Blog Archives

Known to the police

With all the other stuff going on, carbon taxes here and tabloid phone not-really-hacking there, it’s easy to forget that other things are going on. Good job Nanny Knows Best blogged this because even though I ranted about it last month it had slipped my mind.

Nanny, possibly relieved at the avalanche of data being spewed forth about the Murdoch empire’s “moral lapses”, recently and rather quietly launched “The Police National Database”.

Another day, another database!

This particular database will hold the records up to 6 million apparently innocent people, including every victim of sexual assault and domestic violence.

[…]

Jennie Cronin, a director at the National Police Improvement Agency (NPIA), the body in charge of the database, estimated that the records of between 10 and 15 million people would be held (that’s between 16% to 24% of the entire population).

Given that approximately 9.2 million people in the UK have criminal records, that leaves up to almost 6 million on the database who are we assume innocent.

NKB save the best ’til last.

Approximately 12,000 approved police officers and staff will be able to access the database.

Would these be of the same quality and high ethical standards as those who allegedly sold information and contact details of all and sundry (including the Queen) to News International?

Bullseye! And since some of those six million will have very pressing reasons for wanting their information to never, ever get out – more pressing than most of the rest of us, I mean – it should be a pretty big concern that all this data is sitting there in one place, just waiting for the wrong person to offer the right cop the right incentive. I’d hope that the vast majority would be above that but even if the number of incorruptible officers with access was 99.9% of the total that still leaves a dozen who’ll take the money.

Now, hands up who believes that 12,000 with access won’t become 20,000 within a couple of years and fifty thousand within a decade. Anyone? No?

Funny that.

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Cobbleition out-Labouring Labour yet again

Click for linky

Oh, here we fucking go again. Another fucking government, another fucking initiative involving another fucking database. I’m getting so fucking dog sick and fucking tired of repeating this, but it really is like Labour never went away, isn’t it?

The Police National Database, which will be launched by ministers next week, will hold the records up to six million apparently innocent people, including every victim of sexual assault and domestic violence.
[…]
According to official figures a total of 9.2 million people in the UK have criminal records, which means the new database will hold information about up to six million people who have not committed an offence.

Up to six million innocents? Orly? Because as bad as that sounds, and I think it sounds pretty fucking awful, I suspect it’s actually much worse. Because we’re told that the majority of crime – sometimes 80 or 90 percent – is committed by a hard core of persistent offenders numbering somewhere in the region of 100,000 or so. With me so far? Good.

Now count the fucking zeros.

No, I haven’t missed one, that is one hundred thousand. And 100,000 subtracted from 15 million leaves rather more than six million innocent people on the database. The only way to pad out 100,000 career criminals to 9.2 million plus six million innocents is to add more than 9 million other people who are technically not quite pure as the driven slush. You just know who’s going on there, don’t you. I’ll take a punt on everyone who’s ever been given a police caution for absolutely fucking anything from a pub brawl a dozen years ago to allowing smoking in a pub last week, everyone who’s done a week or two inside for protesting about council tax or TV licensing by refusing to pay up, everyone who’s been convicted of any victimless crime or a purely technical offence and especially everyone who’s ever fallen foul of any of the three thousand plus laws the Cobbelition’s predecessors and partners in weapons grade cunticity, New Labia, brought in during its thirteen years of savagely fucking the country into a ditch.

Advocates of the database claim that it is the nature of police intelligence that the records of people without convictions would be held.

Why? Give me one good fucking reason why. Oh, I can think of convincing reasons – too much effort to remove the non-crims plus the assumption that lying with dogs gets people fleas so there’s the prospect of a few easy collars in the future – but they’re not what I’d call a good reason.

More than 12,000 approved police officers and staff will be able to access the database when it is launched next week.

And with the track record of epic cuntishness and bastardry in modern governments we can expect that to be 24,000 a year from now, not all of whom will be police. In five years I bet there will be more cops and various level state drones able to access the database than there will be career criminals on the fucking thing.

Let me take you back to early last year. Let’s have a little reminder of things some of the key players said in the run up to the election (my bold).

If you care about our liberties, if you want people to be free from the clutches of an overbearing state, and if you want a government with liberal values, vote Conservative.”

Said the dishonourable member for Beaconsfield and Attorney General for England and Wales, Dominic Grieve.

