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Big Brother is watching: Not in 1984 but in 2002

 

Across London, these posters can be seen telling us all that we are ‘Secure beneath The Watchful Eyes’ of the Metropolitan Police. I cannot tell you how much better that makes me feel. The imagery is pure 1930’s/1940’s and conjurors up the ‘Golden Age of Totalitarianism’.

Britain is already a Police State in so far as the means for total repression are already well and truly in place. As the poster indicates all too well, Britain is the nation most under surveillance on Earth, Echelon monitors our domestic communications, our Internet usage is logged for years due to the Draconian RIP Act, our locations detected via our mobile phones and logged, all for the apparatus of state to access on very low level authority. Civilians are not just deprived of any firearms, in reality we are forbidden to defend ourselves and our property with so much as a broom stick. Our right to trial by Jury faces abridgement, even our ancient protection of Habeas Corpus is now a dead letter under European extradition laws.

Yes, we still have a fairly free press, in so far as the media are strong enough to prevent restrictions against their actions… yet do not dare to make an allegedly ‘racist’ remark or pour scorn on someone’s religion or make a joke about Wales: if you do then expect to find yourself up in front of the Beak justifying yourself under threat of fine or gaol, and forget saying “I was just exercising my right to freedom of speech”.

Is it any surprise that the powers that be feel they can dare put posters announcing that you are ‘Secure beneath The Watchful Eyes’. Secure? From what? Surveillance increases daily at the same times as crime soars out of control, so if we are not ‘secure’ from crime, then what exactly is being secured? We face many threats in the modern world but the biggest comes from the people who would watch our every action so that the State may choose to judge us when it sees fit.

How long before we start seeing this poster?

Update: See follow up articles to this one on Samizdata.net here and here

263 comments to Big Brother is watching: Not in 1984 but in 2002

  • David Carr

    Good grief, you are so right about that poster. It’s like something out of a Fritz Lang movie. Where did you find it?

  • I took the picture on a bus shelter on King’s Road in Chelsea yesterday.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Mein Gott. Let me get this straight. You, or some Photoshop’er, did NOT make that? Those are actually posted up around London by the government? I am…dumbfounded.

    Why are you folks still in the UK? Why are you not over here? Run while you still can.

  • Well, it’s bollocks, anyway. Nobody in this place feels anything like secure. A particularly bizarre and twisted piece of wishful thinking.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    I forgot to list your other option besides leaving: rebellion.

    One can hope, right? 400,000 pissed off marchers is a significant start.

  • A_t

    Bloody hell! that’s utterly crazy. Can’t believe they’d actually put those up & think they’re a good idea.

    & :) Alice; spot on! I guess it’s like most advertising; shout the opposite of the truth very loudly! We’ve got ‘nuf CCTV cameras in my neighbourhood, & still plenty muggings etc.

  • Yes, it is an actual poster. I was there when Perry took the picture….

  • A_t: Yes, it does seem crazy, yet someone clearly thinks it is a good idea and wants people to think “Oh goodie! More surveillance, that is what we need to make us safe!”.

    I am all for people being safe when they get on a bus but the ‘vibe’ being peddled here is something altogether more alarming.

    Alfred E. Neuman: Alas, this is no PhotoShop illusion.

  • Julian Morrison

    The poster is lying through its teeth as Alice Bachini says, not least because the cops are ineffectual, but also because the surveillance it implies isn’t really there. Security cams aren’t networked, so they’re only useful after the fact – and because they’re almost universally high up, a hooded jacket and baseball cap defeats them. Crooks know this.

    I suspect this is actually deliberate tricking-the-system by some sympathetic poster-designing insider. Surely it’s too dumb and obvious to be actually meant without irony.

  • John Thacker

    That’s an actual poster, put up by the Government? Dear Lord. I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or get upset.

  • We’re all ignoring the most important question.

    Where do I get London Metro Insignia Contact Lenses????

  • J McTernan

    Where’s Big Brother’s mustache ? I thought he was supposed to look like the recruiting poster starring Lord Kitchener that I’ve never seen but have heard of (I’m a Yank).

  • I’m astounded. At first I thought this was an illustration for 1984. This was posted by the government, and not a group opposed to the “watchful eyes”? That’s scary. Very scary.

    Are there any serious protests against this? In the U.S. we’d have the ACLU, and just about every other civil rights society screaming against this. Hell, we have people screaming against cameras which automatically take pictures of people who run stop-lights!

  • J: I don’t know about the history of big brother, but the artists for the paperbacks seemed a bit confused on that point. I’ll have to read the book again after seeing this. Brr. Scary stuff.

  • Ummm, wow. I think it’s about time we Americans got rid of the immigration caps from Britain. They might not want you or care about your safety but we’ll take ya.

  • I think on second reading, it’s supposed to be funny.

    No-one takes Communism seriously anymore, right, so using their graphic art is obviously just an elegant artistic piece of kitsch. However, some people (proles) are dumb enough actually to want a police state. The same people who take the idea of personal security seriously. What idiots!

    Those dumb “Sun”-reading proles would rather be patronised and oppressed than face up to the reality of everyday violence like people being occasionally murdered outside tube stations, which is the price we pay for a free society, of course, I mean, we wouldn’t want Saudi-style laws, would we?

    A bunch of leftie graphic designers having a laugh, I’d say. And they would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it wasn’t for those meddling libertarians…

  • “Secure”? “SECURE”? “SE-FUCKING-CURE”?

    Grrrrr.

    Robin – them immigration caps you mention… Any chance of getting rid of them, like, *yesterday*?

  • Bear, the (one each)

    I don’t know, Robin: Brits let this happen to themselves by sitting there doing nothing. Do we want that do-nothing, government-is-here-to-help-us mentality here? Not me!

  • Joe Kaplinsky

    Some of us have protested the expansion of surveillance. After the IRA bombing campaign of 1993 a “Ring of Steel” was thrown up around the City of London. I distributed anti-surveillance leaflets to motorists being stopped at check points. We were none too popular.

    That was the time, in the UK, that the expansion of CCTV began to take off. From then on, it could no longer be taken for granted that people would see Big Brother as a wholly bad thing.

    People came to see crime as a bigger threat than the state. While the process was a complex one, the capacity of the state to leverage the support it had for fighting terrorism to introduce a much broader culture of surveillance was an important component. Americans take note.

  • David Carr

    I think Joe is right. HMG can get away with its behaviour (and associated iconography) because the British still have enormous faith in their public servants. They fear crime/terrorism/drug dealing/paedophiles etc and they firmly believe that increased government power and more surveillance is the way to tacke it.

    Campaigners for liberty in this country are still seen as the criminals friends.

  • Mark Odell

    Here’s an idea for freedom-loving Brits to try:

    Wired News: Routes of Least Surveillance

  • Peter Schiavo

    I know what they’re powering the cameras with. They hooked a turbine to Orwell’s spinning corpse.

  • John

    Seems to me that the only route left is to start planning the revolution. At least in doing so you can attempt to control the fate of your own lives, and freedom.

    It’s not that bad here in the US, but its starting to get that way, only a matter of time as it creeps up on us bit by bit. Guess we should start planning too?

  • Well imagine how creepy it might be to have a CCTV ‘traffic’ camera 20 feet from your bedroom window…

    I’ve never seen it pointed in my direction but I still find it spooky.

  • You have got to be kidding, Perry. These things are the real deal?

    If it’s meant to be a pastiche of a wartime poster it comes across as being in pretty poor taste. Not least because everybody’s point of reference for such a message is now Orwell and 1984 – not the originals. If it’s meant to be ironic, where’s the irony? It states quite clearly that we are being watched and is quite unambiguous about this being a good thing for us. If this is the real thing it’s outrageous.

  • Up before the Beak”? Some sort of court? Or what?

  • Devilbunny

    Bear: I say we pull the immigration caps. Anyone who’s interested enough in freedom to uproot themselves and come over here is more than qualified to be a US citizen.

    If any of you Brits needs a place to crash while you get set up, I’ve got a guest bedroom. Hell, I’ll even set you up on dates with my single friends – marriage is, after all, the quickest route to citizenship.

  • amy

    God bless Texas, and the right to blow the head off of any bastard who tries to break into your house.

    (In the state of Texas, you are legally allowed to shoot and kill anyone on your property, so long as you can reasonably prove you were in danger.)

    I am constantly amazed that people don’t seem to understand the correlation between gun ownership and crime. Law-abiding citizens who own guns prevent crime and kill criminals. Unarmed people aren’t pacifists, they are future victims.

  • Bruce Rheinstein

    I wonder where I can get a copy of the poster before the Blair government wise’s up and gets rid of them?

    This things a classic!

  • Not to nit-pic, but Texas law is a bit different than amy represents. (It is better.)

    You may use “deadly force” (which includes attempting to kill, but also includes attempting to do serious damage) against anyone, if “a reasonable person” would feel in danger of death or serious damage (again deadly force, the legal definition.) You may continue to do so so long as you continue in that fear. So you do not have to prove you were in danger, just that a reasonable person would think he was in danger.

    Most courts hold that any reasonable person would fear such from a person who is willing to break into his house while he is at home. Thus, you can “blow the head off of any bastard who tries to break into your house.”

    Back on topic: I, too, would love a copy of this poster. Perry, do you have a larger jpg you can make available? I will print my own.

  • Jim Millar: ‘Up in front of the Beak’ is slang for finding yourself in court in front of a Judge or Magistrate (‘The beak’). This slang dates from the 1700’s I believe but is still used today.

    To see the term in use, follow this link to the UK Parliament’s own website (do a ‘find’ once you are at the page for ‘beak’ to see where the phrase is used).

  • Bob Briant

    What’s new? The Home Secretary’s barely concealed Stalinist inclinations have not escaped notice and comment by others before – as can be seen here

    As leader of Sheffield City Council in the early 1980s he was most enthusiastic about developing twinning links with the Soviet Union before Gorbachev became leader there and started Perestroika and Gasnost.

  • “I know what they’re powering the cameras with. They hooked a turbine to Orwell’s spinning corpse.”

    Not to mention poor Robert Peel…

  • amy

    Thanks for clarifying Steven!

    What can I say, I’ve only lived here for six years! *gasp*

  • dude

    Since I wouldn’t count on an armed uprising and revolution against this nonsense, I say move here to the USA before the EU declares emigration to the United States a Hate Crime punishable by a unspecified term in an Education Camp somewhere on the continent.

    Looks like it’s a race between Police State and Sharia on the other side of the Atlantic. I guess both could win?

  • Russell Goble

    Wow. I don’t know which is worse: the French “Islam is Stupid” trial or this. Either way, why do I fear a new Cold War in ten years between the U.S. and the European Soviet Socialist Republics?

    On the immigration caps, couldn’t we just do a citizen exchange. We’ll take Perry and Adrianna, the Brits can have Alec Baldwin and Barbara Streisand?

    You have my condolences. Amazing.

  • Oggie Ben Doggie

    So, does anyone care to take a more detailed picture of these
    posters?

  • Those who are willing to give up a little freedom for security *get* neither, regardless of what they deserve.

  • Lucas, I don’t think you need to read 1984 again–just read the Daily Mirror or The Gaurdian. They are so close to being parodies of 1984 it reads like the real thing.

    Well… when y’all move to the States, will you bring a decent beer brewer with you?

  • Joanna

    That poster makes me want to move to England just so I can start an underground movement. I can see it happening in the US on an almost daily basis. My friends all think I’m nuts(the ones I trust enough to tell, anyway), but I have a travel kit, a duffel bag, and some sixty-odd dollars in Canadian currency ready for when I head north to the border. Don’t get me wrong, I love America. It’s the United States I can’t stand.

  • Joanna

    That poster makes me want to move to England just so I can start an underground movement. I can see the movement towards a military/police state happening in the US on an almost daily basis. My friends all think I’m nuts(the ones I trust enough to tell, anyway), but I have a travel kit, a duffel bag, and some sixty-odd dollars in Canadian currency ready for when I head north to the border. Don’t get me wrong, I love America. It’s the United States I can’t stand.

  • Joanna

    argh. I posted the first version by accident.

  • There’s one of these near me, oddly enough, and I was meaning to take a few photos of it (so I did)

    http://www.genesplice.org/Bus1984Poster/

    Sorry for the poor lighting conditions!

    These things are really scary, it must be said – and the fact that someone thinks they’ll be reassuring to the public at large is even more so. Anyone who’s reassured by this… well. I’ll be polite and say nothing.

  • The Magician

    Just to point out that it is NOT a national government poster as far as I can see.

    Mr. Blair and his team almost certainly knew nothing abou this.

    It has the logo of London Transport, and that is a whole bowl of worms about who runs that (many routes are semi-privatised etc.) but I believe it comes down to Transport For London which comes under the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.
    However there is nothing on their website about these posters http://www.transportforlondon.gov.uk/tfl/

    But yes, these posters are so obviously influenced by the soviet designs that there is definitely some degree of tongue-in-cheek happening here, just intriguing to find out if TPTB noticed it and if so then they obviously greenlighted it ….

  • I think it’s a hoax.

    It costs about sixty quid a month to rent an advertising slot on a tube elevator, and probably not that much more to rent a bus shelter ad. The location is very central and will be seen by lots of people — I’d guess some pranksters with a couple of thousand pounds and a copy of photoshop are behind it. (That, or it’s going to turn out to be a viral marketing campaign for an upcoming movie, or something similar.)

    I’ll believe it when I see reports of these things cropping up in places like Tooting or Wandsworth.

  • Charlie Stross – I just thought I’d let you know that I live in Tooting and the photo I took was at theTooting Bec bus stop!

  • skip

    hey,got a spare room also. charlie…w/that mentality your in a world of shit,doesnt matter what branch of gov put it up.weve got california here w/ like minded people like yourself…i think the citizen swap sounds good

  • Bob Briant

    Some recent posts here seriously underestimate our Home Secretary’s undoubted talent for inspiring disasters.

    His enthusiasm for friendly links with the Soviet Union before Gorbachev became leader there lead to a twinning link between Sheffield and Donetsk in the Ukraine. Just in today’s news, the Ukraine – which declared independence from the Russian Federation at the collapse of the Soviet Union – faces the imminent prospect of EU trade sanctions for failing to control money laundering. But that is comparatively incidental compared with the harm done to Sheffield’s economy during his time as leader of Sheffield council. The Red flag was regularly flown at the town hall. Unsurprisingly, businesses and citizens found cause to leave the city – on official figures, Sheffield’s population fell by just over 3% from 1981 to 1999.

    Consider next the outcomes from when he was Education Secretary from 1997-2001 in Tony Blair’s government. At the election in June 2001, he left the Education Department having to cope with the worst nation-wide shortage of teachers since the mid 1960s due to a mania for introducing new education regulations and initiatives at a rate approaching one every working day during his last year of office. Understandably, teachers became thoroughly demoralised with permanent revolution and many of those with marketable qualifications simply left the profession.

    Also in today’s news is a report from the UK’s National Audit Office on the Individual Learning Accounts launched by the Education Department in 2000 with much fanfare. Estelle Morris, the successor as Education Secretary, had to hurriedly cancel the whole scheme a year ago as the scale of fraud became apparent. From the audit report, it seems the losses through fraud may run to well over £100m – the exact total may never be known because of the chaotic administration. No wonder she too became demoralised and resigned as Education Secretary this week.

