow.

Nothing matters to nulab but the party and the self interest of its upper echelons, does it?

Philc said...

Re Africanmum:
The little red book is just a convenient way of keeping a medical history of your child so that should he or she be seen by any doctor they have a clear understanding of their history.
Not all parents are diligent in recording such info so they brighten it up by making it into a record your child's life.
You aren't ordered to record first words at all. If you don't want to do that - then don't.
I know it's comforting to think that Labour really is out to get you - but in this case it's just a medical record.
You should concentrate instead on the half dozen databases which your child's details will be recorded on as the pass through education and training.
Our understanding of the different ways the state and private sector hold information on us is generally woeful.

Newmania said...

And yet still no explanation, Iain, about how civil liberties are infringed by the presence of CCTV cameras. What is the actual, real, practical diminution of our rights as a consequence of their presence?

What would be the real diminution of our rights by being followed by a camera all day.? For a class of pretty lowly public sector employee that uniquely like to keep their expenses a secret there is a yawning reality canyon here .. The diminution , Mr. Soon to be unemployable Harris , comes from the garnering of endless information on innocent people to be used in anyway they state sees fit .
Perhaps they will not mis -use it , perhaps the IRA would not have used their arms and talks might have proceeded on that assumption , perhaps we should not worry about Russia having its thumb on our energy jugular , perhaps we should forget this whole democracy mularky and hand power irretrievably to the a benevolent despot ? What real practical difference would it make , not all power is misused .
There are good arguments for CCTV but the schoolboy assertion that if you keep your nose clean you have nothing to worry about , does not fall into that category . Harris is arguing at a frankly fatuous level


Labour matters ( a hostage to fortune that name eh..) Dominic Grieve is simply streamlining access to powers the Police already have for dealing with criminals This is a very different matter and part of an attempt to reintroduce the Police their primary responsibility which is not , as it has been falsifying statistics but catching criminals.

Cretin

Wrinkled Weasel said...

ok Tom, if you are reading this, and you really want to know. I mean REALLY want to know. I will explain about Civil Liberties.

First, you have made a very dangerous NuLab assumption: that is that you and your colleagues have a right to spy on citizens going about their normal business, which, I might add, is none of yours.

That is the first and most significant infringement. It is the explicit declaration that you are going to order and monitor our lives because somehow, you are under the impression we have empowered you to do so.

Secondly, it is an acknowledgement that you and your partners in crime have lost control of the public order agenda and your increasing reliance on data harvesting and not data analysis. This point is crucial: You demand all kinds of data and yet you lose it (which would be a criminal offense if it was not the government that was doing it)and you use it to dissect and direct the smallest of infringements. For example, can you give me a guarantee that the execrable RIPA powers do not cover use of CCTV? Does this mean that when you are busy pursuing people for using the wrong wheelie bins or trying to get their kids into decent schools, RIPA is not using CCTV to build a case against them?

You government, not content with consigning the Magna Carta to the bin has now decided to hold coroners courts in secret. Why can't I demand that you install a CCTV system in them? What have you got to hide, Tom? Are you going to use them, as some have said you will, to cover up political gaffes and lies just as you tried to do over Iraq?

CCTV is merely one straw of many on the camel's back in the sheaf of pittling statutes that have worn away at our rights.

I could go on, but frankly, I shant bother because you have your head up your arse.

Johnny Norfolk said...

The poor attitude of Tom Harris to genuine peoples concerns is just what we have come to expect from Labour. Power has gone to their heads and they think they are better than us in a most snobish way. They think they are above the law and are part of an elite that answers to no one. Well they will find out in 2 years or sooner.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Instead of recomending Tom Harris who has now become normal nasty labour. I think you should recomend John Redwood. He is one of the few MPs who appears to grasp just what is wrong and what needs to be done. I know he is hated by the left and is mocked by the BBC at every oppotunity but never the less he is worth reading.

You can find him on.

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/

PaulD said...

We are heading for something much worse than a police state. A police state is easy - goons in uniform battering dissenters with truncheons under orders from above. The perpetrators are easily identified.

No, we are heading for a Common Purpose state, a New World Order state, where faceless, unelected quangocrats exercise their lust for power by corrupting the democratic system with a constant drip of scares based on bogus science and management nu-speak.

Global warming, smoking bans, civic surveillance, the wonders of multiculturalism, health & safety, epidemics... they are all designed to frighten us into submission.

Ian Fleming himself could not have dreamt up a more sinister plot. But where are the Bonds to see these bastards off?

Auntie Flo' said...

Tom Harris MP said...

"And yet still no explanation, Iain, about how civil liberties are infringed by the presence of CCTV cameras. What is the actual, real, practical diminution of our rights as a consequence of their presence"


Haven't you heard of privacy, Tom Harris?

