Skip to comments.Mark Steyn: Your family is being watched 24-7 ( Britain)
Posted on 09/03/2009 4:36:38 PM PDT by JLS
Whats next in surveillance-happy Britain? Cameras in private homes? Actually, yes.
To passing tourists, catching yet another government poster apprising you of electronic surveillance looming in the distance, the initials CCTV can be oddly reminiscent of CCCP, the Cyrillicized abbreviation for the U.S.S.R. CCTV is the United Kingdoms ubiquitous acronym. Nobody needs to be told what it stands for. It accompanies you as you make your way to work, whether by car, bus, train, or taxi. And its there waiting for you at the end of your shift, as you go to buy your groceries or head to the movies. Last year, when David Davis resigned from the shadow cabinet because of the remarkably bipartisan insouciance about the erosion of fundamental British freedoms, he said there was a CCTV camera for every 14 citizens. The British, according to another well-retailed line, are apparently the most video-monitored people in the world other than the North Koreans. In an aside in his new novel The Defector, the American author Daniel Silva lays out the background:
(Excerpt) Read more at 2.macleans.ca ...
Steyn ping opportunity.
But actually, in Britain, the purpose of the cameras is to identify the victims, so they can be more effectively prosecuted.
caneras everywhere and yet -
the ubiquitous network of 10,000 closed-circuit television cameras that gave Londons Metropolitan Police the ability to monitor activity, criminal or otherwise, on virtually every street in the British capital. A recent government study had concluded that the system had failed in its primary objective: deterring crime and apprehending criminals. Only three per cent of street robberies were solved using CCTV technology, and crime rates in London were soaring. Embarrassed police officials explained away the failure by pointing out that the criminals had accounted for the cameras by adjusting their tactics, such as wearing masks and hats to conceal their identities. Apparently, no one in charge had considered that possibility before spending hundreds of millions of pounds and invading the publics privacy on an unprecedented scale.
Ayn Rand had a term for it: the sanction of the victim.
My husband & I watch a lot of BBC America TV and he once said to me, “Why are all the young people always wearing hoodies?” Now we know.
I all so terribly sad to see a people once free fall under tyranny. The world owes so much to the British empire which carried civilization to the far reaches of the globe (I’ll probably have to be re-educated for my anti-multicultural thoughts).
One can see where the world is heading. Oh, I have hope that we can delay the inevitable slide, at least here in the US, but technology favors the totalitarians.
And, I think it’s important to note that it’s very, very difficult to avoid the slow creep into totalitarianism. The British might have been up in arms (when they had them) had the government proposed this dreadful CCTV network right off.
We’d better start putting the proverbial foot down and hold it, or we’ll be in the same sorry state before long!
That really makes my skin crawl.
“Ayn Rand had a term for it: the sanction of the victim.”
So others may understand:
The sanction of the victim is the willingness of the good to suffer at the hands of the evil, to accept the role of sacrificial victim for the sin of creating values.
I looked and looked for one of those for sale on the net, ebay etc. when I first read about this poster years ago, but never found one....
Not too sound like a complete nutcase but I have HEARD that the reason our government pushed for the whole nationwide digital TV thing was because of this...
Could be the book cover for 1984 :(
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5 million cameras
Very interesting. I wonder if the “Daniel Silva” he mentions is Daniel da Silva, author of “The Ayes of Texas” and other alternate histories.
The presence of CCTV in fiction reminds me of how fiction and TV plotting have changed since cellphones became ubiquitous. “What’s that?” “It’s a public telephone booth.” “You’re kidding ... they actually existed?” And how many plots from the 70s and 80s completely un-plot if the characters had the option of using a cell phone.
“My husband & I watch a lot of BBC America TV ..”
why? It’s socialist TV. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
why? Its socialist TV. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
LOL! I hope that you are saying that tongue-in-cheek and aren't serious!
US TV has been stealing ideas for shows from BBC TV for the last ten years. Everything from Dancing with the Stars, The Office and last season's Life on Mars were remakes of BBC shows --only the original British shows were often better.
It's one thing not to want their British socialist political system, it's a whole other thing to pretend that the rest of the world doesn't exist.
Don't forget that Daniel Hannan was also "produced in Britain", as were a lot of my Conservative friends overseas.
I get the BBC shows on DVD at the library.
Yes, they have had a lot of really great TV over the years.
I got completely hooked on Dr Who back in the 1980's. And then came Prime Suspect, Inspector Morse, and the Agatha Christie murder mysteries -- and a little show called Ballykissangel. And the list just kept growing: Cracker, Wire in the Blood, Foyle's War, Being Human, etc.
Whatever Britain's political failures certainly are, I must give credit where credit is due. I honestly think that the BBC is is far better at consistently producing creative, intelligent and interesting TV dramas than we are.
However, having said that, a fairly new show US called "Defying Gravity" is really pretty darn good.