    Check back on the press immediately following the election in 2001 and you can find reports that the Home Office made an official bid to take on administration of the Judiciary in addition to its departmental responsibilities for Police administration. It seems the Home Secretary didn’t like all that stuff about “checks and balances” and wanted to control the lot. Fortunately, Tony Blair, with his lawyer’s background, wasn’t sufficiently impressed and wouldn’t have it. Besides, Lord Irvine as Lord Chancellor wanted to retain administration of the Judiciary and Tony Blair had started his career as a lawyer working in Lord Irvine’s chambers . . .

    A charitable explanation is that the Home Secretary doesn’t quite understand about checks and balances. The trouble is that he does. He used to teach Political Theory in further education before embarking on a career in politics.

  • This is why we have a Constitution here in the USA, you Brits were always niggling away at our freedom here in the colonies. Now you’ve gone and done it to yourselves! Not only the RIP act, but didn’t Parliament vote away your right against self-incrimination a few years ago? And what’s up with your DNA databank?

    We Americans may bitch about our government, but when we see stuff like this we feel very lucky and proud to live in the last bastion of freedom left on the planet. We haven’t pulled the ladder up yet, though, and there’s still plenty of room for y’all.

  • Charlie Stross: I have seen the posters in Fulham and elsewhere on King’s Road today, Harvey has seen it in Tooting Bec. It is no hoax.

    The Magician: True, it is not a Central Government poster, it is a local government poster (hence reference on the poster to Mayor of London in the lower corner)… I do not see that it really matters however as the important thing is that is still a GOVERNMENT poster.

  • Michael Gersh: I wish it was that simple, Michael, but the US Constitution has not stopped civil forfeiture laws in the USA which are pretty much the worst of their kind in the western world: you can lose property without even having been charged, let alone convicted of any crime! One of the causes of the American War of Independence was the seizure of assets of dissidents under the Sedition laws… yet under those you at least had to actually be CONVICTED of sedition. The US is freer in some ways now for sure, but don’t think the Constitution is really a defense unless there is a culture of liberty to defend what it stands for. The Constitution itself means no more than the British Common Law from which it drew its inspiration for the most part.

  • Jabba the Tutt

    Looks like a 50’s sci-fi magazine cover for the dystopian future of 2002.

    When I came to this page, I went scrolling down looking for the poster. I couldn’t believe that was the poster, must be the product of subversives in government.

    This poster can also be compared to Soviet propaganda on their prosperity and how well their farms produce massive amounts of food.

    Unbelievable.

  • Bob Briant

    Stalin may be dead but his soul goes marching on.

  • You forgot to mention another aspect of the increasingly totalitarian nature of the UK’s government: the near-total prohibition of privately owned firearms. Not only are guns forbidden, but carrying ANY object that could conceivably be used for self defense can get you in trouble. I think many people fail to see the connection. Constant surveillance and gun prohibition are two sides of the same coin. The all-seeing, all-knowing state can protect you, citizen. Therefore there is no need for self defense. There’s an excellent story on this disturbing longterm trend at Reason Magazine .

  • Stefan Jones

    Is there any possibility that this is “cultural jamming” by an activist group?

    If not, then, well, it’s nice to know that governments on the other side of the pond can be as culturally clueless when it comes to graphics as the folks who put this together:

    http://www.darpa.mil/iao/

  • Tom Wronga: You wrote: You forgot to mention another aspect of the increasingly totalitarian nature of the UK’s government: the near-total prohibition of privately owned firearms. Not only are guns forbidden, but carrying ANY object that could conceivably be used for self defense can get you in trouble.

    Huh? I guess you need to re-read my article, namely the bit where I wrote:

    Civilians are not just deprived of any firearms, in reality we are forbidden to defend ourselves and our property with so much as a broom stick.

  • dolface

    anyone know where i can get one? i want one for the top of my stairwell.
    really.

  • Ian Brunton

    What spooks me is the stiltedness of “secure beneath the watchful eyes.” It seems to come from a line of bad and somewhat dated poetry and isn’t the sort of thing an advertising exec would come up with. I mean, who uses “watchful” any more?

    Was it drafted to disguise the real message? Was it meant to lull people into a false sense of security? Sorry.

    This poster’s got me at a complete loss. It wouldn’t surprise me if the copy came straight out of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I haven’t read it, but there must be people out there who don’t think it’s satire. I still can’t quite believe this poster exists.

  • Ian

    Am I the only one who thinks the eyes look remarkably similar to those found in Masonic symbols?

    Masons < --> Police?

    Nah! Surely not!

    This has to be a piss-take – please!

  • James P.

    Perry:

    The Constitution, being a piece of paper, can in fact be ignored by those in government who don’t like it.

    What can’t be ignored by our government is 60 million armed citizens. Somtimes democracy requires more than just voting.

  • Yobar

    Hey Tom Wrona!

    Those DARPA-IAO apparatchiki are just smartass Illuminati showing how they lord it over us, waving that Eye of Horus and word of power(IAO) in our face. In their opinion, it’s too late for us to do anything. Just send them some Love and fuck up their vibe.

    Sorry to see you Brits have it worse than us.

  • Yobar

    Sorry, the above was addressed to Stefan Jones.

    Just noticed the poster note is on the bottom of the post, not the top.

    Nu ladno. Zhizn’ prodolzhaetsja!

  • “Huh? I guess you need to re-read my article, namely the bit where I wrote:

    Civilians are not just deprived of any firearms, in reality we are forbidden to defend ourselves and our property with so much as a broom stick.”

    Oops.

    When I read too fast, comprehension goes down.

    Tom

  • Linda

    I just heard a radio ad, and this seems to be part of a poster campaign to advertise the fact that there is CCTV on London buses. (Which explains why it was on a bus shelter!)

  • fenris23

    I really want that poster. I’ll hang it beside my Clockwork orange poster. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so scary.

  • molly

    Fenris is right, it is exactly like something out of Clockwork Orange! Jesus, where are we all headed?

  • Bob Briant

    Where are we headed?

    On the BBC Today programme this morning a government minister said “Capitalism is a real threat …” – http://www.thisislondon.com/news/articles/nmhp-home_news-103826-3

  • bungatgron

    actually, I think it’s kinda funny.

    people fear the CCTV camera. but people don’t stop to realise they’re as badly run as everything else here, that they often don’t work, the staff using them don’t care, and that no-one (certainly not for the next few years) will ever be able to dredge through the mountains of data these things will generate.

    i reckon a few grannies will feel safer on the bus. personally, i look at these posters, look across at the next one saying “our staff have a right to work without injury, if you witnessed an assult please call xxxxx” – does no-one else look at the conflicting messages these posters give off? is this about a orwellian police state, or the surface appearance of an orwellian police state?

    mountain. molehill.

    it is a pretty cool looking poster though, and it does stand out extremely well.

  • Alan

    George Orwell was a prophetic genius. What would he have said about this? I will be seriously wanting out if similar posters spread to other parts of the country.

    Scary stuff indeed.

  • kris kros

    That poster is unbelievable! What are those people thinking?
    Just hope that Bush hasn’t seen it yet, would give him ideas.
    Would love a copy of it though.

  • neil

    It seems incredible that anybody could be so stupid as to produce this – it could have been “spun” better. The symbolism of the picture is loaded with Brave New World/1984 dystopian symbolism.

  • Eddie Gonzales

    Am I mistaken or does it appear that there is a UFO in the upper right corner of the picture?

  • haxle

    The “UFO” is probably a reflection of the half-saucer-shaped roof light found in some London bus stops: the thing can also be seen in reflection here.

    Looks like a PR poster for Ken Livingstone, the current elected mayor of London. Refreshingly lefty, and maybe, just maybe popular enough right now to perhaps survive the unpopular introduction of road use charges for motor vehicles in central London, no matter how much it pisses off the petrolhead lobby *.

    The logotype on the bottom right can also be found on this site, though that doesn’t prove it’s official. Wonder if the fine folks at b3ta have anything to do with it?

    Anyway, given that the official site is down right now, I’d be prepared to accept incompetance rather than malice for this one. Though a combination of incompetance *and* malice is also an appealing theory.

    Also see for more happy fun Stalinist imagery.

    * The technology they intend to use – you’ve guessed it, more surveillance cameras – is another matter entirely. Apparently (er, according to the South England Commuter-belt Media) it’s flakey and unreliable enough to not do the job effectively, highly expensive, and will probably be superceded within two years of introduction. Shame really, as London’s a right mess.

  • The “Routes of Least Surveillance” article is a good start, but here’s an even better idea for freedom-loving Brits to try:

    Guide to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) destruction

  • Haxle is correct… the “UFO” is indeed a reflection of a lighting fixture.

    In this picture of another of those posters you can see no “UFO”.

  • Charlie Stross: What’s one of the best upcoming sci-fi authors on the planet sniffing round Samixdata for? The poor chap lives in Edinburgh so he could well view it as satire.

    AS he brings sanity to the Extropians list, I’ll bow down before the antipope.

  • I was going to post something about those posters myself but I was just too slow in getting around to taking a picture. They are very widespead at the moment (I think Transport for London may not be finding it easy to sell ads on their shelters at the moment).

    The posters are not intentionally ironic. The reason why they have the rather unfortunate Soviet-style iconography is that they are part of a series of Transport for London posters with a similar style. Of course I wouldn’t disregard the possibility that the design agency used by TfL enjoyed the irony.

    For more on the TfL CCTV programme, click here.

  • David Brake: those CCTV cameras (via the link you kindly provided) are for bus lane enforcement (prioritising collective planned transport). The posters are advertising security cameras.

  • P

    Does anyone know if that poster has a printer listed on it? I’d be interested in seeing if they would sell me one.

  • P: I will look at the poster tomorrow (it is just around the corner from where I live) and if there is anything useful printed on it about that, I will post the information here.

    Much as I hate the actual message, I agree it is a cool bit of ‘retro’ graphics… it is rather nifty looking.

  • To think they actually believe they are doing you a favor by watching you. Here in America it’s about the same, the biggest difference is, they don’t tell us they are. It’s a secret. The entire world is falling right into line with what we all know and feel, and that is the murder of god. AKA Suicide. We are slowing eliminating ourselves.

  • Bob Briant

    I earlier posted a link to a page on the http://www.ePolitix.com website relating to the observations of several leading politicians on the ‘Stalinist’ inclinations of Britain’s Home Secretary. It now seems the whole website is unavailable. As an alternative, you can try entering: ‘David Blunkett Stalinist’ into Google – without the quotes, of course – to see what comes out. You may have to make do with the cache versions of the Google finds since in my experience the original web pages have a habit of disappearing. It’s a coincidence, naturally.

  • Good grief! It looks like the cover of a Phillip K. Dick novel! If they tried that in America, there’d be a revolution the next day.
    Or would there be? I wonder….

  • Martin Pratt

    Can’t see why your worried. Don’t imagine anyone who reads this shite catching a bus anyway.

    As a practicing lawyer, I can safely say that the CPS wouldn’t touch someone who attacked a burglar with a broomhandle. I know, I used to work there.

    Yes, the RIP Act is indefensible, but at least the courts can override Acts of Parliament contrary to the free speech provisions of the Human Rights Act (not an EU dictat, contrary to popular belief) something that didn’t stop Thatcher when she imposed blanket broadcast bans on swathes of Northern Irish society.

    And Echilon is primarily an American programme.

  • Martin Pratt

    Oh, and street crime in London is down 30% from last year. Don’t see you rushing to post anything about that.

  • Mussolini did make the trains run on time and Hitler did dramatically reinvigerate the German economy. Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s the right way to do it.

  • Jack

    The poster is a Transport for London poster, not the Home Office or the Met. Lets get real here folks, London is not a walk in the park anymore. Nor is a lot of Great Britian. Crime is rampant especially muggings, robbery, assaults, etc. I for one find it somewhat comforting to know I can walk the streets knowing that there is surveillance in case there is a problem. Which I believe is a probablistically reduced event with the CCTV present.

  • Martin Pratt: Regardding Thatcher’s comical banning of the voices of Sinn Fein politicos… what is your point? Were you under the impression the people who write for Samizdata were uncritical admirers of Mrs.T? We are libertarians not conservatives. As for the so called decline in street crime, what is your point here too? My neighbourhood residents association has just hired a private sector security firm to patrol our streets, that is how much we are convinced that the politically massaged figures on street crime reflect reality.

  • Hey! Someone swiped Ridge’s new Homeland Security PR tool!

  • Darth Rosenberg

    I’m pretty sure you could murder somebody under the full glare of the Tube’s CCTV system and Homer in the security room will have forgotten to put a tape in the machine. I think the cameras are there so the pervs in the control room can watch pretty girls getting groped on a Friday night. The dippers, back snatchers and vandals are not put off by the cameras.

  • Joe Taboe

    This is nothing compared with the PC TV enforced subsidy (i.e., the TV license) commercials that they had a year or two ago in London. As an American living here I was shocked to see commercials that started out showing the fabled “silent black helicopters” and other James Bond type surveillance equipment peeking in on people’s private lives with a voice over saying something to the effect “we could have x” and finishing it with “we don’t need to, because we know where you live and know whether you have paid your TV license fee or not.” Man were those spooky. Also, can you imagine the IRS or Inland Revenue doing a commercial like that? Same thing though. Next thing will be recycling or something similar.

  • Martin Pratt: 30% reduction in street crime?! My foot! The figure is a government statistics and I know no one who actually believes it. Would you be the first? It is a source of constant embarrasment to the UK government, that street crime is becoming more violent and pervasive. We will blog about reduction in street crime when it a) truly goes down, b) the state gives us back the ability to defend ourselves. Until then, it’s all out war!

  • Paul Dow

    A lot of messages here are saying how much better it is in the US without all those cameras, and the ACLU will come to the defense to protect us from them.

    Do any of you people have peripheral vision? Have you ever been to Washington DC? Have you ever been in a Walmart? Those cameras are EVERYWHERE in the US NOW. Like typical Americans, if they don’t see the direct financial cost to them, no one cares.

    That’s only the cameras we can see. They can also be hidden in clocks, speakers sprinkler heads and exit signs.

  • Jack

    Where could one purchase one of those posters?

  • Meg

    More info about the campaign from the official source: London Transport: Buses

    That big blinking eye in the sky is just scary.

  • John D'oh

    Add me to the list of those who took the poster as someone’s over-the-top attempt at a protest. I can’t believe it’s real.

    If there any good coming from all this, England is serving as an object before-the-fact lesson for America, which would be going down the same road a lot faster if not for our inconvenient (to some) Bill of Rights.

  • Ian Brunton

    Street crime might well be down 30% in London, but it’s up 38% here in Oxford, the police told me.

    Will anyone get a prize for the hundredth comment?

  • British visitors to Tampa, Florida should feel right at home. We have had for several years a cctv system, not as widespread, but with the added fun of a computerized facial recognition system- if the computer decides you match someone in the database, officers are dispatched. If you could spare a couple of those posters, I have a great home for them…

  • Brian

    This thing pushes so many cultural hot buttons, it has got to be a spoof put on by the anti-survelliance resistance. Anyone out there know for sure whether or not this is an officially sanctioned and distributed piece of propaganda?

    If it is official, wouldn’t the design of this thing have been contracted out to some graphics art firm, probably in London? It would be interesting to talk to the designer(s) to see what they were thinking.

  • It’s referring to CCTV and increased police presence on buses. TfL argue that this will make late night travel safer, and my guess is that they’re right. I’m sure that radio cams and drivers’ panic buttons would work better, and I’m equally sure that we’ll get them at some point.