I, and millions of others in UK, feel our privacy has been invaded and stolen by your government.

It must surely alarm you that the UK government has been 'black listed' by Privacy International for its invasion of its citizens' privacy. Aren't you ashamed and concerned that PI has placed UK in the same category as China and Russia?

I, a law abiding citizen all my life, feel threatened by your cameras, by your finger printing, your national DNA database and your ID Cards. I feel distrusted, a suspect, when I've done nothing wrong.

How can I trust a government that so distrusts innocent people like me that it views me, and my family, even little children, as suspects requiring finger printing?

The people of UK are just 1% of the world's population. Why do you have 20% of the world's surveillance watching us? What is your government so frightened of?

It seems to me that there are elements of paranoia behind the government's compulsion towards such pervasive and ever increasing surveillance.

Why is there this obsessive paranoia about watching us? Is this some pathological projection of your government's collective guilt over the invasion Iraq? Or is it collective fear of the anger that even your own security services recognise the government have stirred up among extremists in respect of that invasion?

Whatever lies behind it, it's sufficient for you to ignore the government's own Information Commissioner's warning that we are sleep walking into a surveillance state.

Our parents didn't make huge sacrifices and fight Nazism during WW2 for us to be turned into over-regulated numbers. They fought for our freedom and civil liberties.

And it chills me to the marrow that your government constantly erodes our privacy and civil liberties.

Hang down your head, Tom Harris.

Auntie Flo' said...

Privacy International's map classifying societies in terms of the level of intrusion in citizens' lives, link below.

UK along with Russia and China has the worst classification: an endemic suveillance society:

http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-559597

JuliaM said...

"when our son was born we were given a little red book and ordered to record everything about our son in it - first smile, first word, etc. My husband asked if it contained the words of chairman Blair. We were told it was an important document to be checked when he's 5."

This would be the same NHS that has just decided, against the recommendations of it's own 'citizen's panel', not to waste money on those it judges might die soon..?

JuliaM said...

"The little red book is just a convenient way of keeping a medical history of your child so that should he or she be seen by any doctor they have a clear understanding of their history."

But...but....that means the NHS' planned new massive database is obviously not expected to be up to snuff then..?

Who'd have thunk it? ;)

Zenobia said...

Way to go Auntie Flo - that is the best resume of our loss of freedom I have heard.

If Tom doesn't understand now just what his party has done to us, then he never will and he can kiss good bye to the Labour Party for good, I hope.

I raise my glass to you in appreciation.

Arkangel said...

It is my right to walk the streets of this country without fear of having my actions viewed by some faceless nonentity. It is my right to send e-mails, view websites etc. without a record of those being kept on some government database. It is my right, should I wish to do, to put my dustbin out a day early with the lid ajar without being in fear of some oaf giving me a criminal record for so doing.
As others have said, I could go on.
Mr Harris, you need to wake up or the tumbrils might soon be rolling along Whitehall.

Anonymous said...

A picture's worth a thousand words.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKl2sEN4yNM

Anonymous said...

Tom Harris is right on this one. I live in Glasgow and I know of nobody who feels threatened by CCTV but I know plenty of people who feel threatened by street crime. A lady (English) was murdered in a classy street a couple of months ago in this city, in Tom's constituency I believe. A Slovakian man is awaiting trial. You probably didn't hear about it in England. Why should you? The Scotch are murdering each other all the time. CCTV might have deterred the murderer, whoever that person was. Might have.

It would be cheap to suggest that those who worry about CCTV have personal (although legal) secrets to protect - address the argument not the possible motives and all that. Cheap or not, that's the way it looks. Question: would you favour having more police officers on the beat? Would that not be an invasion of privacy too? Would that not incline us further towards a police state?

Danny Vandal said...

Hang down your head, Tom Harris.

That'll be the day. The next election will be the first time in my life that I won't vote Labour, the same goes for my mum, my sister and my girlfriend. The reason? This surveillance state that Labour seem obsessed with building, it's creepy and voyeuristic. Get on with solving the problems that face us Harris you cretin and stop wibbling on about some no-worse-than-we've-faced-before terrorist 'threat'. The sight of almost the whole Labour parliamentary party wearing brown trousers and clinging on to Dubyas apron strings disgusts me.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful that nulab still believe their own propaganda. When they are arrested and facing execution they will still be clueless. Good. Makes it all the more delicious.

no longer anonymous said...

"No, we are heading for a Common Purpose state, a New World Order state"

Oh great, yet another person making the pro-liberty movement look like far-right nutters. Please tell me Tom Harris paid you to write that.

Anonymous said...

