What is Wrong with Britain?

I was born there, haven’t lived there in a while…so, I’m not 100% on this, but pretty sure.

On the highways (motorways) over there, if you drive from one speed camera to another faster than a pre-determined time, you mathematically had to be speeding at some point, so you get a ticket in the mail.

Speeding tickets are a big source of revenue over there - you get them w/o being pulled over. If a camera catches you speeding, you get a ticket in the mail a month or so later.

And there really are CCTV cameras EVERYWHERE.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
Gregus wrote:
V for Vendetta was actually showing what can go down in America.

No. It was written by Alan Moore, and Englishman, about the future of the UK.

It’s Already on it’s way! More and more cameras are being placed everywhere here too. Since people are sensitive to it they will do it under the guise of safety and such. People will accept it if they believe they will be safer.

So in short here in the USA we have

  1. More and more cameras in public places.
  2. Secret searches and seasures.
  3. Diminishing First amendment freedom of speech rights.
  4. Second amendment severely under attack and withering away.
  5. Patriot act.

Things in America are definitely bad right now. We are under assault and loosing. We’ll see how it gets by the time my son is grown up, he’s 1 now. Keep in mind that Britain is a good friend of the USA and where they go we may soon follow.

We’re all keeping dual citizenship for a reason.

On this I agree.

I am still waiting for Obama to get rid of the PATRIOT Act… and it’s not happening. I am not happy about that.[/quote]

Irish, I know it was about Britain. I was saying that it’s actually showing what can down in America. Meaning, America can become just like that.

[quote]makkun wrote:
There is certainly a lot wrong with the British surveillance society. In a society which has gotten continuously safer, the amount of CCTV cameras and infringement of civil liberties has been astonishing. Frustratingly, good parts of the public feel ever more threatened in spite of evidence to the contrary, and support these measures, even though they give away of lot their freedoms with it. And it is fear driven politics. In the case of exit border controls (described in the Telegraph article), it’s basically a reaction to the fear of illegal immigrants staying in the country unchecked.

The Labour government has certainly not helped this trend by its blind actionist approach to appear ‘tough on crime’ (filling up prisons almost to breaking point with literally thousands of new offences), and in many cases complete ignorance of evidence on many underlying social issues and solutions. These issues do get raised though - quite regularly in the press. Just follow the Guardian’s or the Economist’s coverage of heavy handed policing tactics with regards to protesting (Kingsnorth, G20) and their systematic misuse of anti-terror legislation to avoid being blamed for what’s essentially racial profiling.

This is quite disheartening, as everyone knows here that I’m a pinko liberal - and the ‘labour’ party in government has been just as dogmatic and authoritarian as their conservative predecessors. Sad that - but unfortunately not expected to be reversed. I don’t necessarily imply a sinister motive though, just basically kackhanded policies trying to kowtow to the diffuse public fears. I gather, every electorate in a democracy gets the government it deserves (well given the lack of balance in the British voting system, that’s not entirely true). What’s worse, is that with all the data compiled, data protection fuck ups are the norm (storage media lost, in some cases releasing massive amounts of data into the public).

So in essence, we’ve got a fear ridden society which ignores evidence when making policies, implements monstrous control mechanisms, amasses huge amounts of data on its citizens and then loses that data. I gather the ‘ever watchful eye’ is its own biggest enemy.

Makkun[/quote]

Ok, everyone read that and substitute All English based references for the USA. Amazing. Just about 99% applies.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
<<< I am still waiting for Obama to get rid of the PATRIOT Act… and it’s not happening. I am not happy about that.[/quote]

It will never ever happen, I promise. It may be renamed and rephrased a bit, but he will NEVER give up that power. MARK MY WORDS.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
pushharder wrote:
Gregus wrote:
pushharder wrote:
To me what’s interesting to speculate about is how and when the “avoidance/masking technology” will “catch up” with the detection/surveillance technology and thereby counter the huge advantage that governments now enjoy in this arena.

Any technology that can circumvent the govt powers and authority will be kept in check and deemed illegal. They’ll argue interfering with justice or something.

