UK surveillance becoming Orwelllian

From Dave Marsh via the Rock and Rap Confidential listserv

Ray Davies told me a few weeks ago that the situation as regards civil liberties in the UK is even worse than in the US. My jaw dropped. He insisted he was right. Roger’s the only other one I’ve seen to say so.

Roger Daltrey – CCTV caused hoodies

Roger Daltrey has hit out at the Government over civil liberties.

“I wish young people were treated with more understanding,” Daltrey told NME. “The reason kids wear hoodies is because of all the CCTV cameras. If I was a kid now, I’d be a hoodie. I wouldn’t want them to watch me either.”

Daltrey added: “It’s a horrendous society we live in, and it creates disrespect for the law.”


  1. With more CCTV cameras per head of the population the UK leads the world and with a higher percentage of its people in prison than any other European country we certainly can’t claim to be the country with the greatest personal freedom. The civil liberties that have just melted away since the ” war on terror” defies belief and still they push for more. The government is trying to push through a 42 day detention without charge having first tried for 90 days and had it flung out of parliament. The 9/11 and the the ensuing “war on terror” created a cover for the most draconian population control anywhere in the developed world and having started down that path each party is trying to out do the other on “being tough” on illegal immigrants and the imaginary invasion of terrorists.

  2. Well, I on the other hand am not worried about some cameras watching where I eat or where I go to work. People now post all this information on myspace, facebook, orkut and all those other sites. The government doesn’t need to watch us to find out where we’ve been yesterday, all it has to do is become our friend. We readily put this information to the public, having someone video taping you is no big deal.

  3. I for one don’t visit facebook, myspace or any of the other like sites. and I do object very strongly about being filmed everywhere I go. I also think that the usual crap mantra trotted out about “if you are innocent you have nothing to fear” is an open door to further surveillance. If their mantra is the truth then lets put all those legislators lifes on video 24 hours a day, after all they are the ones that we should be watching and listening to, they make the decisions that will influence my life, 90%+ of the people on the street are just trying to live their lives in their own way.

  4. I agree with John: most of us have something to fear from government surveillance because governments fear difference. Whether it’s my divergent political beliefs, my lack of religiousity, my radical view of the Bible, my work for peace, or my gun collection, there’s plenty the government wouldn’t like about me. (I have no doubt I already have a file somewhere.) And even if I did fit this administration’s profile, it’s a fair bet the next administration will be different.

    As to general surveillance, any divergence from the norm makes one a target, whether it’s talking (even by accident) to a “radical,” or not paying attention in an intersection which’ll get you an automated speeding ticket in some locales. When surveillance becomes the norm, it’s an open admission that the government no longer trusts its people– and that the people should no longer trust their government.

  5. If it is innocent until provn guilty why should it be surveillance until we get something on you, and they will, we are all different and those in power don’t like that diversity, it is difficult to control.

  6. When a legislature goes out on the street and theres a camera pointed at him, he’s not blurred out and neither are you. If he flies by a traffic light and is caught on camera, he’s caught on camera. If you really think these people get away with whatever they want and are really pulling the strings and trying to control the masses, well thats blatant paranoia on your part and if you fall for that then they are succeeding with there “goals”.

  7. Your last statement is an admission that “they” have “goals”.
    It is not paranoia to wish to know what those who legislate to control our lives are up to and to believe that they have an agenda different from the spouted public words. It would be nice to know who influences them and who stands to gain most from their actions. To believe that the people who legislate “on our behalf” have our interests at heart and are open and honest people is just a wee bit too trusting. Hence my original statement that those who legistate to have cameras all over the place should put themselves in front of the camera more than the rest of us. The decisions that influence us most are not made while jumping a red light or walking down the main shopping street, haven’t you heard of “closed doors”? If you are in favour of surveillance why not put a web camera in each of your rooms at home, in your car, and at your place of work, if you’ve nothing to hid, then you have nothing to fear, go on, let’s all have a look 24/7

  8. The U.S. political system is predicated on the mistrust of government– hence government’s mistrust of the populace should be no surprise. From McCarthy’s witch hunts to Nixon’s enemies list to Bush’s warrentless spying, there’s plenty of evidence that mistrust of government is not paranoia. Plus I know for a fact that the CIA checked up on me while I was doing volunteer work overseas, because they questioned one of my co-workers about me. God forbid a U.S. citizen should be pro-peace!

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