Newmania said...
"This is a very different matter and part of an attempt to reintroduce the Police their primary responsibility which is not , as it has been falsifying statistics but catching criminals.

Cretin"

Good to see you sign your comment.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it's things like this published in the Labour "parrish paper"
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/13/privacy.civilliberties
that make use nervous of were it will all end.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo said ... "It must surely alarm you that the UK government has been 'black listed' by Privacy International for its invasion of its citizens' privacy. Aren't you ashamed and concerned that PI has placed UK in the same category as China and Russia?"

The Privacy International rankings are nonsense. You haven't mentioned that they also put the USA in the same category as China and Russia.

Edward said...

Yes, we (probably) have the highest proportion of CCTV cameras in the world.

But which cameras would people like to see removed?

The majority are in
- SHOPS (to safeguard against shoplifters)
- BANKS (for obvious security reasons)
- HOSPITALS (again for security reasons, following attacks on staff and patients)
- BUSINESS PREMISES (to check for unauthorised entry)
- TOWN CENTRES (to record incidents of criminally rowdy behaviour and vandalism)
- TRAIN and BUS STATIONS (ditto)
- TRAINS AND BUSES (for the protection of drivers and passengers).

All perfectly reasonable uses of CCTV and almost all popular with the general public.

DiscoveredJoys said...

The biggest problem with CCTV (after the reduction in the general expectation of privacy) is that it provides the Powers That Be a false sense of control.

The PTB can now see crimes happening real time - but there are rarely any police around to respond.

I expect clips of poor sods getting beaten up to start appearing on "You've Been Framed" in an effort to reduce the mushrooming public debt.

Lashings of data, paralysis of analysis, SFA actually done.

monoi said...

To the anonymongs who think CCTV is a good thing:

It does not work. We have 20% of the world's cameras, but crime still goes up.

Stop and think, however hard it is.

As for Tom Harris, how in the name of all that is holy can an imbecile of your caliber ever end up in Parliament, let alone in government?

The mind boggles.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more uplifting than hearing a Minister arguing for powers of intrusion - which of course, are not meant to apply to his political class.

I see The Telegraph has an item on the EU extension to snoop on our e-mails. "EU - the malignant Cancer"

Auntie Flo' said...

Anon said:

"The Privacy International rankings are nonsense. You haven't mentioned that they also put the USA in the same category as China and Russia"


Read the American postings on BBC Have Your Say. A substantial proportion of them appear to agree with Privacy International's ranking of the US as an 'endemic sureveillance society'.

Anyway, the US's surveillance levels are nowhere near as pervasive or intrusive as ours.

UK is, shamefully and worryingly, the worst surveillance state in the western world.

Privacy International needs to create a new ranking for us.

Auntie Flo' said...

CCTV has cut escalating Knife, gun and violent crime to zero extent.

It's not just a potential means of social control by authoritarian govt, it's a money making scam for government too, another stealth tax

Auntie Flo' said...

Edward said...

"Yes, we (probably) have the highest proportion of CCTV cameras in the world.

But which cameras would people like to see removed?"


The cameras the rest of the world quiet happily do without.

Auntie Flo' said...

20% of the world's cameras, yet who feels any safer for them?

There are two CCTV cameras which film my office, yet I'm still nervous when I leave it late in the evening.

A number of fights and anti socials outside my office have brought no response whatsoever from the police.

We don't need all of these cameras, we need a return to proper policing.

And an end to the meaningless PC and target culture which has turned our police into ineffective bureaucrats and social workers.

Madasafish said...

Lets see . We have photos of a model sniffing a white substance - which is clearly coke.
The CPS bring no prosecution cos they cannot PROVE it was coke .. or chalk or flour..

So what use for CCTV?

PaulD said...

I said "We are heading for a Common Purpose state, a New World Order state"

No Longer Anonymous (?) said: "Oh great, yet another person making the pro-liberty movement look like far-right nutters. Please tell me Tom Harris paid you to write that."

Sorry, NLA, I don't get it. What is so right-wing about objecting to democracy itself being taken over by unreachable, unaccountable forces like Common Purpose, eurocrats, shadowy think tanks and ambitious government appointees who know a lot about political theory but nothing about real life?

What's so nutty about not wanting the tentacles of the state intruding into every area of my life, from reading my emails to watching me in the street to stopping me from enjoying a pint and fag with my mates in the (privately-owned) Dog & Duck?

What's so weird about viewing with horror a never-ending stream of restrictions and controls that would have been unthinkable 20 years ago?

The big problem is, we have become so used to this new system of dictatorship - and I don't use the word lightly - that we cannot imagine it working any other way.

Tom Harris doesn't seem too bothered by civil liberties. I am.

Anonymous said...

Edward, for CCTV you missed out Traffic Monitoring.