”Whether you’ve been a Lib Dem voter or a Labour voter or a Green voter – if you care about the environment, if you want action to improve your quality of life, if you care about civil liberties, if you care about people power, if you want a clean break from the past – vote Conservative.
“If you have a view that we need to do more on our environment, more on civil liberties, more on quality of life there is now a modern Conservative Party that can get things done.”

And that would be the dishonourable and discharging member for Witney, the Right Wanker David Wliiam Donald Cameron.

Cunt

Well, you’ve really fucking delivered, haven’t you, you disgraceful pair of hypocritical, deceitful, authoritarian suppurating cunts. Fuck your Cobbleition, fuck its twisted ideas of liberty, and fuck you all. Fuck you deep and hard and right in the lungs.

You can’t come in – your prints aren’t on the list.

I’m far from being a technophobe and usually need to exercise a lot of restraint when some new sexy thing is announced (except the iPad – resisting the temptation to buy something that sounds like a sanitary towel with an integrated circuit wasn’t a struggle), but I do recognise the fact that all technology boils down to tools for doing things and being a technophobe is like being intimidated by a stapler or a hammer. It’s the application of technology that bears scrutiny, and just as I’d be against stapling things to people or bludgeoning someone with a hammer there are certain technology applications that get me more than a little concerned. Almost anything governments think of nearly always rings an automatic alarm bell with me, and some of their more paranoid schemes involving biometrics appear no less worrying in the hands of companies who freely admit they intend to keep it for years and distribute it as they please.

THOUSANDS of clubbers and pub patrons are being forced to submit to fingerprint and photographic scans to enter popular venues, seemingly unaware of the ramifications of handing over their identity.

Biometric scanners, once the domain of James Bond movies, are flooding the pub market as the fix-all solution to violence and antisocial behaviour. The pubs are exerting more power than the police or airport security by demanding photos, fingerprints and ID. Police can only do it if they suspect someone of committing a crime and they must destroy the data if the person is not charged or found not guilty.

Yet one company boasts that the sensitive information collected about patrons can be kept for years and shared with other venues in the country – in what appears to be a breach of privacy laws.

Seriously, folks. What? The? Fuck?

The fingerprint scanning system takes a photograph of the patron, scans their ID and takes a fingerprint which is converted into a map of the meridian points on the print and converted into a PIN. When a patron returns, the scanner matches the meridian points of their finger to the code to find their identity. The company insists there are no fingerprints kept in the system. Patrons can request their details be deleted from the system although not if they are flagged as troublemakers.

ID Tect scanners scan identities into a database which can be shared with hundreds in the country. The system stores the data for 28 days and then it is deleted. But the troublemakers’ IDs can be kept indefinitely.

Among the drinkers scanned on entry to the Coogee Bay Hotel on Australia Day was Ben Davies, a fraud investigator from Mosman. He was ”shocked by the willingness of so many people to hand over their entire lives in this way”.

”You have to be so careful with identification details. If someone breaks into the system, that means someone could be walking around with a fake version of my driver’s licence.,” Mr Davies said.

Quite. Are people really so stupid that they don’t object to this or ask any fucking questions? Are they so lazy they don’t boycott these places in favour of venues that treat them like people? Are they really so desperate for a drink that they queue up meekly to be scanned, tagged, ringed, branded, sheared and dipped?

Baaaa. Baaaaaaaa. Baaaaaa.

And it gets worse.

There are no official checks and balances on how the data is collected, stored, used or shared. Federal Privacy Commissioner Tim Pilgrim has warned he does not have the power to audit the systems and the lack of regulation has even industry players calling for tighter controls.

The Privacy Commissioner warned that: ”Anyone using this technology should be aware that under the Privacy Act, organisations must provide individuals with notice of what will happen to the collected information. It cannot be automatically shared with other venues, even if the purpose for sharing it is the same across all the organisations.”

The Privacy Commissioner has drafted guidelines for ID scanning, which are available on its website.

NightKey fingerprint scanning system director David Wallace has called for regulation and protection of data saying ”anything bad in the industry reflects back on everybody”. NightKey has been working with NSW Police to ensure it complies with security and licensing laws. Mr Wallace said the system was audited annually. He would not reveal the audit results but said the system had been improved based on the findings.

