Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain towards the end of January 2018 for about a month
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 13 April 2004

Britain: the 'Big Brother' country - a salutary view from abroad

This article in the Houston Chronicle very clearly illustrates the extent to which surveillance has become routine within the UK. The usual argument, mouthed at the very end of the article by one of the operatives who works in this culture, which states that "If you're not breaking the law, then you have nothing to hide, right?" is one of the more sinister and self-satisfied stances. It really comes down to this: is the citizen there to serve the needs of the state, or is the state there to serve the needs (and those needs only) of the citizen. I favour the latter, whereas those such as the police and our present 'New' Labour government under Tony Blair and his Home Secretary David Blunkett appear to favour the former. The two arguments do not need to be incompatible, but I think we have perhaps already passed the point in this country where this view could be sustained.

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