"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Friday, 5 March 2010

Friday Post

(Click pic to enlarge)

From Big Brother Watch:
"My support for them [the two women who refused to go through the airport scanner] has seen the Big Brother Watch mailbag swell with abuse, and we've had some pretty tasty phone calls too (all pretty much along the lines of the charming comments left over at the Daily Mail website). I suppose that this is bound to happen at some point with an organisation like ours, but it's the first time for us, so it's had a particular impact.

"To state the obvious; I'm not supporting these women because they're Muslims. I don't care what they are. I would stand up for anyone in this situation. If the first people to refuse to be scanned said they were Jedi, or a made up religion like Scientology, then I'd be on their side. Because I don't think that anyone should be compelled to go through the scanners...

"...the main issue is the significant - and unjustifiable - intrusion into private lives, the extension yet again of power by the state over the life of the individual. ... people still constantly say - "well, if it makes us a little safer, it's worth it" - "if it saves one life, stops one crime..." - I spend a lot of time pointing out just what a specious argument that is. Plainly, it would "save one child" to ban the motor car, or introduce a night curfew, but we don't, because it would be disproportionate and we have to get on with normal life, even if we incur a slightly higher element of risk in doing so. We don't encourage people to take wild risks with cars, but we don't make liberty-reducing and disproportionate laws, either. We should react to the threat of terrorism in just the same way...

"People are understandably afraid of terrorism. ... [but] we didn’t allow the IRA to impede our freedoms or change our way of life to anything like the degree we are changing now. Those upset by the prospect of undergoing these scans shouldn’t be forced to choose between their dignity and their flight. What kind of a free society does the Government think it is “protecting”, when it invades our privacy like this? When we are forced to expose ourselves at the airport in order to go on holiday, the terrorists have won.

"If you are not free, I am not free."

They make good points - we shouldn't roll over for the State.  We're all at liberty to refuse to be scanned or opt for a pat-down instead.  Instead of Muslim women in burkhas, perhaps we English folk should also take a stand rather than palely loitering around the periphery hurling insults?

Rapiscan in their own words
Eurologix: with us, here and now
Electronic Privacy Information Centre, from 2005.

UPDATE:  Spidey has kindly sent me the following photos which show how the images can be manipulated:


  1. Yup. Open season for perverts.

    I will not go into one of these freedom-strippers because:

    1. They are useless
    2. They invade my privacy
    3. The technology is yet proven to be safe.

    They can pat me down or send me home. I don't care either way.


  2. Oops!

    Typo. Should say "...NOT yet proven to be safe".

  3. LOCR - thanks again for filling in while I was away - I'm glad you're back from Libya with what sounds like a good business deal under your belt - you capitalist you.

    As for the scanners, it's plain to see that there's more to it than meets the eye. The images capable of being generated aren't being shown - we're only shown official, govt-sanctioned photos in the media.

    Another question people have is a medical one: how far do the x-rays penetrate? I get the heeby-jeebies if the dentist wants an x-ray :-) Another question is: do these x-rays show a stick of dynamite up Mohammed's derrier? I think we should be told.

    The main problem is that we're kept in the dark about so much - we've had a succession of secret, coercive governments with a hidden agenda. Why would they bother to change now?

    I have to go - I've just switched on the tv and a familiar face is telling me to buy life insurance but I might get an abused greyhound in return :-)

  4. I left comments at and sent the colour versions of these pictures to the Daily Mail, GV, they have chosen not to use either, so I take it they are also trying to suppress the truth - just recently I've been trying to work out whether the Mail is Left or Right - they seem to be having a major identity crisis just like the former Right-leaning paper, The Labourgraph.

  5. Thanks for the pics Spidey - they were like holiday snaps! Yes, Paul Dacre's a family friend of the Brown's so not exactly impartial. It's hard to know whether the papers are swinging because the voters are or if the voters are swinging because the papers are. It might settle down once the GE date is announced.


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