Australasian Council of Security Professionals chairman Jason Brown said biometrics were a higher level of intrusion than just checking a licence and ”it needs to be managed, accountable, audited and subject to the same professional ethics as security and surveillance”

No, no, no, no for Christ’s fucking sake. Don’t get the fucking government invovled. For one thing it’s likely to give the bastards ideas, and for another regulation is quite unnecessary. Listen up, pubbers and clubbers. Simply – and do tell me if I’m going too fast for anyone to keep up – simply take your custom elsewhere. Look, see this lot?

NSW premises using the systems include the Australian Brewery, Lone Pine Tavern, Phriction Night Club and the Mean Fiddler in Sydney’s west; Home Nightclub, the Coogee Bay Hotel; Woy Woy Leagues Club, Woodport Inn and Munmorah United Bowling Club on the central coast; Fotheringhams Hotel in Taree; and Wollongong’s Palm Court Hotel.

Okay? Good. Now just go drinking and dancing at the nearest establishments to that lot that don’t act like fucking US Transport Security Agents. And if they all start to do it too then fuck the lot of them off and make your own Smoky-Drinky Places (© Leg-iron) instead.

The alternative is going out for a drink where quite literally everyone might know your name.

Quelle fucking surprise.

Pop over to Counting Cats and read this.

Okay, done that? Good.

I have only one thing to add to what NickM wrote there. If you were one of the 26 million or so who voted for one of the three wings of the main political party, the Conlabial Servocrats, and especially either of the two wings who actually ended up running the place in May, then you were either complicit or suckered. Now can you see that they really are so similar that the powers that one lot grant themselves are irresistible to the shites that eventually replace them? The choice is not between what were once distinct parties. It’s between statists and personal freedom.

Do please try to remember it in 2015.

I feel so much safer now.

Now I know some people are still worried about flying, what with all the bearded maniacs who want to blow us all up (as opposed to the Guinness drinking maniacs who wanted to blow us up when I was a kid), but here’s proof that the war against a vague feeling of disquiet is slowly but surely being won.

A SIX-year-old girl from Ohio is on the US Department of Homeland Security’s “no fly” list.
FOXNews.com said today, citing an affiliate television station in Cleveland, the little girl, Alyssa Thomas, was travelling with her parents from Cleveland to Minneapolis when a ticket agent notified the family she was on the list of restricted fliers.

Oh for fuck’s sake…

“We were, like, puzzled,” said her father, Dr Santhosh Thomas. “I’m like, well, she’s kinda six years old and this is not something that should be typical.”
When the family tried to clear up the issue with Homeland Security, they received a letter notifying them that it could not be changed.
“She’s been flying since she was two months old, so that has not been an issue,” said Dr Thomas. “In fact, we had travelled to Mexico in February and there were no issues at that time.”

Oh well, not a great example but I suppose they can’t be too careful. I mean this time it’s an innocent six year old but who knows? Next time she might turn out to be an eight year old, or even Jewish, and then we’ll be sorry they were let on the plane.

/facepalm

When are we going to take a leaf out of the Israelis’ book, wake the fuck up and demand an end to this ridiculous, ineffective, increasingly expensive and possibly unsafe (though I expect that’ll just turn out to be the scare du jour) security theatre?

‘Kinell.

War of Rights.

If ever an example were needed of why state defined and granted rights are a bad idea it’s this.

A Christian street preacher was arrested and locked in a cell for telling a passer-by that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God.
Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships.

Mr McAlpine was handing out leaflets explaining the Ten Commandments or offering a “ticket to heaven” with a church colleague on April 20, when a woman came up and engaged him in a debate about his faith.
During the exchange, he says he quietly listed homosexuality among a number of sins referred to in 1 Corinthians, including blasphemy, fornication, adultery and drunkenness.
After the woman walked away, she was approached by a PCSO who spoke with her briefly and then walked over to Mr McAlpine and told him a complaint had been made, and that he could be arrested for using racist or homophobic language.
The street preacher said he told the PCSO: “I am not homophobic but sometimes I do say that the Bible says homosexuality is a crime against the Creator”.
He claims that the PCSO then said he was homosexual and identified himself as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender liaison officer for Cumbria police. Mr McAlpine replied: “It’s still a sin.”
The preacher then began a 20 minute sermon, in which he says he mentioned drunkenness and adultery, but not homosexuality. Three regular uniformed police officers arrived during the address, arrested Mr McAlpine and put him in the back of a police van.
[taking the opportunity to record his fingerprints and a DNA sample for the database, natch – AE]

Now the problem here is a clash of the rights culture. McAlpine has a right to practice his religion and hold his beliefs – it says so in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the UK made law in 1998.

