Tom Harris is a threat to our liberty.

Tom Harris MP can’t imagine why anyone would want to send him an anonymously gifted copy of 1984 (Orwell). What’s more, the blithering twirp best describes the book as “a rollicking good yarn, with a great plot and a very dramatic ending”.

Well, you’re just the f**king Times Literary Supplement, aren’t you Tom Harris??

http://tomcharris.wordpress.com/2008/10/30/an-orwellian-nightmare-oh-wake-up/

Well, first of all, how about the arrogance of anyone referring to anyone else as anyone’s “masters”?

Secondly, there seem to be an awful lot of people out there – perhaps dozens of them – who seem to get strangely exercised at the prospect of a “police state”. Except that what they define as a “police state” is a million light years from what Orwell himself described. CCTV cameras in the street? That’s just like Nineteen Eighty-Four, when families were monitored in their own homes, 24 hours a day! Can’t use racist terms to vilify people any more? Well, surely that’s thought crime, just like Orwell predicted!

What rubbish. As I’ve written here before, this is all paranoid fantasy, and why so many people get off on it, I’ll never know. I recently had the latest in a series of requests from constituents regarding CCTV. Requests to have the cameras removed? No, no, no… Requests for more cameras.

Tom Harris.<—-                                                                                                                              —-> The Point.

Happily, he’s being utterly massacred in the comments section, and I think that he’s going to start culling things as the whole Nov 5/1984 thing unfolds. Here’s a nice fisking:

Martin Cullip
October 30, 2008 at 10:43 pm

“Well, first of all, how about the arrogance of anyone referring to anyone else as anyone’s “masters”?”

Oh God I’m spitting here, clarification notwithstanding.

In a democracy, as you proudly boast that this country still is, who is master and who is servant? It’s a no-brainer isn’t it? Call it employer if you like but it doesn’t change anything and there is nothing arrogant about reminding the Labour party (or any of the other MPs) that this is the case. You all seem to have completely forgotten.

Your blithe dismissal of this ‘gift’ is stunning in its lack of understanding of how strongly many people feel about how the minutiae of their lives are being constantly interfered with. This isn’t Jim Baxter’s cherry-picked instances we are talking about, this is wholesale destruction of everyday life.

… and a new restriction is brought out EVERY day.

Today it was:

Prospective MPs not required to give addresses anymore (yet contrast this with Section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002 where it is an offence for a member of the public to refuse to give their name and address to the Police when asked, whether they have committed an offence, or even been suspected of one, or not – your lot brought that one in).

I could list one of these EVERY day if you like but I have a business to run and I would expect someone whose business is Government to know these things and to recognise when civil liberties are being cut out. You don’t seem to think there is anything wrong!

It’s not all about CCTV, it’s about tiny things that add to a whole that is unacceptable and should be stopped. YOUR party have encouraged this and should be ashamed of yourselves.

OK. Here’s a list of the recent ones that have staggered me and which your party should be thoroughly ashamed.

Separate queues for buying alcohol in supermarkets so buyers “will be subjected to scrutiny of fellow shoppers”. What? Why?

Smokers being banned from fostering children when there is a shortage of 2,000 foster homes. What?? Why??

History & Geography being scrapped from schools in favour of ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ and ‘Multi-Culturalism’. What? Really?

Compulsory … note, not available for veto by parents … compulsory sex education for 5 year olds. (I haven’t mentioned the finger-printing, that’s so last month isn’t it?)

Bans on fast food outlets opening within 500 metres of schools. Funny, I don’t remember voting on that particular issue in this wonderful democracy that you seem to think exists, much as I didn’t vote on the idea of a blanket smoking ban but DID vote on a partial ban and a manifesto pledge of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

That is just the past couple of days.

Your copy of 1984 is richly deserved after reading your blog post. Read it again and take note of how your party have passed so many laws that are so very similar to those mentioned in the book.