    I don’t think we have a brain-dead graphic designer; I think this poster is a deliberate homage to several different sources, and I think it’s jolly clever.

  • The Thinker

    I’m a Londoner and I find it really refreshing hearing a lot of your comments. I have just returned from working in Holland for a couple of years and was struck by how few cameras there were and how wonderful the feeling of being able to pick my nose privately was.

    This blatant infringment of our fundermental freedoms is a joke. It’s time we all woke up and done something about this 1984 nightmare. We all know it’s going on and rubbing our noses in it with this poster should be the FINAL insult.

    PS: To our American buddies. Since Sept 11th you have ceased to have any rights as citizens of your country. Cameras or not.

  • Ash

    Listening to you Americans crap on about how your country is the ‘last bastion of freedom’ and how Britons ‘ought to emigrate’ is sickening. News flash, Yanks – your country ceased to be ‘free’ in any meaningful sense of the word in the 1950s, and for that you can thank a man named Joe McCarthy and those cowards and fools who believed him and gave him aid and comfort. McCarthy’s great innovation was this idea: ‘the state has a right to suppress ideas which it considers sufficiently harmful’. This concept blurs the line between thought and action, and demonizes dissidence.

    The US got a little free-er, at least in the public discourse, in the 60’s through to the 90’s. Equal civil rights were extended to greater proportions of the population, and censorship took a number of body blows thanks to people like Larry Flynt, who achieved a great deal of good through crass motives (kind of the opposite of Joe McCarthy in that way). But these four decades also mark the rise of the American Religion, a loud, shallow, hypocritical, judgemental, selfish and money-grubbing Christian heresy whose high priests include such luminaries as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and Jimmy Swaggart. Some have been disgraced, some not yet, but all became millionaires at the expense of the common herd, and all march in lockstep to destroy the national immune system, the public right to dissent.

    And then we have the rise of radio commentators, from mere tape-changers and traffic reporters to shapers of public thought. And look at how they shape it. Rush Limbaugh, aggressively anti-intellectual, aggressively anti-discussion, aggressively anti-humane. These men do not value dissent. They demand agreement for their views. They do not put forward a position, state pros and cons, and encourage discussion; they wholeheartedly take a side of any given issue–normally the cruellest side–seize upon tiny parts of the opposition view that may seem worthy of ridicule, spin them up and up, and beat the public into submission with them.

    And now the USA has Rush Limbaugh’s president, and the collection of rich, lip-servingly-Christian, socially ultra-conservative sub-geniuses he appoints, to guide and lead it through trouble and doubt.

    Hey, there are many, many worse places in the world than the USA and the UK. North Korea or Iraq, where dissidence is punished, if one is lucky, by immediate death. The USA is a very good place in comparison. But it’s not more free than the UK, and it is much less free than most of Europe.

  • Brian

    Alison Scott: I did not mean to imply that the poster’s graphic designer was brain-dead, not at all. I agree the design is damned clever, and I think my sentiments on that score were plain enough. What I do not see is how its imagery could be reassuring or of any comfort to the public. Translate into an American context, put it up in the public spaces of my city, and my friends and I would find it creepy, ominous, and threatening.

  • Termite

    This looks like someone trying to copy the style of a poster for an old B movie. But what if you were a graphics designer and London Transport asked you to design this poster: “Make the commuters feel safe, make’em feel we really care”. What would you do?

  • Ash: Whilst I, and our American contributing writers, would agree that the USA also has it’s civil liberties ‘problems’, by what measure is Europe freer than the USA? Try writing about the private indiscretions of a political figure in France. Make sure you have a good lawyer first.

    Although I am not a fan of Rush Limbaugh, are you implying that the police come around to your house in the USA and drag you away of you do not listen to him? If not, then how is he ‘beating’ the public into submission? Are you implying that the left in the USA somehow ‘put forwards a position, state pros and cons, and encourage discussion?’ You must be joking! I suggest you try calling in to a left wing radio chat show and calmly suggesting to them that removing all import trade barriers into the USA would do more to alleviate Third World poverty in 5 years than all the aid programmes and subsided NGO’s had achieved in the last 50 years. I tried that once and as soon as the words “…remove all import trade barriers into the USA” passed my lips, I was interrupted with “Thanks for your views…click”.

  • Allan Evans

    Do you have larger JPG of the poster? I would love to print that out! Surreal! Allan.Evans@eur.sas.com

  • robin masters

    o come on. lets be good little nazis and quit gripping. the security of the fatherland is more
    important then the individuals. geez.

    but really-

    Didn’t we fight a war against these creeps, and now
    we’ve allowed them to take over the UK and the US

    very sad.

  • Bob Briant

    Robin, I think you are overlooking that the Soviet Union contracted a Friendship Treaty with Nazi Germany in late September 1939 when Britain and France were already at war – see Norman Davies: Europe, Oxford University Press, page 1000f.

    When it came down to it, Stalin had no problem with being friendly with the Nazis.

  • Let’s not bring Stalin in the discussion. After all, the US didn’t participate in WW2 until they were attacked. So what?
    Godwin’s law anyone? :P

  • Bob Briant

    You are perhaps right – electronic surveillance wasn’t technically advanced in Stalin’s Soviet Union. OTOH surveillance by the Stasi in East Germany is probably the more relevant model. Links with the Stasi and the the extend of electronic surveillance now were reported by the BBC at:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/09/99/britain_betrayed/451366.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2124551.stm

  • Here is another London poster proclaiming what a wonderful thing it is to be under surveillance, this one brought to you by the Metropolitan police and the Croydon (borough) council. This one is straight to the point, and I don’t think any irony can be read into it.

    Michael.

  • Chris

    The US Supreme Court has already ruled that you have no expectation of privacy in a public place. Whether you are watched by other people, a policeman or a camera makes little difference. As for Orwell’s vision of the future, the problem was that Big Brother was watching to prevent you from breaking his unreasonable laws. These cameras on the other hand are meant to see if you break a reasonable, constitutional law (as passed by your legislature). Why can’t you understand the difference?
    As for the graphic design of the poster, yes, it does convey entirely the wrong mood, but that doesn’t mean the system is bad.
    Chris

  • Ash

    Perry: I’m not implying the police make people listen to Rush Limbaugh. If people were forced to listen to him, they might resent being so forced, and be prepared to question his viewpoint more. People who choose to listen to ‘shows’ of this kind generally don’t question what the presenter says, any more than people who choose to go to church question what the preacher says from the pulpit. They subcontract their thinking, and this is wrong.

    I admit I have far more of a problem with conservative philosophy than liberal philosophy, and the reason why is tolerance of dissent. Liberals who don’t tolerate dissent aren’t real liberals any more than, for example, Christians who run enormously wealthy corporations which clearly and obviously exploit the poor are real Christians, or Muslims who run around killing people are real Muslims. They’re breaking a fundamental tenet of their professed faith.

    I won’t assume that because you approve of free trade, you oppose individual abortion decision-making, or espouse any of the other so-called ‘conservative’ causes, most of which are incompatible with each other. :) Similarly, because I disapprove of tradition as a replacement for thought does not mean I approve of every stupid cause that radical liberals espouse, or even any of these causes at all. My problem is with stupidity, with apathy, with deliberately chosen ignorance willingly submitting to exploitation. Above all else, with government through lies, the opposite of surveillance. They’re surveilling us. We’re not surveilling them.

    I didn’t say Europe was 100% free, I said that European society was free-er, in terms of expression of new ideas and dissent from old ones, than the US and the UK. I will qualify that to ‘some parts’ of Europe, and ‘the general overview’ of the US, and it’s an opinion I’m prepared to change. I’d love to change it as the facts change as time goes by.

  • Mark

    Do any of you know where I can get my hands on the Big Brother poster from the beginning of the site I know several people who want one. E-mail me if you know where I can get it.

  • Chris: The US Supreme Court has already ruled that you have no expectation of privacy in a public place

    And so it is ok for the state to monitor your every move? Does that mean you would support a law that allowed the state to have locator beacons on all citizens to keep tabs on their movements outside their own homes? Where does it end?

    Whether you are watched by other people, a policeman or a camera makes little difference.

    It makes an enormous difference. ‘Other people’ are unlikely to be able to compile a database on why movements through every public moment of my life. Even the mighty Microsoft Corporation poses far less of a threat to my liberty and privacy than the smallest local pettifogging town government. Do you seriously think politicians will be able to resist using the sort of information that total surveillance brings for their own ends? Did the US Constitution stop NJ State Troopers acting for Jim Florio (the then governor in New Jersey) going through the garbage of political opponents looking for anything incriminating because the trash was in a public place? Do you seriously think well connected political figures would not get access to CCTV footage to find out things about political enemies, looking for something to discredit them? After all, ‘we have no expectation of privacy in a public place’…

    These cameras on the other hand are meant to see if you break a reasonable, constitutional law (as passed by your legislature). Why can’t you understand the difference?

    Because it is a fantasy to think a ‘constitution’ will protect you from the state if you allow it to gather such information on people. The blind faith so many Americans have in their Constitution has not stopped Civil Forfeiture Laws that mean you can lose your property without ever having been charged, let alone convicted, of a crime. So much for your precious protection against ‘unreasonable search and seizure’ and the ‘presumption of innocence’. And anyway, you seem to be suggesting that just because “my” legislature passes a law, that automatically makes it legitimate. It does not. Most laws not about essential safety, most are little more than theft-by-proxy. Democratically sanctified tyranny is still tyranny.

  • You have mistaken us at Samizdata for conservatives. The world is not simply split between so called ‘liberals’ (illiberal socialist collectivists) and conservatives (corporatist collectivists).

    The only way to avoid ‘sub-contracting thinking’ is to enable individual rights and responsibilities. That is why I support Free Trade. To do otherwise is to support force and violence over choice and voluntary cont voluntary cont

  • Electro Sun Dog

    Oh great. Nothing like building up the public’s confidence in the government like BIG, CREEPY, DISEMBODIED EYEBALLS looming in the distance…

  • ddraig

    hahahaha pretty funny:

    > Why are you folks still in the UK?
    > Why are you not over here?
    > Run while you still can.

    Where is “here”????

    The US?

    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  • ccrashh

    Do you all honestly think that the government, any government, has both the physical and structural capacity to use this kind of surveillance in any oppressive manner? Do you actually think they are going to follow every aspect of everyone’s lives, from the time a person is born? Let’s get real. This will be used, as one comment said, as an “after-the-fact” device to try to help solve crimes. Period. Big brother…give me a break.

  • ccrashh: Any government? Are you seriously suggesting that any government would not use panoptic CCTV to keep an eye on political opponants? Iraq? China? Burma? North Korea? Belarus? Syria?

    From your use of words you are clearly an American… local government in many regions in the USA are a by-word for corruption and so would you have people believe that powerful political figures will not use CCTV, if it is allowed to become pervasive, to try and catch ‘trouble makers’ (such as civil rights protestors) in compromising situations? Your faith in the system is naive in the extreme.

  • ddraig

    um, yes, I do indeed think that governments can easily track large numbers of people, given the software and hardware capability.

    to whit:
    + echelon
    + face recognition
    + –gait– recognition
    + the alarming speed with which the september 11th hijackers were identified and tracked *using video camera surveillance*

    Organisations such as Oracle slavering to get access to govt money to track everyone. Hell, the origin of the Oracle name should be enough to creep anyone out.

    It seems to me that the most expensive task is actually sticking the cameras up. Once they are co-ordinated into a network, coupled with gait recognition, you could easily track people on a daily basis. I think we should all start wearing Kibo masks. Is wearing masks in public illegal in the UK yet?

    and don’t get me started on Celldar.
    Or the highly amusing habit of yanks FOAMING about how “free” they are. Proof that propaganda, if repeated ad nauseum, works.
    “enemy combatants”, anyone?

    waving cheerily from the happi southern hemisphere,

  • ddraig

    oh and can I just add that those posters are *excellent* :-)

    Someone once told me he was tasked by the Melbourne City Council to design their new logo (was he a graphic designer? Nope, he was the spare public servant in the office that day).

    So, just to put the wind up them, and because he was pissed off, he did a nice funky logo with “arbeit macht frei” as the slogan.

    It went all the way through the approval process, with him geting more and more nervous as time went on. It received final approval and was about to be printed *everywhere*, letterheads, posters, bus stops etc, when he finally broke and frantically explained where the hell the phrase came from.

    So, it’s *highly* likely that the graphic designers chortled the entire time the poster was designed, with the gumbies who approved it having absolutely no idea about the references in the design. They are just public servants, after all, not design/literature/fine arts graduates.

    That’s a true story, btw.

  • ken

    Help! My city has been taken over by aliens!

  • Brian

    ddraig: That’s a great story. Wouldn’t be surprised if the same dynamic was at work in this piece.

  • Bob.D

    ddraig is ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah-ing with just cause.

    As if the Yanks have it any better.
    Given the choice of USA or UK to live, I know where I’d choose!
    (Hint: Not the USA)

  • Jane Dough

    We “Yanks” aren’t as free as we’d like to believe, we’re in denial of course. As long as we worship mammon we should expect nothing to change for the better. We enroll our children in “government” schools to be propagandized at our own expense, where they learn to trust Big Brother to the point of turning in parents who discipline them (spanking). We put them in the “government” schools so we are free to earn, so we can have more stuff, and pay the outrageous income taxes we fail to protest. Taxation without representation at its worst. Now we are too busy to teach the next generation about liberty. Shame on us.

  • Iggy

    Jane Dough: We enroll our children in “government” schools to be propagandized at our own expense…

    Um, no WE don’t.

  • I find it very strange that I was educated by the British state which has allowed me to be exposed to the ideas of libertarianism, liberalism and the questioning of authority. Not only allowed, but positively reinforced this message. Anybody who expresses satisfaction with what the government (any government) is doing is marked out as some kind of bizarre conformist, dangerous, a threat to our future.

    I am surrounded by people who express a knee-jerk reaction to the activities of the state, people who mindlessly conform to the doctrine of resistance to conformity.

    The subject of cameras in public places is a wonderful example. The unintelligentsia feel threatened by them. Why? I have not come across any evidence of anything sinister actually happening because of these cameras. No political parties shut down, no ethnic minorities systematically harassed, nothing. All these things are set to start next week apparently, as they have been for the last two decades.

    It is always the thin end of the wedge, the top of the slippery slope. The nightmare vision is there for all to see. … The nightmare ellipsis. The future so evil that nobody dares spell out what it is or how we will get there. But we don’t need to understand it to fear it. Have we not seen any fictional depictions of the future? Are we so complacent? We have all been taught to be afraid of dead men’s nightmares.

    I set out to take pictures of all the cameras in Stockport. There were dozens of them. One of the cameras turned around to face me. Which was entirely understandable under the circumstances. Was I then bundled in a police van? No. Was I followed? No. Did the cameras follow me around for the next week? No.

    Why is it so unthinkable that a camera system touted as being a crime prevention measure might actually be a crime prevention measure? Is that simply too dull and tedious an explanation for the young radicals who want to feel the glamour of being enemies of the state? If being an enemy of the state is such an exciting prospect why not go and live somewhere where the state does have enemies? Try almost anywhere in Africa or South America.

    Stop living in your own fantasy land where you are the guardian of the liberties of your ancestors against the tyrannical forces of your parents and the evil state.

