back to article Last call for UK liberties

On Saturday 28 February, several hundred activists and interested citizens got together to issue a rallying cry to all concerned by the government’s ever increasing encroachment on our traditional civil liberties. Or, if you prefer the Labour Party version: a bunch of mostly white, middle-class, middle-aged do-gooders …


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  1. Steven Jones

    More to worry about

    Whilst holding no brief whatsoever for Fred Goodwin, the authoritarian and arbitrary nature of at least some government members can be see in Harriet Harman's implied threat on the Andrew Marr show to introduce retrospective, confiscatory, legislation on the basis that "something may stand up in a court of law, but not in the court of public opinion". If that particular bit of bluster doesn't end her ambitions of leading the Labour Party, then we are all in real trouble. There's nothing like populist rabble-rousing to justify repressive legislation. There are plenty of tabloids that would join in with the chorus.

  2. dervheid

    The last line...

    sums it all up beautifully.

    "Papers, Citizen!"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    And where was the coverage in the Media? Ahh right nowhere becouse all the main media outlets are just stooges for the Government (which ever colour it pretends to be.)

    Even if they were to have gained any coverage it would of been akin to a mad person wailing in the corner that everyone was out to get them.

    Just look at the language this government, the police "service", and the so called secret service. Wheel out anytime they're critisized (the jist of it normally being that if you go against the security measures then you're helping terrorists, if you go against foreign policy you're helping rogue states, if you go against tax and spend you're helping the recession, if you go against censorship you're helping peadophiles, if you say that they say alot about solving a problem but never actually deliver they tell you you're wrong no matter how much evidence you have to the contrary, if you don't like the idea of them selling a large stake in the post office then you're scare mongering.)

    Do I recon the tories all be any better? Nope. But at least they'll be a new bunch of wankers.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lessons learned the hard way

    Britain has never felt the jackboot of a totalitarian government. Perhaps the people need a couple of decades of repression and control in order to actually give a damn about their freedom.

  5. Tom Chiverton Silver badge


    At the Manchester event, one of the things that was striking was the number of people who had not previously been involved in these issues, who turned up and were shocked at what the government is trying to (carry on) doing.

    This is how we'll finally get al the schemes scrapped - reaching out beyond the 'regular readers'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to agree with

    "these were just white middle-class people speaking a language they no longer understand"

    As a white, middle-class, former Labour voter of 25 years, that sums it up nicely. They won't be getting my next vote.

  7. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: The last line...

    Can I offer a small plea that we stop using 'Papers, Citizen!' or 'Papers, Please!' as a sign-off? It's irritating. (Yes, yes, I am in fact a Labour toady who has never read 1984 and thinks all this creeping totalitarianism is a splendid lark.)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I would be wary about taking comfort from any argument along the lines of xxx is necessary to the scheme and doesn't work yet, so that's a reason not to proceed, when the real problem is the whole concept in the first place. Shout about some aspect of something not working and where does that leave you if that bit gets fixed ?

    One needs to win the argument that Big Brother has no right nosing at what private citizens are doing, and allowing them to do so is too large a price to pay for anything government can offer.

  9. Alien8n

    @ Mark T

    Actually we have had an authoritarian state in this country before. And ironically it was Labour that time as well. 1945 - 1952 (ish, I may be wrong about when the Tories got into power in the early 50's).

    Do some research on the Ministry of Food. Labour kept rationing in place after the second world war as a means to control the population. Despite, at the time, Britain being a net exporter of food. When the population actually had the gall to stand up to the government they cut the ration as "punishment".

  10. Funkster

    Birmingham exists too!

    Although organised later than the other satellite events, there was a small gathering in Birmingham too.

    I can only hope that the other parties' commitment to repealing some of the acts from the last 12 years actually comes to something - alas, they're all a bunch of crooks at the end of the day so I'm not holding my breath.

    BTW, if you haven't written to your MP refusing consent over Clause 152 of the Coroners and Justice bill, do it NOW! Yes, right now, not after you check your email. KTHXBAI.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Fat lot of good it will do

    The mainstream media will ignore or side-line it and the government will ignore it. Oh yeah, the sheeple will also ignore it.

    But at least the do-gooders can go home and pretend that they tried to do something to stem the fascist tide.

  12. Justabloke

    @Sarah Bee

    Yes, it is irritating but unfortunately its the way a good number of us see things going and we probably think its good to remind people...

    here's a variation for you, variety being teh spice of blah blah blah

    "Papiere gefallen!"