Detectors are installed in the road at many congestion-prone locations to send a signal when traffic is stationary for an undue length of time but it takes a human being at a monitor to identify the cause of the delays and take appropriate action (e.g. change the signal phasing, send out a patrol officer, breakdown assistance, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Edward - August 13, 2008 10:01 AM
Regular and ordinary member of the public here.
Edward is quite right, so come on, let’s hear from all the alleged state spied upon posters what cameras they want removed.
Only a couple of weeks ago my local Tory supporting paper was championing CCTV, reporting that crime was down, and want even more of them installed.
Walking around my area I never even notice them, but if I was paranoid I could scuttle about, wear a hat, and avoid them I suppose, but there’s no reason for me or mine to do that.
I question how much of the reams of angst displayed here is genuine concern and how much is pure faux political opportunism.
I understand that Singapore is crime free and clean, something we aspire to by all accounts, so how do they manage it?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Anon 7.59

"Scotch"?? And you claim to live in Glasgow?

I doubt it. Why not give up trying to prop up this lousy government with your third rate anonymous trolling and get a proper job.

Notice how those in favour of the hapless Tom are anonymous? It stinks, does it not? All in a morning's work for the NuLab Blog Response Unit.

Stewart Cowan said...

A lot of folk seem to think the issue starts and ends with CCTV cameras.

If only.

I left a lengthy comment on Mr Harris's blog based on two articles from my website here and here and he made a jape about David Icke instead of offering a real reply to the very serious concerns raised - not only by me - but by Civitas and the outgoing chairman of the Police Federation who consider that the Government have unleashed the police against the general population to satisfy their craving for meeting targets.

Some people (including politicians, of course) still manage to deny that it is a deliberate strategy to keep the people in line - as is limiting our freedom under the "war on terror" that they helped foment (that's another story).

Shame on them for doing all this.

Greater shame on us for allowing it.

Time to take our country back!!

Anonymous said...

Edward said...
"Yes, we (probably) have the highest proportion of CCTV cameras in the world. But which cameras would people like to see removed?"

Auntie Flo said ...
"The cameras the rest of the world quiet happily do without."

Auntie Flo, the rest of the world see the benefits of CCTV and are rapidly following our example.

Anonymous said...

Madasafish said...
"We have photos of a model sniffing a white substance - which is clearly coke. The CPS bring no prosecution cos they cannot PROVE it was coke .. or chalk or flour..
So what use for CCTV?"

In that case it alerts the police to the likelihood of her being a cokehead and they might well be watching her (and her possible suppliers) closely in future.

Anonymous said...

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, will pledge to amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act so that police no longer need to secure authorisation to conduct surveillance on those suspected of non-terrorist offences.

The changes would mean that the police would automatically be able to:

· Use covert video or listening devices in premises or vehicles.

· Watch premises to identify or arrest suspects.

· Conduct visual surveillance of public locations.

· Patrol, in uniform or plain clothes.

· Use thermal imaging and X-ray technology.

· Conduct surveillance using visible CCTV cameras.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11.43 am said...
"I understand that Singapore is crime free and clean, something we aspire to by all accounts, so how do they manage it?"

Singapore is one of the world's most pleasant countries to live in. But you mustn't mention that on this thread because it is blacklisted by Auntie Flo's Privacy International due to all those CCTV cameras.

Anonymous said...

Wrinkled Weasel
Gender: Male
Occupation: Woodland Creature
Location: The Wild Wood : United Kingdom - says:
"Notice how those in favour of the hapless Tom are anonymous?"....
As Richard Littlejohn (one of your favourite columnists no doubt) would say 'you couldn't make it up'

Elby the Beserk said...

Hmm. So far, on little Tommy's blog, he refuses to answer ANY of th epoints on Civil Liberties, just keeps parrotting, "Paranoid right-wing". Which is odd, at least in my case, as I voted Labour from my first vote in 1970 until Bliar took us into Iraq. As many years, I would guess, as he has been alive.

Now - because I disagree - I am apparently a paranoid right-winger.

No I am not - I am an extremely angry, disenfranchised voter. His stance simply confirms what more and more people think about New Labour - and that is that they might as well call themselves New Stasi.

hirani said...

If Britain was a police state, this blog page would have been shut down a long time ago.

The issue with CCTV is that people think there are too many.. but still would like CCTV on their own streets to monitor crime. Its the same in most case examples according to various poll company results... People believe their local hospital has improved significantly but the NHS in general is wasting public money. Many think MPs in general are lazy tax money wasting scum but feel their own representative is an exception to the norm.

Anonymous said...