    An evil fascist state future? You must be out of your minds. We have powers of free expression and association massively more powerful and flexible than anything attained in any previous generation. I am a poor man, too poor to run a car and yet I run an uncensored debate forum and a website which has had people coming on it from 98 different domains this month alone. I debate with my real name and I have nothing to fear because I have nothing to hide. I say what I like and I bloody well like what I say.

    Stop being afraid of your own shadows.

  • Snide

    Martin Willett… You are a sheep looking up at the shepherd as he stands above you, his staff comforts you, protecting you and yours from the wolves. You look about and what you see is lush green grass and hear happy bleating of your kind. All is right in the world and anyone who does not agree must be mad.

    One day, too late of course, you will realise that the reason the shepherd protects you from the wolves is so that he can fleece you and then turn you into lamb chops. Your world view is a dream. Time to wake up.

  • ddraig

    Bob D:
    sure, but I wouldn’t choose either of them.
    I’m planning on moving to the UK for a while, so we’ll see if I change my mind. But from what I’ve heard, it’s not too happy a place.

    Best review I have heard so far is of Spain, but that’s probably due mostly to the weather :-)

    I refuse to set foot in the US until they remove their “we can disappear foreign nationals” law.

    My american friends can come and visit me in Europe. Am I being precious? Well, yeah ;p

  • Kephren

    Martin Willett spouts the usual marxist crap. Collectivists like him are always saying ‘if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear’. Yet in the real world, we all have something to hide and we all have something to fear. My business is MY business. Willett, who everyone should know has marxist fantasies about world government, is exactly the sort of person who wants us all to just bow down to the power of the collective and so naturally he wants us torpid, trusting, insensate and compliant even as the means for mass surveillance are constructed around us in front of our very eyes. I am not a wealthy man either Willett and it is your precious state which keeps me that way. I trust them to do NOTHING that is not in the state’s rather than individuals in society’s interests.

  • How many freedom loving non-criminals has the state rounded up and sent to room 101 today? In round figures…

    I never tire of pissing myself laughing at the self important poseurs who think that they live in a totalitarian state and get off on making out they are some kind of dangerous persecuted subversives for saying that totalitarianism is a Bad Thing.

    Of course totalitarianism is a bad thing. So is excessive scrutiny of the public engaged in their normal lives. But the simple fact is that totalitarian systems are built upon consent. The people of western Europe and North America will not consent to a totalitarian regime. It will not happen. It will not be pushed forward against the will of the people. The state cannot employ androids. The state has to employ people and the people who comprise the state machinery will not allow a totalitarian take-over because they will not co-operate with it. Talking up scare stories about Big Brother will not help. It is crying wolf. It is counter-productive.

    Cameras in public places are used to deter and detect crime. This is legitimate. They are no more sinister than a mirror or a box to stand on, ways for the wardens and security officers to keep a better eye on the people moving through the town. The police and the landlords of large shopping centres have a legitimate reason to watch out for crime and anybody not committing a crime has nothing to fear from being observed. If you don’t want to be observed you can stay at home and sulk. Public places are public, they always have been.

    Freedom requires vigilance on the part of the individual. We need to be sure that things do not go too far. However it does no good for people to be living in a fantasy world of persecution by an Orwellian state just because it gives you a bit of a buzz to think of yourself as a subversive who has to hide behind a false name and encrypted emails in case the nasty evil state comes and drags you off to the Gulags. Take a dose of reality.

  • How many freedom loving non-criminals has the state rounded up and sent to room 101 today? In round figures…

    And so then why was the Police taking pictures of us all in the Countryside March then? This was a peaceful political protest and yet the state was taking pictures of us all. Of course to marxists like Willett I am sure all us evil Tories should indeed have our faces in some government database.

    Anyway, the point is not to wait until we have a full blown totalitarian state of the sort such as which would be made much easier to enforce with all these surveillance systems, the point is to oppose them NOW whilst we still can.

  • Wennerz

    i live in nyc, but i lived in london for six months recently, and let me tell you , that place needs more police. i only WISH that there were watchful eyes! i couldn’t believe how much crime there was compared to new york. and i think it was completely becuase there are less police walking around, so bums can just sit next to ATMs begging. that would never happen in new york, there are more “watchful eyes” walking around, carrying GUNS, and there is so much less crime (at least small crime like theft). we might like to complain about “big brother etc…, but i can’t say i don’t mind NOT getting my wallet stolen.

  • Montieth

    Constitutions do protect if you take the time to challenge laws that are in place. Its not an instantaneous thing, its a slow backlash that you get when certain laws are passed.

    A good example is the CDA/CDAII/COPA process we’ve had over the past 6-7 years. The law is passed and because we have a constitution, citizens and groups can attempt to overturn the law when it is used or in the case of the CDA, stop it dead in it’s tracks the day it’s passed.

    The Constitution is like a shield. You have to pick it up to use it. Until you pick it up, its useless. There are more than a few Federal Laws here in the US that I seriously doubt would survive a Commerce Clause challenge. They’ve never been challenged so, they’re going to stand for now until they are.

    Frankly, the Constitution does make a world of difference if you ask me. We’re not stuck trying to make Congress rescind a law if it’s bad. We can challenge it through a different path from the legislative process. Can or will British courts strike down bad British Law?

  • twocents

    After several decades of senseless open immigration policies in Europe and America, and several more decades of “freedom to commit crimes”, there is a crime epidemic.

    This may or may not have been the goal of the immigration and free crime policy, but it is clearly the result.

    We cannot risk having the sheeple armed to protect themselves, as they may take aim at government instead, or in addition to the above.

    The least expensive alternative–after banning weapons of self defense–is to pretend to be watching the criminals. It’s worthless in the event, but it may comfort a few old grannies.

    Corporations attempt to create an image of power and brilliance. Why not also government? It’s your money after all, not theirs. No risk to them.

  • England has really gone downhill since I left in 1993 to return to USA. I moved to Europe in 1983 to flee the fascist American legal system, and really enjoyed my newfound freedom in Germany and Oxfordshire. But now you blokes need to start kicking some royal NAZI ass! I’d come over and help you but we have our hands full of traitors in USA. Fascists are taking over the world with their bogus but deadly World War #3. Looks like a revolution is about to kill a few million Satanic NAZIs, just like it did 60 years ago. If the NAZIs want us to kill them, who are we to turn down the fools’ dream? Live till you die. The US military has a saying: “Shit rolls downhill.” At least until karma catches up with kings on the hill, like Mussolini, Hitler and FDR. Ghosts in the Machine:
    http://geocities.com/snetterton_b17_pow_mia

  • erm, tiny point if no-one has raised it. It’s not HMG but London Underground and it’s all part of the campaign to cut costs by sacking guards and conductors and then panic about the rising number of attacks and claim that technology is better than putting the staff back. After all a camera can give you directions, help you get your push chair on the bus and keep the driver company at the turnaround just as well, can’t it.

  • ALASDAIR

    To all those complacent Americans boasting about their liberties can one just mention three things
    1. The kidnapped prisoners in Guantanamo Bay (or don’t they count?)
    2. The National Rifle Association – your brand of libertarianism is frightening

    I’m glad soemone noticed this poster is published by Transport for London and not by the government. And I for one am happy to have CCTV and uniformed policemen on buses. I would give free travel to all policemen/women providing they are travelling in uniform

  • MaryPCB: erm, Transport for London is a government body. Did you not notice the ‘Mayor of London’ bit on the poster?

  • twocents

    Yes, apparently the “eye in the sky” is London Transport, as identified. But whether the goal of the campaign is cost reductions by replacing guards, or some of the more sinister ends fantasized here, isn’t the perception of a need to do “something” sufficient testimony to the epidemic of public violence?

    Shall we ignore the causes of this epidemic, namely ad lib immigration policies and “freedom to commit crime” laws? Shall we blame Orwellian totalitarians and the US National Rifle Association instead?

  • ALASDAIR: So private individuals owning weapons, which until a few years ago was an entrenched common law right of Britons, is something that scares you, eh? No wonder you want a panoptic state as clearly you have such low regard for your fellow subjects of the Crown you must live in constant fear of the rest of us. We are like dangerous dogs to you who must be kept on a government leash. It must be a complete puzzlement to you how British people managed to coexist for centuries whilst all that time having access to pistols, rifles and shotguns with very little interference from the state.

    Yet strangely, captured militant Islamic members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban not only do not worry you, they actually have your sympathy! They were not captured, they were ‘kidnapped’!

    Yes, you are exactly the sort of person that I feel proud to call my enemy. People like you are the building blocks of tyranny.

  • molly

    so what exactly is your point, twocents? My view is that the ‘problem’ is one entirely produced by a state that gives money to people who don’t work and behave stupidly and penalises people who do work and acts properly. I make just enough not to qualify for getting much back from the state and yet can only afford a shitty little bedsit. Almost half the people I know sign on and lie about their employment, which is easy if you know how. It is theft but then the money they are getting was stolen in the first place from people like me. Do they care? No. Is it any wonder people are getting more violent if they do not five a fuck where their money comes from? Cameras are not going to do a bloody thing about that so what are they there for?

    So we have a british state that is both more inept and more and more interfereing, which is surely the worst of all possible worlds. The reason things are going wrong is the nature of britains state and what it does to peoples values, so to expect the state to solve the problems they are creating is daft.

    And so I see people talking about how they are not bothered by the Transport for London poster, which wants you to think survaillance is a GOOD thing because the people watching you can be trusted. Yet Ken Livingstone is the same leader of London’s government who CREATED worse traffic problems in London by altering the timing of London’s traffic lights, in order to justify bringing in ‘congestion charges’. Do you idiots read the fucking papers? You TRUST these same bastards to watch over you?

  • Joe Kaplinsky

    A few people have tried to make a big deal out of the difference between central government and Ken Livingston. But as Rob Lyons points out the poster campaign illustrates that for all the squabbling between them, they share the same agenda.

  • twocents

    perry,

    the cameras are there to remind YOU not to join your compatriots in mugging and burglary. THEY know who you are. so that potential supplement to income is now gone. it will doubtless have a major negative effect on the economy.

    this in turn will cause people to emigrate to jamaica, pakistan, and kurdistan.

    before you know it, all the problems are solved.

  • twocents: Drat, you mean I will not be able to wander around Chelsea and Knightsbridge mugging people any more? Does this spell the end of my hardened gang of barbour jacket wearing Sloane Ranger muggers? How ever will I support my expensive afternoon tea habit in Harrods and Harvey Nichols? Oh the humanity! I’ll be booking my flight to Kurdistan later tonight.

    Or, like Molly, have I missed your point?

  • Perry – if you’re around I’d like to interview you about the posters at your earliest convenience. I’m doing a story on the subject. Please let me know how to contact you. cheers, Julia Scheeres, reporter, Wired News. (www.wired.com)

  • twocents

    Oh my! THEY are now aware of criticism of the London Transport “eye in the sky” poster. We’ll all soon be in The Hague on war crimes charges……

    I’m booking for the red eye flight to Kingston myself.

  • The Thinker

    Do any of you guys remember how jubilant we all were when Tony Blair won the election and we were finally rid of these self serving Tories that were completely out of touch with the concerns of the masses. The so called ‘working class’. We were all dancing in the streets to the tune of ‘Things can only get better’ because we were under the illusion we were going to get a Labour government. Could any of us ever had imagined that through the gleaming smile of Blair and ‘New Labour’ lurked the most right wing of Governments in British history. Now answer this …… do you think he already formulated his pact with his corporate pay masters or is this something that has happened subsequently as a result of circumstances. I fear he had sold out then and through our ignorance (blind trust) we gave a mammoth majority to this ego centric, power hungry lunatic who draws up nonsense dossiers, condemned world wide as propaganda, despite the fact that it is likely to result in the deaths of up to 200,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. He refers to the Fire Brigades Union who in trying to get a decent wage for those that risk their lives everyday as ‘Scargillite’. His best friend in Europe is ‘Oh my God’ Silvio Berlusconi and he is constantly seen in bed with that psycho George ‘I didn’t know anything about Enron’ Bush. The first American president that doesn’t know how to tie his shoe laces.

    Where is the connection to Orwell and street cameras? – I hear you ask.

    Re-read Animal farm and Orwell will graphically describe how subtlety ones freedoms are relinquished to those entrusted to look after you and the horrific consequences once the process is complete.

    Now he has hijacked Labour we can’t vote him out because of the sad alternative and through his manipulation of the media many younger voters actually think this is what Labour is about. Any one of those Orwell pigs would have been proud to be associated with Blairs clandestine trickery.

    To the ‘Martin Willetts’ of this world. I hear your arguments about crime and prevention but where do we draw the line. I seem to sense that our Governments will listen to protest providing it is allowed to completely ignore it. As we are hastily moving towards a two party state like that in America where both parties are paid to do the bidding of their Corporate masters I fear protest soon will be the ‘peoples’ ONLY voice. Save the ‘Green’ party what have we left. Now for the privilege of protest I demand not to be added to any database or have my picture taken by anyone and because I demand that it doesn’t make me paranoid about a ‘nasty evil state that drags you off to the Gulags’. Lets think about the implications of inserting microchips in peoples bodies and keeping genetic records of people. Like it or not the US locks up more people than any other country in the world and the UK more than any other in Europe. How come we are plagued with so many ‘horrible people’ intent on ruining society. If they didn’t tell you it was for your own good you would spit in their eye. No Martin…. no… no…NO! Lets stop this now.

  • The Thinker: Tony Blair is ‘right wing’? Well I don’t suppose that is any more odd than when CNN called the communist army officers trying to overthrow Boris Yeltsin ‘right wing’. The term does not really mean anything any more.

    The fact is Blair is a STATIST. Ian Duncan Smith is a STATIST. They both agree that the state exists so that people can use the levers of power to benefit their supporters. This is a why I do not vote any more.

    It is also why I fear the British State’s surveillance no less under a Tory government than I do under a Labour government. Is there anything to choose between Michael Howard and David Blunkett? Not really.

  • M. Williams

    If any of you happen to own one of those posters, I’m willing to buy it from you. If interested, contact me at williams_m_@hotmail.com

    It boggles the mind to think that there are supposedly rational beings who thought those posters would effectively placate the masses. They’re simply scary. [The artist(s) didn’t even employ soothing artistic techniques.]

  • Floid

    There’s something amusing about the suggestion that a ‘politically incorrect’ remark is inherently better than this form of gov’t speech.

    Not that I necessarily disagree, of course.

  • Floid

    There’s something amusing about the suggestion that a ‘politically incorrect’ remark is inherently better than this form of gov’t speech.

    Not that I necessarily disagree, of course.

  • You can print your own poster from the online Nazi/Soviet style graphics available at

    http://www.transportforlondon.gov.uk/campaign/bus_improvement/index.shtml

    Don’t you feel reassured by the blinking eye graphic ?

    There is currently no hard evidence that the CCTV cameras installed on the buses have any deterrent
    effect whatsover.

  • So, everyone’s a little upset over a poster? Your Government has disarmed the population and now they want to watch everyone too? The people complaining are powerless to reverse the path of the government’s wishes. The people never asked to be watched, did they? So shut-up and get used to having a more invasive “big brother”. It’s for your own good, right?

  • Ministry of Virtue

    The public must be made to understand the government is their protector and friend, the poster campaign is double-plus good.

  • Joe Yowsa

    Good grief, you are such a paranoid. Put a sweater on and have a cup of tea or something. And try not to go completely bonkers, old chap.