15 – love to Mr McAlpine.

And he’s also got the right to say so in public (Article 10). 30 – love .

The unnamed PCSO has a right to his sexual orientation and can point to legislation “outlawing inciting hatred on the grounds of sexuality” brought in by Jack Straw. 30 all. He can also point out that Article 9 of the ECHR says that religious freedom is subject to:

…such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

30 – 40.

But then McAlpine can say that the legislation that extends the hate crime law to include incidents where sexual orientation is involved has a clause that says:

… for the avoidance of doubt, the discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or the urging of persons to refrain from or modify such conduct or practices shall not be taken of itself to be threatening or intended to stir up hatred.

Deuce, and as long as politicians and ministers continue to grant rights to both groups in the interests of freedom and fairness – admittedly perfectly noble goals – we’re probably going to be stuck there more or less indefinitely.

What we have is a system of rights that are not only granted by the government, and are therefore subject to the whim of whatever party happens to be running it at the time, but are also liable to be mutually contradictory and conflict with each other. What we need is not more of the same but something far simpler. In such a system Mr McAlpine would be free from being persecuted for his beliefs and the PCSO would be free from being persecuted for his sexuality. Both can find the other’s opinions or lifestyle offensive, immoral or even thoroughly repugnant. McAlpine would be free even to stand on his ladder screaming that the PCSO was going to hell for eternity, and the PCSO would be free to yell through a bullhorn that McAlpine’s problem is that he lives according to what he thinks a non-existent god told Charlton Heston four thousand years ago, but as long as that’s about as far as it goes then both must let the other get on with it. They might not like it, and they certainly might not like each other, but since there’d be no call on them to that doesn’t matter, and each would have the same amount of freedom: to live, speak and do exactly as they wish up to the point they prevent the other from doing likewise, and no further.

The term for this is not ‘rights’ but ‘liberty’, and it’s important not to get confused about which one of the two you actually have.

All are suspected. All must be checked.

The latest phase in the Government’s overbearing, nannying, risk phobia cum war on basic freedoms such as presumption of innocence has arrived. Even if your job doesn’t involve working with kids they must still do kiddy fiddler checks to make sure you’re not a nonce.

Employers will come under pressure to register staff with the Government’s anti-paedophile database even if they have little contact with children, the head of the scheme has said.

Surprise surfuckingprise. The bastard’s barely been in the job long enough for his arse to warm up his office chair, and already he’s looking to massively extend his agency’s remit and the database for which it’s responsible. Eleven million people, almost 100% of which are entirely innocent of any child abuse – indeed,any crime – are on this egregious übercunt’s computer and that isn’t enough for him.

But Sir Roger Singleton, the chairman of the Independent Safeguarding Authority, said the scope of the database could increase significantly because companies would fear losing business if they did not have their employees vetted.

What? What? You think that they think they might lose business? You don’t think that some of the farcical problems that have been reported in the past might balance that, even if it was true in the first place? What an utter crock of shit! I’d call this just a thinly veiled attempt to prep the entire country for the day when everyone will have to be on the database no matter what.

Sir Roger also disclosed that the sensitive information gathered about those on the database would be kept indefinitely, even if they left the relevant professions, because it could be useful for any subsequent applications.

Oh really? What a fucking revelation that is! You astonish me.

His warning raises concerns that hundreds of thousands of workers could end up having their backgrounds checked even though there was no obvious need to do so as companies insisted that staff be vetted to reassure customers.
Those with a criminal history could face losing their job if it prevented their employer gaining accreditation.

Then companies need to harden the fuck up and tell Sir Roger, the ISA, the Home Orifice, the government and both the Nu Laborg cock sockets and the Tory fuckwits that will no doubt be replacing them shortly, to go fuck themselves with the business end of a belt sander. We all know that the paranoia levels are such that it won’t be those with just obvious paedo related offences on their records that will be affected, and it is neither right nor just that someone might be unable to get or keep a job because of some petty offence years before. But it will happen, you can bet on it. And this bastard wants nearly the whole workforce on his books?

