Back in the USSR

This government does not know how to spell “freedom”, let alone understand it.

They now tell us they wish us to fill in details everytime we wish to travel abroad, as if were suddenly all locked into the USSR – or the EUSR as many of my correspondents would have it.

This would, they suggest, allow them to levy their parking fines, unpaid Congestion charges and any drink supplements they get round to imposing after the initial row has delayed it for a bit. They will use the cloak of anti terrorism to justify it, and their over the top anti terror laws. They fail to explain how they will be able to recognise a terrorist when they decide to leave the country when they failed to spot them on the way in, or failed to arrest them whilst they were living here.

This government has done more damage to freedom than any I can remember. They hold a referendum on regional government then ignore its result. They refuse to hold the referendum on Lisbon which they promised. They amalgamate the Revenue and Customs, so all parts of the tax raising bureaucracy can proceed on the basis that your money is theirs until proved otherwise. They impose huge volumes of stifling regulation on everything, then each time something does not work claim it is because there is not enough regulation.

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31 Comments

  1. Ian Jones
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Dont remember them including it in their manifesto either to go with no mention of huge tax rises and massive rises in spending on their paymasters (unions) and core voters (welfare recipients),

    I think its becoming pretty obvious that Blair was just the front man to keep the middle class voters happy while Brown brought in his communist agenda. No hiding it now, he is a very dangerous man.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      You are exactly right.

      Blair was the front man, (the acceptable face) who agreed with everyone, to present a nice image for Real Labour.

      Now Labour has been stripped of its cover, the real story is becoming known to the Public.

      Its massive Tax and Spend, Finacial mismanagement, and growing State control of the worst kind, will leave this Country but a shadow of its former self.

      Oh and I almost forgot, manipulation of the truth (they call it spin)

      The sad fact is the opposition (all Parties) have been sleepwalking whilst the Nation burns.

      Aware that there is absolutely nothing that Opposition Parties can actually do if a Government has an overall majority, other than vote against, but it has to be VOCAL IN ITS OPPOSITION.

      Just wait until they limit how much money you can take on holiday with you in the National interest, just like Harold Wilsons Labour Government of the 1970’s which I mentioned on this blog some weeks ago.

  2. Blank Xavier
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    From the Telegraph;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4987415/All-travel-plans-to-be-tracked-by-Government.html

    Gwyn Prosser, Labour MP for Dover and a member of the all-party Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “I think e-borders are absolutely necessary,” he said. “Governments of all complexions have always been criticised for not knowing who is in the country. This is a very sophisticated way of counting people in and out.”

    Yes. Just like a barracks.

    I can’t believe this – it’s so horrific. I feel violated. What about my PRIVACY? I won’t come back into the country if this is in place. I have to say, I am these days finding myself really quite depressed at what’s being done. I recall seeing the occasional article in the Economist about happyness, that although we’re generally getting richer, we’re not getting happier. The Government seems to have missed the point of existence. It is making me – and I think therefore others – more and more unhappy.

    Thomas Jefferson understood;

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    *And the pursuit of happiness*.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Jefferson also said

      “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing [a people] to slavery.”

      As well as being the name of a really good book(!), that’s right on the money with some of the proposals emerging of late.

  3. Stuart Fairney
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I heard a government lackey (or was it BBC reporter) laughably suggesting the scheme would crack down on illegal immigrants. Of course, this would only work if you chose as an illegal, to leave anyway.

    It won’t apply to anyone with a light aircraft or boat, nor any of the new elite, not apparently foreigners. Tax-paying Brits are the only ones subject to this modern-day bureaucratic ‘Berlin Wall’ (This obsession to count us and monitor our every move is really chilling).

    An absolute disgrace and in the event it ever sees light of day as legislation, a law that rather traps me in the UK as I just won’t play ball with this nonsense. Mercifully, you know the scheme would likely collapse in IT failure.

    • Blank Xavier
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Payment was back in Nov 2007. Scheme is being rolled out *now*. 60% coverage goal by end of 2009, e.g. nine months time.

      We’re screwed. Database state has arrived, *right now*.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Stuart
      Afraid you are wrong if the National Press are to be believed.

      Private Planes and Boats also have to comply, or risk being fined many thousands of pounds.