  • Joe Yowsa

    Uh. ….. I believe it’s a poster for a transport agency, eh? Am I supposed to read a whole lot into it? Maybe I’ll have to work on developing a really overactive imagination first please. Uh, could you give me a bit of time please?

  • Ministry of Truth

    Remember – if there is hope, it lies in the Proles.

  • Hey man, can anyone steal or send me one of those scary/strange/prophetic/spooky posters? I would be much appreciative.

    Southern California

  • ed

    The problem I have (the MOST) with cameras is that there is not universal public access to the footage. Hence if there is something that the government doesn’t want folks to see, they don’t.

    Here at the University of Massachusetts (USA) 2 years ago, we had women falsely claiming to be raped. Never happened, the police knew it. Yet they still wound up shutting the school down for a while. By contrast, we have had a real problem with ethnic (hispanic/black) drug/violence gangs and that stuff which HAS happened does not officially exist.

    Three important points:

    Thomas Jefferson: Where the press is free
    the government will be honest (not verbatim).

    Ben Franklin (on guns): Those who would sacrifice a little liberty for security neither deserve nor will enjoy either.

    Rush Limbough: The Second Ammendment (gun ownership rights) is what makes the First Ammendment (free speech rights) possible.

    And the best thing here is that the police can have tape recorders in their cars, but it is a criminal offense to tape a police officer when he stops your car. That upheld by the courts a year ago…

  • it’s just another step of the Campaign. one of them was introducing “reality shows” into minds ov masses. continue your daily tasks. resitance is futile.

  • Louis Gifford

    That’s scary. Unfortunely for you all in Britain, you messed up Constitution allow you no real way of challenging this. Your rights are what Tony Blair says your right are. He’s the real “Big Brother.” Meanwhile, the European Court on Human Rights, the European Union, and other half-assed attempts at European Federalism offer you virtually no appeal or remedy in cases like this. In America, you would have the choices of judicial activism or lobbying with local, state, AND federal politicans. In the USA, the government fear the people and not the other way around.

  • tom

    Isn’t the point that only us lot will notice the scary parallels (to get the 1984 reference _and_ to be paranoid enough to think the state setting up CCTV cameras everywhere is a bad thing)?

    Everyone else will either take the advert at face value, or think ‘what a weird ad’ and dismiss it.

    But we folks who have something to fear from more CCTV (no, not muggers, I know…) get the message alright.

    btw: see a ‘1984’ poster here

  • J

    This was a poster published by Transport for London and the major of london, ken livingstone _not_ Tony blair or david blunkett, who if you remember didn’t want ‘red ken’ as mayor in the first place!
    He was voted in by london, if we don’t like him, we can vote him out again. same goes for New labour.
    if we don’t like the choice of candidates, we can be the candidates! You’re all talking like we have no right to vote and the only thing we can do is have a revolution, rubbish!

    Heres the press release about the campaign btw: http://www.londontransport.co.uk/buses/press_525.shtml

  • J wrote: This was a poster published by Transport for London and the major of london, ken livingstone _not_ Tony blair or david blunkett, who if you remember didn’t want ‘red ken’ as mayor in the first place!

    And your point is what? Ken Livingstone controls a part of the state with considerable power over people in London.

    He was voted in by london, if we don’t like him, we can vote him out again. same goes for New labour.

    Who is ‘we’? And who is this ‘london’? I live in London and did not vote for the bastard. And anyway, so what if people voted for him? Why should they get to vote for other people to spy on me?

    if we don’t like the choice of candidates, we can be the candidates!

    Oh, right then. I will run as an independent anti-CCTV candidate. And when I lose miserably to the slick, well funded political organisations that dominate London politics, I will have achieved what exactly? It will have achieved nothing other than reinforcing the fiction that voting somehow empowers you even if it has as much effect as pissing against City Hall’s wall.

    You’re all talking like we have no right to vote and the only thing we can do is have a revolution, rubbish!

    Huh? I must have missed the bit were I said these posters require us to mount a revolution. How is opposing the encroachment of the state into everyone’s lives somehow a wild or crazy thing to advocate? How people deal with the Panoptic state in which we now live it is up to them, but I do want people to realise that they are living in one.

  • Hmm. AH wonders how many citizens young Perry knows who have been arrested by the Met despite not being up to any mischief.
    Does he really think that the police are going to arrest someone when the CCTV evidence actually shows that they were not doing anything wrong?
    Indeed, isn’t CCTV more likely to protect Perry from the authorities rather than increase the likelihood of them abusing their powers over him.
    For example, it will be a lot harder for the police to pin a bank robbery on him in London if a CCTV camera actually shows that he was sucking his way through an ice cream on the beach at Brighton at the time.
    And it will be a lot harder for a policeman falsely to allege that he has assaulted him when the CCTV camera actually shows the court that the policeman’s fist was traveling towards his chin!

    http://www.angryharry.com/esInformationistheKey.htm

    This was AH doing a bit of activism!

    Thank you Perry

  • Bollocks

    Wot planet are you on Angry ‘Arry? Your bleedin dream is a bleedin nightmare, a nazi future where party members wear smiley face arm bands as they log your every bleedin movement. And who is goin to control the cameras? The Met of course. Not thanks mate. I have scragged two CCTVs in the past and I am going to do another one tomorrow just for you.

  • Hey Bollocks,

    What have you got to hide?
    And what are you scared of?
    It’s a serious question.
    You’re a man, so, stand up for yourself.
    Why hide?

    AH

  • M.Rad.

    Sadly; the U.S. is not as free as we are told it is, nor as we would like it to be. From the “war on drugs”, to civil forfeiture, to street cops wearing masks for traffic stops, all of course in the name of “safety”, our rights are being eroded. Anyone read the “Patriot” act? It’s called incrementalism, a slow creeping decline visible only in retrospect. As for our Constitution, well, let’s just say you can have as much justice as you can afford to pay for…
    G.B. sadly, is in even worse shape. From the villification of self defense against criminals, to the loss of the right against self-incrimination in criminal proceedings, the picture is grim indeed. Americans need to look at G.B. as an example of what we could be facing.
    As for the argument that the government is not doing bad things with these capabilities at the moment……..
    Unfortunately, the trend toward a “new world order”, coupled with government’s overwhelming technological advantage, means that soon there will be,

    “Nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide”…

  • Prosac

    This makes me wonder about all those commercials on T.V. The ones where there is a woman looking out of sorts. The voiceover says, “Remember when you felt like yourself? You remember…”

    Thomas Jefferson: “Where the press is free the government will be honest.”

    There is a local mystery writer who used to be a journalist. He said when he left the newsroom almost everyone he knew was on Prosac. Something to consider…

  • Bob Briant

    From: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/health/story.jsp?story=348378

    Mr Blunkett said: “There has been a tradition of people thinking they can have a separate policy to the ministers they serve. They can’t.”

    From: http://www.civilservant.org.uk/wwministers.shtml

    How to be a Civil Servant
    First, you are expected to give advice before Ministers make policy decisions. You must give them private, honest, informed advice and you are expected to face them with the truth even when it turns up in an inconvenient form. Put another way, you are employed to “speak truth unto power”.

  • Bill

    I was wondering why airfare New York to London is only $200 round trip.

  • Pete Briggs

    Does anyone know who the artist is? I’ve seen a lot of his/her’s rendition on the Underground in the last several weeks (there’s a particularly beautiful poster, showing the above-ground “points of interests” of a particular tube route, in the same artwork style.) I’d love some clear links to some large downloadable files….they’d make great desktop backgrounds!

  • MishOfSydenham

    What a wonderful example of libertarian hype!!!! Okay, I don’t like the rather excessive RIPA on email surveilance, Echelon spooks me, and I think that there is a potential for some pretty petty restrictive legislation re ‘freedom of speech’ – but as usual the hysteria is not supported by facts. Or do you live in perpetual terror that the pinko police will identify you on the Clapham Omnibus and imprison you because of what you said about Tony Blair in that email 6 months ago? If so, I think you are probably causing yourself unnecessary stress.

    As for “Civilians are not just deprived of any firearms” – GOOD!!! Although deprivation is not exactly the word that springs to mind. I do not feel deprived that the likelihood that some rectum will try to increase the lethal metal content of my body when I go for a beer or three in the evening is significantly less than in the Land of the Free.

  • Hmmmm!

    Directed at Angry Harry.

    Sir, an analogy….

    When someone dispatches a letter, more often than not they place it in an envelope prior to sending?
    On rare occasions……… one may deem it appropriate to send a postcard!

    Does one necessarily have “something to hide” when deciding to use an envelope?

    No!!

    It’s simply exercising an inate requirement of “privacy”!

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Go to any Zoo and look at the effects of, not only, the unnatural confinement, but of the psychologically debilitating effects of the constant peering of the voyeurs……….on animals.

    Amongst numerous for/against arguments for excessive CCTV, there is the straight forward issue of “privacy”.

    This should not be treated as a blase matter of course and even be considered for “invasion”.
    It’s fundamental to us all.
    The requirement for privacy.

    And if this breech can, in anyway, be deemed necessary; it should have such a mandate universally acceptable to society as a whole. And not, as is the case presently, a pre-emptive, statist directive.
    Simply for reasons that may not be currently apparent to those, whose support may well be based on the current “terror, serial, terror, jacking, kidnap, rapist, terror” frenzy that’s presently occupying the media.

    People are not inately vicious.
    People are not inately cruel.

    We’re just not!

    We’re good, or bad, depending on our circumstance, or state of mind!!

    If people do behave as atrociously as we’re being continually informed they do , it is why people behave in antisocial ways that should be addressed and not this continual course of excessive erosion of civil freedoms for all.
    Especially when there are valid arguments to show that there may be deliberate reasons, for such violations, that are not in the interests of the mass majority of society.

    The reason why “privacy” should be fought for becomes horrifyingly apparent when one ceases to look at the issue in isolation, but looks at it in relation to all the other socioeconomic changes taking place the world over; and applying intelligent reasoning to your findings.

    There is a “real life” basis for placing some value in the prescient predictions of the likes of George Orwell and their conclusions.
    Alternatively, realists will doubtless see value in the reasoning of speakers such as Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn.

    There are fewer and fewer methods, available to “people”, to influence the ways in which we’re administered.
    The process of civil adminstration is fast becoming exposed as a process of social control benefiting an ethereal minority.

    The unfortunate fact is, there is without doubt a concerted process of “social anaesthetisation” to the erosion of our freedom and ability influence our own lives.

    Unless the arguments for such measures, border on absolute, we should not hand over our rightful freedoms without all inclusive, conscious consideration.

    We haven’t had that.

    Until………………..

  • scott

    Actually, since this is very likely a computer-designed graphic, it is only a matter of getting the (doubtless very large) file that was used to print the poster, rather than getting a poster itself. Surely this stuff can be made available somehow.

  • The Phantom Street Artist

    Londoners,
    Welcome ot the New Millenium of the New World Order….
    The Phantom Street Artist

    Reality is no longer what you imagine it to be.
    PYR8FREETV Lost Angeles 2002

  • The Reverend Rat

    Yahoo, I got one !
    There is no artist name or printers info any where on the picture, so maybe they are printed in house.
    Yours
    The Reverend Rat

  • I wholly share the shock and irritation people feel about this poster.

    Eyes in the sky…. Tasteless and eerie.

    Talking of authoritarian publicity that looks like a parody of itself, is everyone here familiar with the creepy Captain Euro cartoon?

  • GF

    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/buses/press_525.shtml

    Press Centre
    TfL Press Release

    29 October 2002

    Watchful Eye Campaign Kicks Off

    A new campaign to reduce the fear of crime on London’s buses kicked off today with an information blitz along 26 key bus routes.

    High streets in Hammersmith, Clapham, Ilford, Camden, Ealing, Acton and Croydon and locations like bingo halls, colleges and cinemas are being targeted by the “Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes” campaign highlighting improved bus security through CCTV for buses, better shelters and the Transport Operational Command Unit (TOCU) active on 26 routes.

    London Buses Director of Strategy Dick Halle said:

    “Bus passengers have the right to feel secure on their journeys. I hope that this innovative campaign will help reduce the fear of crime on our services.”

    The campaign features posters on bus shelters, stops and in the vehicles. It also uses press and radio advertising as well as a hit squad of information staff targeting key locations along the 26 TOCU routes.

    ‘Hit squad’?! Geez TfL..nice choice of words..

    BTW…What’s TfL stand for?…Thanks for laughing?

    GF

  • Ernie

    MishOfSydenham:

    Violent crime in England has INCREASED since the draconian anti-gun laws were passed while in our country it has steadily decreased inspite of more states allowing concealed carry. Violent crime has always been higher in our country even when your gun laws were less restrictive than ours. Most credible criminal sociologists attribute it to factors that have nothing to do with private gun ownership. Home invasions have increased dramatically in the UK since the gun laws took effect and the scarry thing is that 53% of burgularies in the UK take place when the homeowner is home (13% in the US.) Burglers in the US fear armed homeowners more than the police!

    Ash, Alasdair:

    There are some obvious contradictions in our assertion that we are the most free country in the world. Our restrictions on drug use (including alcohol) is a prime example. I will say this to you: Yesterday I legally carried my Colt .45 automatic pistol into the Wal*Mart and after a quick background check purchased a 12 gauge over and under shotgun for $500 and shot two rounds of skeet at my club. Could you do that in your country? Could you do that anywhere in Europe? Tomorrow I plan on taking my AR-15 assault rifle to the range and practicing for an upcomming match. Can you do that? No government agency has a list of what guns I own (I own 4 assault rifles, 3 shotguns, 2 rifles and 4 pistols) nor the serial numbers of my guns.

    Keep in mind that many governments that committed atrocities such as genocide and other human rights violations started with gun control and then control of the press. National identification systems allow government to track and control its citizens. Pol Pot in Cambodia started with gun control. The military government in Argentina was aided by strict gun control and over 300,000 people disappeared. Hitler instituted national gun control. The list goes on.

    My point is that sitting back and saying “well there is no harm done because our current government would never abuse the control” is short sighted and dangerous. As citizens, The luxury of freedom compells us to fight against any breach of human rights no matter how innocent the breach may seem.

    In my opinion, there are certain rights that are key to keeping a balance between the individual and the state. If these rights are forfeit by the individuals in the society, there is grave risk that at some point the government will become abusive. These key INDIVIDUAL rights include:

    1. The right to free speech and of the press
    2. The right to freely assemble
    3. The right to bear military arms
    4. The right to a public, speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers
    5. The right to privacy

    The right to free speech and of the press is essential to notifying the public when abuses exists. The right to assemble allows the people to meet to freely discuss courses of action to address the abuses. The right to bear military arms allows the citizens to resist deadly force by a government that refuses to address abuses. The right to a speedy, public trial by a jury of one’s peers keeps abuses from being swept under the carpet by simply eliminating the witnesses or those who could legally address the abuses. The right to privacy (together with the right to assemble) is essential to allow groups of citizens to meet to discuss courses of action to address abuses.

    These rights are so key to the balance of power between the government and the individual that forfeiting only one of those rights put us in a precarious position. History has shown that people who allow these rights to be taken away suffer terrible consequences and human rights abuses. All these rights are essential. Take one away and the scale is tipped in favor of oppression.

  • Paul

    Over here in the usa we have cameras all over the lamp posts along all the major hiways. I’ve never heard why they are there. Neither have I heard any objection from the brainwashed americans.

