Categorised | Big Brother, Civil Liberties, Featured, General |

Public must call time on Big Brother Britain

Enough is enough, the UK is becoming a police state by our control obsessed government and we are sitting back and allowing it to happen. It makes me angry to see such lethargy. Everytime a new act is brought in, far more sinister aspects are buried in the detail, which further curtail our civil liberties, freedom and privacy. This has got to stop and now, state should not be permitted to control the people, it should be the other way around. As it stands, just 650 members of parliament are pushing some 65m people around, yes, I mean 650, because whilst this government may have a majority, the MP’s from other parties are not making enough noise about this massive intrusion into our lives, they should be fired, the lot of them. We are quick to condemn the bankers (rightly so in many cases), but we do nothing about the MP’s that have consistently introduced or supported Acts of Parliament that intrude into our lives, in a way that will affect us for many years to come. We must put a stop to it.

It is expected that plans to collect more data on people’s phone, e-mail and web-browsing habits will be included in the innocuously sounding “Communications Data Bill”, due to be introduced in the Queen’s Speech in November. By all accounts, these proposals are supported by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Gordon Brown and much of the Labour government. Once again, the government is expected to justify this gross intrusion into the personal lives of 65m people under the auspices of ‘counter-terrorism’, this is utter garbage, they know it and we know it. Yes, there are terrorists out there and they don’t wear badges, but this country has faced terrorism before and the security forces managed to investigate and prosecute without such laws.

I don’t know how many terrorists are out there, but it is not 65m and is probably less that a couple of thousand, why should the privacy and personal of 65m people be invaded by this government because of a few people that mean us harm? This whole thing needs to be put in perspective, more people in the UK die on the roads than as a result of terrorism, more soldiers are killed abroad, than in the UK as a result of terrorism, in fact, more people are killed in farming accidents than as a consequence of terrorism. This government has invested massively in the security services, allowing them to go on a substantial recruitment drive, there should be no need for a massive Big Brother surveillance operation of the entire population of the UK. Before some smart-arse suggests that it is this surveillance and investment in the security services that has reduced the number of terrorist incidents in the UK, I would ask them to provide further evidence that this is the case and then to put it into perspective. For example, it is well know that the airline industry work out whether safety mechanisms are worth introducing on their planes on the basis of a cost/benefit analysis. In other words, will the costs associated with an accident outweigh the cost of implementing the safety programmes. Fact of life, they all do it, they just rarely tell us!

Of course the government will issue the usual platitudes and assurances that they will not misuse this information, but can we believe them. The Icelandic authorities had their assets frozen using anti-terror laws, in spite of the fact that there were other laws that could have been used and would have been just as effective. A local council used anti-terror legislation to spy on the parents of a child that they throught was in the wrong ‘catchment area’. This list, trust me, goes on and on. We also know that this government and it’s private sector partners are incapapble of securing data, which means our personal lives could be open to all and sundry. Some will argue that if you have nothing to hide, then there is nothing to hide, these same people probably still believe in Father Christmas. As we know information, any information can be used in different ways, depending on the intepretation of the recipient, how many times have we all said or done something that was completely misrepresented?

I have nothing to hide, but I object strongly to my personal calls, web browsing habits and email being monitored and invaded by the state. Government’s could even misuse this information to find out how we intend to vote! It is an appalling proposal and it is high time the British public called time on this control obsessed government and it’s supporters, irrespective of which party they represent. This goes beyond party politics, it is a direct attack on the very fabric of our society and no-one will be safe from government interference if it is allowed to pass into law. If the government believe that this act is so important, then they should allow the British people to vote on it through a referendum, I believe they will get a resounding No…and they know it!

People often tell me that there is “not much we can do”, but there is. Our members of parliament are worried sick that they may lose their seat at the next election, we must emphasise to them that if they support this attack on our civil liberties that we guarantee they will. We must demonstrate to our MP’s that they should be more in fear of the wrath of the British public that the Chief Whip of their own parties. Opposition MP’s should do their jobs and oppose this draconian piece of legislation. We must also warn our local members of parliament that if they vote for this Act, then we will not vote for them, we must make it clear, that we have a voice, not once every 5 years, but throughout their tenure and that we will have it heard. Everyone that feels this Act is a direct infringement of our civil liberties, right to privacy and an attack on the very fabric of our society, should write to their MP and tell them so. I have provided a ‘draft letter’ which can be viewed, personalised and sent to your MP. Draft Letter to MP

I would also invite all fellow bloggers that feel as strongly as I do on this issue to reproduce this article in part or full, topped and tailed if they wish, to publicise this issue to as many people as possible. Let us all stand up and fight in this issue, and remind this government who is actually in charge.