Fuck him. Fuck him right in the eye.

>Times poll.

>Has Britain become a surveillance society? 96% think so. I wonder why that is.

UPDATE: Massively out doing the Chinese at it too and, not to put too fine a point on it, the very idea would probably have given Erich Honecker such a hard on that the bastard’s bell end would have invaded West Germany on it’s own.

>More Helen Lovejoyism.

>Just when you think the madness can’t get any more ridiculous the fucking maniacs come up with this:

Beginning October 12, 2009, the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) will require that all adults who work with children, including authors such as J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman if they make special visits to schools, will be required to register with the database for a fee of £64.

Philip Pullman is among those telling the government to sod off according to The Telegraph (en bloc):

Philip Pullman, the best selling author, will be banned from reading his books in schools because he refuses to be vetted for a new anti-paedophile database that he said “assumes my guilt”.
The writer said the “insulting” requirement to be checked by the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to speak to pupils sent the message to youngsters “that the world is a dark and nasty place, where everybody wants to murder and rape them”.
The ISA was set up by the Home Office in the wake of the murders of schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman by caretaker Ian Huntley in 2002.
By November 2010, the 11.3 million people who want to work with children and vulnerable people – including teachers and childminders, but also casual volunteers – will have to be registered with the ISA.
But Mr Pullman said the scheme went “far too far” in requiring volunteers who only fleetingly came into contact with children to register.
The author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, whose book Northern Lights was turned into the film The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, will have to register to continue giving talks in schools.
However, Mr Pullman, who stressed he had a “non-existent” criminal record, said he was prepared to give up speaking in schools to make a stand against Britain’s creeping surveillance culture.
He said: “It is insulting and I think unnecessary, and I refuse to be complicit in any scheme that assumes my guilt.”
Mr Pullman is being supported by several other children’s authors including Anne Fine, Anthony Horowitz, Michael Morpurgo and Guentin Blake, who object to their names being on the database.
Mrs Fine, the former Children’s Laureate and author of more than 50 books, said the scheme was “governmental idiocy” which would drive a wedge between children and adults.
She said: “The whole idea of vetting an adult who visits many schools, but each only for a day, and then always in the presence of other adults, is deeply offensive.
“Our children will become further impoverished by this tiresome and ill-considered scheme, and yet another gulf will be created between young people and the rest of society.”
Michael Morpurgo, another former Children’s Laureate, said the compulsory database of school visitors was “a nonsense” which would put writers off visiting pupils.
He said: “It’s yet another example of the Government going way over the top. Writers don’t go to schools for the money, they do it because they want to bring their stories to children and make readers of them.
“The notion that I should somehow have got myself tested or passed in order to do this is absurd. I know there has to be security in schools, and that’s fine, but this is insulting and doesn’t go any way to protecting children.”
Anthony Horowitz, the author of the popular Alex Rider series of children’s spy novels, said the £64 fee had “a nasty feeling of a stealth tax about it”.
He said: “Like so many of Labour’s laws, it’s just an ill-thought-out by-product of a general law to stop suspect people going into schools.”

Go read the rest, or The Indie’s version if you prefer. I get some hope from the largely negative comments on both articles, though there were a few who wonder why celebrities and authors should be exempt. Wrong question, of course. It’s patently ridiculous to worry about an author visiting a school as if he’s going to bugger the kiddies in front of everyone while flicking pages or signing autographs, but the real question is not why they should be exempt but why is everyone being treated as fucking suspects in the first place?

Of course, it’s not the first time Philip Pullman has crossed swords with the Big Brother bastards who, in defiance of centuries of common law and the presumption of innocence, think that people are best served by treating everyone as a potential suspect – The Malevolent Whispers That Despise Our Freedoms did the rounds a few months back and is worth re-reading in full. For now I’ll just highlight a couple of bits:

We do not want to hear you talking about innocence

Innocent means guilty of things not yet done

We do not want to hear you talking about the right to silence

You need to be told what silence means: it means guilt

We do not want to hear you talking about justice

Justice is whatever we want to do to you

And nothing else

Are we conscious of being watched, as we sleep? Are we aware of an ever-open eye at the corner of every street, of a watching presence in the very keyboards we type our messages on? The new laws don’t mind if we are. They don’t think we care about it.