  • Englishman in NY

    The ‘secure…’ poster is not a ‘government’ device, it is issued by London Transport who run the busses and tube railway. They have a problem with passengers and drivers being harrassed and attacked while travelling. The ‘metropolitan police’ are the London cops not the government. The problems are not general or national. However police monitoring of public places does raise issues.
    Keep to the facts folks, don’t get carried away, this is a transport compnay poster erected in their own bus shelters.
    Now back to your normal service.

  • Ghost

    That “all seeing eye” looks pretty similiar to the one on the $1 US bill, the one on top of the pyramid. Doesn’t the latin under that translate to “we are watching” or something?

    man… this stuff is getting wierd.

  • Minuteman

    MishOfSydenham wrote:
    “What a wonderful example of libertarian hype!!!! Okay, I don’t like the rather excessive RIPA on email surveilance, Echelon spooks me, and I think that there is a potential for some pretty petty restrictive legislation re ‘freedom of speech’ – but as usual the hysteria is not supported by facts.”

    This amazes me. Here is someone listing some of the UK’s governmental legislative infringements and abuses and then saying we’re delusional if we see a pattern forming. I see a pattern forming. Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

    MishOfSydenham also wrote:
    “As for “Civilians are not just deprived of any firearms” – GOOD!!! Although deprivation is not exactly the word that springs to mind. I do not feel deprived that the likelihood that some rectum will try to increase the lethal metal content of my body when I go for a beer or three in the evening is significantly less than in the Land of the Free.”

    Mish, how many criminals do you know who obey the laws? If a law says that no one except police and military personnel are allowed to own guns, how many criminals do you think will obey that law? There’s a reason these people are called criminals–they don’t obey laws. The “good” part about your gun laws is that you can indeed go out for a beer or three in the evening and a “rectum” doesn’t even need a gun to rob or harm you. Why? Because he knows you are not allowed any means of self defense. There’s an anti-gun outfit over here with a campaign to help small businesses be “gun-free.” It consists of placing signs at every entrance of a business stating that guns are not allowed in (or on the premises). If you’re an opportunistic gun-toting criminal, what message does that send you? I’m sure the criminal will see the signs and say, “Shucks! I really wanted a burger and soda, but I can’t go in here because I’m carrying a gun. I guess I’ll just go home and get something to eat.”

    If you live in a house, do you have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers? If you race sailboats, do you bring a life raft? When you go camping, do you bring a First Aid kit? I carry a concealed .40 caliber Glock 27 with a spare 15-round magazine with me as often as I can. Like Ernie, I believe in being prepared for emergencies by having the right tools when I need them.

    One note about the U.S. Constitution that I haven’t seen anyone mention… Our rights are not granted by the Constitution. Our Constitution and Declaration of Independence *acknowledge* rights as (1) coming from Almighty God and (2) being unalienable (meaning that no government, try as it may, can legislate them away).

    Shalom
    Minuteman

  • The Reverend Rat

    Hi, I S.E’d the transport company and they said that these posters are a limited run but due to demand they might make some more for the Transport Museum to sell, as a lot of people have expressed a liking for the art work :-)
    They are produced in house and then stored at a warehouse for distribution ( no name yet ) I should be getting hold of a few of the originals next week :-)
    Yours
    The Reverend Rat +:-)

  • Why we thought you’d like our new poster. Doesn’t it make you feel safer?

    We of the inner party are taking great efforts to purge from the earth those who might possibly endanger the peace. And instead of thanks we get accused of totalitarianism.

    It just proves that we must go to even greater links to destroy even from the minds of men such antisocial thoughts.

    But rest assured, we have already developed the necessary technology to accomplish that goal. And we have our eyes on each one of you expecting you to work with us in this great endeavour.

    Each of us must do our part to stamp out the old resistance to authority so that together we can create the eternal and invincible New World Order.

  • Why we thought you’d like our new poster. Doesn’t it make you feel safer?

    We of the inner party are taking great efforts to purge from the earth those who might possibly endanger the peace. And instead of thanks we get accused of totalitarianism.

    It just proves that we must go to even greater links to destroy even from the minds of men such antisocial thoughts.

    But rest assured, we have already developed the necessary technology to accomplish that goal. And we have our eyes on each one of you expecting you to work with us in this great endeavour.

    Each of us must do our part to stamp out the old resistance to authority so that together we can create the eternal and invincible New World Order.

  • The Reverend Rat

    So who starts the biding for this rare poster :-) ?

    Yours
    The Reverend Rat +:-)

  • Bob

    >Each of us must do our part to stamp out the old resistance to authority so that together we can create the eternal and invincible New World Order.

    Have you been speaking with our Home Secretary?

  • alasdair

    Perry,
    In your reply to me
    1. You seem not to know much about UK gun law – you’re first paragraph is complete rubbish
    2. I believe in the rule of law, the the right to a fair trial and not sinking to the level of your enemies – you presumably do not.

    A

  • Alasdair: I know a great deal about UK gun laws… handguns, the only weapons really useful for self-defence, are banned. Are you saying they are not banned? If so you do not know what you are talking about. Even the British Olympic pistol team had to go to Switzerland to practice with handguns because they are banned here. You clearly do not know what you are talking about.

    As for a ‘fair trial’, how does that protect you against someone attacking you in the middle of the night? Are you going to hit the guy climbing through your window with the Lawyer you presumably keep next to your bed in case of attack? I believe in a fair trial too if the person attacking me survives the consequences of his actions.

  • ddraig

    more grist to the mill:

    http://www.met.police.uk/appeals/mayday/mayday2002.htm

    You northern hemisphere people are funny :-)

  • Hi…

    I thought I would add my thoughts. They are some excellant points raised here. Mine is going to sound pale in comparision.

    Anyway here goes.

    I feel that Ken Livingston (*Mayor), and the London Transport service, have done nothing wrong really with regards to the poster that has been designed. Which I believe they are backing?

    Many people who come to London, love the city. Its probably the most famous city in the World today.

    It is a city conjours up images of Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, The Queen for one moment, then onto Harrods, Hamey’s, Harvey Nichols, Lloyds Of London, the next…!!

    With that being the case, people who visit, or live within the city want to be able to get around it within a trouble-free and cost saving way.

    However, over the years – especially during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. London Transport – either through the buses, or more importanty via the Tube system (* Which is still the largest and the oldest in the World!!) – was plagued by under investment from the Tory government into this service.

    The previous Governments saw fit to build more roads – then to invest properly in the Transport service.

    We have more roads then ever before, but this has allowed for an increased amount of people to go out and buy more Cars to get around in. Thus causing more grid locks in the City of London then ever before!

    Also, during the 1980’s, when Football Hooliganisims was rife. Rival supporters would use the Trains, Buses or Tubes in disguise to get around to other rival teams “Manner”, to fight.

    On these public services, many people felt un-confortable and un-easy in using the various travel services that were available. Train Staff and Underground Tube Staff where under constant pressure of being attacked.

    Not just from “Soccer hooligans”, but from so called passengers that suffer from Travel Rage!! I’m sure many have seen so called “rational” passengers trying to make life “hell” for Travel or Tube staff, even though they know that they are in the wrong!

    If this is “Poster”helps in some way in making people think before doing any wrong doing, or making life “hell” for people who are only doing their job/s then I’m all for it.

    Yes, I do see the argument against Big Brother, and people watching you. I don’t like it either. But if you are one of those peoples that are working within the transport industry, and who on a constant daily level suffer from getting abuse, and in some cases fear for your life. Something, anything has to be done.

    Secondly, about the guns laws. I feel that as a nation we do not need to follow the Usa route. Its just my opinion. I feel that we should leave the carrying of guns to the Police and the other authorites.

    For the public of the Uk, to be given the right to carry fire arms will only lead into more unfortunate deaths then we have already. But thats my opinion.

    What I do think that sould be changed is the fact that – if a person breaks into your House or property, and you either apprehend him or her violently. Or if it leads to death of the person who tries to break in – then it could mean that you are the one that will be going to serve a long prison term.

    Now that is plain stupid.

    Maybe we have someone who works as a lawyer here to explain why is this has come about, and continues to be part of our law?

    But those are my views. I hope that you will not “Flame” me too much?

  • In the spirit of Orwell and all things pure we (all) must fight this evil infection of cameras taking over. Terminator 2 Judgement Day is already here, Europes internet has already formed into a group known as INTERPOL, but they have a good cause of fighting child porn. The Cameras are the real enemy and Europe has lost that battle it seems. Someone please e-mail me if there are any groups I could join whom feel the same as I do. Also, I live in Wisconsin, and Im pretty sure my town is already rigged everywhere, but unlike Europe the tax payers do not know this. They even are using airplanes here to get speeders!! WHAT A WASTE OF OUR FUCKING MONEY!!!!

  • Sally Sheeple

    USA is following fast. Ah, citizen sheep, I see that you once smoked something that looked like a joint to us on the corner of Eatme and Bumfuck back on July 14, 2010. We will have to send you to Reprogramming Camp. Sign right here under “I know I must be reprogrammed for my own good.”
    X___________________________________

  • James

    My word.

    Never before have I seen such a paranoid bunch in one place.

    Big brother … 1984 … all that jazz …

    Some people are so worried about their privacy. That is they are until they are robbed, mugged, raped, or conned out of their life savings.

    There is no such thing as privacy in the street. You wouldn’t get changed there, or have sex with your s/o there – unless you are an exhibitionist! You expect people to see you, so why complain about cameras?

    We live in a non-perfect world. It’s the *people* that make it non perfect. It’s true that the people that govern and police that world are the same non-perfect people that make up that world, but on a percentage basis – they are the least worse people to be monitoring me, my usage of credit cards, and my movements throughout our capital.

    I find most of the responses here naive to the point of childish. “Personal Privacy” is an intellectual term that has about as much relevance in the real world as a “frictionless surface” has when used in scientific experiments; it’s a great idea on paper but it is next to impossible to get the same result. I’m all for getting close as possible to my right to privacy (of course!) but not to the expense of tracking those that would violate your *human rights* for a couple of quid.

    I’ve had the crap beaten out of me in a tube station (for those few pounds I had on me), and I have a friend who was knifed on a train for his mobile phone. Neither he or I was able to give a good enough description to the police to end in a successful prosecution. This was before the days of CCTV in underground stations.

    Until we have eradicated the “selfish gene” and we are all living in a utopian society we will need law enforcement; the people that make sure that the law is adhered to will need information; that information will be acquired by watching people.

    And … if you don’t like it … go live in the mountains. You wouldn’t last a month.

    To the gun nuts and Mr Perry: … it’s not guns that kill people, it’s the gun nuts with guns that kill people. If someone breaks into my house I’ll be much happier knowing it’s very unlikely *they’ll* be carrying a gun. If a law abiding citizen can own a gun, so can a unlawful maniac… times two. Knock me over the head with a bar, and steal my stuff, but leave me alive to claim it back on the insurance.

    Amy – I’m glad I don’t live anywhere NEAR Texas. I feel threatened in my own home just reading your post, does that mean I have the right to “blow your head off”? I’m amazed you don’t understand the correlation between the ownership of guns and the fact that people get killed by guns. Would you have me believe that all the people killed in Texas are criminals?

    Ernie, your post worried me most of all. I don’t fear oppression from a government that bans guns and puts CCTV in public spaces. I fear the person who states they need the right to bear military arms against a government they voted in.

    American citizens, please don’t quote the “bill of rights” and that “first/second amendment” stuff – because that was made up by humans (as flawed as you and I) in a by-gone era and has about as much relevance now as my first “hi-fi system” instructions have to my latest state-of-the-art stack system.

    If you think we live in a police state, how do you think you get away with posting this bull here? If you have the privacy to sit at home on your expensive computers and bitch about how the government is doing you wrong then you are a damn site lucker than the people in countries where speaking out about social injustice will get them killed. To be honest – you sicken me to the pit of my stomach. Big brother? More like rich whiney sister. Stop concocting conspiracy theories and be an asset to civilisation.

  • Snide

    James is such a typical willfully blind product of the modern world. He gets mugged and yet he LIKES being defenseless. He is willing to TRUST muggers will ‘just’ wack him over the head and leave him alive: he is actually WILLING to leave that desision to his attacker. This is entering the realm of mental illness in my view.

    he says we are all products of our flawed genes, so so are the fuckers on the other side of the cameras, or are they somehow better than everyone else?

    Then he assumes people want the ‘right to bear military arms against a government they voted in’… well i DID NOT vote for any of these stinking thieves.

    Also, there are more guns in Switzerland, Norway and Israel than Texas and yet the murder rates are less than UK, so clearly you are taking out of your arse.

    Why do these dickhead lefties like James assume people who disagree with them are rich toffs? Wrong again.

  • James if you actually read my article (and the follow ups) rather than just reacting to trigger words, you would see that I recognise Britain is not yet a full blown Police State and I would like to keep it that way, which is why I am so alarmed by the fact the apparatus is being put in place for future governments who may well be less and less in touch with the concepts of liberty that do indeed currently allow me to write these articles. But you only have to read this to see that the freedom of expression you so blithely hold up as evidence everything is ok is also under threat.

  • James

    Snide: “dickhead leftie”?? When all rational arguement is exhausted let’s resort to name calling. Perhaps you’d like to inform me that my mum was a hampster? Or perhaps my father smelled of elderberries.

    I got mugged on the underground, therefore I’d like more security cameras in tube stations. This is not a willingness to be defenseless. It’s not a willingness to let the state peep into my private life. What I do in an underground station is not private! Would I let some government appointed body install cameras in my front room? Well no – of course not. That *is* my private life.

    You are right about the people behind the cameras being flawed. So we should be allowed to keep a watch on *them* too. That’s where the free press comes into play. Until they are silenced I will not worry about my civil rights in this country.

    I don’t “trust” muggers to not kill me, I was pointing out that if there is no easy means of getting hold of a gun, then I am less likely to be shot for my money. It’s a lot harder to kill someone with a cosh. Deaths by violent crimes is on the increase in the UK. Adding guns to that scenario would not improve matters in my opinion.

    If you believe you have a democrasy, then you did vote in your government. You personally might have chosen another guy, or not voted at all, but you as a nation voted in the government. Thats what a democrasy is about. If you don’t like the way the “majority” voted that doesn’t give you the right to a military coup. If you want to live like that – move to Iraq, or some other tin-pot totanitaralist state, and sow your seeds of coruption there. Democrasy doesn’t need your style of “politics”

    There are more guns *per person* in Texus than there are in Sweden amd Norway. And you are trying to tell me that Israel has a lower violent crime rate than the UK? Is this ignoring the suicide bombers and relegious hits? Does that not count as murder?

    Now please – if you dont agree with me, use rational arguements. Keep the name calling to the playground.

  • James

    Perry,

    Your tone is patronizing. I read your article. I followed the links in the responses. Please don’t asume things then write them up as fact.

    The apparatus you refer to are video surveilance cameras (CCTV) on buses, in bus stops, on bus routes, on the tube and in the underground stations. They are also on the fronts and backs of london buses to capture those people who decide to use the bus lanes as ways to get round traffic jams. They are *not* an infringement of your civil rights. They are not keeping tabs on you. You really aren’t that important ;)

    Your article was alarmist, and in certain points inaccurate. It connected the factual with fiction. You came to some conclusions which I believe to be wrong, and that’s what I was trying to point out.

    We don’t live in a police state, and we never will. Not in our lifetimes.

