Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to my comment area. Whilst all comment is welcome you are requested to respect the views of others. To read full terms for use of this facility, please visit my 'Terms of Use' section, linked to under the 'About this Blog' heading at top right of the blog. Note added 12JUL2010 - All comments will now be pre-moderated before they appear in this blog; this is a measure to prevent 'spam' commenting, which has become frequent of late. Thank you.