Of all the politicians, this one, really gets up my nose.
The long-delayed Snoopers' Charter allowing increased interception of communications by the security services and the police is set to be introduced at last, Home Secretary Theresa May has suggested. Within minutes of results indicating a likely Conservative majority government early this morning, May responded to BBC …
"Has there ever been a liberal home sec?"
Roy Jenkins in the 1960s. Several liberalising laws were passed in his short time as Labour Home Secretary. The conservative elements of all parties are still trying to roll most of them back - usually on religious morality grounds..
Has there ever been a liberal home sec? Not in my memory. Certainly not since the 80's.
Not in the 80s either. I remember seeing Douglas Hurd at the side of the road one Sunday morning as he mobilised the police to break up a party miles from anywhere, and the bastard was grinning from ear to ear.
Agreed, they all seem to assume the same personality, and resort to the same policies. They just seem to lose the scepticism and become mouth pieces for the
Starzie security services.
Saying that, I suspect the shit that lands on her plate each day, from bomb threats, to overcrowded prisons etc is enough to cause a headache for anybody and convince them to sign a blank cheque.
"You can just see the bitch, gleefully dancing around the coalition corpse." I don't think Harriet Harman is dancing. If she was celebrating, she'd be accompanied by the millions of Conservative voters (quite a few of them having abandoned the failed promises of Labour and the Lib Dems).
"Sad day....." Ah, I take you voted Labour?
"....Typical of politicians to take the votes they got because the main opposition are incompetent buffoons as a mandate to do what they like." I see that your grief (and, of course, only your grief, nothing to do with socio-political blinkers and bitterness) meant you missed the news this election had the highest turn out for years, giving Cameron more of a mandate than New(ked) Labour had under Brooooown (never won an election for PM) or most of Blair's reign.
Doesn't mean it'll be an automatic no though, which is what we need. The Lib Dems were always against this, but 8 people won't stop it going through. I just hope the SNP and "Labour" (if it can be called that any more) have the sense to kybosh this. SNP probably will, the other red-Tories not so much.
I wouldnt be so confident, the SNP are about as liberal as the last bunch of national socialists that got pretty popular over on the mainland during the middle of last century... We've got the highest percentage of armed police and 'stop and search' on the streets outside of Westminster - brought in by the SNP under the auspices of anti terrorism measures (They deny it, and during the last term transfered powers from the Scottish Parliament to the police). I'd look else where for help I'm afraid - mad as he was getting George Galloway or another Indy on side is prob the best bet at this stage.
Iceland or Finland. The Pirate Party now the majority party in the former, and the latter is regularly touted as the happiest country on Earth, and Helsinki the city with the happiest population. In fact, the more I read about Finland, the more I warm to it.
Too parky…? The criterion was no WARMER than Britain, you didn't say owt about COLDER.
" In fact, the more I read about Finland, the more I warm to it."
It can get quite hot in Finland in the summer. My first experience was at the end of May in the archipelago - it was about 30 degrees for the whole week. That was unusual - but my girlfriend said in her younger days the very long summer holidays at their seaside "cottage" were often spent largely without clothes. On the other hand they do have "green winters" when crops grow poorly because of the weather.
Like all northern European countries the long dark winters can lead to depression - and excessive drinking. They also have the curse of biting midges until about the middle of July - especially on the shaded sides of lakes or the sea. I think they claim to have something like 30,0000 lakes - and an equally prodigious number of trees for shade. Trees used to be called their "green gold".
Yup, that's (Scotland) the most practical option, given my limited means. A big win on the lottery though, and I;d be off to Germany where they're at least letting the NSA know that they're really not happy with them. Iceland or Scandinavia sound nice too (aside from those Finnish midges!). I can find UK summers a bit too much for me, hence why I'd rather move somewhere a tad cooler if I'm to move. Just not to pretty-boy Putin land though (I've nothing against Russia - lovely country. Not too keen on the government there, though, but that's just me. YMMV.)
I just wish that European politicians would publically declare the NSA to be what everyone knows they are - a foreign, state-sponsored criminal gang, then request they be deported to stand trial for their crimes.
No. No, I really am not naieve enough to expect that to happen - I just feel strongly that it should. I'd also like to see whomever authorised GCHQ's NSA-alike activities thrown in jail, criminal charges pressed where need be, and a serious downgrading of GCHQ's activities. Monitoring of individual suspects via due course of law, OK - mass monitoring of the entire population, absolutely not.
Iceland gets my thumbs up.
I was there last year and there was a noisy demonstration outside the parliament building. Aparently the politicos had promised a referendum about joining the EU and then reneged. The opinion of the various people that I asked was that nobody/very few wanted to join the EU, but a referendum had been prommised so a referendum is what they wanted to have, not a broken promise.