AfricanMum. Just never happy eh?
Some of us go to Smiths and buy our friends a baby book, you know? The sort of book that Mum's really love, and is a treasured and useful reminder and record of baby’s "first smile, first word etc" and those important injections, that curl of hair and a few photos.
You got one for nothing and with a cheque for £250 tucked inside and you are offended? Well, I hope you sent them both back to Chairman Blair.
Most likely your future children will receive a pretty little blue velvet booklet from Sam Cam's Smythsons, but minus the cash.

As for your other disingenuous comments in relation to A/E and health workers. Why do I suspect that you’re one of the first blaming the Govt., the NHS and social workers when an abused/attacked child‘s injuries are ignored or missed.

The Tin Drummer said...

Singapore is one of the world's most pleasant countries to live in. But you mustn't mention that on this thread because it is blacklisted by Auntie Flo's Privacy International due to all those CCTV cameras.


So, Anonymous, you're in favour of harsh & corporal punishments for minor offences then, since you're citing Singapore as an example?
Is that NuLab's next big idea then, 50 lashes for lighting up?

Arkangel said...

Anonymous said...

Edward - August 13, 2008 10:01 AM
Regular and ordinary member of the public here.
Edward is quite right, so come on, let’s hear from all the alleged state spied upon posters what cameras they want removed.
Only a couple of weeks ago my local Tory supporting paper was championing CCTV, reporting that crime was down, and want even more of them installed.
Walking around my area I never even notice them,

Of course you won't notice them, you moron. That's the whole idea...so that you don't realise you're being spied on.
You come to my local town and so much as drop a fag end...you'll find out pretty damn quickly how much you're the object of someone's affections. And before you say it, I don't smoke, nor do I drop litter.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Here we go again, Anon 12.44

You are a dope.

I am slightly anonymous but not unattributable. There is a big difference. I also have a constant identity as I post as Wrinkled Weasel and have done for years.

If you bothered to read this blog and pay attention you would already know my real name.

Like a lot of bloggers I use a nom de ordinateur, but anybody who wants to can beat a path to my door can do so if they have reasonable cause. Iain Dale for a start knows who I am and has my personal email.

I say again, I am my identity is attributable to one person, and those who matter know who that person is.

You, on the other hand, are an anonymous nobody who is too pusilanimous make yourself accountable to your posts, so, eff off will you old chap?

Anonymous said...

Regular member of the public here responding to Arkangel who said...
"Of course you won't notice them, you moron. That's the whole idea...so that you don't realise you're being spied on."

Hmm. Nothing like being literal and dancing on the head of a pin.
Of course members of the public ‘know’ they are there, and most likely where they are located.
The difference is that some; probably a majority of the public getting on with their daily lives, are not obsessed by them, in fear of them, consider they’re being spied on, ‘don’t notice them’, and don’t think that the ‘tentacles’ of ‘zanulab’ have sucked them into a police state.

I suppose that in your town you’re referring to talking cameras? And the problem with them is…?if you don’t drop fag ends, chewing gum and other rubbish?

The Tin Drummer said...

And the problem with them is…?if you don’t drop fag ends, chewing gum and other rubbish?


"If you've done nothing wrong..."

Again.

JuliaM said...

Another anonymong regurgitated: "Why do I suspect that you’re one of the first blaming the Govt., the NHS and social workers when an abused/attacked child‘s injuries are ignored or missed."

Oh. Right.

Because obviously, abusive parents would record their actions in Gordon's Little Red Baby Book...?

Logic like that, you must be a paid stooge for the government's Blog Commenting Outreach Team. No-one else capable of accessing the 'Start' on a PC could be that dumb.

Arkangel said...

Anonymous said...

Regular member of the public here responding to Arkangel who said...
"Of course you won't notice them, you moron. That's the whole idea...so that you don't realise you're being spied on."

Hmm. Nothing like being literal and dancing on the head of a pin.
Of course members of the public ‘know’ they are there, and most likely where they are located.
The difference is that some; probably a majority of the public getting on with their daily lives, are not obsessed by them, in fear of them, consider they’re being spied on, ‘don’t notice them’, and don’t think that the ‘tentacles’ of ‘zanulab’ have sucked them into a police state.

I suppose that in your town you’re referring to talking cameras? And the problem with them is…?if you don’t drop fag ends, chewing gum and other rubbish?

Dancing on the head of a pin!!. WTF does that mean?
Oddly enough, I do get on with my daily life. I do not live in fear of them, am not obsessed by them but have no wish to be constantly under the supervision of Big Brother as I go about my lawful occasions. As to being sucked in by 'zanulab'..I think they've sucked you in to some considerable extent.
And no, we don't have talking cameras, just goons on motor bikes directed to the scene of a violent outbreak of 'littering' by some faceless nonentity hiding at the other end of a camera. But, hey, if you think that's fine then you'll doubtless be applying for a position in charge of a gulag.

