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In the few days, the UK Government has published its plans to collect more data on people’s phone, e-mail and web-browsing habits under the generic umbrella of measures to fight global terrorism.

This will be included in the innocuously sounding ”Communications Data Bill”, due to be introduced in the Queen’s Speech in November.

We do not oppose the fight against global terrorism. But we don’t want to have constant police presence everywhere in my house.

Frankly, many people are outraged by this further intrusion into our civil liberties. A growing number of people want oppose the increasing Big Brother intervention of the present government. Alongside many bloggers, I am voicing my opposition to plans for further spying on our affairs and private lives.

The general sentiments are very well expressed and illustrated in the following post by the Power to the People website and I thank the author for allowing (in fact positively encouraging) the article to be reprinted here, something I would not do normally: Link to article.

As many will be aware, Britain already has the highest amount of surveillance cameras watching over its citizens. City dwellers are typically filmed dozens of times per day – something that has not actually reduced violent crime statistics under the present government! We seem to be heading for – if not there already – a police state. And this is scary, because once a government acquires certain powers, it does not typically ever give them up. So there will unlikely be a relaxation on the current policing techniques employed. And I am not sure police can even use their newly acquired powers to get us the degree of protection they claim they will offer.

The initiative to indicate our common outrage at this most recent government measure has in fact come from a blog at shrewdmammal.com – the author is urging people to include the tagRESIST‘ in all like minded posts and has included a logo which I have included on the front of my own blog.

If you share our views, and think the government is beginning to enjoy too much intrusive power over Britain, please feel free to reprint this article in your own blog.

Thank you.

Ah, what did we expect! Lord Mendelson, only back in the Tory government for less than a month, has already – tangentally – been involved in a scandal.

Mendelson: The chap does truly have a talent for sniffing out trouble. This time, he has been invited to stay on a yacht by a Russian multi-billionaire Oleg Deripaska. What business does he have to mingle with a super-rich oligarch – someone with proven connections to Russian mobsters? I am sure the subject matter of his meetings were all totally above board… yeah right…

Bravo, Mendelson. I guess it is a new twist to his CV to befriend old mates of Russian mafia – or shall we just call it networking with a wider group of contacts?

More details on Mr Deripaska here.

George Osborne: And yes, if we call this “impaired judgement”, then the world of UK politics is currently full of clowns with impaired judgement. George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, was reported recently trying to solicit a donation of £50,000 from the same Mr Deripaska whilst staying on the same yacht in Corfu. Which he strongly denies, which must mean it is true.

It is illegal in the UK to obtain donations from members of non-UK electorate. However as “soliciting a donation” is not an offence, he is not going to be investigated for this further. Wow – now that was close, wasn’t it?

So much for David Cameron’s assertion that “character and judgement” is more important than experience if Tories come to power. Mr Osborne’s judgement was, shall we say, examined and found wanting in this matter.

Read the full story on this here.

I do despair. The current Labour government has caused a total financial fiasco and seem to have forgotten they were responsible for it. Perhaps bringing Mandy back is a smoke screen to distract the voter from their economic incompetencies – anticipating the inevitable scandals – which as we can see were not long in coming?

Tories, as their major opposition have no consistent political platform, seem to only be capable of finger-pointing and petty bickering with Labour, and are showing an embarassing lack of experience and judgement. Which only poses questions about whether they are fit to be in the hot seat.

Aaahhhhhhgrh!

 

Copyright 2008 by CuriouslyInspired

In this morning’s speech, David Cameron laid blame for the current state of the UK economy at Gordon Brown’s feet.

Labour a failure: Cameron stated that the Labour government was responsible for the “complete and utter failure” of economic policy and that it has been an “irresponsible government” presiding over a period of “irresponsible capitalism”.

The implication is that the nation is now reaping the results of this policy as we slide into a recession, our financial sectors in tatters – and that this could have been prevented.

Cease support: In the recent days, Conservatives have been seemingly supporting Labour especially in the latter’s bid to work out a bailout package. So much so that one was wondering if the Conversatives have had any of their own thoughts about the economic policy. And, whilst Cameron is now effectlively making a statement that he is ending Conversatives’ support of the current government’s economic measures, one still wonders what exactly is he going to propose that amounts to a solid economic platform that is actually different from the current course.

General noises are being made about tougher regulations, “new measures to rebalance the economy”, and changes to laws. Whilst this is all good and fine, none of these appear novel measures that have not been mentioned before by someone else.