In theory that shouldn’t matter. If there is a demand someone will supply it.

The illegality of it will certainly dissuade some from using it though.

[/quote]

Or even manufacturing in the first place.

[quote]Therizza wrote:
That’s why USA > Britain. At least here I can own a pistol and carry it on my hip, AND AINT NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT! [/quote]

Not IN NJ you can’t, or NY or a dozen other places.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

The illegality of it will certainly dissuade some from using it though.[/quote]

If you have a “Right to Privacy”, and you deny that right to any slimy Senator or crooked cop, you’re no different than those who would ban the jamming technologies.

But if no one had a “Right to Privacy”? What’s the problem?

[quote]Gregus wrote:

Or even manufacturing in the first place.
[/quote]

You people are talking about insanely unachievable levels of surveillance and control from governments and agencies that can barely keep their own asses covered:

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
<<< I am still waiting for Obama to get rid of the PATRIOT Act… and it’s not happening. I am not happy about that.

It will never ever happen, I promise. It may be renamed and rephrased a bit, but he will NEVER give up that power. MARK MY WORDS.[/quote]

I will never comprehend why so many people in our society can’t realize this. Many have this belief that the left supports the individuals rights while nothing is further from the truth. If it is left up to this administration, the government is going to have full and open access to your health records. They are strongarming the Swiss right now over private bank accounts held by U.S. citizens, and they want to tax the hell ( whether it be directly or indirectly ) out of everyone that has any sort of income. Pile all of that on top of the fact that 99.9% of the libs would absolutely love to take each and every one of your firearms away (and will probably try over the next three years). Hell no Obama doesn’t want to get rid of the Patriot Act. With all of the individual intrusions lumped into his health care bill and tax increases that are coming you might as well say hes already adding tons of shit to it.

Until you have lived in Britain, you cannot begin to comprehend how crap it can be at times! The stuff you posted is just the tip of the iceberg. I left for 2 years to travel, and the first thing that struck me when I came back was the general feeling of discontent that so many people have.

Unlike the US (from my experiences at least) theres no sense of community, no common feeling of what it is to be British and most importantly no pride in being British. It seems like people are too scared to show pride in their nation lest they be mistaken for the flag waving football hooligan stereotype which is bandied about so often, or people simply do not consider themselves to be British, even when multiple generations of their family have been born here (a common effect of the policy of “multiculturalism”). I think until some of these things change it will be all to easy for government to abuse civil liberties, as the general population seem to weary to do anything about it.

[quote]krebcycle wrote:
Until you have lived in Britain, you cannot begin to comprehend how crap it can be at times! The stuff you posted is just the tip of the iceberg. I left for 2 years to travel, and the first thing that struck me when I came back was the general feeling of discontent that so many people have.

Unlike the US (from my experiences at least) theres no sense of community, no common feeling of what it is to be British and most importantly no pride in being British. It seems like people are too scared to show pride in their nation lest they be mistaken for the flag waving football hooligan stereotype which is bandied about so often, or people simply do not consider themselves to be British, even when multiple generations of their family have been born here (a common effect of the policy of “multiculturalism”). I think until some of these things change it will be all to easy for government to abuse civil liberties, as the general population seem to weary to do anything about it.[/quote]

And perhaps this is the ruling classes new and effective tactic to gain more power.

[quote]doc_man_101 wrote:
makkun wrote:
There is certainly a lot wrong with the British surveillance society.

You’re not wrong there. But it’s not all one-sided. We’re still free to travel to Cuba, after all, unlike the citizens of the Land of the Free :-).

I’m not sure anyone believes the future will really stack up like the Telegraph article quoted: partly because the next election will get in the way, and partly because the government is bound to cock up the IT so badly. Anyhow, NOT having any exit controls is pretty rare - most countries have some kind of border control there: the US is exceptional in this regard (and Britain has been).

[/quote]

Really?

I can cross every border Austria has without even have to show an ID, with the possible exception of Switzerland.

