Taking a break from housework yesterday I flicked through a few channels and found an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation being shown. The episode shown was “The Drumhead”, a story about a Starfleet admiral who sees everyone as consipirators and spread mistrust and paranoia anywhere and everywhere she goes. Because of her high rank very few people have the influence or authority to challenge her obsessions while many others fall under her spell. The witch hunt is only stopped once it became clear to a superior that she was zealously pursuing the investigation, in the absence of evidence, for personal reasons.
It struck me that there are a few similarities between the issue covered by this episode and the current political climate in the UK and how the Houses of Parliament are dealing with the Digital Economy Bill (link to Twitter search on the topic, some very relevant responses).
It’s already widely known that Sith Lord Mandelson now believes that internet users are all criminal scum who download pirated music, games, films, terrorist device plans and spread evil gossip and misinformation about this control freak government. He believes that the bedrock of British Law, the concept of innocent until proven guilty, should not apply to internet users such as you and me. Merely a whisper of an allegation should be enough to get sanctions taken against people. No trial, so no due legal process before a judge. That is what New Labour stands for.
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Cricket fans will know the test match to which I allude here.
It’s the summer of 1990 at Lord’s. England are playing India. Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin wins the toss and invites England to bat.
Captain and opening batsman Graham Gooch takes the Indian attack for 333 runs in an England first innings total of 653/4.
After the match Mohammad Azharuddin insisted that his decision to insert England was the right one. Even though Gooch hammered another 123 runs in his second innings and England won by some distance. When an opposition batsman hits 450-plus off your bowling, you’ve made a big mistake. You might not be keen to publicly admit it even though the rest of the world can see it’s a big mistake but it remains a big mistake nonetheless.
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Now we have official confirmation that anything drawn, whether by hand or by other means is viewed as being next in the Gordongrad censorship machine’s aims.
The Register reports how Bridget Prentice MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Justice appears to confirm that any drawing will now be cast under legislation of whether or not it is of approved thinking.
An interesting piece of analysis comes from El Reg here. The comments page after is strong stuff and probably best not viewed at work (there’s a bit of strong language there and I don’t mean Jon Pall Sigmarsson)
Author Neil Gaiman says
“If you accept – and I do – that freedom of speech is important, then you are going to have to defend the indefensible. That means you are going to be defending the right of people to read, or to write, or to say, what you don’t say or like or want said.”
That is what this Stalinist “government” loathes. Passionately. In their song 2112, Rush paint a picture which seems to apply to the current “government”:
“We’ve taken care of everything
The words you read, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eye
It’s one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why”