The Association of Chief Police Officers has been told not to re-broadcast an anti-terror advert it ran on TalkSPORT radio. The advert urged people to call the "Anti-Terrorist Hotline" to report suspicious behaviour such as anyone paying with cash "because he doesn't have a bank card", or keeping his curtains closed "because his …
The real problem, as I see it anyway, is that the police even comes up with spectacularly bad ideas like this. That is, there's apparently a state of fear stuck in their minds complete with a strong compulsion to infect the rest of the population too. That's not what the police force is for, dear police force, or at least not as principally envisioned.
But you do have a point that running around flapping arms and havin' a good froth at the mouth isn't exactly productive. So, everyone, cool down, close the curtains, and write a nice friendly polite letter to your MP asking them to step up pressure to launch the long-overdue police functioning and anti-terrorist measures effectiveness reviews.
while I tend to agree generally...
I have to say that an "individual" may be rational and sensible (except the folk who form their opinions based on the crap in the daily wail), unfortunately as a collective, "people" are pretty stupid and gullible...
So yes, there are a sensible few, like the ones piping up here in rage, but it only takes a stupid few to get something like this out of control... (case in point: this particular campaign made it through to a public broadcast!)
There are are so many parallels going back in history, it's scary... And what's more scary is that these senior nitwits who approved this campaign, should have been in the "sensible majority" - but clearly weren't, and more importantly, clearly not aware of history!
So, I say, what we need to do send the fucking idiots responsible for this cockup (and any future ones) on a GCSE course in History!
@Sarah: Nothing to worry about?
If you happened to be a photographer, you'd probably think differently. Coppers, security guards, etc. have been hassling photographers going about their job for years now, stopping, searching, arresting and detaining them, and deleting lawfully taken images, under the pretence of "anti-terrorrism legislation" (specifically, sect. 44). Even though the application of sect.44 has been declared unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights, the Met has stated that it will continue to use it.
You should have a look at http://photographernotaterrorist.org/ if you're not already familiar with it. It does not paint a pretty picture.
This advert is only the next step, extending the harrassment from a specific group of individuals (photographers) to a larger one (single males), instilling fear and hysteria into the general populace. It looks as if you're lucky enough not to be a member of either group.
Unless you're white, female, middle-aged, married with 2 kids, a car and a dog, it's only a question of time until you are targeted too.
We already live in a police state. There are more CCTV cameras than in any other civilised country on the planet, people are regularly harrassed by the police, they can be arrested without reason or access to a lawyer for exessively long periods of time, DNA samples of innocent people are collected and stored without any time limit, councils employ counter-terrorism surveillance against a mother who fibs to get her kid in a better school, to name just a few. And I haven't even mentioned international travel yet (air-based or otherwise).
The Stasi would have creamed their collective pants.
Black helicopters for obvious reasons, and AC because anything else would be silly.
"This campaign is not going to make us into a nation of nosey idiots"
You are that already, oh wise head censor.
For your points to be correct, Sarah ...
... you would have to show that there has never been a progression from sane and sensible society to one driven by fear and constant surveillance by the ordinary people in society. You cannot do this, because it isn't true. Without going a hundred years back, Germany and the Soviet states prove you wrong. Even Britain does - compare the society we have now, with its ridiculous emphasis on suspicion of ... well, anyone really,* with the society of the 1970s. The progression is clear, and whilst we might be seeing a slight reversal, there is no evidence yet that it is more than a blip.
By all means, try to keep things in perspective, but do not get complacent.
* e.g. photographers, men in places where children are, people with Middle Eastern appearance, Muslims, people buying "too much" fertilizer/sugar ... (list not intended to be anywhere near complete).
Nice points Ms B (ooer)
But if we didn't have arm-waving idiots who rant on these pages, you'd be out of a job!
Re: For your points to be correct, Sarah ...
I'm not complacent, not at all. I just think that fear of these things can become a greater problem than the thing itself.
I would never suggest there is no problem - there's evidence enough in this thread. It's notable that the posters who have experienced victimisation are more measured in tone than the ones who apparently haven't.
I wasn't making any definitive statements, so it's not a matter of being proved wrong or otherwise, I think. But yes I take your point.
Re: Nice points Ms B (ooer)
I wouldn't, actually. Moderating is only one of several tasks I perform here. They'd probably keep me if only because I make really good tea. I mean, really good tea, if I do say so myself.
NOT too terrifying. TOO insulting more like!
The ad is an insult to anyone who prefers to keep their lives PRIVATE from everyone else. Not everyone is a Me-me-me, must-become-the-next-z-lebrity kind of person. My curtains are shut often, I also prefer to pay cash, so how does this make me a terrorist?