And, slightly more to the point...why are you anonymous?...scared of being seen on CCTV?

stuart said...

I work with some Labour activists and they too simply cannot understand, genuinely, why I would have any problem with CCTV outside my house, or council having the power to monitor parents if they suspect that they are lying to get into a school, or any of this stuff.

They believe, I suppose, in the benign wisdom of the state and its absolute right to put us where they want and watch our every move.

Individuals should be master of the state, not the other way around.

stuart said...

Martin says, "I think the time has come to limit how long any MP can remain at Westminster."

We do. The people who decide when the limit kicks in are called the electorate.

javelin said...

Hes play the "offensive" card

Anonymous said...

WW.
Well here’s the rub WW. I haven’t read this blog or your illustrious postings ‘for years’.

I don’t have to pay attention and am not interested in who you are.

I won’t be beating any path to your door, and like I care who has your ‘personal email?
Get over yourself.

Yes. I like anonymous, it’s preferable to pompous.

nick said...

Some Labour apologists ought to re-read Nineteen Eighty Four, though it might be wise to remind them that it's supposed to be a warning, not a manifesto.
Can anyone give me a good reason why the Food Standards Agency, HSE, local councils and health authorities and the Post Office should be able to track my personal email and phone calls?

Auntie Flo' said...

London has 10,000 crime-fighting CCTV cameras which cost £200 million, figures show today.

But an analysis of the publicly funded spy network, which is owned and controlled by local authorities and Transport for London, has cast doubt on its ability to help solve crime.

A comparison of the number of cameras in each London borough with the proportion of crimes solved there found that police are no more likely to catch offenders in areas with hundreds of cameras than in those with hardly any.

In fact, four out of five of the boroughs with the most cameras have a record of solving crime that is below average.

The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly using the Freedom of Information Act.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23412867-details/Tens+of+thousands+of+CCTV+cameras,+yet+80%25+of+crime+unsolved/article.do

Auntie Flo' said...

Anonymous said...

"Auntie Flo, the rest of the world see the benefits of CCTV and are rapidly following our example."

UK 4.2 million cameras

Germany 1.6 million

Western Europe 6 million

So UK, shamefully and scandalously has over 75% of Europe's surveillance cameras.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article1655200.ece

Go back to nulab spin school, anon, all this bunking off is shrinking your pea sized brain.

Auntie Flo' said...

Anon (I think!) said:

"talking cameras? And the problem with them is…?if you don’t drop fag ends, chewing gum and other rubbish?"

What if you're deaf(profoundly), lost and panicking, and consequently viewed as loitering or up to no good?

Or what if you suffer from any one of a number of conditions which mean that, through no fault of your own, you aren't aware that dropping litter is an offence?

Talking camera operators have a go at people for a range of behaviour, including loitering.

Isn't the aim a verbal ear bashing to humiliate the person the operator views as an offender?

And some cameras use a child's voice to humiliate the offender.

"Oh, look people, that woman/man over there in red has dropped a tissue, must be too stupid to pick up their litter!"

A crowd of by standers laugh and the victim of this hasn't a bl**dy clue what they're
laughing at.

Big joke, Anon.

What if a deaf or disabled person gets understandably angry at being laughed at? Up comes a cop car and half a dozen police officers.

Stun gun? That'll do nicely?

I wrote to my local council objecting to talking cameras for the above reasons - and because I'm severely deaf and depend on lip reading.

The response? Camera operators are trained to identify people with disabilities.

Rubbish. They've no way of identifying invisible disabilities like deafness.

no longer anonymous said...

"Sorry, NLA, I don't get it. What is so right-wing about objecting to democracy itself being taken over by unreachable, unaccountable forces like Common Purpose, eurocrats, shadowy think tanks and ambitious government appointees who know a lot about political theory but nothing about real life?"

You mentioned the "New World Order". It's one of those terms like ZOG that the far-right always go on about. So when libertarians (of which I am one) start to use it, we begin to look like lunatics.

Auntie Flo' said...

Policing green paper, From the Neighbourhood to the National, Last month promised to cut red tape and give the police more time to get on with their jobs catching criminals.

Oh, yeah? Pull the other one, it's got 4.2 million surveillance cameras strapped to it

The BBC interviewed serving police officers about the effect of Home Office targets.

"They describe how ordinary law abiding citizens are being criminalised, and how the culture of targets and statistics is destroying police morale, meaning criminals are getting away..."

