The only news item missing is that from a premiership football club at the wrong end of the league regarding the future employment status of it’s manager…
There have been two news items in the UK today that must surely have everyone either rolling their eyes in the air, or laughing down their sleeves, as to say that we’ve seen it all before is itself a bit of a cliche.
“GCHQ is not developing technology to enable the monitoring of all internet use and phone calls in Britain, or to target everyone in the UK. Similarly, GCHQ has no ambitions, expectations or plans for a database or databases to store centrally all communications data in Britain. The new technology that GCHQ is developing is designed to work under the existing legal framework.” – GCHQ statement
News Item Number Two
Harman: ‘I don’t want to be PM’ – “I don’t want to be prime minister and I don’t want to be leader of the party. It’s simply not true and under no circumstances would I want to be a candidate.”
Now Let’s Vote!
Do you think?
Both statements are true?
One or other statement is true?
Neither statement is true?
If you answered 1 or 2, I don’t believe you or you are extremely young or gullible.
It’s going to be fun watching this awkward squirming moment in history pan out….
As an aside: I wonder if Harriet, if it all ends up as it appears, will use some of her experience gained as legal officer for The National Council for Civil Liberties (now Liberty), to roll back some of the draconian measures that have been implemented by the government that she’s been part of and voted with at almost every moment?
The home secretary, Wacky Backy Jacqui, has decided to scrap her naff plans for a (big) database but wants details of ALL internet activity to be held and organised for security services.
The ‘new’ system would track all e-mails, phone calls and internet use, including visits to social network sites.
This is apparently being called:
….a modernisation of UK police surveillance tactics!!!
Database Usage Explained
Fortunately, I’m not that thick to be taken in by this crap. All the tens of thousands of database administrators and designers across the land must be at once giggling at the ineptitude of the statement but fearful of it’s monstrosity. Most will routinely (like me) join and merge data from a plethora of different systems. It’s not hard.
So Jacqui Smith; her with a loose grasp of personal rights and wrongs regarding the public purse, and a demonstrably poor regard for our historical freedoms, is saying that all this data will be kept… where?
In a loose-leaf file?
In a scrapbook?
In some spreadsheets?
In a powerpoint display?
In a few Microsoft Word documents?
In PC Plod’s back pocket?
In one or more separate modern inter-communicating databases?
Leave your answers in the comments box.
As for political responses;
the Tories just want to score brownie points saying lots of ‘small’ databases is good but one ‘big’ one is bad. (big and small are relative here – the data storage requirements are colossal, rivalling Google)
the Liberals are typically wishy-washy, talking about ‘balance’.
The reactions in the NOTW article and other tabloids have been suitably strong, and that I think, is the reason for it’s publication in the NOTW. It’s to gauge the mood and set the trend; there’s an election looming! He’s out-stepped the Tories in right-winged-ness!
However, on the No10 website there’s an article where the PM confirms that our community policing is to stay (see Neighbourhood policing “here to stay”). In this, and combined with the above, I see his communal spirit pushing through. It’s a recognition of the fact that communities, to a large extent, police themselves.
For instance, it’s well known that large matriarchal figures exist on the large estates and have a huge governance on the internal running of schools. Ask any teacher. This governance is totally outside the law. It’s a fact of life.
I see Brown’s overall words as trying to offer a concrete substance to this fact.
But it’s the way it’s done that’s bad. It tars all young people with the same brush, when clearly, we and they are all individuals. I don’t think it’s a one-size-fits-all solution, like a National Service for free. Altruism comes from within, and to impose it from without isn’t altruism and doesn’t enforce a sense of social responsibility. Quite the opposite. People will see it as Big Brother, like Comrade Stalin forcing the crowds to smile for the camera. They’ll smile, but they’ll hate it and reject it.
But it’ll please the Colonel Blimps and outraged-from-Tunbridge-Wells types for a bit. It may keep their votes his way.
I subscribe to news from No10.gov.uk to get the latest view of events and policies from the highest elected position in the land! In this post from the PM’s office, is a joint statement from our own and the Australian Prime Minister.
My interest is piqued by the numerical incidence of the two words “peace” and “security“.
In the statement from the two Prime Ministers we have the incidences as follows:
Peace (or peaceful) = 2 times
Security = 54 times
What this means is that the single thing that pre-occupies their minds above all else, (even more than “economic” which only occurs 6 times! ) is security. It’s as if security is the be-all and end-all of everything.
But that’s the wrong approach. Peace should be at the forefront of their minds if they really care about the “security” of their citizens (or subjects in my case). Security should be but a temporary tool in the quest for peace not a thing in itself. That’s why, in his treatise, Nichiren stresses peace more often than security even though he recognised the need for both with the impending Mongol invasion imminent ( it was written in 1260!).
If we search and strive for peace, with peace always at the front of our thoughts, the world will surely turn that way. If all we do is think in a paranoid manner about security, then the world will surely turn that way.
And so it has. The UK and Australia are mired in long-term conflicts with no end unless a peaceful solution is sought. They were lured by bad words and advice from America.
But the UK has already successfully trodden the peace path with Northern Ireland on it’s doorstep. Historically, enhanced security in Northern Ireland did nothing to improve people’s lives for 3 decades and bring them peace. It was only the mindset of peace that brought peace by getting dialogue between the parties.
This mindset of peace should be evident in this joint Prime Minister’s statement, but sadly it’s not. The dialog is about enhancing the warlike alliances that already exist, not about finding peaceful solutions to the world’s problems. It’s about using “technology” and “security” as a magic pill to ease all aches, not grabbing the nettle of discourse with an enemy. That’s why we are where we are.
Significantly, the No10 website is made with WordPress, like this one. I use the “tag” feature as does the PM’s site. It’s supposed to be used like a keyword sort-of-thing. Check the tags at the bottom of the post.
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