And you guys are not helping with a misleading headline.
If you have nothing to hide...
... you have nothing to fear. Isn't that what they say? So just leave your windows clear (leave your doors unlocked as well in case the pold want to come in), with all your valuables and bank details on view, because if you try to hide them or pay with (shock, horror) cash then you are obviously a bad person.
Now if only I could persuade some nice rich people to do that. Leadership should start at the top, yes? So why is the door to No. 10 Downing Street closed?
If you hide nothing...
... you get done in for indecent exposure. Of course, that's the friendly infallible ever courteous plod for you, so you truly have nothing to fear. Carry on then.
You too can help protect our glorious nation
Join the ranks of the inoffizielle Mitarbeiter today.
The real message
Does the man at the end of your street have a swarthy complexion or look a bit foreign? Does he ululate or jabber in some guttural mockery of English? Does he work in a corner shop? Does he have a hook for a hand? This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you having suspicions. We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious, call the confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 XXXXXX. If you suspect it, report it.
Yes they had one (snicker) now they have another.
(Advertisement writer on couch; therapist with notepad.)
"How long have you had these feeling that people are out to get you?"
"Since Blair sir ," Breaks down sobbing, "Tony and George were mean to me."
"Hm," makes rather cruel note,"I see, the terrorists had already won at that stage."
If I'm ever in my local branch of some soft furnishing emporium and some shifty fella comes in to buy curtains, I had better call the cops. They will raid his house, find the curtains and do him for processing terrorist materials!
But do they have an SLR camera?
That's all that was missing from Plod's Entirely Accurate Description of Terrorists.
"Plod's Entirely Accurate Description of Terrorists."
sorry - reading too many DARPA articles :)
There's another, equally sinister, ad that has been allowed to stand. Something about spending time looking at aerial photographs and paying for flights in cash.
ACPO need their arses kicked into touch.
I heard that one...
...and I thought "who has lots of storage space, looks at photographs of houses and buys things in cash." I realised it wasn't a sophisticated international terror cell, but a professional housebreaker.
On the other hand
I keep my curtains closed, pay cash and don't know my neighbours, and I am a terrorist, so they're not totally barking up the wrong tree here. I think this ad was a useful public service, I'll be opening my curtains and paying with my debit card from now on.
I think the ad is intended to be terrorism - social control terrorism... but alas...
Given the IRA or whatever they're calling themselves is currently blowing the fuck out of belfast, I think the anti-terror money would be better spent the way that it used to be spent... Infiltrating and disrupting an organisation which has for decades terrorised the British public - we all remember the _REAL_ bombs going off, non of this backpack of TATP crap which doesn't really do much when compared to 2-3 tonnes of SEMTEX or C4 in a white van, driven by a white man, parked in a loading zone and left only for a few minutes before BOOM!
Now we're in fear of "internation extremists" when we have extremists blowing bombs up down the road, and heaven knows what's next... UK mainland attacks again?
international extremists give people a "right" to be xenophobic - that "right" is as wrong as slavery - it's racism pure and simple, government and police endorsed racism. e.g. putting up cameras in the areas populated by asians - no, certainly no racial profiling there at all...
Live in the West Midlands do we?
translation of text
The man at the end of the street doesn't talk to his neighbours much, because he thinks, quite rightly, they're all cunts. He pays with cash because the banks are cunts, and he keeps his curtains closed because his hobby of wanking himself into a coma is considered public indecency if he doesn't. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you realising that actually, he's probably exactly the same as the rest of us.
Re: translation of text
So, your neighbour thinks his neighbours are all cunts, is what you're saying.
Who says you don't have a sense of humour!
That's another keyboard ruined - I must stop drinking tea when reading the comments.
I don't know - who says I don't have a sense of humour, Tony? I will fight them.
" who says I don't have a sense of humour"
Not me - I wouldn't dare!
"I will fight them."
Oh, in that case it's the guy who lives on his own, keeps the curtains closed, and pays for everything with cash! (shit... that really does sound like me!)
"I will fight them."
Is this where we stop discussing the article in question and all ask for Playmobil?
essentially... oh, wait. what? (damn your intelligence with semantics! )
Simply put yes! Playmobil is the way forward here..
Re: translation of text
"keeps his curtains closed because his hobby of wanking himself into a coma is considered public indecency if he doesn't"
Who'd'a'thunk it? Frankie Boyle is a commentard!
PS: new keyboard please.