  13. Anonymous Coward

    @ Sarah Bee

    Yeah it is getting a bit old.

    *\. ok lads hold her down while we scan her eyeballs!

  14. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Sarah Bee

    I seriously doubt anyone who reads these stories needs reminding nor indeed persuading with a cheesy catchphrase.

  15. Jim Morrow
    Paris Hilton

    A new last line

    Sarah Bee says Can I offer a small plea that we stop using 'Papers, Citizen!' or 'Papers, Please!' as a sign-off? It's irritating.

    OK. How about "Ausweis bitte!"? That was what the Gestapo used in Nazi Germany.

    Paris icon because her identity is known to all because of her widely-viewed films.

  16. dervheid

    How about if I just cut it to...


    Or is that still too irritating for you?

    Then again, how irritated would you be if you really WERE being asked to present your 'Papers' on a regular basis, at random, in the street, to the Police, or any other Government Official who demanded to see them, whilst going about your own business.

    Bearing in mind that under such a regime as NuLabour would dearly love (it would appear, anyway), that the concept of 'your own business' would no longer exist as privacy for the ordinary 'Citizen' would have been outlawed as being detrimental to State Security.

    "Papers, Citizen"

  17. Anonymous Coward


    "Bill Rammell reiterated the government view that the greatest civil liberty of all was the right not to be blown up, killed or terrorised."

    What value does the right to life have? What's it worth?

    It has no intrinsic value. It is, in itself, a worthless right.

    Imagine you had only the right to life - the right not to be killed. No right to justice, no right not to be treated inhumanely, no right not to be enslaved. You have no right to complain, no right to free speech, or even freedom of thought. No rights or freedoms at all, except the right to life.

    You are enslaved. You are tortured, partly to keep you under control, and partly for the amusement of your owners. You have your tongue cut out so you can't put your objections into words. Your food is drugged to deaden your mind, and prevent you thinking sufficiently clearly to work out how to escape from your torment. You are punished right or wrong, and hobbled to stop you running away, just in case you might try to run to freedom. You are raped, to force you to produce fresh slaves if you're female, or just for fun if you're male.

    But you are never killed. You aren't even allowed the opportunity to commit suicide.

    What is such a life worth? How valuable is this right to life the government prize above all else?

    The right to life has no intrinsic value at all. It might even be worse than worthless.

    But we don't just have the right to life. We have those other rights and freedoms. And it's those other rights and freedoms that put the value into the right to life.

    Want to shut someone up? Kill them. Stop them thinking those horrid thoughts? Kill them. Deny them justice? Kill them.

    So many rights and freedoms depend upon the right to life, that the right to life is consequently one of the most important, valuable rights there is. But its value is entirely extrinsic. It has no intrinsic value at all.

    "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

    When this government keep eroding and undermining our various rights and freedoms in the name of protecting our right to life, they are perversely and absurdly devaluing the right to life itself. It is an absurd and perverse contradiction, to protect the valuable by sacrificing its value.

    There are cowards who do not understand this, and who will eagerly sacrifice our rights and freedoms for their perceived safety and security. Well, they can sacrifice their own rights and freedoms if they wish, and sell themselves into slavery in return for what they think is safety. But when they seek to sacrifice our rights and freedoms for their own perceived benefit, they seek to do what they have no right to do. But since they are cowards, they cannot ultimately win.

    Perhaps the most disgusting aspect of the government's position is that they themselves use the threat of terror, injury and death to justify taking our rights and freedoms away - they're terrorists! Terrorists by proxy are still terrorists, and that's what this government are.

    "Live Free or Die: death is not the worst of evils." - John Stark

    (Copyright in this comment is disclaimed, waived, whatever. Treat it as in the public domain, do whatever you like with it.)

  18. kevin biswas
    Thumb Up

    Beware of the fury of the patient man

    Last call ? Nah. Lets hope it's the first call in the battle to retake this land from the shitheads who seem to think they are running it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Alien8n

    rationing in the post war period was partly to do with Britain being near bankrupt and partly to do with feeding the rest of Europe.

  20. Luther Blissett

    nu labour - parasitism thru metaphors

    They began by defrauding the Labour Party of its political power, and carried on the same way in government - through the bogus "war on terror", to fraudulently "saving the world" (sic - the banksters' world). Their mega IT projects are cut of the same cloth. Nu labour have been false in speech, with their spin, lies, hypocrisies and deception, and false in action, with their war-mongering and PFI, and huge expenses on false pretences. Some think it's brilliant.

