The Home Office and its antidemocratic surveillance plans

I just published on Medium a letter I sent last night to my MP about DRIP, the “emergency” surveillance measures being rushed through Parliament this week.

View story at Medium.com

Take action now: Write to your MP or phone them on 020 7219 3000.

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Campaign resources on privacy and surveillance (mainly)

So I’ve been clearing out my filing cabinet, which I’ve barely even opened in the four years we’ve been living in Woking. This means I’ve been reminded of a bunch of papers and references I compiled for campaigning — mainly against ID cards. Now I don’t need all of these in hardcopy, so I’m looking them all up electronically. As I wanted to have them as reference, I figure that other people might also like the references, so why not put together a blogpost at the same time. Continue reading

BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London

“Left-wing bias”.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UK today!)

If you were in the centre of London today you might have noticed 50,000 people taking part in a massive march against the government’s austerity policies:

no more austerity photo from People’s Assembly

If you did notice, you’re doing better than most of the UK press who seem to have entirely missed it.

It seems the BBC are capable of tracking down a single Scot in Brazil who cheered a goal against England but fail to notice 50,000 demonstrating on their doorstep.

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Related articles by Tom Pride:

I still remember when firefighters were heroes. Now we just ignore them.

Ian Hislop comes out on BBC Question Time

Government ministers announce plan to deter immigrants to UK by making it shit

Scientists discover dim stars orbitting massive black hole at heart of BBC

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So where were we gonna be bombed? No-one knows!

I’m very disappointed in the British Civil Service.

In 1980, the entire Civil Service, nationwide, ran a dry run of a Cold War nuclear attack on the United Kingdom, called Operation Square Leg.

After freedom of information requests to:

I’m slightly concerned that we spent a lot of money planning the civil contingencies of a Cold War attack — a sensible things to do, arguably — but no longer know where we were expecting to be hit or at what megatonnage.

Very disappointing.

New Labour must die

Brief rant, whilst I wait for Windows to transfer my settings to a deeply shiny new machine. Much of this is culled directly from a somewhat intemperate email I sent a political friend of mine the other day.

I’ve got to the point now, where I think Labour are doing / have done more harm than good. I actively want Blair out and, if the only way to do it is to vote Cameron in, then that’ll have to do. I am so completely disillusioned with the New Labour project that I now believe it’s a complete failure and our foreign policy makes me actively ashamed to be British.

The few of his measures that were economic-left are failing to have the desired effects — the gap between rich and poor has widened — and his knee-jerk authoritarianism is massively counterproductive, especially in the fight against terrorism, which is nowhere near as important as Blair seems to think it is. Our foreign policy is wholly morally bankrupt and so many things that government ministers have done seem to smack of self-interest and corruption, and Blair’s pathetic attempts to cling onto power for as long as possible, with his friends trying to keep Gordon out.

This government is perceived as more sleazy and corrupt than John Major‘s was. New Labour has betrayed all our hopes from 1997 and, more to the point, has possibly made a(nother?) modernising, left-wing government impossible for up to a generation. The Third Way has failed completely and Blair’s name should be blackened in the books of history. He is the most abject failure of a Prime Minister we’ve seen in decades, if not centuries, and he has turned the UK into a willing puppet state of the US, whose policies are the most malign influence on world politics since World War 2.

Words cannot express how pissed off I am with this government. They need to be out of power now; Britain cannot afford the damage they’re continuing to do in the interim.

A few other points:

  • As I mentioned to another friend by text earlier, this terror warning scheme is a crock of shit. It serves no purpose in combatting terror and only serves to make people more fearful. It’s a sign of how traitorous our government is that I no longer even think it cynical to believe that making us scared, to make us easier to control is all of the point. And I feel somewhat comforted to be reminded that Bruce Schneier thinks so too.
  • Yet another opportunity for people to tell Tony we told him so. Britain’s outgoing ambassador to Iraq says civil war is more likely than democracy. No shit. Didn’t the entire anti-war movement say that several years ago? Is Blair really so stupid to think that maintaining the craven closeness to an imbecilic US administration — and destroying yet another Muslim state in the process — is in the national interest?
  • There’s an emergency Stop the War demo in London on Saturday, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Near East. Because our Prime Minister is too fucking stupid to do it himself. And, whether you can make it or not, you should sign the petition calling on Blair to do the right thing. Frankly, I’d rather he commit hara-kiri, but developing a spine and a conscience would do, I suppose.

Well, that’ll do for ranting for the moment…