      They have to log in advance their journey plan via the internet, if going across the channel.

      It says on my Passport inside cover

      “Her Britanic Majesty’s Secretary of State.
      Requests and Requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hinderance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary”.

      Seems this is now changing, but is still written in my current passport !!!!
      Will it be in the new ones ????.

      A disgrace.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted March 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        I’m sure that’s true in theory, but if a man wants to nip over to France in his boat he might notify customs, but if his friend also comes along at short notice, it is surely a matter for his friend to also notify customs. Problem is, have you ever seen a customs officer at half of the ports of the UK? So it maybe he puts a letter in the post to customs retrospectively. And with the post in the UK being what it is, this trip may not make the database. So the law might end up being enforced against only those who actually want to obey it.

        • alan jutson
          Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          No not often in the UK Ports at the moment, but in France they are very keen on logging in every boat and visiting most as soon as they are moored up to see if it is smuggling drugs etc, etc.

          In the UK we out of courtesy have to notify all marinas/ports of our wish to enter for traffic safety reasons (they are usually very busy) and all boats are logged in, and so to extend this to enforcement would require little effort other than additional manpower, which of course comes at a cost for him, his office, and his cronies.

          It is at the moment the boat owners responsibility for all passengers on board, and who normally reports to the Harbour Master.

          There will soon be so many rules that none of us will even be aware that we are breaking them.
          Given time they will make criminals out of all of us.

        • Stuart Fairney
          Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Indeed, If I may quote Ayn Rand

          “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws”

  4. Blank Xavier
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The Government is going to know where you are. It decides if you can enter or leave the country. Do you trust the Government?

    Let me put this another way. Why do we even HAVE to be trusting the Government? why is our relationship with them even DEFINED in this way?

    I am a free man. My business is my own. Unless there is an actual positive REASON to be concerned about what I am doing, there is no right WHATSOEVER for ANYONE else to be involved in my plans.

    I don’t NEED to trust the Government. The Government has absolutely no business whatsoever in my life and what I do.

    The fact that the Government HAS made it its business is profoundly and absolutely a fundmanetal violation of my individual, independent, private existence.

    The only place now the UK has for men who believe in freedom and require it in their lives is outside of the UK. I will not return to the UK until this scheme is destroyed because I WILL NOT subject and subjugate my freedom to it.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I hate to make the seemingly alarmist comparison, but isn’t this how the national socialist german workers party started? i.e. by counting everyone and issuing papers?

      • alan jutson
        Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Absolutely correct.

        David Davis was right, as many of us understood.

        Problem was the “Free Press and Media” attempted to paint him as a nutter, and the other Political Parties (some even in his own Party) did not offer enough support to his argument.

        Perhaps the words of David Davis statements should be viewed again by the Press in a different light now.

        Prediction:
        Whilst this lot are in power, it WILL get worse.
        More Regulation and Laws are on the way.
        They love control.

  5. Blank Xavier
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    The physical address of the Labour Party can be found on their web-site, here;

    http://www.labour.org.uk/contact

    If you have a Labour MP, *write to them*.

    Express what you think because if you don’t, all they hear is silence.

    But I think you need to write, physically – I’ve tried emailing, those emails I believe are read to the extent necessary to select the correct press statement in reply, and that’s *it*. Any questions in such emails are never answered; you just get the releveant press release in the reply.

    Maybe physical mail is dealt with differently.

    I have to say, the fact that it appears to be so hit and miss whether or not you can even write to the Government to indicate how you feel says a lot about the extent to which Government cares about and considers the feelings and wishes of those whos money it takes and who lives it affects.

  6. AndrewSouthLondon
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Fight terrorism and illegal immigration my arse. The elephant in the room is the fear of “targetting” or even actually doing something, like removing people who have no right to be here. Instead they subject the entire population to “monitoring” through a database.

    As far as we can tell from those who have made it to the courtroom, the only terrorists we need fear are a handful of radicalised young Muslim men with dodgy passports who seem to move around with impunity. Every time I have my shoes xrayed at the airport, and my wifes make up confiscated, it is all due to less than a dozen young (…) men, the so-called “liquid bombers” And so they continue to frisk white-haired old ladies.