Sorry, but that's a fake.
Not to say that it wouldn't be a great place to hide one if someone chose to, but it isn't there in a normal converter box.
I honestly think that the BBC is is far better at consistently producing creative, intelligent and interesting TV dramas than we are.
I agree. We don't have cable, so I don't see many new shows, but even the old series we've bought on DVD, such as "Walker, Texas Ranger," can't honestly be called "creative, intelligent, and interesting," only "entertaining, if you like the stars and suspend disbelief"!
Good. I heard rumors of people on boards hearing this type of spying was in the making. Im glad it is bull.
Hey, TC, why don’t you sign up for NetFlix? It’s $9/month for one movie at a time and they only have something like 300,000 titles, going all the way back to George Melies. That’s how I found out about British TV (not to mention Japanese film from the ‘30’s, very good stuff and intriguing sociologically).
Oh, I didn’t know one could get TV programs! On the other hand, one at a time is very slow. I can get three at a time, for a week, at the Union County library. I got the whole series of “Flame Trees of Thika” in one box!
My parents love NetFlix.
I had it up to six at a time there, but then a lot of bad things happened and I had to cut back. Six at a time only costs something like $33 per month, which works out to about $1 per DVD.
You would simply love my queue atm. I have the entire available Get Smart on tap, for instance. :)
TV shows are the way to go with Netflix (not that they don't have great movies). You can watch an entire season commercial free over a week or two without missing any, taping anything, or readjusting your schedule.
I have Netflixia!!!
It would be fun to see “Get Smart” again.
Very interesting, thanks! I will seriously consider this, because if it stopped my husband from buying movies and tv-seasons on DVD every time he’s in the store, we’d save money AND storage space ... and I’d still have the library. He’s gone to the Wal-mart for soap and tp right now, and I bet he comes back with at least one DVD ;-).
Midsomer Murders is really good. You'll have years of those to watch. The show has been on since 1997 and it's still on, something like 70 episodes.
I liked Foyle's War a lot. It gave a feeling for what it was like for the ordinary English during WWII. Strange, because watching Foyle's War I felt a certain nostalgia for a place and time that I never actually experienced firsthand.
I agree about seeing the actors in different roles. It's like watching a repertory theater company. But with the really memorable shows, it is hard to shake that first role you saw the actor in from your head, no matter how good he or she is in the new role. For instance, Sam Neill will always be "Sidney Reilly" in "Reilly Ace of Spies", to me -- and John Thaw will always be "Inspector Morse", even though he was really good in "A Year in Provence".
“Reilly, Ace of Spies” was my first experience with Sam Neill, when I was still in my teens. ZowIE, he was hot. Still is ...
I agree, “Foyle’s War” is very atmospheric, and brings in many elements that I’m sure would have been familiar to my parents, who were children (in the US) during World War II, but are novel to me.
I get them I watch them I send them back. Someday I will download the shows I want, watch them, then delete the cache.
Robert Hardy is another “always there” face - Cornelius Fudge in “Harry Potter,” and he was in the first episode of “Foyle’s War,” and I’ve already seen him in “Midsomer” - but he’s frozen in my memory as Siegfried Farnon in “All Creatures Great and Small,” when he must have been quite a young man.
I am not sure what the price trade off is for that per month anymore, but it does require that you have a Blockbuster nearby to enjoy the most benefits from using Blockbuster.
I switched years ago, back when Netflix film library was still pretty small, but I don't think that this is the case anymore.
You are absolutely bringing back memories! I forgot about All Creatures Great and Small, because right after Dr Who, All Creatures Great & Small was my second BBC addiction! And yes, I've done the same thing in my head with Robert Hardy.
Then Peter Davison, who played Tristan Farnon on ACGS, became the next Dr. Who, which really screwed me up because the only two BBC shows I was watching at the time, had the same actor in two different roles.
I agree with you, and I think the future will arrive pretty quickly, even before my 12-year-old leaves for college with his collection of “Walker, Texas Ranger” DVDs. The bandwidth issue and the “but I don’t want to watch it on the computer” issue will be resolved. Plug a key drive into a port on your “real” TV, or something to that effect.
We have the same taste in men ;)
By the way, my niece doesn't have cable either. But her husband somehow rigged her computer to play on their TV screen. And because you can watch virtually all the episodes of most regular TV shows on the computer, they just stream those through their computer to their TV set to wacth TV. It's pretty cool and doesn't cost anything other than the initial set up.
Yes, when I was in college and my friends watched “Dr. Who,” they were mostly puzzled at my saying, “Oh, that’s Tristan Farnon!” My mother never missed “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS.
Yep, you got the idea. Then nobody will need all those scratched up disks.
Ah, you anticipated my post just above! My husband is a networking engineer, so you’d think he could do this for us. My daughter watched TV shows on her computer upstairs all the time.
They can donate them to the library, for those citizens who are behind the times technologically.