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Monday, 13 November 2006

A free society is defined by being free from authoritarian control

Will any fresh legislation be introduced with the advent of 'ID cards' to assure they can never become the manipulative and coercing tool of an oppressive illiberal government? Civil liberties are retained not only to protect from current government, they provide a defence from what government may become. Should a less benign future government or situation emerge, we would find that by virtue of the 'ID society' proposed that we are subject to a totalitarian government's strict control. A free society is defined by being free from authoritarian controls and not by just relying on a government that says it can be trusted.

Wednesday, 8 November 2006

Blair Baloney

In a recent speech, to the Royal Society in Oxford, Tony Blair proclaimed "We need our scientists today to be as celebrated and famous as our sportsmen and women, our actors, our business entrepreneurs. Scientists are 'stars' too."

The culture of suggesting people aspire to 'stardom' as an aim and mark of success is ill-founded. Roll-models are important to inspire people to recognise the merit of achievement in all constructive walks of life, but setting 'stardom' as a goal will, by it's very nature, preclude the majority from reaching the supposed pinnacle.

If we want the majority to be successful we must set attainable goals they want to reach. The role and function of scientists and engineers is more important than can be portrayed by the public notoriety of the very few. People know the opportunity for achieving fame is a remote prospect and it is not a motivating factor - logic will predict it's unlikely occurrence.

It would be more inspiring to take the example of normal people excelling at their profession, showing what they do, where their professions have taken them in their lives and explaining the motivation and rewards they enjoy from their endeavours. This will be a scenario a young scientific mind will be able to logically relate to and can portray the prospective outcome of their endeavours should they take the time, effort and expense to enter such a career.

Does the government believe that it's love of celebrity figureheads is the answer to popularising careers in the sciences or do they respect the danger of framing career success within such irrelevant terms ?

Monday, 6 November 2006

My fear of ID cards and the underlying database

My fear of ID cards and the underlying database commences simply from my lack of trust in Tony Blair along with any part of this government. I accept they are not the worse government we could have, I have a powerful imagination and can think off many ways in which our national circumstance can become worse still. One way may be with an oppressive centralised European government, voted into power by a people distant to us through geography and culture, dictating a future clearly detrimental to this island and its people's interests.

From our recent experience in the hands of the Blair government, leading the nation to a war on a tissue of lies with the unmitigated slaughter and disaster that has ensued as just one clear example, we can learn a salient lesson; we are already near powerless to resist, prevent or correct the wrongful behaviour of our own instruments state.

We need to know we have the means to protest, to resist and ultimately overthrow our leaders. And they need to know this possibility is an option too. The cornerstone of totalitarian control is put into place with the ID Database. If it's social values are to be realised, it's dangerous nature has to be counterbalanced with liberal legislation offering a viable mechanism to ensure our leaders can never become tyrannical rulers or more likely puppets acting out the bidding from a hidden hand.

Civil liberties stand as a defence from whatever future holds. To assure an enduringly free society the balance must always be; government is to trust people and not demand legislation that requires the people to trust government.

Thursday, 2 November 2006

The true controversy over the Hutton Inquiry

Lord Hutton is wrongly suggesting that controversy over his report is because he had white-washed the truth of how Tony Blair took our nation to war in Iraq. This question was not specifically relevant to his terms of reference.

The true controversy is over how the Hutton Inquiry supplanted the process of the Coroner's Inquest, commencing instead on the basis of an assumed premise for Dr David Kelly cause of death and then, without sound investigation or due legal process, inappropriately coming to a finding that his death was suicide, whilst deflecting national attention with the shenanigans between Downing Street and the BBC.

Lord Hutton has whitewash on his hands.