Monday, September 28, 2009

England's still hard at work keeping up its reputation as the Ground Zero of lost rights

Another whimsical cavalcade of stories from the ultimate Nanny/police state that we all know and love:

1. The British government has announced plans to funnel all online and telephone traffic in that country into one centralized database, so that government bureaucrats may wade through every single one of the peasants' private communications at their leisure:

"UK internet service providers will be invited to tender for a British government scheme to monitor all internet communications and telecommunications.

Under the proposed Interception Modernisation Program (IMP), internet service providers (ISPs) would be required to link 'black boxes' to their servers to record all internet traffic, including details of emails, VoIP telephone conversations, instant messages and browsing habits. Telephone conversations would also be monitored."

There's just one slight hitch - putting such a "scheme" into practice is currently against the law in that country, as doing so would violate the privacy rights of UK citizens. No problem, though. The government over there is in the process of simply changing the law so that their snooping will now be A-OK:

"'At the moment, the centralised database and self-authorisation would be illegal under the Data Protection Act,' said [Cambridge security expert Richard] Clayton. 'The draft Communications Data Bill will contain clauses to make this legal.'"

So much for protecting the data of the average British citizen, it seems. How much does anyone want to bet that the government's precious data will be exempt from this draconian change?

2. A woman preparing some printed materials for her small business at a library in central London asked to borrow a pair of scissors to cut some paper, and was refused on the grounds that she might stab one of the workers:

"Ms [Lorna] Watts, from Islington, north London, said: 'I asked why I couldn't borrow a pair of scissors and she said, 'they are sharp, you might stab me'.

'I then asked to borrow a guillotine [paper cutter?] to cut up my leaflets but she refused again - because she said I could hit her over the head with it!'"

She repeated her request at three other area libraries, only to be similarly turned down at all of them.

It's a good thing Ms. Watts didn't ask to borrow a pencil or attempt to check out a heavy book. She probably would have then been arrested for possession of a deadly weapon.

3. Police in Wiltshire, England threatened a middle-aged soccer mom with arrest and prosecution because she committed the dastardly crime of pulling a dead flower from a public bed in order to make it appear neater:

"[The cop who actually showed up at her house over this incident] threatened to 'put her in the cells' and warned that she could be prosecuted for theft and criminal damage - offences carrying a possible six-month prison term."

Taking up valuable jail space that could no doubt be better used to house some of the drunken "yobs" who regularly pee all over the flowers, according to the mom, Angie Summers:

"'You get rough drinkers in there shouting and swearing and urinating on the flower beds and nothing seems to happen to them.'"

You're an easier target, ma'am. The cops over there aren't afraid of you.

4. The "authorities" who run the cafeteria at the Flintshire City Council offices (what, are they too good to bring their lunch or head off to a local restaurant like everyone else?) have backed down after being ridiculed for mandating that the classic (and delicious) dessert spotted dick, which has been around for hundreds of years, be hereafter referred to as "Spotted Richard" after someone heard one person make a joke about the name of the dish:

"But [the council] has warned any customers who act in a "childish way" to behave themselves or be refused food."

We're sure the dastardly fellow who made the crack is currently wetting himself with fear that he'll be denied another helping of spotted dick at that government cafeteria.

Even with the continual erosion of our civil liberties and massive lurch toward socialism over the last six months here in America, at least we can definitively state that we aren't nearly as bad as England.


What are you doing to help prevent our country from deteriorating into a similar hopeless mess?

1 comment:

Bike Bubba said...

Lost rights, or acute rectocranial insertion syndrome, or both? I'm thinking they've got both over there.

The dessert one cracks me up, and reminds me of something a professor joked about when we were reading a work of Horatio Alger: "No, 'Ragged Dick' is not a venereal disease."