I've been asked to write an article for the newspaper of my trade union, UNISON. It's about civil liberties and I relate the incident I report in HPANWO last year when my daughter's school tried to fingerprint her (Background: http://hpanwo.blogspot.com/2007/08/biometrics-in-schools.html ) This one is just a brief spot of 243 words, but the branch chair wants me to do a longer one for a future edition. In writing the article I compromised, something I'm not proud of, but if I was too brutally honest and started going into some of the background to the erosion of civil liberties that I've written on HPANWO then the editor would pull it. I hope I've done the right thing. Here it is:
If the government want to implement a policy that the public supports they’ll say they’re doing their duty by bowing to the will of the people. If they want to introduce a policy that the public does not support they will pour contempt on the will of the people and implement it behind our backs by skullduggery and manipulation. A few months ago I had to give my daughter's school an angry phone-call because they were trying to take her fingerprints for the new electronic library database, and they weren't even going to ask the parents' permission! They’re so transparent: Get the next generation used to a culture of constant surveillance and no civil liberties. Is it just me or is the world becoming like the setting of George Orwell's book 1984? All healthcare staff have to wear an ID badge with a barcode on it, as if we're products not people, and now we’re being fast-tracked into the National ID card scheme (Airport staff are also named) As always they're using the excuse of "security" and getting their media cronies like Rupert Murdoch to publish such fear-mongering material that I'm surprised that I can step outside my front door because my neighbour is probably a paedophile, Avian flu-infected, ASBO-toting terrorist asylum-seeker! I will never enroll in the NID card scheme and I urge all NHS staff to do the same. The Poll Tax was brought down through mass-non-cooperation; let’s make history repeat itself!