    The article you link to in your last response is indeed a worry, but again you are using very alarmist language and perhaps making more of an issue than is helpful. Lets look at the phrase :
    All PASOK politicians are a bunch of corrupt socialist bastards who allowed the ’17 November’ terrorist organisation to operate in Greece with impunity for decades because it is actually controlled by elements within PASOK. Recent ‘successes’ against N17 will of course uncover exactly nothing.
    Now while you might have points of truth, can you prove all PASOK politicians were born out of wedlock? If they didn’t get you on racist grounds, I’m sure they could in a libel suite.
    Stating facts will not be against the law here, even with this new law. Using emotive terms like you have here will get you in deep water.

    Inciting hate and incouraging violent towards anyone should be illegal. I agree with that 100%. This is not limitation of your right to speak. You should never have had that right to cause unrest.

    Racism is a terrible thing, but this works both ways. The problem in these “P.C.” times have more to do with the fact that the majorities are suffering from the effects of racism, yet there are no systems in place to protect us.

    This is a whole different rant from the “Big brother is watching” … and I’d be pleased to debate the forms best used to try and fix this “PC” mad European bullshit.

  • James: Your tone is patronizing. I read your article. I followed the links in the responses. Please don’t asume things then write them up as fact.

    Speaking of patronising, perhaps my assumptions are correct… which is to say based on fact. You might not agree with my assumptions but that does not make me wrong.

    Your article was alarmist, and in certain points inaccurate. It connected the factual with fiction.

    It was ‘alarmist’ because I am alarmed… and just because you disagree with my views does not make them ‘fiction’.

    We don’t live in a police state, and we never will. Not in our lifetimes.

    It seems I am not the only one who makes ‘assumptions’ then. Upon what do you base this? Compared to the USA, my ability to write things is seriously at risk from ‘hate law’ legislation drafted so that it is not hard to use in ways the authors probably (but only probably) did not intend. Likewise, your faith in the impossibility of a British Police State is just that, faith. Touching but based on what exactly?

    My whole point is not really that I am against CCTV per se, but rather against the ability of the state to tie it all together and turn the UK into a panopticon total surveillance state. If the only people who would see the CCTV images are London Transport folks who would only hand them to the fuzz if someone got attacked on a bus (i.e. if the company sees a need to hand them over), I really have no problem with that… I am pro-privacy, not pro-mugging!

    Yet we see the British state requiring mobile phone companies to keep records of where *your* mobile phone is for 5 years, for your ISP to keep your e-mails and usage logs for 5 years and are you going to tell me that private, corporate and quango CCTV records will not soon follow?

    Sorry but I find it hard to belive there is not pattern here. I think your faith is very badly misplaced.

    As for the remarks about PASOK, clearly ‘bastard’ is used here as an insult, not a technical terms for the marital status is a mother. The fact is anyone should be able to say ‘I HATE GREEKS’ if they want to (I don’t in fact hate Greeks, but that is not the point).

  • Ghast

    James writes that “Inciting hate and incouraging violent towards anyone should be illegal. I agree with that 100%. This is not limitation of your right to speak. You should never have had that right to cause unrest.”

    Of course I have the right to cause unrest! Can I hate National Socialists (Nazis)? If so, can I hate Communists? If so, can I hate Socialists (without the national bit)? If so, can I hate Conservatives? Well I bloody well do hate them all they are all in power because they control the means of ‘big violence’ and you are your state are never going to stop that. Whatismore I want other people to feel the same way. You are saying dissent is okay just so long as it is ineffective. Sorry mate but free speech is more than listening to the sound of your own voice, the object is to cause things to happen! You seem to be mistaking political speech for a pop song!

  • fer

    show of the ball your site.
    valeu.
    # fer

  • James

    First, Ghast: You don’t have the right to cause unrest. There have been laws against it for ages. You may want that right, and believe you should have it – but it doesn’t curently exist.

    You can hate anyone you want.
    You have the right to *say* you don’t side with groups and/or political parties to the point of hating them. You do not have the right to suggest a bombing campaign of party headquarters, or the systematic whipping out of a nationality or belief.

    Saying “we should not tollerate our government’s immigration policy because…” is ok. Suggesting “Make immigrants lives a living hell so they’ll all go back home” is not.

    The first might get enough people to side with you, and our fickle government will eventually produce a party that will latch on to these ideas to gain a couple thousand more voters. The later will get you imprisioned, and rightly so in my opinion.

  • James

    Perry,

    my assumptions are correct…
    You misread me. My point was you assumed I had only read a few comments and skimmed your article, and accused me of such.

    In your article you stated “‘Secure beneath The Watchful Eyes’ of the Metropolitan Police” … when it is infact CCTV in buses and use of the Metropolitan Police on buses and tubes. Ok – perhaps not total fiction, more a mis-direction. It is definately not totally “Factual” You link it to 1984, which *is* total fiction.

    It is my belief that we will not live in a police state because there is far to much bureaucracy in the way. We would need to be invaded. The chances of that are small enough for me not to consider it a realistic posibility. This is by no means *proof*, there can be no proof except the passing of time.

    I still maintain that while we have “free press” there will be no police state. You may accuse the editors of the newspapers of sucking up to (some of) the government, but they are a long way from being government controlled. You can’t tell me we don’t have free speech after reading what our tabloids have to say about the government and “the state”. If the government tried to silence the press, I doubt they would succeed. They are big corporations, some of which are owned by foreign nationals.

    The hate laws to which you refer *are* over zealous, perhaps not even being close to a move in the right direction, but something was needed to counter the growing hate groups in Europe.

    “Phone companies keeping phone records, ISP’s keeping emails.” There are still ways to retain some anonymity (if that’s what you wish). Hotmail type accounts can be set up with no “real” details, accessed from internet cafes, payed by cash. Pay as you go phones can be purchased and topped up without registering them in any way. If we are becoming a police state, these loop holes are the ones that will be closed first.

    “The fact is anyone should be able to say ‘I HATE GREEKS’ if they want to…[snip]” I still believe this is possible, even with the new “criminalisation of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature” laws. The statement (in my opinion) does not advocate the hatred of Greeks, it does not promote the hatred of Greeks, it does not incite hatred of Greeks. It states a personal feeling. Only material that would cause others to hate would be against this addition to the cybercrime laws. The relevant part of the new law in relation to the above is:
    Recognising that freedom of expression constitues one of the essential foundations of a democratic society, and is one of the basic conditions for it’s progress and for the development of every human being;

    Mindful of the need to ensure a proper balance between freedom of expression and an effective fight against acts of a racist and xenophobic nature;

    So it is perhaps not the beginning of the end of free speech as we know it after all.

  • James, an old girlfriend of mine used a legally owned and licensed (here in the USA) Colt 1911-1A .45 semi automatic pistol to kill two thugs who were intent upon raping and murdering her.

    What rational argument can you make to convince me that she and society would have been better served if she had not had that pistol at hand in her bedroom?

  • The Reverend Rat

    I agree with James

    (My flat has a down stairs front door)

    I had two guys come through my front door which was open, I was spray painting and needed some air coming through.

    I heard them and grabbed my crossbow which was cocked and loaded in split seconds, I held it behind my back, I then challenged them asking them to get out of my house,
    The response was “yeah whats it got to do with you man” and put his hand inside his jacket and suggested pulling out a hand gun…before he had pulled his hand out….well…..
    The first shot was aimed to miss, by the time they had recovered a second was loaded and told them that was a warning and grinned….they left in a big hurry.

    I could have dialed 999… but by the time you get linked you would have been bolloxed.
    The worst bit is if I had hit one of them with my cross bow or one of them even hurt themself in the process of robbing my place I could get done for it.
    Yours
    The Reverend Rat +:-)

  • The Reverend Rat

    OOPs..the last post should have started with,
    I agree with Chris

    Yours
    The Reverend Rat +:-)

  • cyberar

    BIG BROTHER: ICU2 & I think CCTV SUCKS
    £ would be better spent on community police-
    who-“protect & serve”?? & all the £ spent on
    cctv should be spent on more pressing issues.
    The poster is OUTRAGEOUS.
    who do they think they’re kidding!

  • cyberar

    BIG BROTHER: ICU2 & I think CCTV SUCKS
    £ would be better spent on community police-
    who-“protect & serve”?? & all the £ spent on
    cctv should be spent on more pressing issues.
    The poster is OUTRAGEOUS.
    who do they think they’re kidding!

  • cyberar

    BIG BROTHER: ICU2 & I think CCTV SUCKS
    £ would be better spent on community police-
    who-“protect & serve”?? & all the £ spent on
    cctv should be spent on more pressing issues.
    The poster is OUTRAGEOUS.
    who do they think they’re kidding!

  • James

    Chris,

    Did these two thugs have guns? If they didn’t then your ex could have used a non deadly force to deter them (Pepper spay, a swift kick to the bollocks). If they didn’t have a gun, I wonder if she would have been legally allowed to kill them? Non UK law is a mystery to me, perhaps you can enlighten me.

    If they *did* have a gun, it validates my point.
    If guns are available, a criminal will own a gun. That’s almost a guarentee. Bad people like every advantage they can get. Of course – there are always stupid bad people! A victim from a crime involving a gun will more likely end up dead. More deaths is bad.

    If guns are not available *most* criminals will not own a gun. A victim of a gunless crime will be less likely to end up dead. Less deaths is good.

    Stating a single case where 1 person you know would/did benefit from owning a gun doesn’t detract from the overall benefits of less people being wrongfully killed.

    I watched a tv program on Friday night called “Neighbours From Hell”. In this program there where several disputes from neighbours that ended in one or both threatening each other with a gun. In one instance one of them was shot. Most of these disputes where videoed by the very people who where caught on camera waving guns around at each other.

    These are not bad people in the grand scheme of things, just mind bogglingly stupid people. Stupid people with guns. You will never convince me that these people should have the right to own a very powerful dangeous weapon. I wouldn’t trust them with penknife.

  • James

    The Reverend Rat

    You make an interesting point about burglars being injured whilst robbing you. I too think it is amazingly stupid that if you hit someone who has broken into your house with a bat/rolling pin/big stick they can then prosecute you for GBH or the equivelent. I believe the law should be changed such that if you break into someone elses property, you forfeit the protection of the law (providing the person doesn’t bludgeon you to death.)

    I’m not sure I agree with the crossbow, but I do agree with scaring the shit out of the would be criminal scum! :)

  • Secure Beneath The Watchful MRIs

    FOUR LOBES GOOD, TWO LOBES BAD

  • Frank

    Just surfed in from the cursor.org site. Whoa! Creeepy poster or what?!

    BTW, as per Scott Ganz’s observation re: London Metro Insignia Contact Lenses, where can I get my London Metro Insignia Party Balloons. Do they go up to Blimp size, too.

    Hmmmm……London Metro has overlooked the whole marketing angle here – Inflatable Playpens, punch bags that never ‘go down’, inflatable pillows for long flights, train journeys, etc

  • Jo

    Scary…

    Who here would give up their freedom so that safety would reign? Anyway, the events in 1984 did actually happen in Stalin’s time. Just do some research, and you’ll find some similarities. Who’s to say the press only writes about what the government purposely slips out so you think you have freedom of the press?

    Here’s a point from something I read above… If the proles main goals were survival, how can they rebel? Yeah, they’d like change, but they would first have to find their next meal… and their next.

    I don’t know if I believe in this stuff or not, but it’s not impossible. And, I guess, this is what might save us from “Big Brother.” Two sides with strong opinions – at least we’re not automatons – yet.

  • Miss_UK

    I know the guys who designed the poster…………

  • Dave

    practical applications of surveilance: You log onto the websites you read in the morning. This info is captured by your ISP. you then stop by the gas station, using your easy pass to fill up your car. this info is captured by the gas station database. Then, using your fastlane, you get on the highway and drive 2 exits. This is logged in the speedpass database. You get to work, login to the network and begin working. Your time of arrival and time you actually spend working are logged. as well as what you typed (keystroke recorder). Don’t forget they can record your conversations too via the computer. It happened here in the US in the past couple of years. A woman filed sexual harrassment charges against her company and won when it was discovered that the company was recording every conversation near a computer with voice activated mics inside the machines. the conversations were stored on a server and were used as evidence in the trial. It would be pretty easy to write up a program that records how much time you are actually spending working on your computer. Why should the company pay you for time you spend in the toilet? piss on your own time buddy. Why should they pay you for mistakes? they are paying you for CORRECT work. If any of this seems unlikely, think about how many full (40 hours) time jobs there are now. Best buy, which just opened a store in my area, consideres full time 30 hours! no benefits, no overtime. They are not unique. So when they can get away with that, how far away is it to impliment the scenario I just described? By the way a couple of years ago doubleclick, the company that is responsible for most of the banner ads you see, bought the company that has to the largest consumer database in the world. Do you think they won’t use it? Do you trust corporations to do the right thing and pass up this opportunity to make a ton of money. Enron, Worldcom, and the others make the answer clear to me.

  • Mark Fennig

    What is really the difference with Republican or Democrat, Labour or Tory? Here in the US both parties want more control over our lives and to deny us more rights in the interest of security. Declaration of Independence = 1 page vs. Homeland Security Act = 410 pages….who knows what is really in it ? Now they want to unlawfully search our luggage without us even knowing. What have they discovered that warrants that? What happened with luggage just passing through the explosives screening? Now that the screeners are all federal employees they want to push it one step further.

    Why do we continue to launch the shuttle with “undisclosed payloads”? How many more satellites do we need and who are they really watching? If you don’t give up your social security number you can’t fill your prescription even at a private druggist or an Eckerd’s. The MIB (government operated medical information bureau) knows more about your past health than you do. I couldn’t get operated on until I surrendered ALL MY RIGHTS to the flipping insurance company!

    I vote Libertarian – not because I believe all their platforms but because the two parties have got all these drones allowing all their “representatives’ to control their lives. We had more people vote for “American Idol” than we had vote in the last election. Give up body fluids to keep your job! The police need more power, the democrats should control our healthcare, the republicans should teach us morality, Christmas is an illegal term – “Holiday Season” is all that is expectable. Be politically correct, don’t ever offend. Conformity is the norm ….go along with it because it is safer.

    This country is headed down the same path that many other countries (including England and Germany) have been on for years. Feeling safer?

  • arooj hussain

    people know about cctv, its always thier lingering in the back of yuor mind that your being watchd. we all know that it is invasion of privacy but at the same time it saves lives or helps find cunts who take them.

    posters like this really piss me off, it only puts more irratioanl fear in to people. dammit!

  • Arooj says it is an “irrational fear” after he himself states that “we all know that it is invasion of privacy”.

    How is fearing an invasion of privacy “irrational”? You might think that CCTV is justified but that does not mean opposition to it is “irrational”… Arooj provides the rational “rationale” for doing so himself: it is an invasion of privacy.

  • Ruben

    “That “all seeing eye” looks pretty similiar to the one on the $1 US bill, the one on top of the pyramid. Doesn’t the latin under that translate to “we are watching” or something?”

    If you are referring to Novus Ordo Seclorum I think it means something to the effect of New Order of the Ages? I may be wrong here but doesn’t Novus mean NEW and Ordo mean ORDER and Seclorum have something to do with Secular? Annuit Coeptis I think means something about Approval of the Beginning. I don’t know for sure though. I’m not exactly a Latin teacher. I could be way off entirely.