>the conservatives have been wanting to disband the house of lords for some time now.
Really? I hadn't heard that. However, a chamber full of completely safe seats is an excellent foil for knee-jerk, sound-bite politics and the need to be seen to be "doing something." Time and again they put a stick in the spokes of the completely deranged Commons by asking awkward questions. They don't always get it right of course but its the closest we get to people who can take a party-politics-free interest in the legislative process. We may think they are privileged doddery old fools, but privileged doddery old fools are hard to bribe because they have no future career and little to gain financially from kow-towing to the Commons.
The can thank Labour for creating a constitutional crisis out of the best method to kill farm pests in order to diminish their power.
What is it with being home secretary and a fascist control freak? I'd like to see the person spec and interview questions because I think they might need some improvement in a few key areas.
A problem with the way our government is organized is that something like this snoopers charter will, eventually, always get passed because defeat isn't everlasting. Defeat just means not until the next time you raise it with a few tweaks. The people, who I'd guess don't want this, have to win every battle but Theresa "Devil Incarnate" May only has to win once to get what she wants. I'm not saying we shouldn't be able to go back an re-look at defeated legislation but I can't help feeling we need some way of blocking legislation like this from getting passed because the people become tired of fighting it.
that we don't live in a true democracy.
All that happens, is every 5years we get to vote for whoever's going to screw us over the least (we hope).
Because, I certainly don't remember this being spouted off as one of their election "promises". Maybe they were afraid people wouldn't vote for them if they did make this a key part of their election manifesto.
Can't wait to see what else they'll try to slip in now they have a "mandate to govern".
"Can't wait to see what else they'll try to slip in now they have a "mandate to govern".2
In his No 10 speech Cameron seemed to be promising to solve the West Lothian Problem. While he has a majority it should be possible to stop the SNP in future from blackmailing any government by blocking purely English legislation.
As Cameron has said he won't complete his second term - then he is free to be as liberal as he sometimes appears to be. The opposition should then support him against his own backbenchers in such measures. However - with a new leader then Labour could lurch back to its old totalitarian ways of either left or right ideologies.
This could get interesting. Presumably they are still bound by the fixed term for Parliament?
Well we know who's the blame for that; the UK public who voted just a few years back that we should keep a voting system devised in the 19th century. A system that richly rewards whichever party has their nose a fraction ahead in peculiar sub-divisions of the country, and gives all other parties, no matter how many voted for them, absolutely nothing.
All those who voted against proportional representation can consider themselves to blame.
The great unwashed -that overwhelming majority who fall for all the crap - those same ones who live on Facebook, Twitter and the rest; all the 'reality' tv; who open dodgy attachments; who are routinely lambasted here, called by some 'sheeple', have a couple of basic misunderstandings. In the category called 'common sense' that actually means 'the first thought that occurs', and presumably serves the purpose of ensuring no more energy is wasted thinking and, practically, that important matters receive no more thought than they would from, say, a solenoid. They are that only millionaires understand how to govern; and that only hate (mistaken for more of that 'common sense' stuff) -filled authoritarians know how to police. So we tend to get the Tories in Government, and shouty-people for Home Sec.And as the decades roll by the one thing that changes is the sociopaths who get to the front bench, and the party machinery, gets more-and-more clued-in about the mass psychology that turns a semblance of Democracy into a dictatorship so bloodlessly that no-one who could stop it even notices.
I wonder how many of those who voted Tory would like the return of hanging? And if the way 'Democracy' is going it's inevitable eventually a majority of MPs will too?
It wasn't PR up for debate, dumdumhead, it was AV, a system just as undemocratic as FPTP in my book. That's why I voted 'No'.
Anyway, it's a moot point, there are two issues that we'll NEVER be offered referenda on whilst we've a Tory government, one is PR, the other is the abolition of the monarchy.
Until this country becomes a republic, true democracy simply isn't possible, call me a 'tinfoil-hatted nutter', a 'swivel-eyed loon', whatever you like (I've had all that - and worse - on Twitter all day) but I can't understand WHY folk simply don't get that democracies DON'T have unelected heads of state and, if they manage to grasp THAT concept, I get "well it's only symbolic" - is it…? I mean is it, really…? If people REALLY believe that Betty and her tribe of inbreds have absolutely no influence on government WHATSOEVER, they need to stop/start taking the pills. Why was Chaz so chummy with Jimmy…? There've been paedophile allegations hanging over Bucky Pally almost as long as Savile was kiddie-fiddling, plus the allegations levelled at senior Tories. I know Chaz isn't exactly the full sovereign (in any sense, and something I HOPE he'll never get to be in the £1m hat sense), but I can't believe that he didn't know what Savile was up to - you can't be bezzie mates with someone and not know - is that why JS was gonged…? Or was that Maggie's decision alone…? They weren't exactly enemies, either.