  7. Chris H
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Like Xavier, I too have become depressed on discovering just how much control the government is trying to exert over the population.
    I am not a great traveller, in fact I havent left the UK since 2001; but it will certainly turn me off considering travelling anywhere in the future. A Berlin Wall based on personal interrogation is a horrible thought. Isnt it interesting how, just a few days ago, the BBC showed a programme about how “happy” people were who lived in East Germany, and how some were even upset that the demolition of the Berlin Wall somehow took away their way of life.
    I dont suppose this was shown to soften us up for a life in PrisonUK, was it?
    As an older person, I’m no longer in a position to emigrate; it’s too late in life. One has to, I suppose, be thankful that Brown can’t put iron manacles on our souls.
    And one thing; the more complicated these probing systems become, the easier they are to foul up. One might indeed pray for IT failure.

  8. David Cooper
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    How long before the next step in the direction of the former Soviet Union, namely arbitrary power for the government to deny an exit visa without reason? And how long before the hopeless track record of the government on data management might lead to an innocent man being forced to miss his flight to his hard earned holiday (and for his family to face the dilemma of going without him or missing theirs too) all because he had been denied permission to go airside on account of an unpaid parking fine that was nothing to do with him in the first place? The words we want to hear from the Conservative Party about this are “read my lips – no ifs, no buts, we will scrap any such scheme as soon as we are in government”. Will we be hearing them?

  9. David Eyles
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Notice that they are catching people on the way out. There is no checking for illegal immigrants from EU or non-EU countries coming in – just regular UK citizens leaving. Aside from the totalitarian aspects of this, it seems to me that the principle purpose is actually to make sure that they have cleaned us out of as much revenue as they can in order to feed the bloated state.

  10. Citizen Responsible
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    This government are behaving more like a bunch of communists every day. They are supposed to be keeping the illegals out not the law abiding citizens in. I could hardly believe it when I read about this. All dictators use the enemy as an excuse to take freedom away from their people.

  11. D K McGREGOR
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Good to read you becoming properly angry about the deteriorating situation.
    You and your parliamentary colleagues should be moving heaven and earth at the moment to expose the authoritarian nature of this “government” of Jesuitic control freaks. A more confrontational and controversial attack has to be made on their edicts to enable the people of Britain to see them clearly for what they are.

  12. Cliff.
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Of course the real question is this:
    What will the next Conservative government, under Mr Cameron, do about it?
    In my experience, once a power has been put in place, few governments then relinquish it. Will our party’s next term in government see an end to the database big brither state? How much of this current obcession with watching our every move actually comes from our elected national government? How much comes from the unelected faceless dictators within the EUSSR? How much comes from our friends across the pond? Just how much power will Mr Cameron actually have, assuming he wants to, to roll back the state?

    I would like to see our leadership, actually informing the electorate how many extra powers the state, under Labour, have taken to keep an eye on us. I would also like to hear Mr Cameron telling us just what he intends to do about it, if anything.
    How long will it be before we are walking down the street and a uniformed official approaches us and says. “Papers please.”

  13. chris
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The only question that matters, for me, is what does the Conservative Party intend to do about this. Are they willing to roll back the mechanisms of control that the current government has put in place. Do they have alternatives for achieving the aims of these systems without such intrusion? Whenever I have asked my Conservative MP such questions I have had very disappointing answers. I was heartened to see Cameroon talk of removing the Contact Point database and ID cards but what of the rest.

    Once we have given away our freedoms, as we appear willing to do, I doubt they will just be given back.

    Reply: Yes, freedoms will be given back, starting with ID cards

    • Chris
      Posted March 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your reply, I hope you are correct. I further hope the Conservatives will see fit to do a complete job of returning the freedoms. The ID cards are symbolic and need removing but there are other, far more insiduous changes, such as data sharing, collection and mining. I hope the Conservatives see fit to make the required changes throughout the system and don’t baulk when faced with hard choices. Sadly, with no power to wield, I can only hope.

  14. TomTom
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “There can be no doubt that socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the abject worship of the state. Socialism is in its essence an attack not only upon British enterprise, but upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy tyrannical hand clasped across their mouth and nostrils. (Labour) would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.”

