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.
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.