Are Conservatives still struggling to pull it together? On the evidence I see (or shall I say, do not see) today – yes. But so is Labour, really, although at least they have some sort of action plan for now.

Silly Political games: What seems to be happening on both sides is a lot of posturing. Whilst Gordon Brown is savouring the role of the saviour of the world’s financial system, his opponent David Cameron is the homegrown oracle who had seen it all coming and can see right through the incompetencies of the present government – yeah, right. How easy is it to throw stones about, say “I told you so” and then duck for cover – as really you have nothing new to say, Mr Cameron. Come up with some really smart proposal that will tell you apart from other government policymakers, then maybe we’ll put more trust in the Conservatives.

Until then – the usual charade of ceremonial policital repartee continues. Yawn…  

 

Copyright 2008 by CuriouslyInspired

Gordon Brown decided to bring Peter Mendelson back to join the Government as business secretary. Oh dear. Quoting John McDonnel, a left wing Labour MP:

This is an extraordinary step backwards into the worst elements of the Blair era, to reinstate possibly the most divisive figure in Labour’s recent history 

So an interesting choice from Mr Brown. Apparently the move to bring Mr Mendelson back is expected to unite the Labour party stopping the division into Blairites and Brownites. We can see that this is bound to work, right?!

As the BBC reminds us, Mr Mendelson already left the government twice before in disgrace – “once over a loan from his ministerial colleague Geoffrey Robinson” (failure to disclose a £373K loan from another minister) “and once over allegations of misconduct over a passport application for the Hinduja brothers. An inquiry later cleared him of wrongdoing over the Hinduja affair”.

So Mr Mendelson, the corrupt-but-rehabilitated-by-Blair former spinmaster of Labour, is here again. One only wonders that Mr Brown does not care for public opinion on his newly appointed cabinet figures. Or is he on a self-destruct course?

Tried and tested and squeaky clean politicians, anyone?

Fantastic! A local council in Birmingham has found a fantastic way to better integrate Muslims into the UK society. Amongst other projects, they chose to allocate government money towards printing dozens of slogan T-shirts with “I love Islam” on them.

The money was made available by the governement to generally help improve Muslim integration and was allocated to various local councils that later chose schemes of their own to invest it in.

What an inspired solution. Surely T-shirts will put everyone’s minds at ease immediately, stop all the worries about UK’s tolerance towards Muslims, and make all Muslims feel right at home. And possibly also somehow resolve any threats of global terrorism.

T-shirt modelling: A bit unclear as to who the intended fashion models of these would be? Council heads perhaps – to demonstrate their full committment to resolving inter-cultural problems?

How about this though. At the root of the current increased tension between UK cultures lie religious tensions aggravated by the fact that UK invaded Iraq following US’s lead.

Surely the solution would be for UK to stop meddling in the Middle East, something Britain has been doing for decades, and withdraw from Iraq and Afganistan? Ah, yes, I keep forgetting that the US-UK invasion has caused a fine mess there so leaving now is not really an option. Hmm. Not an easy one is it folks?

How about this then: Acknowledge that religious intolerance is the critical contributor to the world’s conflicts, and work to solve that – not waste money on T-shirts. Which means: (A) educate kids in a more liberal way, don’t let them be indoctrinated into religion from an early age when they are most susceptible, and let them decide for themselves whether they want to have faith or be atheist; and (B) look into the reasons why fundamentalism is taking a stronger hold in communities at this stage, and work on the root causes.

The current policy of giving money to random hare-brain schemes to promote “better intercultural integration” just feels like a random knee-jerk reaction and shows the British government, and the local authorities, have not got the finger on the pulse. Tell me something I did not know before…

It appears that the two countries are at it again. Russia is responding to this summer’s US-Poland deal for creating a missile defense shield in Europe by warning that it will take “appropriate action” in turn. Which means it wants to continue showing the West the favourite Russian response of “we are big, we are strong and we take no sh*t“. Stick warheads everywhere. Hmm.

We’ve been here before. Where has all the good work at reducing the stock of nuclear warheads of both countries in the past 20 years gone?

But can Russia sustain this now? According to Gazeta.ru on the 26th August, Russia does not really have the internal resources to support a fully-blown cold war anymore.

Also, due to capitalism well and truly taking hold in Russia, the government has lost its ability to squeeze every last drop out of its country to support the cold war and “achieve the highest degree of authoritarianism” without the whole economy going to pot as the result: Link

But they can always try, and knowing Putin try he might!

Do I find this inspiring? No. Perhaps I should call myself today CuriouslyVeryUneasy.

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