For more information on how the UK government is steadily eroding our rights to privacy and our civil liberties, I would recommend that you take a look at these articles. Privacy Controls – Nothing to Hide


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29 Comments For This Post

  1. Shrewdy Says:

    “I have nothing to hide” which is the line that all apologists for this sort of thing trot out followed by the “you have nothing to worry about”. Of course most Sheeple (present company excepted of course) will think that and say “Oh, OK well I am fine then, I trust the government” which is the single most crazy thing to do. Democracy and it’s survival relies on free debate, criticism and sometimes action against the ruling elite, otherwise they start to abuse power and begi to develop ways to maintain a grip on power which IMHO we have been seeing for the past 10 years because lets face it, who in their right mind would vote this lot in again for a very long time??

    And anyway, who watches the watchers? There will be no independent watchdog with TEETH to investigate, and if required, challenge in court anything this data is used for. The very collection of this sort of data, along with DNA and Traffic Movements represents a clear breach of the UN Charter on Human Rights of which the UK Government is a signatory. This should be flagged – maybe we need to get UN observers in to scrutinize the next UK election 😉

    Also, the argument about nothing to hide nothing to fear is based on a very fragile assumption, that both you and the state agree on the nature of a) the threat and b) the definition of “wrong”.

    Given that the state now says it is WRONG to protest without permission from the state, that it is WRONG to read the names of dead British Soldiers outside of 10 Downing Street (Arrested under the PoT Act), that it is WRONG that we should expect privacy AND security, well how far will it go before we say NO, that is not right?

    I know a LOT of Civil Servants and Local Government Employees who buy into this stuff hook, line and sinker – of course they would and I cannot fault them for wanting to protect their income but to agree and indeed support the complete erosion of our human right to liberty is a shameful indictment on the character of the person. This sort of justification by abrogation of responsibility went on in the 1930’s in Germany and anyone who says I am being alarmist can go wait inside their house until the Fuzz kick in their door because their child has been suspected of being subject to “Fundamentalist” influences. I expect the long arm of the law to be feeling my collar because I tell my daughter that in MY opinion and that of MY religion Jesus is the ONLY way, I guess that makes me a fundamentalist.

    The state is running away with itself and in 2 years time, when we all start feeling good about the economy again we will forget that whilst we were looking at the TV, the state has implemented a control system that is abhorrent, disgusting and frankly diametrically opposed to any sentiment or understanding of the words “Freedom”, “Democracy” and “Liberty”. My daughter deserves to live in a free and fair society, not one run by fear, not one that delivers security at the price of free thought, speech and protest.

    The time is NOW, the time to stand up is NOW. Know the law, use the law and overwhelm the system.

    OK, now I need another coffee.

    I blogged about this issue the other day and I agree completely with this article.

    Great letter by the way – people can always look at to find out who their local mp is.

    Keep up the good work 🙂


  2. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks for your comments Shrewdy and your reference to this article on your blog. I am genuinely worried about what is going on in our country and angered by the contempt this government and, it has to be said, other MP’s, show the electorate. I don’t know how many people will be able or willing to repeat my article or a version of it, with the letter, but I live in hope that perhaps, the people can make some form of impact, or at least get the ball rolling. Power to the People!

  3. Shrewdy Says:

    Mate, I have sent the letter on to a few good people who will do that thing….

  4. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks 🙂

  5. freethinkeruk Says:

    Absolutley right ‘frustrated voter’ it is extremely worrying particularly as I fear that it may even be too late to us to force change. I have written on several ocassions expressing my concerns. All the conditions for total state control are being put in place and eventually they will all be linked together. CCTV cameras on nearly every corner, so called traffic flow cameras on major roads can also be used to track ‘disidents’ such as trade union leaders, peace and civil rights campaigners and so on. ID cards with biometric details and bar codes containing unknown to us, information. The list goes on.