We want to watch you day and night

We think you are abject enough to feel safe when we watch you

We can see you have lost all sense of what is proper to a free people

In a thousand ways they have led you to think that whoever does not want to be watched must have something shameful to hide

Freedom is too hard for you

We shall decide what freedom is

Sleep, you vermin

Sleep, you scum

Sadly it’s not getting any less relevant, is it? The fucking state wants ever greater control and monitoring of the people to the point of taking the role of surrogate parent, and creepily doing so by fostering a culture of fear among actual parents, while simultaneously proving themselves to be utterly shit at it by their own fucking standards anyway.

H/T to Shibby, who points out that this reasoning that anyone who might commit crime must be monitored will inevitably lead to the conclusion that the whole fucking country has to go into the databases and computers. Of course, in the UK that might well be exactly the point. I’ll leave the last word to Shibby, who puts it beautifully:

Don’t worry, the compulsory database state is voluntary.

Actually Shibby’s not getting the last word…

>Denormalisation.

>An Orwellian sounding word if ever I heard one, and if the Devil is right I reckon will be heard more and more in the UK as the government’s war against it’s own citizens’ freedoms continues. The Devil focusses on smokers, drinkers and fatties but let’s be blunt, it won’t end there. Not with a word like denormalisation being used to describe the process. Anything that doesn’t meet the government decreed definition of normal is a target, simple as that, and once something is considered to be un-normal it begins. And when you think of it in those terms you realize that denormalistion, recent though the term may be, is a process that’s been going on for quite a while. What are now illegal drugs were once legal to own and use was largely left to individuals, but since they were never that widespread they were easily denormalised and banned. This took place before I was even born. The denormalisation of private gun ownership in the UK goes back further still, roughly to the time of my grandfather and great grandfather. Here in Australia bikie gangs are a target of denormalisation, though I’ve not heard it called that. The principle is the same, however: most normal people are not in bikie gangs, therefore bikie gangs are not normal, therefore freedom of association can be dispensed with.

I think in many respects the UK is probably further down this slippery slope to the almost complete loss of individual freedom, and it’ll always be harder to enforce in a country like Australia with large relatively unpopulated areas. Smoking for example – I don’t know if it happens but where there may be outback pubs hundreds of miles from the nearest cop I wouldn’t be surprised if the ban is quietly ignored when it doesn’t suit. In the cities some bastard would probably dob them in, which I find a little sad as it doesn’t live up to the mental image I had of Australia and its people before I made the move here. But compared to the UK? Where an army of busybodies, paid for by the long suffering and repetitively fucked taxpayers, have been hired to police the ban. Where even children are recruited to serve as “eyes and ears” of the citizens’ masters in town halls and ultimately Westminster and Brussels. Where the legal mechanisms for the Big Brother state are largely in place, where vast numbers of citizens’ DNA – including that of children and even babies – is kept on record despite never having been found guilty of a crime. Where there are now millions of CCTV cameras monitoring the populace (it’s recognised that they have almost fuck all effect on crime). By comparison the control freaks of Australia are rank amateurs. They need to be watched if you ask me, but not as much as we need to watch Europe in general and the UK in particular. I’m afraid that’s the model that many supposedly democratic governments want to follow. I hope the British people wake up in time to pull back from the Orwellian brink that the country is teetering on, but faling that the people of other countries should take whatever happens there as a warning.

When they came for the gun owners,
I remained silent;
I did not own a gun.

Then they came for the drug users,
I remained silent;
I did not take any drugs.

Then they came for the smokers,
I did not protest;
I did not smoke.

Then they came for the drinkers,
I did not speak out;
I was never much of a drinker.

Then they came for the bikies,
I said nothing;
I was not a bikie.

When eventually they came for me,
nobody spoke out;
there was no one left to speak out for me.

The future’s dark. The future’s fucking terrifying.

>ID Cards.

