Someone Loves Big Brother

From time to time, I come across an example of such rampant fuckwittery that my ghast is flabbered –  despite my underlying, undying cynicism. An article in the Tellytubbygiraffe today manages just that feat. Dan Hodges thinks (although from the article it is clear that thinking isn’t his strong point) that there isn’t enough surveillance and that more of it (yes, please) will make things so much better. His argument, weak though it is, is built upon the notion that much of what is proposed was already happening. So, because he thought (there we go again) that something was already happening but isn’t, it’ll all be okay if it now does. As logic fails go, this one is a corker.

Hodges has, by his own admission, a benign view of the state –  this, then is someone who has not been paying attention. Sure, the politicos and uncivil survive might not have malign intent, but they are sure as hell incompetent and as such should not be trusted with anything at all, let alone our private communications.

Also, running like a rich seam of fool’s gold is the meme of “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” that is so beloved of the hard of thinking. I would suggest that as he ain’t very good at it, Dan give up this thinking lark and leaves it to those more capable –  my cats, for example.

He suggests –  wrongly –  that there is a balance to be struck between liberty and security. Egads, but was this one not sorted way back in the early years of the American struggle for independence? I am surprised and disappointed that I have to keep reiterating it:

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Any such balance has long since been struck. There is no more striking to be done. Dan Hodges is one of those who deserves neither. Unfortunately, statist fuckwits such as he would have this enforced on the rest of us. I don’t mind if his every move is monitored by the state in order to provide him with a comfort blanket of supposed safety. I do, however, object when buffoons like this suggest that the rest of us should submit.

There are also a couple of strawmen arguments that suggest more surveillance would have stopped the Jean Charles De Menezes shooting and brought the Lawrence killers to justice more rapidly. These are suppositions, nothing more and should be treaded with a degree of contempt. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that greater surveillance of the public is a cure for rank incompetence in the police force. As someone who has been involved in competence management, this idea is a new one on me.

Unfortunately, it looks at the moment that the Government is backing off. Faced with the prospect of Nick Clegg throwing his toys out of his pram, and David Davis whipping things up on Tory back benches, the Prime Minister has opted for a lengthy period of consultation, to be followed by the quiet but inevitable climb-down.

This is a good thing, not a bad one. If government backs off, having realised that it got it wrong, then I can at least have a modicum of respect for them on that one.

And finally:

For now the civil liberty lobby is in full cry. But one day their clamour will be drowned out by the sound of sirens heading towards the scene of a new terrorist outrage. Those had better be some damn important emails we’re all keeping under wraps.

Yup, the good old “if it saves one life” canard. It really is very simple. Shit happens. There are bad people out there. There always have been and there always will be. Snooping on my private correspondence won’t stop it and it is a fool who believes that it will. Allowing the state to confine us in guided cages “just in case” is a victory for the bad guys. I’ll take the risk that I might die as a consequence of an attack rather than live my life in the dystopian nightmare idiots such as Dan Hodges would inflict upon us, if it’s all the same to you.


  1. Only the stupidest would-be terrorists would plot together by email or Twitter anyway. I don’t even commit work-related gossip to writing, and the only danger to the public involved in that might be widdle hurt feelings.

    What makes this Hodge think that terrorists are so insensitive to the possibility of being caught? Has it occurred to him that if *he* thought this kind of surveillance was already happening, maybe the terrorists did too, and plotted accordingly? Does he not think that every time the state makes a big song and dance about its security theatre, the terrorists alter their tactics to compensate?

    I don’t know how this idiot even remembers to keep breathing.

  2. Sadly, authoritarians such as this are becoming the majority in our Establishment. The tide is only going one way, and once in will never go out again. Once Dan and friends have absolute power over you they will never give it up.

  3. I find it hard to believe that the Government is backing down as a result of the anguish being shown by Clegg and David Davis. For one thing Clegg is a pointless twat who nobody listens to, to the point where no-body in the coalition apparently thought to ask him about this before it was published.

    No, far more worrying for Cameron would have been the reaction of pretty much all of the press, except of course the supine BBC and some knobhead called Dan Hodges who writes for the Grauniad.

  4. “But one day their clamour will be drowned out by the sound of sirens heading towards the scene of a new terrorist outrage.”

    Bullshit. We do not fear terrorists. We only fear what our government will do after the asshole terrorists strike.

  5. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear”

    … And your 14-year-old daughters’ mobile ‘phone number is?
    & she takes THIS route to & from school?
    & & ??

  6. it will help the authorities find those threats to national security who have not yet been given a house and benefits… that must be ‘a good thing’….surely ?

  7. They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    It’s reiterated over and over in so many places in the world – so many have written on this truism. Why TF can’t people like him understand?

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