    Yes I agree, make it clear to our MP’s that we will deny them our vote but the problem is that whoever replaces them is likely to be no different over time; power seems irresitable and power as we know, corrupts. We must go down fighting but I’m sadly beginning to think that go down we must. Hope not though.

  6. Frustrated Voter Says:

    freethinkeruk: Thanks for your comments. I know what you mean, it does feel like we are drowning, but perhaps if enough people were to write to their MP’s to demand that they say “NO” to any further state powers, then they will be reminded who is in charge of whom. It may be a vain hope, but I would like to use this particular issue to see if we can get fellow bloggers to reproduce the article, after they have topped and tailed it with their own comments, together with the ‘draft letter’. You never know there may just be enough us left to make an impact. I am, thank god, an optimist, but like you, I wonder if that is just wishful thinking, because it does feel like we are drowning.

  7. Something to Say Says:

    An excellent article and draft letter. I have added this to my blog and already posted my letter. It is probably more in hope than expectation, but maybe the internet could be used to create a people movement, where those likeminded can pressure their MP’s directly.

  8. freethinkeruk Says:

    Frustrated Voter said “You never know there may just be enough us left to make an impact. I am, thank god, an optimist, but like you, I wonder if that is just wishful thinking, because it does feel like we are drowning.”

    I didn’t mean to give the impression that the task was hopeless and I’m certainly going to do all that I can. It’s a fine line between being a realist and becoming a cynic! I’ll be watching myself more closely in future. 🙂

  9. Frustrated Voter Says:

    freethinkeruk: I didn’t read your comments as being a cynic, only, if you excuse the pun, frustrated and I can’t blame you. Probably best we all stick together and that way we can ensire that 1., we don’t become cynics and 2. we are entitled to be heard as a group and individuals. Here’s to peaceful protest! 😉

  10. Dean Donaldson Says:

    You know my views on all this, Hitler would have loved all this – and the people naively trusted him. When you think of the technology being rolled in under our noses; RFID enabled Oystercards in London that can be tracked from hundreds of feet away, linked to every product purchase via ‘wave-and-pay’, wireless CCTV cameras with microphones across central London recording you 300x a day, DVLA wanting to put tracking RFID chips into every car on the road and remove speed cameras with always-on surveillance… ask yourself really, truthfully, do you really have “nothing to hide”

    It’s my pleasure to reproduce your article there.

    And should this fail, then it’s time to march…

  11. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Dean thanks for your support and reproducing the article. I have never been on a march in my life, but I have to say, I am so enraged by this government intrusion, that I would willingly do so.

  12. Mesanna Says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my site. I’ve just emailed my local MP to protest about the Data Communications Bill! I must confess I have never contacted an MP before in my life, but I feel very strongly about this matter. Thank you for providing the tools to make it easier to protest. I hope anyone else seeing this page takes the initiative also. If enough people get off their lazy backsides maybe, just maybe, it might make a difference.

  13. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks Mesanna for making the effort. You are of course completely right, if enough of us right to our MP’s, especially if we have never done it before, they just may sit up and take notice. We need to publish this article in as many places as possible to allow other likeminded people to do likewise, albeit, there are many who actually believe that those of us that want to retain our right to privacy, actually have something to hide…which completely misses the point.

  14. Mr Angry Says:

    I fully support your assertion that we all need to be doing something to resist New Labour’s persistent attacks on our right to privacy. Unless we respond quickly and strongly, this government will be emboldended by its ability to get away with whatever it wants.

  15. The Thinking Man Says:

    At last, someone that is willing to stand up and be counted, I for one am all with you.

  16. Curly Says:

    Excellent article I am right behind you on this.

    Letter now sitting in the Foreign Secretary’s in box!

  17. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks for your support Curly, as you say, they may not take any notice, but at least we will have tried.

  18. Noscere Says:

    First off thanks for the comment you made on my blog. You are very right in what you say. But this is not all, the government already have access to our texts and emails, Mobile phone networks have the power to access the text messages we send anyway, (or so I was told by an engineer and technical support adviser from a well known mobile network All the government need to is ask them for the information.
    I am going to reproduce your post and add your URL to by blogroll.