    It's time to believe in the Devil - nu labour could not have done better if they had been taught by the Father of Lies himself.

  21. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: How about if I just cut it to...

    *bangs head on desk repeatedly*

    For chrissakes. I only wish we had an Orwell icon, and then you could all just put 'I choose Orwell because he was only a few decades out' and have done with it.

  22. Frank Fisher

    I am not a do gooder!

    I'm a troublemaker. I don't give a damn about the rest of you chumps, I just want what's best for me and mine. It so happens that my best interests and your best interests coincide a great deal. While there was a tide of middle class do-gooding sweeping nearly all before it at the COML, particularly in London I think, the prevailing mood was, I believe, not the usual hand-wringing "something must be done" but rather, "we're mad as hell and we're not taking it any more". Plenty of libertarian, anarchist and vaguely right wing anger - along with a fair smattering of perverts, dopers and conspiracy theorists.

    And John Oz, up above, made a spirited and somewhat partisan point from the floor too...

  23. Deckard

    While we're at it...

    Can people stop using 'Sheeple' too?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    To all Register readers,

    We have witnessed you all participating in anti-governmental discussions.

    This is dangerous as anyone who disagrees with the government is a dissadent. Dissadent groups may include terrorists, peadophiles, fascists, communists, schoolteachers, shop-owners, intillectuals and other free-thinkers.

    As a result we will be rounding up those elements of the population who happen to fit into one of these categories. As you can evidently read, we will be classing you as a free-thinker.

    ...and any attempt to deny it will result in your immediate execution.

    Please pass your ID cards to the arresting officers who will also provide your prison uniform.

    If the information on your ID card doesn't agree with what we've seen on CCTV or by looking through your PHORM records, this will result in your immediate execution.

    Any attempt to seek assistance in your defence will result in immediate execution - after all, you won't need help explaining your actions if you have nothing to hide now will you?

    We then plan to store all your confidential data on a government laptop and leave it on a train.


    High Commisars Jack and Jacqui

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    There is a certain irony in people jumping on the "sheeple" bandwagon. I must admit to occasional guilt in that regard.

  26. Pat

    Perpective from a Pole

    I got chatting about ID cards and state privacy invasion with a Polish guy the other day. He had an interestign perspective: that the state can make laws that say you have to have ID on you at all times and that you must keep your record in the db up to date, but the reality is, people are not like that. He said those kind of laws were rarely enforced because too many people are incapable of keeping them. I think there might be some truth in this - I'm already finding it hard to keep up with every form and registration I have to keep up with; it's hard enough to find the time to keep the car on the road, the bills paid, the house waterproof and so on. And it seems much harder than it used to, like there's more beaurocracy in private life as well as in the creeping managerialism that has infested work (compulsory courses, annual reviews, staff surveys, blah blah). I can't keep up, and I'm reasonably well-organised. I reckon I'm in the top 25% of people for "organised." I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of this stuff just generates too much trouble for it to actually run smoothly. I bloody hope so, because it can't be long before thay start making it impossible to defect.

  27. kain preacher

    I'm Yank

    My mom is a history teacher. I'm starting to wounder why we even got involved in WWII. Hell the Germans had it all wrong. They should of did a few terrorist attacks and we all would of fell in line.

    Oh Wait I think the UK/US and back bones back in those days .

  28. Nebulo

    Ah, the middle-class, middle-aged do-gooders

    Weren't those the people, a century or so ago, who introduced such dangerously revolutionary ideas as clean drinking water, sewerage, free public libraries to educate those without money ... ? They certainly sound a damn sight more reassuring than the gang of arbitrary authoritarians who are ruining today the society they built yesterday.

    And a simple question for the Rammells of this world, who forever claim that ordinary people "want" all this snooping surveillance, and that Register commenters and other thinking persons are "out of touch".

    From what source, do say, Mr. Rammell, do you think these ordinary people might get these strange desires?

    Might it be from taking the time and trouble to read through the many studies and surveys which have, for instance, so convincingly shown over and again that CCTV has virtually no effect whatever on street crime, and that good street lighting offers far better results for a fraction of the cost?

    Or might it be from many years of governmental hacks and power-hungry senior police declaring ex officio at every media opportunity that this wonderful technology is a great tool in the fight against crime and, of course, especially, our flavour of the decade, terrorism, and that "Those who oppose it are out of touch" because "if you've nothing to hide ..." ?

    Just asking.