The ads have been running for ages
Only a variation of existing adverts has been kiboshed - in different formats these ads have been running for some time. They've been in print and most notably on billboards, which has led to some serious lampooning on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/they_must_think_were_all_morons/
I keep my curtains closed because my bedroom faces a road and I don't want the local populace gawking into what basically amounts to my sanctuary when I'm playing my Xbox or trying to have a nap/watch TV etc.
I pay in cash because that makes it easier to track my expenditure.
I don't talk to people much because I'm not a very sociable person.
Holy shit I must be a terrorist?
Fucking idiot cops.
"based on trends identified by police and had been amongst evidence given in court at recent terrorism trials"
Would those be the photographers that you apprehended for acting suspicious? Or the kids you throw down stairs? Or perhaps the journo who wrote your name down and was taller than your shortest officer?
I've known coppers to do the curtain-cash-no-talky thing too you know..
I had a good laugh when I read this.. then felt like a good cry. This is the shit we've signed on to accept? I don't know whether they're trying to incite a riot, or maybe they need help in reducing the plods on the street courtesy of mob action; but this is getting ridiculous.
The scary part
These traits "had been amongst evidence given in court at recent terrorism trials". I hope they had a hell of a lot more than that.
one off the wrist
I shut my curtains when I'm staging the six-inch olympics in my living room. last thing i want is a SWAT team bursting through my door when I'm on the vinegar strokes.
They've missed some...
Has a smartphone - easy anonymous browsing - terrorist
Has an ancient payg phone - easy anonynmous calls - terrorist
Has children - good cover for being a terrorist
Childless - obviously a terrorist
Has a heavily encrypted wifi network - terrorist
Has no encryption on wifi network - terrorist
Goes to the mosque - terrorist
Goes to the church - good cover for being a terrorist
Pretends not to have a religion - terrorist
Basically - is not one of us, where 'us' starts off as 'white' and then narrows all the way down to 'member of ACPO' as things progress.
To all bomb makers:
If you open the curtains and pay with plastic the police will never suspect you.
There, fixed if for them
The following message is brought to you by TalkSPORT, the Anti-Terrorist Hotline and the Ministry for State Security. The man at the end of the street owns a camera and takes pictures of buildings and people with it. He pays with cash because he says he doesn't want a bank card. He doesn't like visitors and won't let uninvited people into his house. He keeps his curtains closed at night and has lights on until all hours. He has brown skin and a black beard. He has been seen coming out of domed buildings and associates with other brown-skinned individuals, and speaks to them in a foreign language. He doesn't go into pubs. He is polite and distant and keeps himself to himself. This may mean nothing, but together it could all add up to you developing xenophobic paranoia. We all have a role to play in combating terrorism. If you see anything suspicious, or if he nicks your parking space, call the confidential, Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 XXXXXX. If you suspect it, report it. Be alert, citizen. Enemies Of The State are all around us.
Nothing new here ...
remember Mr Winston Kodogo ...
Re: Nothing new here ...
Right, listen, I will reject any Orwell references in this thread from hereon in because all you're doing is diluting ideas of great power and I won't have it. Seriously. If you respect his work so much then don't parrot it at every opportunity - maybe it is relevant, but we're all aware of that, being literate and preoccupied with civil liberties and all.
If I had a quid for every Orwell reference I've moderated here (with a fiver for each instance of "It's a novel, not a manual"), I could quit.
That that was a 'Not the Nine-O'Clock News' reference.
That's from "Not the Nine O'Clock News", nothing to do with Orwell.
"Caught in possession of thick lips, black curly hair and holding an offensive wife."
Re: Nothing new here Orwellian reference?
The Orwellian character was Winston Smith. You're possibly a tad young to remember Mr Winston Kodogo.
Before your time?
Wasn't Winston Kodogo the gentleman who kept being arrested in a Not the Nine O'Clock News sketch?
and "looking at me in a funny way" as well ....
Is this your hedgehog, sir?
Never realised that Kodogo was Swahili for Smith.
Oh, suddenly I feel rather old.
That wasn't Orwell.
Sorry. I'll get my coat, shall I?
Re: That wasn't Orwell.
Heh, sorry GJC, the 'Winston' just reminded me. I was being bolshy.
I didn't mean to belittle anyone's own experience, by the way - I know there are some real horror stories, some of which are here, and it's a disgrace.
There's a few more they can use (assuming Mr Gilliam would let them)
"Don't suspect a friend, report him"
"Be Safe: Be Suspicious"
"Trust in haste, Regret at leisure"
"Loose talk is noose talk"
and how about this one
"It is absolutely right and fair that those found guilty should pay for their periods of detention and the Information Retrieval Procedures used in their interrogation".