are we a free nation anymore?

Discuss the latest news in the media and voice your own opinions about the news.

Postby eastlondonluke » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:35 pm

Dammmmmmmm i mesed dat bit up lol
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Postby steve » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:37 pm

oh i see. lol!
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Postby Henri » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:28 pm

The ever present restriction of freedom is deeply worrying. In a nation where liberty and freedom of choice are among our dearest values, it is awfully contradictory to be subject to such authoritarian security measures. I can understand it to an extent - there is no doubt that it will assist in the prevention of crime- but once the government is in possession of such power of its subjects, then they have ample opportunity to abuse that power. However, we are still a democracy, and I while I can see our nation evolving into a "1984"esque state in the distant future, we as citizens have the right to vote and change this violation of personal freedom.
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Postby steve » Sun Aug 12, 2007 10:10 pm

unfortunately i can't see that happening. we all know where labour's allegiance lies and while the conservatives opposed the introduction of i.d. cards they have remained relatively silent on the matter. the libdems seem to be our best bet but i can't see them winning an election anytime soon
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Postby intowiz » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:11 pm

yes we do have this power but as 1984 shows people just dont rise up. they just sit there and conform and go along with it with the installed belief that the goverment know best and there trying ever so hard so we shou;d listen to them. these same people believe that there making a difference just by voting now and again.
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Postby Henri » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:52 am

That is true. People often seem oblivious to political decisions which have the potential for mass effect, but you miss the point. A totalitarian system could only work if the country was being operated as a single-party state, thus a huge violation of democracy such as that would cause uproar amongst citizens.
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Postby Dan » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:33 am

I don't believe we'll be stripped of our rights anytime soon, lots of people enjoy worrying about it though.
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Postby steve » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:22 pm

Henri wrote: A totalitarian system could only work if the country was being operated as a single-party state, thus a huge violation of democracy such as that would cause uproar amongst citizens.

Yes but if another threat to national security occurs fear will increase among the people and then they'll demand our freedoms be eroded to an even greater extent. By the time they realise what's happened to their liberties it could be too late.

Dan wrote:
I don't believe we'll be stripped of our rights anytime soon, lots of people enjoy worrying about it though.

We may enjoy an incredible amount of liberty when compared with most of the world but the idea that authoritarian security measures could eventually lead to a dictatorship is not an exaggeration. Dictators are after all brought to power in times of crisis. It won't happen tomorrow and it would take decades at the very least but it's not impossible.
Last edited by steve on Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby parnassus » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:20 pm

I am a little sceptical about this. I agree that surveillance, bureaucracy, and government red tape have been steadily increasing over the years, encroaching on the personal freedom of the citizens. That said, things have improved tremendously in other areas of public life.

Fifty years ago the class system was a lot more pronounced and powerful than it is now, and there was an assumption that if you came from a certain type of background you were only fit for a certain type of job. My parents felt it as they were growing up. Despite being academically gifted, my dad was streamed into a substandard secondary school purely because of who his parents were. It was assumed that he would be a lorry driver, like his own dad, or possibly a farmer. Thanks to government initatives, we now have a lot more freedom where education and employment are concerned. We have the ability to choose. It's still not perfect, but it's a darn sight better than it used to be.

Roughly eighty years ago about half the population did not have the right to vote. Sixty years ago you were considered to be less of a woman if you wanted to work outside the home, and few employers would hire you if you wanted to be anything more than a typist or a secretary. Everything from our legal system on down worked to the disadvantage of half the country.

England was never a bastion of civil liberties. It was never a utopia. People who hark back to the 'Good Old Days' sometimes fail to realise that untarnished freedom didn't exist then either. The stains have been rubbed off some areas of our lives - and now they have reformed again on other areas.
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Postby mattie » Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:35 am

I find myself agreeing with Vicky. Despite the erosion of civil liberties in some areas of public life, the great irony is that we, as a nation, are probably more free today than we have ever been. The rigid class system of yesteryear ensured that if you came from a working class background you would almost certainly have ended up working in a factory at the age of 14 with few educational opportunities. Women were not allowed to pursue a career or studies beyond O-Levels.

If I were born 40 or more years ago, I would almost certainly have ended up as factory fodder. Given the choice out of that or a few extra CCTV cameras (which I personally have nothing against anyway), I would definitely choose the civil liberties we have today.


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yes

Postby k9ruby » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:19 pm

I'm with Vicky on this. Yes. We are.

Why? In the 2nd world war if you were a jew you had your freedom took away in the way of a concentration camp.

There is NO comparison.

No-one ever died of CCTV did they?
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Re: yes

Postby Henri » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:00 pm

k9ruby wrote:I'm with Vicky on this. Yes. We are.

Why? In the 2nd world war if you were a jew you had your freedom took away in the way of a concentration camp.

There is NO comparison.

No-one ever died of CCTV did they?


You appear to have missed the point. The "innocence of yesteryear" may have incorporate its own (sometimes dreadful) misdeanours, yet are we facing equally atrocious violations of justice in a more modernized setting.

True, CCTV never killed anyone, but one only has to reference the book "1984", to understand how surveillance measures can be so easily abused. For instance, if the government wishes to dispose of a certain person, they could easily use technology to cover up their dreadful deeds.
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for example

Postby k9ruby » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:13 pm

Example?
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Postby Henri » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:23 pm

If a certain person was deemed radical enough to be removed, they could manipulate any footage to convey an image of a genuine murder, as opposed to a government initiated killing.

This is of course a highly unlikely event at present, but if the country progresses into a totalitarian state, then incidents such as this could become common.
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Postby parnassus » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:25 am

It's important to remember that unlike the telescreens in Orwell's 1984, all the CCTV cameras in Britain don't feed back to a central location so that we can all be monitored by a select group of people. A large number of the cameras are erected and used by ordinary people like us - business and property owners whose buildings have been vandalised, for example, or shopkeepers who want to stop things being stolen from their shops. We mustn't start assuming that this rash of CCTV cameras is some sinister government project.
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