    It's the one with a pocketful of V masks and definitely no papers. Thanks.

  29. Steven Jones


    There could be some truth in what you say. I've seen it suggested the Roman Empire collapsed, not because of attacks by Barbarians, but because the Romans had created a sclerotic and rigid society by means of their bureaucratic and social structures. A bit like an overly complex and laden operating system (are you listening MicroSoft), weighed down by its own superstructure. Perhaps we will go the same way - recent governments, the EU and their various administrative arms are generating legislation (primary and secondary) and regulations at a rate which makes it impossible to either comply or enforce. That's without all the internal crap which large companies increasingly rely on and which often fail to achieve their objectives.

    ps - why has Ms. Bee got one of her namesake insects in her bonnet? Bad day at the office?

  30. Cameron Colley

    @ Mark_T

    I fear you may be right.

    Heil the virtual panopticon!

  31. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Sarah Bee

    "*bangs head on desk repeatedly*"

    Without wishing to be any more of a smart-arse than I usually am, can I point out the irony that you're letting these posts get to you when you are the only one who can do anything about it ? ;o)

    Open up a big can of moderation on their arse ! Free speech be damned, it's your website

  32. Ben

    Re: Re: How about if I just cut it to...

    Sorry Sarah, the original title was "1948". It was science fiction used in its usual manner, to criticise the present. The censors didn't let the original title pass, so he reversed the digits.

    Then again, he wasn't very bloody far off about the use of war with the manipulation of language for social control by one's own corrupt govenors, was he?

  33. Anonymous Coward


    Your Polish Friend has a point, but its a point for not putting it in place to start with.

    It would not be the first law they have introduced which couldnt be enforced, the law against suicide springs to mind.

    However its really is taking the pi** when these usless laws pass and involve the government wasting billions of pounds, especially with economy the way it is, the way they wander into every unpopular war, but the U.S administration decides is a good idea however dont supply our own troops with the equipment they need. Not to meantion the countless worthy projects that are short on funds.

    Then put on top of that the database simply wont work but will probably end up putting innocent people away.

    It needs to be stopped and quickly.

    And I know S.Bee is getting a bit sick of the buzz word/phases, but she spends most of her days reading/monitoring (taking numbers making black reports - j/k) what us RegTards have to say. But to be honest most people are either not aware or just not aware of how serious this could be - thats not to say their stupid or anything just that most people are worried about there own lives rather than what some grey suit is doing in an office who they already know is more intrested filling their own pockets that the good of the population.

    So if a buzz work/phase help them be a bit more aware of what is happening then I'm all for it, I often shout 'Papers, Citizen!' when I walk past the metal detectors they have up on the streets come a friday and saturday night - ok I may look a nob but it does get a few people hassling the police as to why they are being scanned and searched - more so when they know that other parts of the same street are easily accessed with not to much of a diversion.

    *\. Now I Know I have my £80 ID card here somewhere!

  34. Graham Marsden

    @Sarah Bee

    "I only wish we had an Orwell icon"

    Well we've been asking for it or a V for Vendetta icon for quite a while now, so how about it, El Reg?!

    Mine's the one with my Papers in the Pocket... (about the same time as Satan starts ice skating to work...)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orwell Icon

    Orwell Icon sounds like a great idea. I am sure it will be used a lot in these times.

    I haven't read 1984, but I have been strongly recommended it. I thought that such a book written so long ago would have little relevance to today, but I am told it really is relevant and a worthwhile read.

    I guess there has to be some reason why it's so popular.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Pat - updating of ID Cards

    Given the sheer cost of producing ID cards and keeping the information uptodate, you can be sure that the Government will introduce legislation to place the onus on us, the citizen to ensure our records are kept uptodate - in the same way that currently exists for drivers licences.

    And also in the same way, if we don't keep keep our ID record information uptodate, at our expense, then we will be committing a criminal offence, and we will be criminalised and fine. I'm certain of this, as certain as one day I wil die.

    The information that is attached to the ID card, personal details, address information is extremely useful to the government, for 'normal' uses but also to the security services, so the government is going to be very keen to ensure that *we* keep the information uptodate. To encourage that, you can be sure that the fine for not keeping it up todate will be large.

    I don't think we're talking a £60 penalty notice, we're taking much higher I think. In the case of a driver's license it's up to a £2000 fine.

    And I'm sure many people will fall foul of the legislation and that's what the government's created 3000 new offences since they came into office, chances are that on most of us, they could find some offence we have committed, some argue that this is their strategy, to criminalise most of the population so they have records on us, can monitor us, can control us.

