The blind unleading the deaf

David Blunkett came out on the side of the common man this week, by suggesting that the government should scrap this idiotic ID card idea. Paraphrasing Dave…”What sort of stupid twat thought of this ridiculously expensive and almost certainly unimplementable system? The British public are afraid of this single ‘mythical database’ and we should allay their concerns scrapping the whole idea in favour of mandatory biometric passports”.

So there’s no need to be afraid of a giant single ID card database, because we are going to place all your biometric ID data on a different single database with an identical specification to the one we were going to put them on, but that we gave a different name and placed under a different department to hide the true costs of implementing the one you are afraid of…etc..etc.. You can rest assured that it will be almost as expensive, just as useless, just as insecure, and the same win / win gravy train for the chosen contractor but in a reassuringly different shape. They should add a “Don’t Panic” logo on the cover just below the corporate sponsorship message.

Does Blunkett actually realise we aren’t ALL blind? Death’s too good for him in my opinion.

Cynics, your time is now

The internet comment forums are alive with indignation that governments and the media had the cheek to inform them about swine (let’s call it mexican) flu. The repeated refrain is “First it was AIDS, then SARS and Bird Flu and now we are all going to die again…it’s all bollocks I tell you!”

Is the reasoning that since we didn’t all die from the potential threat from say H5N1, that we should ignore all future potential threats? Are we supposed to continue to travel armpit to armpit on the weekly sardine run, dribbling as much snot and mucus over our fellow commuters as we can?

Part of me thinks we probably need a really deadly pandemic to weed out all the wankers who are quite happy to go to work on a hit of lemsip when they are quite obviously as sick as a (sick) dog, whilst the daily mail reader in me cries “Won’t someone think of the children!”

Pseudo crime

It’s certainly disturbing, but is it really criminal to photoshop faces onto bodies? In this story http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hampshire/8028915.stm a man has been held on “suspicion of possessing and publishing pseudo-indecent photographs”. Publishing such images could well violate some law, but what the hell are “pseudo-indecent images”?

It’s not that I am in any danger of being stung by such a law, but it does make me wonder if any run of the mill citizen has any idea of what is a crime these days. Is there some kind of handbook we can consult? If I take a perfectly legal pornographic image that I purchase over the internet and then use photoshop to place Wacqui Jacqui Smith’s head on it am I committing a crime or should I just be sent to see a doctor for selecting Jacqui as my mastubatory fantasy (unlike her husband, sorry low blow). Personally I find Ms Smith’s continuing presence in the cabinet utterly obscene, as well as that grimacing idiot we call prime minister. Apparently we have no recourse to the inpenetrable law in such cases though.

It’s fairly obvious to all of us that hurting someone else (without consent) should be a crime and all of us poor individuals are scared shitless of getting a single thing wrong on a tax form because if the government loses a penny we’ll get a fraud wrap which will detrimentally affect us for the rest of our lives. Unless we happen to be aristocracy or a multi-national company, in which case you can abuse the system as much as you like.

But creating psuedo indecent images (apparently a crime)? Taking photos of consenting adults indulging in a bit of BDSM (definitely illegal since the Criminal Justice Act 2008 came into force on January 26th [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/01/24/extreme_pron_law_live/]). Possessing a small clip of a legal BBFC certified cinema release which depicts ‘violent sex’ for the purposes of sexual arousal (illegal. Criminal Justice Act 2008 again)

Most people aren’t aware that simple possesion of one of the above clips, regardless of if you wanted to possess it or not is enough to get you 3 years at her majesty’s service.

Surely now we really need a handbook so we can make sure we are not offending the moral guardians of our culture. Perhaps they should commission a barely functional website at greatly inflated costs where the law abiding drone can learn what she may or may not do, and where she might turn herself in if she does unwittingly violate the sensibilities of our glorious leaders. Perhaps they should also provide explicit imagery for an inconsequential monthly subscription fee (you should be able to expense such necessary research costs anyway.)

So after checking through your pron collection you might want to consider burning any salacious literature you have. I thought obscenity laws were defined to protect ACTUAL people from exploitation but the girls aloud obscenity case demonstrates that it is merely enough to write and publish a clearly fictional story http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/03/23/girls_aloud_case/

So be careful what you think my fellow drones!

A penny for your flaws?

I’m almost sure that the majority of coppers mean no harm. Almost, but not convinced. It is obviously a problem when the supposed protectors of the peace are shown kicking the crap out of innocent individuals. On the whole though there were an awful lot of police and protestors at the G20 who didn’t end up the subject of YouTube videos. What was noticeably missing in the media output though, was any integrity on the part of the normal copper doing his job. I’m sure no media source sees much value in showing videos of police behaving in the way they are supposed to, however what I want to see from my (yes MY police force) is videos of correctly badged individuals saying to the many who were wearing no number “Where’s your number? It is illegal” (I hope) “for you to be on operational duty without displaying your identifying number, get in the fecking van and back to the station pronto”. I watched a lot of user content of G20 policing and what struck me is that most of the officers with no numbers had several pips on their shoulders. I’m no expert but doesn’t that signify some sort of position of authority? If so it is no wonder so many surrounding officers failed to demand lawful conduct from their colleagues.

Maybe I am being overly generous, we all know the kind of culture that exists in a regimented paramilitary environment, which is the only way to describe the police these days. In fact it is virtually impossible to foster team spirit without classifying all non-team members as some form of competition, they are by definition outside of the team. The perceived culture of us vs them seems to be effective in both directions. The average ‘decent’ copper is trained to think of each and every member of the public as a potential threat, whilst at the same time, feeling undervalued and ineffective due to the masses of paperwork required for every single incident they ever face.

I don’t have an answer by the way, but I think maybe the police should be actively trained not to think of themselves as part of a team, but to hold the law and the citizen’s rights above all others. They should be trained to think and not to blindly follow orders. Any regular visitor to this site knows I am not a fan of American culture, but I do agree with the idea (if not the modern implementation of) a constitution. We should define a set of basic rights which apply to all citizens of the ‘democracy’ (ha ha ha!) and each police officer should be tasked to uphold those before any other order.

You probably shouldn’t let me write the constitution though as I would find it very difficult not to add the right to bare lipstick lesbians and other unsavoury favours for individuals with a J and an S, three vowels, an r etc.. etc… in their name.

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