Big Blair is watching you

by Daniel on April 1, 2004

Great news for British people who occasionally worry that they might be stranded away from the comforting gaze of a CCTV camera, or who think that the police force has too many restraints placed on it in the name of civil liberties.

As of a speech yesterday, our blessed Prime Minister has decided that telephone tapping (an investigation methodology more usually associated with terrorists and international drug gangs) should be permitted for investigations into criminals suspected of offences which would carry a sentence of less than three years if convicted. I know the civil liberties crowd will whine, but as far as I’m concerned, the prospect of not knowing who might be listening in to my phone calls is a small price to pay in the fight against dangerous driving, carrying a knife in public, graffiti and similar massive threats to our lives and liberty.

Even better news, though, is the introduction of “individually targeted CCTV”. It’s horrendously wasteful to just put CCTV cameras up in public places and hope that someone happens along to commit an offence in front of them. Similarly, to wait until an offence is reported and then find out who did it is a waste of scarce resources that could be spent on the NHS. What you need to do is select people who the police think are criminals, put a CCTV camera in their house, then watch them like a hawk until they do something illegal. Then you can swoop down and whizz them off to jail without bothering with a costly and time-consuming jury trial. Since the British State has recently become perfect and never makes mistakes, it’s flawless. Hurray for Tony!

You’ve got to admit it’s a good April Fool’s joke. It took me ages to mock up that page and persuade the Guardian to host it on their website.



Ian 04.01.04 at 9:09 pm

You had me worried there – I thought it was real!!


Elaine Supkis 04.02.04 at 1:23 pm

Spying on the peasants is the ultimate aim. Note that no cameras are tracking the Queen and her law breaking, bizarre children and their out of control doggies.


Robin Green 04.02.04 at 9:51 pm

I saw on the TV some mention of using cameras embedded in mobile phones to spy on people. What a wizard wheeze! Now that’s what I call individually-targeted CCTV!

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