  37. John Smith Gold badge

    Technically, asking for your ID card is the one thing they cannot do

    I think it was sold to the Labour back bench as a "Concession," with her Wackiness snarling along the lines that "We can change that with a 1 clause bill."

    And you can guess what's first on her to-do list when (she expects) she is re-elected.

  38. Paul
    Black Helicopters


    No, not the country, the film by Terry Gilliam. Look it up, it's on Wikipedia or IMDB.

    Makes 1984 look positively nice... because at least in 1984 Big Brother and the thought police were competent.

    The way things are going we'll all end up like Sam Lowry. God help us all.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    @Pat and others. It's easy. Watch for the legislation.

    You will be personally required to keep your ID card details up to date. Failure to do so will result in you being subject to an administrative fine of not less than £50 for each error found at inspection. Particular classes of error may be re-designated by "Orders in Council" or Ministerial directive, from time to time, as criminal offenses and punishable by summary detention or assignment of an Anti Social Behavior Order or Community Service Order. In each of these cases passport revocation will be mandatory and notification on your ID file of a criminal record. The data subject shall make updates at a secure location and shall be required to produce ID card to gain entry to said secure location.

    All very reasonable and just what the authorities require. It will make the subject both accountable and safe. Crimes will be self detecting. Only the very rich or very stupid/forgetful/old will not comply. With a criminal record or no passport emigration is not an option. The very rich will have multiple ID. The very stupid will be very poor, very quickly - amongst other things.....

    Can anyone see a nice little earner in any of the above? Suddenly, you receive a helpful notification that your ID data may be out of date and you have 2 weeks grace to review it and get it correct before it becomes an offense. Ooops, you've just left the country on your annual holiday. Upon your return you are stopped at border control and arrested. Or you return and discover the communication, rush to make the correction and find that you owe £250 because your entry is incorrect. The data is secure so you can't argue. You must have made the errors.

    The above is a repetition points made by others but it merely shows how easy an unscrupulous government and/or administration would find the control of the public - for a while. But how long "a while" and what would they do in the time they had.

  40. Paul

    Sign off suggestion

    What about this for a sign off :-


    Roughly translated it means enough is enough

    Has some nice anarchist connatations as well

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not just 1984...

    Also look up a book titled "THX 1138". More of what governments want for us.


  42. dervheid

    @"Technically, asking for your ID card is the one thing they cannot do "

    As you point out, in a round about fashion...



  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: How about if I just cut it to...

    Sarah, I doubt many of the people mentioning 1984 have actually read the book or any of Blair's other works. If they had they'd realise that what is happening now is the conditioning that was seen in Animal Farm, nulabour policies good, opposition bad.

  44. Dave Cheetham
    Black Helicopters

    1984, You've read the book, you've seen the film.... NOW live the life.

    @RotaCyclic "I haven't read 1984, but I have been strongly recommended it. I thought that such a book written so long ago would have little relevance to today, but I am told it really is relevant and a worthwhile read."

    No point in reading it now, its all come true, so just watch it in real life.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh the irony...

    "Or, if you prefer the Labour Party version: a bunch of mostly white, middle-class, middle-aged do-gooders demonstrated just how out of touch they are with the true needs of the people of Britain today".

    Isn't that a very accurate description of the Labour Party itself?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ AC

    "Bill Rammell reiterated the government view that the greatest civil liberty of all was the right not to be blown up, killed or terrorised."

    I've always found it curious that New Labour applies this standard to UK citizens (Tony Blair often said the same thing).

    Yet when it comes to Afghans, Iraqis, and indeed any foreigners (except of course Americans), things are mysteriously switched around. For them, being blown up, killed, and terrorised is a small price to pay for the glorious liberties that we USED to have.

  47. Anonymous Coward

    They are not all the same.

    My view is that the big two, Labour and Conservative, are as bad as each other. The Tory's, under Churchill was the last time that they operated under a libertarian flag, they got rid of rationing, as someone pointed out earlier, and they also got rid of ID cards. Since then they have either re-iterated Labour terror every time they have replaced them, or they have instituted or attempted their own brand of authoritarianism, like the European Union, rate capping, the community charge and their attitude to the unions. So, do not expect any roll-back of the police state when Cameron get's in!

