The importance of tolerance

I guess I need to learn a lesson in tolerance from time to time. Even though I disagree with the right wing media and most of the things that they stand for, they should have an opportunity to make their point. And not all football is bad – I’m sure for every English football hooligan there are a dozen kids in Africa having harmless fun through football (and yes, I’m sure there are smart football supporters in England – do us a favor, go ask the violent traveling hooligans to stop being a waste of time and energy).

Things that pissed me off so far today:

  • BBC Breakfast interviewed two people about lesbian/single women getting IVF and similar treatments. A Liberal Democrat (the party I support) was suggesting that such women should have equal access to treatment, while a right wing sociologist with an agenda repeatedly “informed” us that single parent families work out much worse on average, so they shouldn’t be promoted or furnished with opportunities through new medical treatments. The sociologist really pissed me off – she’d be up right against the wall in my revolution.
  • MPs are apparently calling for the immoral 28 day terror detention limit to be raised. This is the time that the UK can run “gitmo” prisons, holding people for 28 days without due process. Fundamentally, this is possible because the UK has no constitution (and thus is not a free country by definition), so the government can arbitrarily decide to lock people up and throw away the key, without any reasonable possibility for recourse. They wanted 90 day detentions originally, and they’ll probably get them now. After all, Friday is the one year anniversary of “7/7″ and I’m sure that mentioning that a few dozen times will be all that’s needed for the idiot press to get with the programme.

We live in very dangerous times. I’m not talking about terrorists with WMDs, dictators with or without oil, or any of that. I’m refering to governments who will happily throw our civil liberties (the right to tell the government to fuck off) right down the toilet. Sure, on some level I can understand the desire to keep known bad guys off the streets – even if the evidence isn’t quite there to justify it – but there are many other ways to achieve that goal. For example, court ordered monitoring of those individuals so they don’t have time to make evil nasties, and many other mechanisms that exist in law and which have worked for hundreds of years so far. Ah, but now “9/11″ and “7/7″ have happened…

I’m not just some left-wing nutjob who is defending the rights of terrorists, I’m defending the rights of the rest of the population, who are often far too dumb to realize what’s going on even when it is too late. I know the UK has been around for a long time, but these days there’s too much MTV and cheap crappy TV to keep people sedated enough to refrain from taking action. This country will, very soon, have a national ID card (I give it a couple of years), start holding people without trial (trial by jury is itself under threat) for 90 days or longer, and generally just continue with the big brother crap until it’s not possible to take a crap without it being recorded, analyzed and processed by some government agency.

Anyway, two major annoyances so far today and it’s only 8am. If only regular people would care so much about these things, we’d be living in a better world by 9 o’clock. I’m talking about the kind of people who watched the Live Aid/Live 8 followup programmes for the Madonna and U2 content, not the message that was allegedly being sent through such popsical farce.


2 Responses to “The importance of tolerance”

  1. MaW says:

    * sigh *

    You forget why the 90 day detentions didn’t go through last time. Any change will be very, very closely examined by the House of Lords.

    It sounds silly to me actually, they’re saying they need to do it with serious safeguards. Sure, fine – but if they have ‘compelling’ evidence to detain somebody for longer, isn’t that enough evidence to charge them?

    It brings in strange but probably not unexpected parallels with the tales the police tell of trying to get the CPS to agree to charge someone against whom they have a pile of evidence.

    And barring the inevitable IT-based screwup it will involve, what’s actually wrong with having an ID card?

  2. jcm says:

    An ID card represents a slippery slope towards totalitarian government. By having a single unique tracking identifier that they can force you to use in every transaction of any significance, an ID card creates a perfect mechanism for automated mass spying on a level never before witnessed. It will happen. And it will be very bad.

    I’m not saying it can be stopped, it’s inevitable that governments will abuse technology to screw over all of us and our lives, but I do think the pace can be slowed through sufficient awareness of the problem. The issue is that we need to motivate the MTV viewing public to take interest.


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