Here’s an example – a guy accosted in Middlesbrough for taking pictures on his mobile phone, the reason for being stopped for doing something legal? Anti-Terrorism laws. His crime? Nothing. The Police officer’s reasoning as to why he may have been committing an offence? He may have been a voyeur. Is the officer examining the man’s thoughts? Is this a ‘Thought Crime’?

http://tinyurl.com/5qmsgs

My local paper (today) has the story of a 15 year old on a Geography field trip being accosted by PCSOs and made to sign forms under the Terrorism Act. His details were to be stored on a database as a potential terrorist for 6 years. Fortunately he has a Dad who is educated and can get it erased. Your lot talk about social justice, can you imagine the son of a builder living on a council estate getting the same result? YOUR laws Tom.

http://tinyurl.com/6ogzq3

Labour is rotten. Orwellian nightmare under Labour? Absolutely.

Either way, an awful lot of the people will soon know what and who Tom Harris is.

As one commenter put it:

Seriously mate, look around you. Look at what’s been happening. Do you really believe what you just posted? If so you’re either dangerously deranged or you are part of the problem.

So which is it, deranged or part of the problem?

Nice.

H/T http://lpuk.blogspot.com – please do click through and read this article – it’s a pretty complete catalogue of the ways the government have salami-sliced our freedom since, well, forever really. Labour or Conservative – both have their authoritarian tendencies.

AJ

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It may be wrong to gloat, but would you look at the silver lining!?

This whole BBC Ross/Brand thing is one of the funniest things all week. Not so much for what it says about Ross and Brand (nothing we didn’t already know or suspect), but more about the whole BBC.

I think they scented their precious licence fee in mortal danger, because they appear to have demanded that the baby throw out the bath, and water, while still in the thing.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article5050293.ece

The lewd phone calls scandal that has engulfed the BBC tonight claimed the head of the controller of Radio 2 as the corporation announced it had suspended Jonathan Ross until next year without pay.

Lesley Douglas sent her letter of resignation to Mark Thompson, the BBC Director-General, this evening following the broadcast of prank calls recorded by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.

Brand has already resigned from his regular presenting slot on the UK’s most popular station.

Tonight, following a four hour meeting of the BBC’s governing board, Ross was suspended from all broadcasting for the BBC for 12 weeks, ending in mid-January 2009.

The most important thing about this is a glorious and wholly unexpected outcome, which is the resignation of Lesley Douglas who, as head of lesbians and thickos for BBC 6music, has been responsible for recruiting, retaining and defending the uniquely plankular George Lamb.

lamb
George likes N’Sync and Mint Sauce

There has been a protracted campaign to stop this arsehole from polluting what is supposed to be a music lovers’ station with his brainless and infantile ‘banter’, which has fallen on the deaf ears of Ms. Douglas.

LesleyDouglasYesterday
Lesley Douglas, yesterday.

I hope, therefore, that there will be a new head of 6Music who will skin that turd, Lamb, and roll him in salt before sending him to Radio Sunderland on a free transfer, where he will be kicked to death every time he draws breath.

GeorgeLambTomorrow
George Lamb’s career, tomorrow.

The George Lamb thread over at the 6music message boards is a thing of awe.

AJ

Global Warming, My Arse #178898

Oct 28 2008. Snow. Not a 5 minute shower that doesn’t even stick to the ground. It’s sticking. It’s snow. Radio 4 said current temperatures are those typical of late December or early January.

Maily Dail:

north london

And in the Grauniad (smirk):

London has first October snow in over 70 years

Parts of south-east England had more than an inch of snow last night while London experienced its first October snowfall in more than 70 years as winter conditions arrived early.

Snow settled on the ground in parts of the capital last night as temperatures dipped below zero. A Met Office spokeswoman said it was London’s first October snow since 1934.

For greater south-east of England it was the first October snow since 1974. High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire had 3cm (1.2 inches). One of the coldest temperatures recorded was -4.1C in Benson, Oxfordshire.

“It is unusual to have snow this early,” the Met spokeswoman said. “In October 2003 sleet and snow was recorded in Northern Ireland, Wales, south-west, north-west and north-east England and the Midlands, but it was mainly over higher ground.”

