More ID Card Woes

To add yet more fuel to the ID card debate, one need not look any further than the events of the last few days. It appears that staff at the Identity and Passport Service are ‘hacking’ into the database that may become the foundation of the National ID Card database. OK, so 5 breaches isn’t as much as the 790 that our Australian counterparts have suffered, but 5 is still 5 too many. If any old crooked government employee can gain access to a database of condensed personal information about anybody in the country, who knows what might happen.

Say no to the ID card!

Exeter and Birthdays

As Jess wrote on her blog, we went to Exeter last week. We got lots of nice stuff for ourselves including soap from Lush, tea and chocolate coffee beans from Whittard’s, among other things. On our way back, it was like a visit back to West Yorkshire, as we boarded a Transpennine Express train from Exeter to Barnstaple. There’s no explanation for this other than it must have been sold on to the train company down here after having been replaced up in West Yorks. How strange.

And as it’s this time of year, my birthday is coming up on the 8th. I’ve got the day off work for a bit of a break and am looking forward to it! As usual my ever-boring wishlist is published on this blog, not that it makes any difference in helping people make up their minds!

“What the Terrorists Want”

“Imagine for a moment that the British government arrested the 23 suspects without fanfare. Imagine that the TSA and its European counterparts didn’t engage in pointless airline-security measures like banning liquids. And imagine that the press didn’t write about it endlessly, and that the politicians didn’t use the event to remind us all how scared we should be. If we’d reacted that way, then the terrorists would have truly failed.

“It’s time we calm down and fight terror with antiterror. This does not mean that we simply roll over and accept terrorism. There are things our government can and should do to fight terrorism, most of them involving intelligence and investigation — and not focusing on specific plots.

“But our job is to remain steadfast in the face of terror, to refuse to be terrorized. Our job is to not panic every time two Muslims stand together checking their watches. There are approximately 1 billion Muslims in the world, a large percentage of them not Arab, and about 320 million Arabs in the Middle East, the overwhelming majority of them not terrorists. Our job is to think critically and rationally, and to ignore the cacophony of other interests trying to use terrorism to advance political careers or increase a television show’s viewership.”

I think Bruce Schneier really hits the nail on the head here… Link by BoingBoing.

Let’s raise the white flag

The terrorists have won. Well, they won ages ago but nobody seemed to notice…

One of the may definitions of terrorist is: “a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities”. Notice it doesn’t mention killing at all, just using terror as a weapon. Also notice that nothing actually happened this morning, nor is it likely to happen, other than the government getting terrified by, well, terrorists. Today’s incidents caused some weird sort of reaction whereby everything except travel documents and medication must be checked into hold luggage when travelling by air.

This whole episode makes me think that the said terrorists whose ‘plot’ was ‘thwarted’ this morning were indeed much cleverer than anybody gives them credit for: they simply planned their so-called plot and must have been pretty open about it in order that the government find out about it. Then at the right time the powers that be got scared and did exactly what the terrorists wanted all along: reacted in such a way as to piss off a huge amount of people, get the terrorists lots of press, and basically ‘scare’ those people who can’t figure out what’s going on (and clearly, lots of such people are working in our governments).

So I’m going to sit back and applaud these ‘terrorists’, not because I agree with what they do (I think it’s deplorable) but simply because they seem to be the only people able to keep the whole world under their control. That’s certainly more than what can be said about our government these days, especially considering Tony Bliar’s (ok ok Blair) arse-licking (to borrow a phrase from Big Brother) to the current World Dictator and his minions in the Free Country that is the USA.