The CCTV is a difficult topic for people to fully make a decision about. People want protection from muggings and crimes etc… and cctv does offer protection to a certain extent or certainly a useful means of evidence to prosecute people. Crime and drunk disorder (a hot topic of public discuss in the UK, as we do like a drink) appears to be rising. however it has been stated that this rise can be attributed to the high success of prosecution due to CCTV provide evidence being more available.

The problem starts to arise from the application and management of cctv. Instead of it being used as tool in high crime areas that would make sense, it is being used carte blanch in every town and city across the country often when there is no excessive problem. The same is true for speed cameras and there application. The policy start out as a device to be used on dangerous roads to reduce deaths speed related death/accidents, however it rapidly being the norm to have cameras every where even when the road does not have a high accident rate and is often just seen as source of income for the government.

It is, therefore the management of cctv that needs to be controlled better and hopefully one that might get better after the next general election, (although typically conservatives fearing the middle and working classes may want to keep an eye on them, /stereo type). It is therefore the government mismanagement that has led them to flood the country with cameras, what could have been a usefully tool

However this is not the worst case of abuse of civil liberties infringement in the Uk. Imagine this, if you are arrested, only arrest not convicted so you could be completely innocent, the police have the power by law to take a sample of your dna and hold it on a data base, indefinably. If you refuse, which you can do you, will receive a criminal record, this truly is scary. This is being fought at the moment through the European court of human rights, thankfully, but again the government is all for it.

A final thought, America is seemingly on this path as well, Cities are increasingly being covered by CCTV, insurance companies often require people to have cameras in their cars to help with claims, itâ??s not as bad as the UK but itâ??s a slippery slope.

And the slippery slope that Britain has slid down is precisely why many people here are taking sides against that sort of thing…seemingly too conservative. Many of those people are taking a “conservative” stand because getting down too far on the slope to make your stand can doom you anyways…there’s too much momentum built up by that time to stop the slide. I confess this is where I must jump on the right-wing wagon–I will never want to trade freedom for security if I am not personally in charge of that security.

Personally, this is why I will and do oppose any such policy—there’s only one sure way to stop mismanagement of resources such as cctv, and that’s to prevent them from becoming lawful gov’t policy in the first place. One could say that mismanagement is the problem, but really this is a half-measure that ignores the fundamental problem. As such, taking this tack will almost surely fail to achieve the desired results.

Something that you need to understand about Britain is the mentality of the British hasn’t meaningfully changed since the war of independence. Then and now the British mentality that is used to justify such intrusions of privacy is “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear”.

America is different from Britain and just about every other country for good reason. What is happening in Britain and the EU is important for Americans to pay attention to. Because a lot of our politicians are looking over there and getting ideas. Especially the liberals like Obama.

Last but not least Irish CCTV’s are nothing compared to the right of entry into peoples homes to conduct investigations that over 260 public and private entities have been awarded under Labour.

An Englishman’s home is no longer his castle
An ancient right to refuse forced entry into our houses has been tossed aside, says Philip Johnston

Anyone who watched Little Doritt on television recently will know of Dickens’s obsession with bailiffs that derived from the indebtedness of his father. But even the most rapacious bailiff in one of his novels did not have the power of his modern counterpart. Neckett in Bleak House had to be invited in to serve his warrant for debt on Skimpole. This is because, for centuries, bailiffs were unable forcibly to enter a home under a common law right of citizens established in around 1300 and reaffirmed on many occasions by the courts, as in the Semayne’s judgment in 1604 from which the “Englishman’s castle” concept derives, and by successive governments throughout history.

In 1760, William Pitt (the Elder) made a famous declaration of this right. “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow through it. The rain may enter. The storms may enter. But the king of England may not enter. All his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement.”

This right to refuse forced entry held for centuries until the Labour government, with its cavalier disregard for personal privacy, came along. In 2004, it introduced the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Bill, which contained a power to force entry in connection with unpaid fines imposed for criminal offences. This was a significant departure from the common law that merited a wide debate; yet it was included in a measure that, on the face of it, had nothing to do with bailiffs. The Government maintains that it was fully considered by Parliament; but it depends what you mean by fully. The Bill was in its final day in committee when ministers tabled “urgent” new proposals to show they were “getting tough” with fine dodgers.