AJ

‘Brand and Ross don’t get kicked to death’ shocker…

Two of the most egregious entities in the whole human race, let alone the BBC. Please, just stop paying the BBC for this shit.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/tv_and_radio/article5031683.ece

Ofcom, the broadcasting watchdog, announced today that it was launching an investigation into a succession of lewd phone calls made by BBC presenters Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to Andrew Sachs, the Fawlty Towers actor.

The regulator said that it would probe the calls, which were made during Brand’s Radio 2 show one week ago, in which the pair left messages for Sachs claiming that Brand had slept with his granddaughter, Georgina Baillie, 23.

In the offending messages, left on Sachs’ answerphone, Brand told listeners: “What Andrew doesn’t know is, I’ve slept with his granddaughter.”

Ross, 47, shouted: “He f***** your granddaughter.” Ross also speculated that Brand had “enjoyed” Georgina on a swing, and the pair also joked that Sachs, 78, could kill himself over the incident.

More mauling here:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2554021/what-public-service-does-russell-brands-show-perform.thtml

AJ

The ‘fiction’ of totalitarianism

Not much to add to the below, from The Appalling Strangeness blog, other than to say it’s a very useful and thoughtful essay.

http://theappallingstrangeness.blogspot.com/2008/10/totalitarian-states-fiction-reality.html

You can see the same in reality. The roots of Stalinism can be clearly seen in much of Leninism. However, Lenin (despite his willing use of force on many occasions) did not want a totalitarian regime, and just before his death warned of the dangers of Stalinism. However, he was forced into taking draconian and illiberal action to counter what he thought were threats to his attempts to build a communist utopia. Therefore, the seeds of Stalinism – one of the most oppressive regimes that the world has ever seen – were not sewn purely out of misanthropy, but rather a misguided attempt to do the right thing for the people. Likewise, Cambodia’s journey into the very heart of darkness under Pol Pot was not solely born of a desire to suppress people and seize power – it was a reaction to centuries of history and circumstances within that state. And we can see a very similar thing happening right here, right now, as some Western governments implement draconian legislation in order to protect the people from a (hopelessly exaggerated) terrorist threat. What so many works fail to show is that freedom is lost mostly through gradual erosion, not a catastrophic meltdown.

Do pop over there for a full read….

AJ

Money where mouth is time…

Further to this post, where I pondered upon how reflective the polls and odds truly are in the McCain/Obama contest, I’ve had another look at the polling and put a bet on.

While PaddyPower are now giving 11/2 against McCain, Centrebet are giving 17/2 against, so I put £25 on McCain.

So, on 5th November, I’ll either be drinking corporation pop and eating beans-on-toast, or it’ll be a bottle of Bollinger and a caviar pizza. Which I think neatly analogises our likely futures with these potential world leaders.

5th of November will, coincidentally, be the day of Old Holborn’s little stroll around Westminster. Must tune into the webcam.

On 6th November, however, I’ll be poised with the ice bucket for the result of the Glenrothes by-election, where Labour are expected to be paggered. (SNP 2/5, LAB 7/4 but shortening).

AJ

Joined Up Government #68997

It has become apparent that publicly owned banks are amongst those using a sneaky legal way to repossess homes for non-payment of unsecured debts.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5014781.ece

Banks and credit card companies are exploiting obscure legal powers to seize the homes of thousands of people who cannot pay their credit card bills.

In some cases, people owing as little as £1,000 have been served with charging orders – the legal instrument enabling a creditor to order the sale of a property.

The practice has emerged days after Yvette Cooper, chief secretary to the Treasury, called on banks to do more to allow people to keep their homes.

….

Northern Rock confirmed it used charging orders where customers had missed payments on unsecured loans, saying: “Any application for a charging order on an unsecured loan is in strict accordance with the Consumer Credit Act.”

Of course, having divorced my way off the property ladder and being unlikely to get back on it anytime soon, with only my upper quartile salary to my name, I’m alright Jack.

AJ

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