    Churchill, June 4th,1945 in an election broadcast

    He called it correctly but 60 years prematurely !!

  15. chris southern
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s official, we a property once again, reduced to being serfs, underneath an oligarchy.
    They may not have intended it to be as such, but none the less, they have achieved it.

  16. Downsized Pete
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Surely this is an issue that the Conservatives can use to put clear blue water between themselve and Labour as we head to the next General Election (assuming we are still allowed to vote). But what’s happening? Why isn’t this being pursued more aggressively by the Conservative strategists. In another report, it appears that RBS is ‘politically vetting’ people applying to use its Streamline service.

    I common with everyone on this thread I am becoming genuinely alarmed at the daily incursions into our basic liberties that are routinely made in the the name of the War On Terror, the War on Drugs, etc.

    Why the hell don’t get David Davies back on the team and go on the offensive? To downplay this issue makes some of us think you are part of a ‘cosy concensus’ to bring about a database state.

  17. mikestallard
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Talk about terrorism laws! On the Labour List website a couple of weeks ago, someone actually suggested frisking the bankers of their bonuses by using the anti terror laws.
    At the time they were passed, I thought it was a bit suspicious. Now we all know the truth: we were stampeded into agreeing to the silliest laws by a couple of bombs.
    Walking through the airport check ins today, holding my beltless trousers up with one hand and shuffling along without any shoes, I felt, to be honest, like one of those show trial victims in Nazi Germany during the 1930s.
    In Dubai (Muslim) and Bangkok (airport recently closed by protests) I did not see one gun. When I arrived in Birmingham airport, there were two policemen with baseball caps lounging against the wall chatting to each other and clutching enormous firearms. Why did I think of Fascist Spain?
    People always deride john Major’s government. But things weren’t like that then. So what’s changed?

  18. Beechbelle
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    To get rid of a database society land registration needs to be abolished. People don’t realise how much information about them is available for a few pounds from Land Registry. There is no need for registration, we managed without it easily.

  19. andy dan
    Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    We are rightly very concerned about the erosion of liberties of the general population, yet at the same time we wish to see the targeting of people who we see as potential terrorists, and the erosion of their liberties. How can we institute rules for one section of the population, without bringing them in for everybody? To do so would undoubtedly be deemed rascist.
    I have always thought David Davis should have been leader of the Conservative party. (The lack of ideas and leadership in response to the current economic crisis has borne this out IMO)But I’ve never understood his constant harping on about civil liberties. We live in an overpopulated island. The people corresponding on this blog are, I’m sure, well-educated, reasonable, law-abiding citizens, but there is a lot of stuff going on out there which requires immediate action, be it planned terrorist activity, violent crime, drug-smuggling, illegal immigration, fraud etc. I’m prepared to forego a degree of “freedom” if this could be controlled.

  20. Goodge Street
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    Certainly Labour has a lot to answer for when it comes to eroding our freedoms. But this is also cultural, we are living in the age of the snitch: Jo Brand reporting Carol Thatcher to the BBC about the Golliwog remark; ordinary websites requiring your email address all the time (‘don’t worry, we won’t show it!’) and multiple-choice phone line systems helpfuly announcing that your call ‘may be recorded for training purposes’. Much of the CCTV by which we are ‘spied upon’ is privately owned, bought at giant security trade fairs. On the Tube the other day, I heard two girls plotting to do something nasty to another poor girl – having studied their soon-to-be-victim’s Facebook profile for a few weeks, they knew (and subsequently so did the whole carriage) what time she wakes up, when she usually logs on, when she eats, who she sees, where she lives, and what her family look like. So I believe it is also cultural, not just governmental. We used to teach our children good manners so they wouldn’t be encouraged into voyeurism, but society does not do that any more, however our leaders and media exacerbate it. Privacy has to become fashionable again.

  21. Collette
    Posted March 17, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The one thing in all of this debate, and most of Johns blog items people have and will debate, is that it is increasingly evident that the Government and many politicians need to be reminded that they work for us NOT the other way round.

    There is a need for less half baked patronising policy, half truths and control “freakery”.

    They are taking us for fools whilst systematically destroying our liberty little by little, this e-boarders outrage being the latest example.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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