"We are hitting Mr and Mrs Joe Average on the road and hitting them hard, so we can get a little tick in the box to say that we've issued a fixed penalty, when the people who we should be targeting are the people we know are causing the offences, who are causing the burglaries, criminal damages and theft"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7559000/7559395.stm

The easy targets culture of the police, those 4.2 million cameras in UK and all the other sinister paraphernalia of nulab's surveillance state are all key parts of nulab's culture of white washing govt ineptness while controlling us all by criminalisation of innocent, hard working people.

Tough luck, nulab the voters you're criminalising have had enough of it

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"I live in Glasgow and I know of nobody who feels threatened by CCTV but I know plenty of people who feel threatened by street crime. A lady (English) was murdered in a classy street a couple of months ago in this city, in Tom's constituency I believe. A Slovakian man is awaiting trial. You probably didn't hear about it in England. Why should you? The Scotch are murdering each other all the time. CCTV might have deterred the murderer, whoever that person was. Might have."

Alternatively, get rid of nulab, CCTV, and Serbian and other crims who should never have been allowed here in the first place.

Anonymous said...

hirani said...

"people think there are too many.. but still would like CCTV on their own streets to monitor crime."

They would prefer not to have the crime. And not to be spied on by a political system that has declared war on it's own citizens.

Anonymous said...

- Anonymous said... "Auntie Flo, the rest of the world see the benefits of CCTV and are rapidly following our example."

- Auntie Flo' said...
"UK 4.2 million cameras
Germany 1.6 million
Western Europe 6 million

So UK, shamefully and scandalously has over 75% of Europe's surveillance cameras.
Go back to nulab spin school, anon, all this bunking off is shrinking your pea sized brain."

Auntie Flo, I wouldn't care to comment on the size of your brain but clearly you don't understand the concept of trends.

Currently, other countries have fewer CCTV cameras than we have but they are installing them at a greater rate than we are, so if present trends continue then many of them will soon have more than us.

The large number of cameras in this country is due mainly to the enthusiasm with which the last Conservative government embraced the concept of CCTV surveillance. Even under the Major government we had the largest number of CCTV cameras in the world.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"UK 4.2 million cameras
Germany 1.6 million
Western Europe 6 million.
So UK, shamefully and scandalously has over 75% of Europe's surveillance cameras."

Something wrong with your arithmetic there.

Auntie Flo' said...

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"UK 4.2 million cameras
Germany 1.6 million
Western Europe 6 million.
So UK, shamefully and scandalously has over 75% of Europe's surveillance cameras."

Something wrong with your arithmetic there.



You're right, thanks, anon, I should have said UK has 70% of the all of the surveillance cameras in Europe.

Still shameful and scandalous, isn't it?

Auntie Flo' said...

Anon claimed:

"Even under the Major government we had the largest number of CCTV cameras in the world."


Wrong, anon.

In 2001, the country had a million CCTV cameras; last year it had over four times as many.

Barry Hughill, of the human rights organisation Liberty, has described Britain as “the CCTV capital of the world”.

"Stealthily, in a mere 10 to 15 years, closed circuit television cameras have spread across the nation."

http://www.theage.com.au/news/war-on-terror/how-london-became-the-world146s-cctv-capital/2005/07/25/1122143780626.html

Auntie Flo' said...

History of surveillance cameras UK

1913: LIB surreptious film of imprisoned suffragettes

1949: LAB Orwell's 1984, which is set in London.

1960: CONS Met Guy Fawkes 2 cameras Trafalgar Square

1961: CONS video surveillance system London train station.

1964: LAB Liverpool police 4 covert CCTV cameras.

1965: LAB Railway cameras near Dagenham - vandalism

1967: LAB Photoscan markets video surveillance systems to shops

1968: LAB Met use to monitor anto-Vietnam War demonstrators.

1969: LAB Met permanent cameras in Grosvenor Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square.

1969: LAB Total number of cameras nationally: 67.

1974: LAB video surveillance of major arterial roads in and through London.

1975: LAB video surveillance system in four London Underground

1975: LAB use of video surveillance systems at soccer matches begins.

1984: CONS surveillance cameras at major protest rallying points London. .

1985: CONS street-based video surveillance system in Bournemouth

1987: CONS video surveillance at LA parking garages

1988: CONS LA video surveillance of "council estates"

1989: CONS Liberty publishes Who's watching you?

1992: CONS street-based video surveillance in Newcastle (

1992: CONS speed cameras and red-light enforcement cameras.

1993: CONS Bishopsgate bombs "Ring of Steel" Ldn incs cameras.

1994: CONS CCTV: Looking Out for You. Prime Minister John Major states:

1994 and 1997, the Home Office spends a total of 38 million pounds of CCTV schemes.

1994: CONS covert video surveillance systems at ATMs

1996: CONS all England's major citt centres except Leeds video surveillance

1996: CONS CCTV cameras total 1 million

1997: LAB public demonstration against surveillance cameras in Brighton

1997: LAB London police surveillance camera system tracks license plates.