  • 1984 IS HERE !!!! GO TO http://WWW.ANONYMOUSPUBLICATIONS.COM-HIT LIST-1984 HERE AMERICA IN DENIAL>>> ORWELLS BOOK IS NOW NONFICTION!!!!!

  • 1984 IS HERE !!!! GO TO http://WWW.ANONYMOUSPUBLICATIONS.COM-HIT LIST-1984 HERE AMERICA IN DENIAL>>> ORWELLS BOOK IS NOW NONFICTION!!!!!

  • Jack Ryan

    As our times are changing more and more, the state doesn’t actually take away our freedoms, but gives limits on those freedoms. As in the past when governments become oppressive to human liberties, the people rebelled and took back their rights. We need to do away with the outdated toy of government. Its time for revolution.

  • Dennis

    I would just like to know one thing…did winston have unprotected sex? if yes, why wont the society allow the useage of condoms or other helpful devices?

  • Dennis

    I would just like to know one thing…did winston have unprotected sex? if yes, why wont the society allow the useage of condoms or other helpful devices?

  • Pos3idon

    thats prety messed up,
    to quote from big brother:
    “war is peace
    freedom is slavery
    ignorance is strength”
    and yeah big brother did have a mustach. by the way give the damn weapons inspectors a chance to disarm Iraq lets not jump into war!! NO BLOOD FOR OIL A.N.S.W.E.R

  • Pos3idon

    thats prety messed up,
    to quote from big brother:
    “war is peace
    freedom is slavery
    ignorance is strength”
    and yeah big brother did have a mustach. by the way give the damn weapons inspectors a chance to disarm Iraq lets not jump into war!! NO BLOOD FOR OIL A.N.S.W.E.R

  • Holy fucking shit.

    You Brits, why do you put up with this? If the
    government is this set on making England into an
    armed totalitarian death camp, and turning you all
    into Soylent Green, why don’t you just GET OUT?

    Come to America, where we’re a generation or so
    behind you on the road to serfdom. Let the
    Pakistanis and the Nigerians have the UK, and to
    hell with it.

  • matthew c.price

    I CANOT BELIEVE THAT THE BRITISH GOVERMENT WOULD BE THAT IGNORANT. AS A FORMER ANARCHIST TURN CHRISTIAN MY ADVICE TO YOU AND YOURE PEOPLE IS TO RAISE HELL,CAIN, AND THE DEVIL UNTIL PARLIMENT TAKES ACTION OR PRAY FOR YOURE NATIONS SOVERINTY TO THE ALMIGHTY GOD AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Doug Matthews

    Is there anyplace one can buy the Secure Beneath The Watchful Eyes poster?

  • America is worse than your place, only American’s can’t believe they’re screwed from here on out.Bush destroyed the constitution and all the Nazi Germany laws are in place. Good-bye to freedom, hello New World Luciferian, Lodge Run, Hell on Earth.

  • America is worse than your place, only American’s can’t believe they’re screwed from here on out.Bush destroyed the constitution and all the Nazi Germany laws are in place. Good-bye to freedom, hello New World Luciferian, Lodge Run, Hell on Earth.

  • Tom Shelly

    I used to have a device that would disable video and monitoring cameras just by pointing it at them. It was some sort of laser light that would instantly ruin the chips or something inside the camera.

    Now, I’ve lost it and can’t find any more of them anywhere. I sure would love to find one again and go around zapping all the cameras I can find. Does anyone know where I can buy one again or even if they’re still available?

    I saw a show once about one British guy played a prank on the cameras. He made a very realistic costume of a giant lizard type creature and stood on the street corner in the middle of the night moving about in a strange way. The police showed up within minutes.

    It was his way of proving that these cameras are being monitored night and day.

    I bet whoever first saw him on the corner must have crapped their pants!

    Tom Shelly, White God

  • Johnathan

    How DARE you complain about the nullification of the United Nations covenant on Civil and Political Rights?? Don’t you know that there are paedophiles out there??!?!

    Your irresponsible whining about international law, human rights, privacy, and security is just a cover for carte-blanche liberal ‘moral relatavist’ approval for the rape and murder of innocent children. Grow up – you’re either with us, or you’re an enemy of the state, the family, and worst of all – our nation’s children!

    I’ll bet you support the “rights” of terrorists, too.

    We have solutions for troublemakers like you…

  • John

    Johnathan wrote:
    How DARE you complain about the nullification of the United Nations covenant on Civil and
    Political Rights?? Don’t you know that there are paedophiles out there??!?!

    Everywhere else in the world there are no pedophiles. They only live in the USA. In fact, all pedophiles in the world have moved to the USA because that country is so full of civil liberty. A plenty of civil liberty. There is so much civil liberty that the government is planning to build dams in order to prevent floods.

    Look at this, and you’ll see how the USA protect their innocent and asexual children:

    http://www.pirateradio.nu/articles/childsex.htm

  • James E Boy

    Whoa there Johnathan. You are really running scared.
    They must have got you with some good scaremongering propeganda.
    Quick! give up all your civil liberties before it’s too late!
    Phew!… Don’t you feel a lot safer now?

  • I have no idea what point John (Feb 27) is trying to make with the link he includes with his comment… it does not seem germane at all.

  • wow, you are all funny

  • Huw Rhys Thomas

    I just noticed that on the bottom corner it says “mayor of London”. This was agreed to by supposed ‘red’ Ken. the cunt

  • jonathan

    This is to Johnathan who posted a comment on Feb 27
    You’re a nut. This ideal Utopian (police) state you seem to be defending may be more free from crime than a place where civil liberty is abundant. Don’t you see that freedom, the idea, is an open door- free to come, free to go. Your Cockaigne will never be free only to the decent. There is no possible way to have only the good be free. This “solution” that you seem to support treats all like criminals. Imprisoning a population will solve the crime problem but then who do you have left to protect from the criminal?

    Once you put your well being completely in someone else’s hands you are then completely at effect to them. My safety is and will remain in my own hands. Break into my house at night an I will show you what I mean. Once you give up your right to protect yourself by assigning it to some shady agency, who then will protect you from them?

    I’m a “live free or die” kind of fellow. I’m sure I would be much safer though, living in a steel box, but then that isn’t really living is it?

    Do you have children and if so, have you had them implanted with GPS microchips yet?

    It will be a terrified group of helpless sheep like yourself who will end up enslaving the rest of us.

  • Modders

    Hey you lot, I’m a Brit living and married in the USA, I would just like to point out although the british mentality seems to be ” well what can I do, I ain’t going to make no difference” over here it is no better, I am getting more and more paranoid every day.
    Check out the anti war peace protesters being shot in California, if that is not fucked up what is?, peace to all.

  • I thought you might be interested in using this updated big brother poster image on your web site…if so, feel free to do so, as long as you link it back to this URL…

    http://www.fantasticpromotionsinc.com/fpprints_big_brother_is_watching_you.htm

  • arsan

    i love Jesus.

  • Eli Ingsoc

    We are already under watchful eyes, eyes that are beyond our understanding and so called logic. We as Humans create this so called “knowlegde”, we get degrees in this and that, but what value do they really hold? What do we really know?

    Have you Ever wandered why youre here ?, we try to answer questions through science, science is knowledge, knowledge gained by our human eyes and ideas.
    We developed these so called theories and blindlessly follow conceptS we claim to fully understand and ignorantly believe to a point of exaggeration.

    Have you ever seen the wind blowing? But you’vE felt it, haven’t you? Yes you! Have you ever been sick? You didnt see the bacteria, but you felt th pain.

    Have you evEr felt like you where being watched? You were. Have you ever prayed to God and he didn’t “answer”?
    He did.
    He’S watching you, he created you, he’s kept your bodYs organism in a perfect balance, the things you experience are caused by people not him. They are cause by your Own ignorance, stubborness, and pride.

    Christianity? I hate that! I don’t believe in God! He’s made my life miserable!!! Biology? I dont believe in that!!! I dont believe in wind rain, sound, pain, micro organisms, I don’t believe, I hate this I hate that!!!!!

    I am atheist, I swear to God I am atheist.
    I’m wiccan, buddhist, mUslim, satanic, liberal, left wing, right wing, i don’t care!!!

    Sound familiar? Who holds the sword to your life that causes you pain? YOU DO!!!

    Youre being watched, as youre watching the screen, the eyes are upon you.

    I’ve been through a lot at a young age experimented , I know things and have accomplished a level of maturity and knowledge many people have not and will not accomplish in their life time.
    I am not a religious.
    I am realistic

    I am a messenger, a voice to our generation.
    Consider me not human In origin, I was pre selected in a supernatural setting to live like a human, I am higher ranking than angels, yet I live like a human. I dont have super powers. The same power that is in me is in you, It comes from our deepest part, it is triggered through waht we cannot see at our mouths command, through the power of God.

    Humans have become a humiliation to God, they call themselves christians, but christianity, reality, the reason of life is found only in having a personal relaionship with God.

    Jesus Christ one of the most religious figures is one of the most anti-religious.

    If you gain the world, all its knowledge, power, money, and knowledge. But loose your soul, what have you gained? NOTHING. That simple.

    Why do you think there is so much hate towards God? So much opposition? Yet the Word remains.

    THe Bible is fake and full of lies!!! Have you heard that before?

    By people who read it and it didnt make sense to them?

    I could kow it by memory but it still wont do a thing if it not complemented by the spirit of God.

    THe current events we’ve seen, are Bible prophecy unfolding, NASA has already acknowledge that the book of genisis had to be written by a higher power, inspired by God given to his people.

    Sars? It’s int he Bible, The holocaust? It’s in there too.

    There is more than what you think exists in this world, that which you cannot see. I challenge you to seek such information, Grant Jeffrey explains some of these things for us
    Big Brother, he will come too, evryone will see him as a hero, a peace keeper, he will make a peace treaty, remember what you read when that happens, ther will be a new world order, “peace”.
    “War is Peace”, “Freedom is slavery”, ” Ignorance is strength”!!!!
    Your enemy wants you to be ignorant of Gods reality, He wants you to think that he’s all about rules (slave to freedom)dont do this dont do that, he wants you to be in war with each other, to blame evrything on GOD.
    He is Big Brother, he controls what you do what you wear, the way you speak, eventhe way you ware your hair. THe condition of your inside, the pain you feel, he controls your emotions, what you watch on T.V. , He’s accustomed you to evil, death to point where its a fashion statement, evil is cool!

    Big Brother does exist, his name is satan, evrything he does opposes and mocks God.

    You must remember comrades he was Gods throne keeper, Lead Musician, the light coming out of God. He hates you and seeks to destroy you!

    Big Brother is watching you!!!

  • God

    Oh pleeeease. Religious fruitbats like Eli turn up in the strangest places. If your God is for real, just tell him to stay the fuck away from me… kind of like the way I feel about the government, come to think about it, only THAT is certainly ‘for real’.

  • Jon

    As an American, I share your horror, friends and weep for the future of us both if we are unable to find some means of changing the course of this trend. America’s IAO program (http://www.darpa.mil/iao/) looks every bit as likely to become our Big Brother here. Some of us find it amazing that DARPA (IAO’s parent organization, part of the U.S. military) sprang to life in a blink just after 9-11… almost as if it was ready beforehand.

    As I speak, I also wait with dread for the FCC (Federal Communication Commission)’s ruling on monopolies in the media when they convene June 2. If they more to keep restrictions on monopolies light (or God forbid, loosen them further), the subtle yet distinct trend of politically-slanted programming will become even more heavily tilted toward the right.

    The irony is that I’d never, ever have expected to feel like a character in the early part of an Orwell novel like this under a Republican administration… but I suppose that’s why some feel this is the best time to institute such nightmares (that make me feel FAR less safe than any terrorists).

  • Johann

    I am simply disgusted, by the state of this country, i am from france and everybody will be on strike for this!
    i therefore pronounce that this country does the same –

    we are stronger together!!! lets make a stance

  • David

    So what i want to know is, if the government is going to be monitoring our, nearly, every move does that mean that we will all be made judgement upon by our rulers and government.
    Reason i ask is because there is so much in revelations stating all that is to come upon judgement day and who will be marked and who wont be. I read this in another site that i found but cannot remember the address, so i thought i’d come here and try to find some ansewrs.

  • Tom Davis

    I’m a film maker from L.A. and I would like one of the English ‘watching over you” posters as a backdrop. I will purchase one, no questions asked. Email me: tomdavis611@yahoo.com

  • 1984 is here smoking gun proof over at http://www.anonymouspublications.com, also they list a book “666-1984 is here “that makes mr orwells book 1984 now >>>non fiction<<<

  • danika

    can i please have a poster sent to me of blair
    from the first big brother, with not many clothes on?

  • Vaci K

    If you really want a copy of the poster, you can steal one from any London bus.

  • Vaci K: Not really… the large posters are no longer being being put on bus stops (I have not see one for weeks and suspect they are all gone, at least from Central London) and the small ones inside the buses are not being replaced as they wear off or are replaced by something else.

  • pennz

    yo’ i was checking out what all of you were saying and basically all i have to say is that the all seeing eye might have started with the ‘eye of horus’. the egyptians worshiped this eye as the all seeing god. so, like the bible says…theres NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN

  • ono

    este programa esta muy bien en spain watching big brother 5.

  • I`VE HAD ENOUGH OF THE STATE OF THIS COUNTRY,OUR FORE-FATHER`S WILL BE TURNING IN THERE GRAVE`S. VIVE LA RESISTANCE………..LET`S START A NATIONAL UPRISING, EVERY LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUAL HERE ON THIS PAGE LET`S JOIN AS ONE AND START SMASHING CAMERA`S UP AND WE CAN CHECK OUR PROGRESS ON THE NEW`S STATION`S AND WATCH THE GOVERMENT SQUIRM ABOUT THEIR CAMERA`S THAT SHOLD NOT EVEN BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE

  • jesse

    Move to the U.S.? Are you guys kidding me? Trust me, if you wish to escape the surveillance state, America is not the place to go right now. Haven’t any of you heard of the Patriot Act? Patriot Act II (pending)? Total Information Awareness? You guys are cozy and “secure” (irony, anyone?) in the U.K. compared with the rulers here. Even the librarians aren’t protected here anymore! We’re constantly told of unspecified threats which require mass duct tape and increased consumer spending. I’m not kidding. You guys might not know this in the U.K., but after 9/11 Bush came out and said, to paraphrase, IT’S OUR PATRIOTIC DUTY TO SPEND, SPEND, SPEND! Who do you think this benefits? Bush’s buddies and administation staff reaps the benefits, not the people. Our “enemies” are always shifting, whether it’s Osama, Saddam, or Kim Jong Il, and whatever country we invade to displace the “imminent threat” another country with rich strategic reserves comes along and threatens to kill us all, which of course requires us to “liberate” their wealth and resources. Tony Blair is a deceptive shill for U.S.-British interests, but he’s not John Ashcroft or John Poindexter. Oh, and good luck trying to get the american people to do anything about it when you get here. Half the country that’s engaged even minimally in politics is a shrill supporter of the administration. You’re worried about the the British government using the excuse of “crime prevention” to take your privacy? OUR government does the same thing, but says MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WILL DIE UNLESS YOU TRUST ME AND DO WHAT WE SAY. I’m not speaking TOTALLY out of ignorance of the U.K. (my family on my mom’s side still lives there and I have visited often), but if you think defecting to the U.S. is the solution, you’re only proving how little you understand about post 9/11 America. I suggest resisting there, as there is little hope of change over here. Peace, freedom, and best wishes from the United States of Oceania.