The following is
my last entry in a running thread on the NO2ID campaign site.
I have been
arguing the point that it is not just the UK which is under threat from the invasive
ID cards and ePassports, the proposed eID cards and the sharing across Europe of all our private data, including our
I have suggested
that people look at the bigger picture, see where one campaign fits into that,
and then decide how to best apply their dissent.
I spend a lot of
time in the running of projects quantifying assumptions, turning them into
facts, because only then can you move forward objectively. However, you must
always keep you eye on the big picture, and whilst the NO2ID campaign is
essential, it is only a single thread in the big picture.
The ID cards and
the Databases are only part of the problem. The picture needs to be drawn to
show how we are still being, and have been trained over the past 10 years as a
society to accept the creep and in this a few examples.
It was the
Treasury that forced the financial industry to move towards smart cards, no
matter how it was sold to the public by the banks etc, it was a Treasury move
to ‘train’ the public to accept as part of their everyday life cards with chips
in them. The results from a purely industry perspective are poor, with a
downturn in fraud of only 3pct, thereby not warranting the investment in the
first place, but if you accept that the Treasury agenda was different from that
of the industry, that is immaterial.
use of ’speed cameras’ have been in place for many years now, as part of a
training scheme to make the use of cameras an acceptable part of our lives.
The DoT have
consistently refused to run independent surveys into road death figures, and as
was announced yesterday
by independents that those figures have actually gone up since the introduction
of the cameras.
We have been
‘trained’ to accept them, albeit grudgingly, but the agenda says they are
really there for surveillance and revenue, not safety, and their use is set to
increase even further, using the massive network of ‘blue post’ cameras for
road charging schemes. 10 years of planning, 6 years of in situ testing, people
now take no notice of the blue posts.
cards are another imposed Treasury invention, and over the past few years
prosecutions have been undertaken by HMRC on the basis of what people are
spending in stores against what they declare on their tax returns. (I am not
condoning any wrongdoing here, only the method employed to obtain the
information in the first place). The trick with the training here was to
sweeten it with promises of points and gifts, the public generally doesn’t have
a clue as to their real purpose.
Over many years I
have had the ‘pleasure’ to live and work in states with an overwhelming
surveillance and repressive bent, Russia, Poland and Hungary.
To see and work with peoples who were at that time so repressed is both a
sobering and eye opening experience.
To watch people
look about them before speaking, to never make eye contact even though you are
talking one to one, always wary of who may be listening, fearful to make new
friends just in case, to have to obtain permission to travel between cities,
and always knowing that phone calls were being monitored.
It makes people cower, takes away enthusiasm, innovation, and the basic human
element called confidence and it kills their pride. People end up living an
existence, not a life.
We have some
experience in the UK of this as part of our ‘training’ with Social
If for instance you should stop off for a pint in a pub in a less well to do
area of most big cities, if you are unknown you are almost immediately
suspected of possibly being a snoop, peoples habits change, their body language
changes, they become defensive and change how they speak amongst themselves, no
longer open but guarded conversations.
We are now faced
with being inundated with Eco snoops, anti-smoking snoops, dog lead snoops,
council tax snoops as well as the HMRC and Social Security snoops. A secret
police in the making? Economics will drive that one, by amalgamating functions
to cut costs..
The training in
mistrust and ‘grassing’ on your neighbours, an essential part of any repressive
regime, has been promoted over the past 10 years here also.
The first one was
with a subject that they knew most people would not tolerate anyway, drugs,
with the ’shop a dealer’ campaign.
Since then the number of ’shop a xxx’ campaigns have grown, with every single
government department, local authority, water company etc having a range of
telephone lines to ‘grass up the neighbours’ with. Truly devisive but
‘training’ people to think it right and normal.
The ID cards and
the Databases are in some part a culmination of all that, a mechanism that will
allow the tying together of ‘received information’ with an electronic profile
built up over time and specific logs of activity. That’s the starting point,
and that is where the danger lies, because as it is drip fed, people do accept
it bit by bit.
Of course our
demeanour and ‘normal’ activity will change. People will begin to stop
discussing things openly, or act freely, for fear of being overheard, or
shopped, or seen on camera, or tagged by using a card.
I keep saying
that in isolation most of the government initiatives are benign or at worst
arguable cases, but the big picture where you tie them all together tells a
I have seen first
hand what repressive states do to their people, not theory, not reportedly so,
but for real, and I do not want that fate to befall the UK.
full thread can be viewed here.
To find out more about the NO2ID cards campaign, click on the NO2ID icon on my left sidebar.
NO to ID cards, Say NO to the Database state.