The minister, Chris Leslie, explained: “These amendments give enforcement officers the power to enter premises to execute a warrant of arrest, commitment, detention or distress where the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the offender who is a subject of warrant is present.” The MPs on the committee seemed to have little idea that they were being asked to set aside an ancient liberty, and Mr Leslie certainly did not spell it out.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
<<< I am still waiting for Obama to get rid of the PATRIOT Act… and it’s not happening. I am not happy about that.

It will never ever happen, I promise. It may be renamed and rephrased a bit, but he will NEVER give up that power. MARK MY WORDS.[/quote]

I absolutely agree. That’s why it broke my heart when scumfuck congress passed it all because George II said they needed it- I knew that Americans would never, ever get those rights back.

[quote]doc_man_101 wrote:
But, ironically, those who speak out are dismissed by the ‘liberal’ media as right-wing nutjobs.

[Well, it’s not so ironic really: it’s always been the left that’s loved control.]
[/quote]

This is absolutely untrue and a dangerous fallacy that’s spread.

Anytime shit like this happens, like the National ID card idea or cameras or whatever, the ACLU are the first motherfuckers complaining about it. The GOP has done just as much, if not more, to demolish civil liberties as the Democrats.

Civil liberties are not party based- they are something that should always pit the people, regardless of party, against the government, regardless of who heads it. Any government run by any party claiming any affiliation will be more than happy to take your rights, left or right be damned.

I agree with FightingIrish - this is not a party political issue; but I do have to point out that at least in the UK, it’s the ‘left leaning’ press and activists who drive the necessary resistance. Although there has been some support from more the mainstream middle class after the G20 and Kingsnorth debacles with regards the right to protest.

With regards to exit controls - yeah, Orion is right. As a German EU citizen, and within the Schengen area, I’m free to travel and do not have to show identification when crossing borders. I’m a German citizen, and I have just decided a number of years ago to move Britain. Got in a car, found a place, got a job - the end. I even can vote on local and European level. What I don’t get with all the EU bashers is, is that they don’t seem to see how it’s been the EU which has been guarding civil liberties (see below) against their national governments’ infringements over the years.

For example, with regards to keeping genetic samples - there was already a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights which clearly stated the UK’s current handling of DNA evidence of innocent people is against basic civil liberties. But as usually, the UK government has been trying to dodge this clear verdict. It’s nice though that human rights are a supranational issue and can be challenged on a level above Britain.

But just to illustrate how the erosion of rights has been driven by attempts at economising and privatisation, just have a look at this:

Concerns over fines by ‘bouncers’

New police-style powers being given to civilians could create a third-tier police force, magistrates have warned.
Powers introduced in autumn 2008 mean over 1,400 people can issue penalty notices and instant fines for offences from dog fouling to public disorder.
The Magistrates’ Association in England and Wales is concerned about bouncers and private security staff having access to the police database. […]

That’s so far the craziest measure imho so far - but it illustrates the tendency I described in my first post.

Makkun

…altough it is true that due to Schengen we can travel freely across most of Europe, the EU is obligating it’s nations to add biometric data to it’s passports including 2 fingerprints. So that’s an irisscan and 2 fingerprints. Children from 6 years old and up must have their own passports, also a new ruling.

The EU is also starting talks with the USA about possibly divulging european citizens’ bankrecords to the US, all in the name of the war against terrorism. This just doesn’t end with passports, CCTV and unrestricting bankrecords to foreign nations, it’s going to get much worse…

[quote]orion wrote:
doc_man_101 wrote:
Anyhow, NOT having any exit controls is pretty rare - most countries have some kind of border control there: the US is exceptional in this regard (and Britain has been).

Really?

I can cross every border Austria has without even have to show an ID, with the possible exception of Switzerland. [/quote]

Touche. Well, yes, but that’s only because you live in the proto-superstate of Schengenland. :slight_smile: (And the Swiss have joined, so you don’t even need to show an ID to go there, I’ll wager)