If that makes me a fully-paid-up member of the David Icke fan club, then so be it - these days, I'm honestly past caring…
No party - nor indie - wants to address the issues I care about anyway (although there was that 'Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol' dude in Thurrock).
>Until this country becomes a republic, true democracy simply isn't possible
You mean, like the Americans have? Is that better? Does having an extra layer above the "president" with little political power actually make any difference? Leaving aside the fact that a republic is not a democracy...
Even democracy is not an end in itself, its just a means to an end. Legislation is inherently FPTP, so any laws passed ignore those who voted against them, no matter what percentage that is. We're also talking about a collegiate system. I don't think even those who voted Tory agree with much of the legislation, its just they don't want "the others" and political machine seems to have a life of its own with its own reality distortion field.
What we really want is politicians who Do The Right Thing(tm). If pool from which politicians come does not have people with moral fibre, the political process (any political process) is going to corrupt them further. As a society we've worked hard to remove the fear of God from our thinking. The people in power have nothing left to fear except that people will revolt against them. Now they operate a cartel of power. They compete in theory, they will take advantage if they can, but the products on offer are pretty much indistinguishable. They have to maintain the illusion of their legitimacy. They undermine anything which threatens them and they do not allow protest to come anywhere near them. In the past, countries had secret police and agent-provocateurs. Now they just do mass scanning of communications. With nothing to fear except being caught out in their machinations, why would politicians not seek an ever closer grip over the behaviour of those who can remove them from power? Why would they not seek to uncover journalist's sources, to track all internet traffic and make it illegal to bring harm to the State, justified or not?
The reaction to the expenses scandal is interesting. Financially it was a petty issue, it was the corruption it revealed that was significant, as was the reaction from the politicians. Draw a line under it and make sure it can never happen again, not by stopping the corruption, but by stopping its disclosure. Everything now is about national security. Everyone must bow at the altar of national security. Anyone who would cause disruption is anathema. You must take on the values of the State. But it isn't a religion, no siree.
"[...] so any laws passed ignore those who voted against them, no matter what percentage that is."
There are some laws in England & Wales that provide specific exemptions for what were minority opposition groups. Sikhs are legally allowed to ride motorcycles without crash helmets - anyone else is prosecuted. Some of the tax laws specifically exempt Plymouth Bretheren because of a particular piece of their religious dogma.
>Until this country becomes a republic, true democracy simply isn't possible
The problem with an elected head of state is that they will be a politician and therefore almost inevitably an arsehole bought and paid for by whoever puts up the money to get them elected.
At least in a monarchy or a dictatorship you don't get that particular problem.
"Yes, with 36% of the votes..." Be careful what you whine about - UKIP actually got more individual votes than the SNP, do you want them to have 50-odd seats under proportional representation? And I note the majority of Labour supporters were never whining about how low the overall percentage of votes were when they won elections.
> UKIP actually got more individual votes than the SNP, do you want them to have 50-odd seats under proportional representation?
I have no love for UKIP, Matt, but if people voted for them, those votes should be represented.
To want a change in the voting system provided that [Party X] doesn't get any seats would be hypocritical, but perhaps you don't understand that.
...of the Liberal Democrats, it's now. Hopefully that majority will be just too slim to overcome the objections of the more liberal/sensible/reasonable/rational amongst the Tory back-benches.
I sincerely hope we won't continue to see ridiculous bollocks like this and the banning of encryption being proposed, but without the moderating effects of the Lib Dems I'm doubtful.
Yeah, What the hell was with that?
I'm inclined to believe the crack conservative satanic squad were running a few dark rites to pull that off.
Granted Mr Clegg was little more than a shadow during the last government, failing to make much of an impact, he needed more of a backbone. My impressions of the three leaders, he seemed the least oily, greasy and sticky.
Ah yes, the always-dreaded Aliens vs. Predators election. (Inspired by the "Alien vs. Predator" movie tagline "No matter who wins, we lose")
"As leader of the Aliens party, my promise to you is that we will immobilize you and then insert a parasitic embryo down your throat to gestate in your thoracic cavity, whereas my opponent with his big-money interests will rip out your spinal column and display it as a trophy in his living room!"
> "....It's clear we all lost." Well, all except us Tory voters.
Did you notice how many more votes the Tories got this time compared to 2010? (Did you even bother to look?)