    There are choices though, The LIBDUMS are very hot on liberty, but for my part they are fully in favour of the EU and they are more left wing than Labour or BNP. If you are left leaning though, they are a reasonable choice; on the other side is the UKIP, they are libertarian and moderately rightwing, they also believe in direct democracy, and as such believe that we can not be in the EU because we cannot govern ourselves at the lowest possible level, 75% of our laws are passed down from on high by the EC in Brussels. Apparently LIBCON thinks this is OK.

    So there you have it; left libertarians can vote LIBDUM and right libertarians can vote UKIP, both will have a completely different view from the dinosaurs.

  48. John Smith Gold badge

    @ Dervheid

    My point exactly.


    You might just get out the DVD with John Hurt and Richard Burton. Animal farm was made as a feature cartoon in c1954.

    You might like to re-think your reading policy. While nothing dates faster than the future books about how people interact tend to remain relevant. "The Mythical Man Month" (1975) and "Peopleware" (1983) are ancient in IT terms. If you work in IT you might find them more relavant than you expect.

    @ Kain Preacher

    Nazi Germany did. It was called the blitz in the UK and involved bombing the whole of large cities. I think Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbour was the only significant bombing raid on US soil (but I could be wrong).

    The UK and US responded with large scale conscription and centrally planned production on a very large scale. The UK introduced ID cards in 1939 which stayed till 1953 when 1 man said he wasn't going to produce a document issued to fight a war that finished 8 years earlier.

    However for authoritarian types a state of war is not ideal. That much obvious control makes people uncomfortable. They start asking why no progress has been made and if not why no one has tried to negotiate. One way or the other it has to end or be ended. But Orwell's point was that the aim of War is not to actually win. It enables the absolute power of the Party.

    Much better (from their POV) is a state of fear. Large groups of people are afraid but statistically their actual chances of dying are near zero. The US State dept's analysis of non military deaths indicates the most effective weapon for killing Americans is something we call a "Roundabout."

    Very little changes in the state of fear. Except your movements can be monitored at will. You have limited privacy which can be revoked at will and your right to protest will be surprisingly limited. Best of with a terrorist group with no political wing it is impossible to negotiate a settlement. An indefinite everlasting War on Terror.

    If the main group causing this threat has legitimate (or apparently legitimate) grievances it will always get recruits, providing a low level background of deaths to justify the continuing special measures. A few barking mad policies (replace federal statue with Sharia law, dismantle the state of Israel) will ensure they are never talked to.

    Fringe benefits accrue if you can concoct an excuse to invade some countries you don't like. this gets your (governments) hands on their assets, kills off a steady stream of aggressive members of the working class (the usual source of the PBI) and ensures a steady stream of orders to ammo suppliers and R&D outfits to counter an evolving threat. As a British officer in Northern Ireland said "There are no incompetant terrorists left. We killed them already."

    I don't doubt that Al-Quaeda and Osama bin Laden are real. But the threat they pose has been very handy for enabling the passing of some highly repressive laws.

  49. ElFatbob


    "Bill Rammell reiterated the government view that the greatest civil liberty of all was the right not to be blown up, killed or terrorised."

    So, how does he square this lofty notion with his governments' implementation of what is effectively a criminals charter?

    If it is my greatest civil liberty not to be killed, why do i read of criminals who, for example, have stabbed someone to death getting less time (9 years) than someone who embezzled £100k from a bank (10 years)? And no, i don't mean the Freds of the banking world who are currently under scrutinity.

    This government has effectively introduced a communist state mechanism, whilst playing about (and losing badly) in the 'free market'.

    Aside from the obsession with centralising data on all aspects of our life and surveilling us at every opportunity (without any accountability), this government has presided over and encouraged the rise of 'Political Correctness'. It's the other side of this coin.

    This gangrenous creation is largely the result of the influence of (unelected) minority pressure groups and 'liberal' wankers, serving their own interests whilst telling us it is for our 'greater good'. People now live in fear, scared to talk about things that the state has now deemed as being outwith their capability to make up their own minds on.

    If you are a public servant, your livelihood can be removed from you on some PC pretext and you'll then be effectively 'blacklisted' - unable to gain employment thereafter. If you're in the private sector, then we have a new 'hearsay' database which will prevent you from being re-employed.

    There is plenty more, but if you can't see the parallels with a totalitarian state, then you must be blind.

  50. James

    @ Sarah

    I agree, its getting a bit out of date.

    how does "Welcome to City 17" sound? :D

  51. Geoff Mackenzie

    @kain preacher

    "Hell the Germans had it all wrong. They should of did a few terrorist attacks and we all would of fell in line"

    Actually, the Nazis did use this method - they set up secret prisons, a secret state police, a department for homeland security and set fire to the seat of Parliament (the Reichstag) in Berlin as their mini 9/11.