1998: LAB use of face recognition software in the London Borough of Newham begins.

LAB Children finger printed

LAB innocent finger printed

LAB National DNA database

LAB Spy in the sky camera drones

LAB Information Commisioner warns of surveillance state

LAB UK has 4.2 million CCTV cameras, 90% are illegal (Inf Comissioner)

Anonymous said...

So to sum up, what’s being advocated is that in toryworld we’ll be demanding the removal of the alleged 4:2 million CCTV cameras; and by accepting the most stretched and preposterous ‘what ifs’, any type of surveillance that could possibly be deemed ‘spying’.

A child taken to A/E will not automatically generate a health professional politely enquiring at an appropriate later time if said child has developed any further concerning symptoms.
Parents will not keep any record of their child’s early progress that may prove to be of beneficial use in future health care.

In the name of freedom and taking back our country it will be acceptable to be knee deep in garbage with no penalty or preventative action being taken.

Anonymous said...

http://www.bobpiper.co.uk/2008/08/fret_and_fiddle.php#comments

Conservative-run Council in Walsall had carried out nearly 1,000 instances of covert surveillance on its citizens.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the article that appeared in an Australian newspaper in 2005.

You missed out the following important bits which put CCTV in perspective:

“How London became the world’s CCTV capital
By James Button

July 25, 2005

Stealthily, in a mere 10 to 15 years [Flo, that means 1990-2005, ie including 7 Tory years] closed circuit television cameras have spread across the nation and a people once jealous of their privacy have scarcely raised a protest.

Britons want their own CCTV. …

… The rising crime rate drove the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major to spend heavily on CCTV …

… Yet its growth is not driven so much by the central government but by private companies and local governments keen to keep their town centres free of “yobs” and safe for shoppers.

The “big brother” analogy is often used but isn’t quite right. There is no central surveillance bureaucracy. Rather, much of the spying is done by private security outfits on behalf of companies, councils and transport operators. They will contact police when they see a crime or — as with the London bombers — the camera footage will be taken and viewed by investigators.

The evidence that CCTV reduces general crime levels is far from conclusive, but no matter. After the events of the past few weeks, the all-seeing eye is almost certainly here to stay.”

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"History of surveillance cameras UK
....
LAB Children finger printed
LAB innocent finger printed
LAB National DNA database ..."

Surveillance cameras?

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo, your memory of CCTV in the Tory years is faulty. It was the Conservative government in the 1990s that was responsible for the surge in surveillance cameras in this country. Here are a few quotes from members of the Major government which make clear their views on CCTV.

John Major on CCTV - Pledging that he has "no sympathy" for civil liberties objectors, he stated that "anything that helps people and hinders the criminal is fine by me"

Michael Howard – “CCTV is a real asset to communities: a great deterrent to crime and a huge reassurance to the public”

Sir Paul Beresford, the Environment Minister – “CCTV can bring enormous benefits to towns and cities".

A Home Office Minister called CCTV the "friendly eye in the sky …there is nothing sinister about it and the innocent have nothing to fear. It will put criminals on the run and evidence will be clear to see.”

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo said ... "LAB UK has 4.2 million CCTV cameras, 90% are illegal (Inf Comissioner)"

You are seriously misquoting the Information Commissioner.

No-one, apart from you, has claimed that 90% of CCTV cameras are illegal.

CameraWatch claimed that 90% were not complying fully with the Code of Practice. Daily Telegraph

However, the Information Commissioner's Office denied that CCTV rules are being broken on a large scale.

Also, the Assistant Information Commissioner for Scotland, said "We are not aware of any evidence that supports the suggestion that 90 per cent of CCTV cameras are not complying with the ICO Code of Practice. We don't believe there is any such evidence."

So your claim is nonsense.

Edward said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"UK 4.2 million cameras

Germany 1.6 million

Western Europe 6 million

So UK, shamefully and scandalously has over 75% of Europe's surveillance cameras."

If the above numbers are correct, the number of CCTV cameras in the UK is equivalent to 70% of the number in the rest of Western Europe.

The UK is part of Western Europe. Therefore, the UK has 41% of the surveillance cameras in Western Europe.

Anonymous said...

Arkangel said...
"goons on motor bikes directed to the scene of a violent outbreak of 'littering' by some faceless nonentity hiding at the other end of a camera."

Post your source of this allegation.

Diablo said...

Tom Harris is a very silly man and it is amazing that he ever became an MP.

Just goes to show how limited the choices have been for the Scottish people over the last 12 years or so has been.

If Carling ever did Labour MPs then Tom Harris would be a boring, ineffective and unamusing Scottish git.