>They’re not going to be compulsory anymore. In fact it’s been ruled out forever if the new Home Secretary is to be believed, but that’s a big if of course, and forever is a long time. Still, it’s something, especially as the pilot schemes at Manchester and London City airports have been ditched as well. However, it’s only a partial victory – the real villain of the piece is still there:

But the Government is to press ahead with creating a national identity register which, from 2011-12, will include the details of everyone who applies for a passport.
Legislation to be debated next week will make it an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 not to inform the Government of a change of address or name as it appears on the register.

So the only thing that’s gone is the physical card, everything else is going ahead.

Cunts.

H/T Old Holborn and the Libertarian Alliance.

>Can Gordon Brown listen after all?

>Maybe he can, because the pay-as-you-drive road pricing scheme has been shelved. Costs or popularity? What do you reckon? And if by some miracle it’s because of the Downing Street web petition does that mean he’ll take notice of the other one and fuck off?

>"Where is my minority report?"

>

The Department of PreCrime UK coming soon er, actually it’s more or less here already.

Officers are targeting children as young as 10 with the aim of placing their DNA profiles on the national database to improve their chances of solving crimes, it is claimed.
The alleged practice is also described as part of a “long-term crime prevention strategy” to dissuade youths from committing offences in the future.

In English this translates as “we assume that you will commit an unspecified crime at an unspecified date in the future, so in order to solve it more easily then we’ll have your DNA right fucking now, sunny Jim.”

The claim comes amid widespread criticism of government proposals to store DNA profiles of innocent people, including some children, on the database for up to 12 years.
Civil liberty campaigners have condemned the tactic of as “diabolical” and said it showed contempt for children’s freedom.

Yes, and let’s not forget that among the few favours that have be done the British people by the European Court is that the government was told to pack in the DNA harvesting, and that the government has simply ignored the ruling – thus showing unusual contempt for a court that UK governments generally kowtow to. Funny thing, isn’t it? When the European Court rules on something that fucks up the British people or overrules their desires or opinions the government throws up it’s hands and says nothing can be done (because, of course, the worthless cunts have been ceding power to Europe for fucking decades and lack the bollocks to take it back), but on the rare occasions that European Court rulings work against the IngSoc NuLab agenda they suddenly fucking grow a set.

A Metropolitan Police officer made the claims after figures were released showing that 386 under-18s had their DNA taken and stored by police last year in Camden, north London.
The officer said: “Have we got targets for young people who have not been arrested yet? The answer is yes. But we are not just waiting outside schools to pick them up, we are acting on intelligence.”

Like you all were when Jean Charles de Menezes was blown away? Hey, don’t shoot me, I’m just asking.

“It is part of a long-term crime prevention strategy. If you know you have had your DNA taken and it is on a database then you will think twice about committing burglary for a living.
“We are often told that we have just one chance to get that DNA sample and if we miss it then that might mean a rape or a murder goes unsolved in the future.”

Fuck, if you’re going to think along those lines why not just declare the whole country a prison now. Anyone with a penis – potential rapist. Anyone with a vagina – potential prostitute. Anyone with two working arms that can stand upright – potential murderer. Anyone good at maths, which probably eliminates 75% of people under 30 or so – potential fraudster. Anyone who buys a pack of fags – potential drug addict and dealer. The Department of PreCrime is working hard on the red ball / brown ball thing to ensure your future safety, but until it’s working properly you’re all considered potentially guilty of something. What’s next, the worthy and innocent-at-least-so-far needing visas to leave the fucking country?

Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said: “This is diabolical and proof positive that Liberty’s fears are being realised.”

Yeah, with you there Shami. Incidentally, have you wrapped your head round the concept of free speech yet? It’s just that some people will inevitably be arrested for DNA harvesting on the grounds of speaking their minds. Given how quiet you were about the Wilders ban I just wondered. Liberty’s website still doesn’t seem to mention him. Anyhow, go on.

“The current law has created an incentive for the abuse of police power so that youngsters are being targeted purely for the purpose of stockpiling their DNA for the future.
“We hope that dealing with this outrage will be high on the list of priorities for any new Home Secretary.
“Politicians can no longer demand due process for themselves whilst showing such contempt for the freedoms of others.”

Sadly I think Ms Chakrabarti is in for a disappointment. IngSoc NuLab love this sort of thing and almost certainly won’t give it up if by some outrageous fucking miracle/disaster (take your pick) they win the next election, but senior Tories show virtually zero interest* in reversing the most Orwellian abuses of this disgraceful government if they, as seems almost certain, form the next government. I expect they think it’ll all be worth it as long as the Met get a sexy new user interface for the computer system like Tom Cruise had.

