Wednesday, August 08, 2007

George Orwell was not wrong, maybe just 25 years too early

Current affairs

I have no qualms about filching the above image off Google's image file. My pix on this site are free for the taking, and that splendid and apposite image above adorns a statement put out by a French group promoting international Communism . Well, pure communists don't believe in other folk having private property, do they ?

I found the image quickly by punching "Orwell 1984" into the search box. It seemed just right for today's hot topic in the Telegraph's "Your View" entitled "Has Big Brother taken over our security ?".

I find it increasingly difficult to talk about things in isolation. Other thoughts start crowding in. Oh, what the hell. Let it all come out ...

"Governments come, governments go, but the State and its apparachiks are always there, buiding their databases with a pitiful level of surveillance from the politicians. None of this will change while we continue to cast votes at General Elections for career MPs who won't touch issues of this nature for fear of being branded a maverick.

Nothing will change until the present first-past-the-post electoral system is replaced a more enlightened form of PR, suited to the 21st century. Then it will be possible to form minor parties campaiging on single issues - lower taxation, a proper Freedom of Information Act etc. Though numerically small, their support could be needed for coalition governments, giving them some leverage in a political system that is otherwise dominated by the major parties and their stale or starry-eyed agendas.

If a minor party were successful in its objectives, it could disband, leaving a small lacuna in the political firmanent to be occupied by another campaigning on some other issue that is perceived as peripheral to the big picture, but which is important nonetheless.

Personally I would like to launch a "Build a Britannia Mark 2 for Her Majesty" party. After seeing it launched and presented to her on her 90th birthday (or sooner), I would quietly disband my party, and then launch a new one called "Bring Tax Freedom Day Forward to June 1st".

In the meantime, it should be possible to call a number, and obtain a print-out showing which agencies, public or private, have accessed one's personal details and for what reason, similar to checking one's credit rating with Experian etc. We have the technology - what's needed is for we the public to insist it be made available on our behalf.

As a stopgap measure, the threat to vote tactically at the next General Election as a protest against Big Brother might concentrate a few minds."

Colin Berry, Dreams and Daemons

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