Let me help you. They got just over 600,000 more votes than last time. Yes, just 0.8% more of the electorate voted for them this time than in 2010, so how, exactly does that equate to them getting a whole load more seats and therefore a "majority"?
Of course the Tories love First Past the Post and desperately want to keep it because that's what means they'll be able to stay in power and stop smaller parties from getting a look in, despite several million people voting for them.
"'So we have an electorate of 75,000,000 then?' It wouldn't surprise me." Well, it's not the first time Labour have added a few voters when required (http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/labours-vote-fraud-huge-court-3999505).
> Labour luvvies
Oh dear, Matt, we don't like the Tories, so we must be "Labour luvvies"? Ye gods, I loathe them almost as much and my politics are a long way away from theirs.
See http://www.politicalcompass.org my politics are -0.3 on the Left/ Right scale and -7.75 on the Authoritarian Scale.
Where are yours?
I'd forgotten about PoliticalCompass. I've just redone mine: Economic Left/Right: -7.5
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.31. I'm further to the bottom left-hand corner than Gandhi!
It is safe to say no political party in this country represents my views, and when I say I'm not a Labour luvvie, I mean it!
"....so we must be "Labour luvvies"?...." Well, it seemed less offensive than calling you Pol Pot groupies.
"....Where are yours?" 1.88, -1.64, for what it's worth. TBH, I didn't find the questions to be that good, I suspect there are a fair few assumptions behind the scoring as I would have expected to be much closer to Thatcher than Friedman.
Eat the Rich had the right idea ( and easily one of the most charismatic Home Secretaries, although Nosher might have displayed a touch too much integrity for the current lot ... )
Every government seems to be pushing for more and more surveillance, which is odd, given the apparent inability to extract meaningful information from the captured data already being gathered by existing methods.
It's almost like the intent is to ease retroactive meaasures rather than proactive prevention, which is the stated aim.
For anyone who thinks voting for the other lizard club might have been better; don't forget they were going to flog you £60 ID cards from your local corner shop while spending a cool £5.3 billion to set it up .
Interestingly, I just compared photos of Terrorsaw May and Jaqui (exes) Smith and I think they may be sisters ( or clones).
It is entirely possible that Dave's lot will reintroduce the idea once they have passed the Snooper's Charter.
Who knows, being the trendy lot they are, they could let you have your ID card as a tattoo...on your forehead.
I simply don't see what the problem is.
It's not like members of MI5 and MI6, are going to take the analysis of members of the public and loyal citizens, and pass it off as intelligence product, and then blacklist them secretly for decades (even if it's because there isn't a blacklist, just a watchlist,) bug their house, break into their agoraphobic mother's house in the middle of the night pretending to be drugs police etc, to bug that too, and then block all attempts at their working in a security cleared environments so they can never find out what human rights violations they have imposed on them, using the obscurity of the security clearance process to manage it, and so they never find out just how much money they've lost in earnings because their attempts to advance their careers were blocked by secret telephone calls based on the progression of their job applications is it?
That said, if they had, I'd still support them, because unfortunately, they're the only thing left between us and our beloved friends in Syria.
If you truly have nothing to hide, why are you posting as an Anonymous Coward or are you just trolling?
Otherwise, you sir are the problem. Learn history. It all starts with an erosion of civil liberties, government tracking all manner of information about the people and before you know it what starts out innocently becomes a fascist state determined to, oooh, let me think... how about: invade Europe and factory-murder anybody who isn't of the master race, has an inconvenient ethnic background or to their minds not of the correct sexuality.
As for our "friends in Syria" - you're much more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident.
---- As for our "friends in Syria" - you're much more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident. ----
You're also more like to die as a result of domestic violence or die in whilst in police custody than you are to die from terrorism.
> I simply don't see what the problem is.
You stand more chance of being struck by lightning than you do of being the victim of a terrorist attack.
We have a principle of Presumed Innocent Unless Proven Guilty underpinning our laws.
We have also seen repeated examples of the Security Services *knowing* about potential terrorists and *failing* to act to stop them completing their attacks.
And their answer to finding a needle in a haystack? Make the haystack bigger and treat *everyone* as a suspect!
PS If you have nothing to hide, why do you have curtains?
I have nothing to fear...
Providing I always agree with and support those doing the snooping.
As long as I do not show dissent.
As long as I always acquiesce no matter what legal injustices are done.
As long as I capitulate.
As long as I don't complain
As long as I make no stand for the oppressed and down trodden in the face of state accepted legislature.... I have nothing to fear.
"I simply don't see what the problem is."
Indeed, that's apparent from your post.
