Wednesday, June 06, 2007


England is having a bad week. First, from The Daily Mail (HT Maggie's Farm): omnipresent video cameras:

"Britain has more than 4 million closed-circuit security cameras, more than any other Western democracy.

"Police say the average Briton is on as many as 300 cameras every day, usually unaware.

"The density of surveillance is significantly higher than in any other Western democracy, says Jen Corlew, spokeswoman for Liberty, a London-based human rights group."


" "We appreciate that the cameras and some of the other measures are seen as invasive, but only people who really have something to worry about should be concerned," David Morgan, a Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent, said on a tour of the bunker.

"As he spoke, a series of seemingly private moments unfolded - ranging from a young couple stepping into the shadows for a kiss to a driver sneaking into a restricted bus lane."

Dr Hypercube has some interesting observations on life in an information- rich environment (please Read The Whole Thing):

"All this is fine as I wander around documenting what I want to document, writing what I feel like writing. But (there’s always a but), here comes Monty! Who is Monty, you ask? He is the cat in the window. A new feature of Google Maps provides street level zooms for select urban areas - the Google folks have vehicles driving around cities taking pictures. When the Google car came by, Monty was sitting in his normal perch. Later, when Google rolled out the new feature, Monty’s owner took a look at her neighborhood, saw her cat in her window, and got a little - understandably in my book - freaked."

And then there is the matter of park bench height.

"Did you see that Park benches across the UK will have to be replaced at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds - because they are too low? Under new "health and safety" laws, benches must be more than 17.75 inches high so the elderly and disabled can get off them easily. The new rules came to light after Bramcote Crematorium in Nottinghamshire was told by officials from the local Broxtowe council to replace 40 memorial benches costing £400 each.

"An inspector found that the benches were 14.75in high - 3in lower than the "allowed minimum" height and 5in lower than the "optimum" height. The crematorium has also been ordered to pay a further £200,000 for lighting, because, under the same legislation, the new benches must be lit at night."

And just maybe, a creeping vegan cabal (this one sounds like it comes from the Onion but....)

And of course, the lords and masters don't want us drinking wine anymore ("We want to target older drinkers, those that are maybe drinking one or two bottles of wine at home each evening,” a Whitehall source said. “They do not realise the damage they are doing to their health and that they risk developing liver disease. We are not talking here about the traditional wino.”)

Or letting flyers put pinups on bombers.

I read the first volume of Manchester's "Last Lion" bio of Churchill last week. When tasked with "living in the past" Churchill replied that he would rather live in the past than the future as the future "looked to be not much fun". Hmmm...

On the other hand and as a small ray of hope, someone in PC Canada has revolted against their intrusive gun questions.

"My friend, noted Quebec academic and author Pierre Lemieux, submitted his firearms licence-renewal application directly to the Prime Minister's office this week. "Mr. Prime Minister," he wrote in a covering letter enclosing his Form 979, "I would like to suggest that you should enforce your own "laws" yourself. You will note that, as a proud descendant of the disobedient French Canadian coureurs de bois, I have not answered one of the form's indiscreet and obscene questions. I answered that my love affairs are none of your business." (Form 979 asks, among other things, about recently ended romantic relationships.)"

The writer goes on to say-- in Canada!--:

"The problem is that gun control in any form practical in a free society -- certainly in any form currently proposed or practised in Canada or the U.S., such as demanding details about Professor Lemieux's love life -- doesn't keep guns away from criminals. It only keeps guns away from law-abiding citizens. Interfering with the rights of law-abiding citizens to own and carry arms does nothing to reduce violence in the street.

"Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens pose little danger to public safety. (Less danger, to be statistically precise, than unattended swimming pools.)"

The spirit of churchill may yet be alive in the Anglosphere, if not in the UK.

Update re pinups: "Officials admitted they had no record of any complaints from the 5,400 women in the RAF."


Reid Farmer said...

Glad you saw the thing about the aircraft nose art - I just saw it this morning

Jonathan Hanson said...

Sigh . . .

I weep for England. Her greatness lasted centuries longer than America's probably will, but it is fading quickly now . . .