    It's all very familiar.

  52. Mike Smith

    This ordinary person of Britain says bollocks

    “Bill Rammell reiterated the government view that the greatest civil liberty of all was the right not to be blown up, killed or terrorised. Those who opposed CCTV were, he suggested, out of touch with the ordinary people of Britain.”

    I’m an ordinary British person. With one exception.

    Unlike this duckspeaking tube, I have come very close indeed to being murdered by the IRA. Not once, but twice.

    In November 1991, I was a student in St Albans. I was walking along St Peter’s Street about 10pm one night. About five minutes after I’d left the area, there was an almighty bang. Two IRA terrorists had set their bomb off prematurely. There was so little left of them that the standing joke for the next few weeks was that the Christmas pantomime at the Alban Arena was going to be changed from Cinderella to Finger On The Roof. The branch of Barclays Bank was gutted, and I’d walked right past it.

    In August 1993, I was living in Bournemouth. One night, I was down at the seafront, just chillin’ and watching the world go by. I was sitting on a pile of deckchairs and ran out of fags. That meant a trip to the all-night garage on Holdenhurst Road, about 15 minutes’ walk away. Off I went. About 20 minutes later, an IRA incendiary device exploded right underneath where I’d been sitting. If I’d not gone to the garage, I’d have had a literal arse-roasting.

    Now, according to Billy-Bob Rammell’s world view, by rights after that I should have spent the last few years demanding CCTV everywhere and lobbying for legislation making it a capital offence just to possess an Irish accent.

    Well, this ordinary person of Britain has a surprise for you, Billy-Bob. I don’t hate the Irish. I’m even prepared to try to understand the grievances that led to the formation of the IRA and the support for Sinn Fein. Yes, they nearly killed me twice, but that doesn’t make me want to kill in return or oppress large sections of the population in a hunt for America’s bogeymen.

    You see, this ordinary person of Britain knows perfectly well that the vast majority of Irish people are not balaclava-clad gunmen. He knows that not every Basque is an ETA bomber. He knows that not every radical German student in the 1970s was a member of Baader-Meinhof. And he knows full well that not every British Muslim is a jihad-obsessed nutter itching to be recruited as al-Quaeda's next cannon fodder.

    This ordinary person of Britain just hates totalitarianism and scaremongering, and loathes our repressive government with genuine hatred. This ordinary person of Britain lived through the IRA terror campaign and saw how well the security services contained the threat without the need to trample on our civil liberties in size 12 jackboots. And this ordinary person of Britain only wants one more piece of information from the government; the date of the next General Election, when hopefully New Labour will be consigned to the opposition benches for a period of time that will make the previous 18-year term look like a long weekend.

    No, I won’t say the P-word. I’ve a better response – “Fuck you, asshole!”

  53. Anonymous Coward

    Re: This ordinary person of Britain says bollocks

    Sounds like Mike Smith knows the true meaning of We're Not Afraid.

    Anyone remember that? Within a week of the July 7th London bombings in 2005, We're Not Afraid was the recognised, accepted response - straight from the public - to the terrorist bombings.

    We're Not Afraid.

    Except we have a government of cowards. A government of cowards who think the majority of the British people are cowards.

    We're not.

    In the end, the only way to respond to terrorism is to refuse to be terrorised. We're Not Afraid is ultimately the only viable response. And we didn't need to be lead by our government to give that response. It came straight from the people - and the rest of the world was truly impressed.

    If we always respond by fighting back, we make it easy for those who want to draw us into wars by launching terrorist attacks against us. I'm not saying it's always wrong to fight back, but sometimes it's just giving the terrorists exactly what they want. We shouldn't be so dumb as to automatically dance to their tune.

    If we respond by running away, we make it easy for those who would chase us away by using terrorism against us. That's obviously no good.

    If we respond by giving in to their demands, terrorists will know we're a soft touch, an easy target. I'm sure there's an old story about danegeld that pretty much explains this. We'll invite more terrorism if we try to appease the terrorists.

    If we respond by turning our own home country into a vast prison - exactly what New Labour is doing - we let the terrorists scare us into imprisoning ourselves. Those who want to terrorise us into pulling our head into our shell like a startled tortoise have it easy - they can just bomb us.