We are not at risk from the sky fairy worshipers in Syria, they are quite happy in the little dust bowl they have playing a live version of Call of Duty to worry about the infidels in the West.
The OP may have *intended* their post to be sarcasm, unfortunately they then shot themselves massively in the foot with the closing comment "unfortunately, they're the only thing left between us and our beloved friends in Syria."
*That* is why all those people downvoted the post.
But its going to be closer than previous attempts.
A lot of back bench tories oppose it, the SNP will probably replace the Lib Dems in opposing it and then its down to Millibands muppets and the assorted stragglers to balance it out.
UKIP, or Doug as he is known will vote for it, but that will be opposed by the tree hugger from Brighton.
The irony is that if it does go through all it will be doing is adding a legal veneer to something that the security services have been doing illegally for years, its not actually going to change that aspect of how they snoop on us, just the perceived lawfullness of it.
"[...] then its down to Millibands muppets and the assorted stragglers to balance it out."
Chances are that the new Labour leader will want to show they are a "strong" person and encourage totalitarian thinking of either the left or right of the party. The Left will want a more "committed" stance to imposing their ideology on the population - anyone old enough to remember The Militant Tendency? The Right will be a rerun of Blair and Home Secretaries like Blunkett.
Well now that the results are in, we can see the bunch of cunts who are now back in power. All I can say is that you lot voted for them, you live with the consequences.
I've been saying for ages that I need to move to fully encrypted mail, servers and the lot, and this has given me the kick in the arse to make it happen. I am also looking at foreign climes to go and work in for the next five years. Somewhere nice and liberal, Norh Korea sounds attractive compared to the police surveillance state Teresa May wants to put in place.
I'm trying to think of something good about today, and can think of nothing whatsoever.
God this country is so fucked.
Of course, as far as GCHQ is concerned, if they can't trivially get all your data with little to no effort, you suddenly become a person of extreme interest. You are aware that all security services operate on the premise that everyone is guilty until proven innocent, right?
> I simply don't see what the problem is.
Ignoring the civil liberties aspect for one moment, there are a number of other issues which are a problem.
(1) Electronic intercepts of this nature are notoriously unreliable, and just getting a lot more data doesn't mean you actually get better "intelligence". For most cases of terrorism which this is supposed to help "fix" we actually already had solid leads and intel on most of the bombers, but lacked man power to actually doing anything about it. Drag-netting a huge amount of low quality data makes the problems of data analysis harder, not easier, so actually risks making it less likely you find the bad guys.
(2) Actually doing something with all of the data requires investment in both technology and/or people. Given the relative expense of large scale government IT projects, and all of the administrators that go along with it, and all of the agents you would need to hire to actually follow up data leads, it is highly likely that you would save far more lives by plowing that money into the NHS or some other social scheme that have ever been killed by "terrorism".
That final point is the nail in the coffin for me - no politician ever looks at the opportunity cost of what the money could do elsewhere. The downside is that if the government doesn't do anything, and something does happen, you just know that the press will slaughter them for not doing anything. They can't win - we really need the public to say "you know what, liberties are more important than a few people dying in very rare circumstances which you probably wouldn't be able to stop anyway". But that's not likely to happen.
Consistently, every 4 or 5 years 'mandate' becomes the most abused word in the English language. If Chameleon Dave announced tomorrow he was going to have all turnips painted with dayglo blue and pink stripes because he had a mandate, I doubt there's be too much reaction from the press.
A one way trip up the Great North road looks more likely by the minute.
"A one way trip up the Great North road looks more likely by the minute."
No doubt Nicola Sturgeon will claim a mandate from the Scottish people for whatever her party decides to do with its political power on either side of the border. In my experience any country with tribal tendencies is likely to dig itself into difficult positions in such a situation.
Some Scottish friends and acquaintances came south for job opportunities. Others are candid about doing so to escape a repressive mix of tribalism and religion.
My family moved south for exactly those reasons, but given the complete failure of politics south of the border, I really wonder now which is the worse of the evils.
Ironically by far the worst example of Scottish tribalism I've ever personally witnessed (and I lived in Glasgow till my early teens), involving a lot of noise, broken glass and bellicose assertions of something or other - but only one actual 'tribe' - was in a pub near (London) Charing Cross on the day the Orange Order inexplicably marched through London a few years ago. If I personally felt embarrassed, the bemused looks in the rest of the bar suggested total incomprehension.
The mandate asserted north of the border at least seems to accord somewhat with the wishes of the electorate. Down here however, barring a few isolated policies, the tories seem primarily intent on delivering things very few of the electorate actually asked for, that serve a very small number, many of whom would not have been eligible to vote but who seem nevertheless to wield considerable influence. And I don't mean Brussels.
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