Cunts of the highest order, the whole fucking lot of them. Thank fuck I left the UK.

* Well, David Davis did make a thing of civil liberties of course, but I’m far from convinced that his heart was really in it.

H/T to the beloved Mrs Exile, whose comment on the story was simply “fucking brown ball”.

>Arrested for honesty

>The relationship between police and public relies a lot on the public seeing the police as behaving reasonably and therefore being willing to help the police, but this been getting a battering as the police, either encouraged by government or on their own initiative, do more and more to piss the public off. The latest example of police fuckwittery is arresting someone for handing in a lost mobile phone he’d found.

A college student who found a mobile phone while out celebrating his 18th birthday was arrested after handing it in to police.
Teenager Paul Leicester was arrested for ‘theft by finding’ and detained for four hours….
The teenager was kept by Merseyside Police in Southport police station for four hours and had his fingerprints taken, along with a DNA swab and a photo for police records.
Officers then grilled him for 15 minutes about the alleged ‘theft’.

Please be an April Fool’s joke. Please!

A police spokesman explained the complaint of theft was subsequently withdrawn and Paul was released without charge.

Complaint? Who complained? As far as I can see there was never any complaint of theft made to the police. They just took it upon themselves to believe, bizarrely, that someone entering a police station of their own free will and handing over a phone they said they’d found was actually more likely to have nicked it.

Sefton Area Commander, Chief Supt Ian Pilling, said: ‘Merseyside Police has contacted Mr Leicester in relation to the incident and he does not wish to make a complaint against the police. As a matter of course we are reviewing the circumstances of the arrest.’

A Google search for “Chief Supt Ian Pilling” and “Chief Superintendent Ian Pilling” shows that this is a real person and currently the Sefton Area Commander, which makes the possibility of it being an April Fool prank much less likely. And even if it was a joke the fact that it’s just so fucking plausible says everything you need to know about the state of the police-public relationship, i.e. it’s in tatters.

Meanwhile Paul Leicester goes free but will no doubt have his DNA retained by the police just in case. Just another one of the millions arrested but never charged whose DNA has been retained. Whether there really is a conspiracy to nick as many people on the flimsiest and most trumped up of charges so that slowly but surely the whole fucking country ends up on the DNA database, or whether the police have simply employed too many fuckwits as officers is irrelevant. The results come out much the same.

Cunts,

>Children’s database and its teething troubles.

>Oh what a surprise. The Contactpoint database is being delayed because of security concerns.

ContactPoint is meant to help protect England’s 11 million children by giving council officers, health care professionals and police a single register of their names, ages and addresses as well as information on their schools, parents and GPs.
But its planned launch has been put on hold once again after local authority staff discovered loopholes in the system designed to hide personal details of the most vulnerable young people – meaning that adopted children or those fleeing abusive homes could be tracked down.

Not the first time either. The Telegrpah also mentions that the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust believes that the privacy, security and no choice of opting out make the Contactpoint database illegal anyway. I have no idea if the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust are right that it’s illegal, but I’m damn sure that having over 300,000 people with access to a database of the details of 11 million children is a worry with the government’s track record of data security, and the fact that the children of the great and good are going to be exempt precisely because of concerns both about the number of people with access and the security of the data taints the whole thing with hypocrisy as well. The risks are too much for their children to be on the database, for their children are too precious. Your kids? Tough shit!

Actually the details of the latest fuck up aren’t that important because the two principle problems remain. Firstly the practical problem of this naive faith the government has that the solution to almost any problem is a database, and their seeming lack of awareness that collating information is pointless if you don’t have people fucking doing anything about it. I think it likely that if Contactpoint does come about that in a few years time it will simply make assessing the numbers of children beaten and tortured to death a bit more efficient. No doubt ‘lessons will be learned’. Secondly, and fundamentally impossible to solve, is the issue of having no choice about it unless you can achieve fame or become a tax gobbling corrupt whore politician, and that while you might trust the intentions of this government, or the next one or the one after that, you can’t be certain that this will always be the case. They’re not the only reasons and you can take them in any order you like. It’s a bad idea and it’s been a waste (so far) of £224 million.