    Dont give up and dont ever shut up..

  19. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Noscere: Many thanks for your response and support. I have also heard that the government already have access to this information. However, my understanding is that the process is more informal and if the service provider doesn’t want to provide the information, they can refer it to an arbitrator. As I understand it, the government are attempting to remove any form of oversight, strengthen the existing laws, provide more government departments with unfettered access and require the service providers and operators to keep the information for 2 years. It all stacks up to something completely unacceptable. 65m people lose their right to privacy, for the sake of targeting a few hundred questionable individuals.

    Here is a quote from Margaret Thatcher, even if you didn’t agree with all her policies, the last part of this statement is relevant today.

    Margaret Thatcher:
    “Let me give you my vision. A man’s right to work as he will. To spend what he earns. To own property. To have the State as servant and not as master. These are the British inheritance.”

  20. Watching Them, Watching Us Says:

    Provided that you put the draft letter above into your own words, rather than just copying and pasting it, you can conveniently find your elected representatives and send it to them for free, i.e. to your Westminster MP, your devolved Parliament or Assembly member, your European Parliament members or your local Councillors via the website.

    N.B. Members of Parliament usually only accept correspondence from their own actual constituents.

    You also might like to consider joining or supporting cross political party campaign groups like the NO2ID Campaign or the Open Rights Group, both of which are campaigning against this big brother / big nanny/ surveillance / secret police / database society or state

    Even if all that you are doing is legally and peacefully challenging the secret bureaucracy and politicians, you should take a few precautions, some of which are outlined in Spy Blog’s Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers, Journalists, Bloggers and Political Activists

  21. mattblackall Says:

    Hi Frustrated Voter, firstly, thanks for your comment on my Applauding a Tory blog post (

    I totally agree with what you say; the most important part being that this goes beyond party politics- no matter what ideology people adhere to, if they respect having their own privacy then they should fight this legislation, starting off by sending your excellent letter to their MP.

    Personally, I want to get a couple of friends together and walk around our town with cameras (not turned on, but appearing to be) and T-shirts saying ‘For your safety’, and follow random people around, just to highlight invasions of privacy. Perhaps by questioning people first, we would find out if they support or oppose the law first, and if they support, follow them… On second thoughts, I will look into the legality of this, as if this were illegal I would be severely punished, whereas this government does not seem to be held to account for anything (Tony Blair should be sent to The Hague to face war crimes as an example).

    There is one comment in your article I do disagree with however, that is the contention that if this was taken to a national referendum it would lose- I generally believe that more people would support these measures because “they have nothing to hide” and for “safety”, despite how ridiculous believing in these arguments is. However, I believe there are a larger number of people willing to openly discuss this issue in the ‘oppose’ camp, giving the pro-civil liberties lobby a larger and stronger voice, but we need to compensate on this and fight for our right to live our own lives within the privacy of ourselves and those we wish to share it with.

    I will post this article word for word on my blog and link to your page in it (despite this being a Conservative blog and me having a bitter dislike for the Conservative party- and NewLabour for that matter- which I guess shows that this issue goes beyond party politics).


    Matt Blackall

  22. Frustrated Voter Says:

    Thanks for your support Matt and I take on board your comments regarding a referendum. It is certainly true that those against this type of infringment appear to be more vocal, than those for, but I suspect that it would still be a close run thing if people understood exactly what information was being collected and who would have access to it. interesting point you make regarding this being a “conservative” blog, true I used to be a conservative, but at the moments, I probably have more in common with Libertarians than any mainstream party. 😉

  23. Frustrated Voter Says:

    One of the readers of this blog, used a version of my template and sent it to her MP, she has agreed that I can include some extracts from the letter, but asked that I respect her privacy and that of her MP, which I am pleased to do.

    “The Bill you mention was included in the Draft Legislative Programme announced in May and will be available for pre-legislative scrutiny later in the year.

    I do however have serious concerns about any proposal which would allow the State to gain access to every individual’s personal details such as their mobile phone records, records of their emails and websites visited which is what has appeared in the press

    I will write to the Home Secretary putting your concerns to her and request that she arrange for someone from her Department to provide a response to your points.”