    But if, as ordinary British people demonstrated in the days and weeks following the London bombings, we refuse to be terrorised - We're Not Afraid - we render the terrorism useless. What do the terrorists achieve if we refuse to be terrorised? They blow us up, shoot us, poison us, kill and maim us, but make no real progress towards their own objectives at all.

    We're Not Afraid renders terrorism useless to the terrorists. All they can do is wreak death and destruction, for no useful purpose to anyone. They waste their time and effort. They become pointless killers, killing in vain. Why bother?

    We're Not Afraid is the ultimate defence against terrorism. Not because it stops it, but because it renders it useless to the terrorists. They'd be better off taking a different approach.

    But this New Labour government of cowards just don't seem to understand that.

  54. MnM

    @Steven Jones at the very top

    Absolutely spot on. Harriet Berlusconi, PM d'Inglaterra. The Tories should have been hammering her for this but don't seem to be able to make the case. At least Vince Cable called her potty.

    Jolly Roger - will be flying above Parliament when HH takes over.

  55. Mark Burton
    Paris Hilton

    While we're at it...

    ...let's ban adding Fluorine or any other non-purifying chemical to our water. Remember, in Blakes 7 the federation kept the populace under control with additives to the food and water...

    Ah. I guess that makes me "old, middle class, white..."

    --Paris, 'cos I work there.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    Wacki Jaqui is hiding this week, I wonder where, oh.. its

  57. John Smith Gold badge

    Bill who.

    Bill Rammell reiterated the government view that the greatest civil liberty of all was the right not to be blown up, killed or terrorised

    Another suitor for Jacquie's affections? he has competition.

    Background music "Our tune."

    "We've had a letter froma young man I'll call Geoff. A few years ago Geoff got a high powered promotion to a new job in Westminster. It mean working for a new Supervisor, an older women I'll call Jacquie.

    Geoff was a bit nervous at first as he heard that she was a slavering gibbering maniac who attacked anyone who did not agree with her.

    To his surprise she quickly warmed to him. He suspected this might be partly due to his physique. He'd other some colleagues comment when they thought he was out of earshot that he was "Complete buff," or something equally complementary.

    Time passed and they discovered they had so much in common. Gardening. The importance of collecting as much information as possible about anyone they had to keep in line and ABSOLUTE OBEDIANCE TO THE LEADER.

    Sadly they went their different ways but have stayed in touch. But in memory of those happy times he asks for this special tune.

    So for Geoff & Jackquie here's Laibach's cover of One Vision from Opus Dei.

    Mines the one with the pockets full of sick bags.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1984 tops list of books people have lied about reading

    A bit late but relevant


    Of those who had lied about reading a book, 42 per cent said they had read 1984, 31 per cent War and Peace, 25 per cent Ulysses and 24 per cent the Bible.


  59. John Smith Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    To the Jihadists of Britain, @Mike Smith

    The roughly 1 in 15000 of the UK population who the govt seem to be collectivly S"£$^^ing itself over.

    Please bring forward all your plans forthwith.

    If you are as successful as your "brothers" of 7/7 you will kill 56000 of whatever religious pursasion happens to be near by. Nail bombs are equal religion weapons.You however will all be dead.

    The other 16/17ths of the UK will still be alive. On past experience a certain proportion of Latin American visitors will also get caught in the cross fire.

    Your angry enough to do this. And it makes sense to you. Some of you see no future here. Some have a great future but feel this is the only way to express themselves. To make a difference. Some of you are reading this now.

    You are wrong.

    This government has a nearly inexhaustible supply of expensive, authoritarian barking mad policies you will help it implement. And a nearly inexhaustible supply of Ministers and junior ministers to do so. Blowing up her Wackiness (for example, not that I am suggesting such a thing. That would be awful) would change nothing. There's always a spare Blunkett in the cupboard. Old dog, old tricks. Perhaps Meg Hiller reckons she's ready for prime time.

    If you feel that passionately about this cause go to the places you seek to champion and offer your skills and your labour instead. Help your true brothers or face their real enemies.

    Or perhaps you lack the stomach for such long term commitment and the chance you may just be seriously hurt and not die the glorious death you've been promised. Real oppression is done by people who can shot back.

    The British people are not your enemy. We know the bulk of British Muslims pose less of a threat to our Liberty than any number of bats$%t crazy government policies. We move amongst you with no more fear than we have ever had. More people die annually by their own hand due to botched DIY, according to ROSPA.

    But if you still reckon this is the thing to do. Bring it on. We'll be here.

    @ Mike Smith

    Hell yes.

    That is all.

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