  24. KHR Says:

    I have a slightly different perspective on this – I live and work in the Isle of Man which is now (along with all other Offshore Jurisdictions) due to come under sustained attack on the basis that they are contributing to every evil in the world by banking for the ‘bad guys’. The defense that we would adopt is that we are better regulated and more aware and active in seek threats than anyone else since our existence depends on us doing this well. Perversely we also have to be closer to our clients becasue there are a lower number of them so we have the time to consider what we do and are not driven by government (which is non-party based) or by greed.

    However, getting to the point relevent to this blog – we do not reveal details as a matter of course to everyone else for two basic reasons 1) We respect the right to privacy (not secrecy as everyone else would say) and 2) we still maintain the old principle that we are willing to believe people until they give us good reason to suspect that they are not being honest.

    What the US and UK and EU are saying is that we should tell them everything about everybody who deals with us because they could all be suspicious – we maintain we will supply information on anyone should there be resonable grounds for suspicion presented.

    I fear that, what I beleive to be the priciples that I was brought up on as I grew up in Longbridge, Birmingham (grandfather and father worked in Austin’s for a combined 72 years before being let down along with all manufacturing industry in the UK) are no longer true in Britain – right to privacy and presumption of innocense – I would feel it to be a great shame that a place that has genuinely maintained this in my adopted home of the Isle of Man, will get crushed in what is actually an operation in governments hitting a fairly soft underbelly of the financial industry (becasue of relative scale both financially and politically) becasue they see a potential pot of gold and also someone else to demonise to delfect attention from their own failings.

    I despair…

  25. Bobby Says:

    This is what we get when populations are disarmed and all violence that isn’t endorsed by the state is demonised. Americans have the right to be armed for the purpose of overthrowing any tyrannical government that their founding fathers couldn’t forsee but knew would happen. What bloody idiots think that talking is ever going to make a more equitable system. The people should be armed in defence of the people because the police and the army are in the pay of politicians and would turn against the people quick smart. Pacifism is a tool the government use against us. Governments would crush us all at a whim just to stay top dog. It’s what all the laws and surveillance is designed to do. So we can either rot in our gilded cages or refuse them, ignore them and fight them at every turn. They are the ones who need to be told what to do not us.

  26. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @ Bobby: Thanks for your comments. I am not an expert on American politics, but I always believed that the right to carry arms was for defence, rather than a tool to overthrow an authorotarian government. I agree that the police in particular, at least in the UK, have become a tool of government, rather than protector of liberty and the people, that is worrying. The police have been provided with unprecedented powers and the people of this country must ask why it is necessary, fear of terrorism has been the government’s justification, but that cannot possibly justify the extent to which the government wishes to monitor, follow and control the majority.

  27. mirabelle Says:

    I agree? It’s become kinda scary. Cameras everywhere and most people don’t feel uneasy about it.

    So that leads to the next question: made up your mind for May 6th?
    If not, I find a weird program called the vote-u-lator:

    It tells you who you are for based on the kind of vocabulary you use. But I’m a bit cautious because it decided I was a conservative 😀

  28. alan Says:

    I really do wonder exactly who wants anonymity…thieves, rapists,peodofiles murderers.Anyone with something to hide. Why not have a national DNA database. honest/decent people will have no problem with that. It would save huge amounts of police resources/taxpayers money, not counting deterrent ,plus bringing to book the thousands of offenders who have so far escaped justice, but no chance cos that net would catch quite a few so called civil liberty etc objectors.

  29. Frustrated Voter Says:

    @Alan. If you place too much power in the hands of the state then, as history has proven time and time again, you are encouraging an abuse of power. It is naive to assume that those in power will always use this type of database as a tool rather than a weapon.

    The assumption that those that are fighting for our civil liberties have something to hide is insulting. It is people like you that would give up the civil liberties that our ancestors fought for.

    Listening and recording all of our conversations and placing each of us on a DNA database is, in my opinion, fast moving towards a Police State. If that is what you want, then move to China, the rest of us will continue to fight prevent an erosion of the rest of our civil liberties.

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