16 January 2009

Last Chance to See: Modern Liberty...

The Convention on Modern Liberty was launched last night. I may be foolishly optimistic, but I do feel that this is our best hope of stopping the techno-surveillance state that is being created today in the UK.

The speech made by co-director Anthony Barnett has just been published, and it's a good summary of the perils facing liberty, and the questions that need to be addressed before we can come up with a way to halt this madness:

something does seem to be going on behind the theatre of parliament and government. Both Henry and Helena have referred to the constant stream of measures, violations, outrages even, which have little popular support. There is a connection between the spread of uncontrolled surveillance, detention without trial, the right of bailiffs to enter homes and seize property without a warrant, the ongoing, across the board destruction of our liberties.

We don’t have a name for it yet. NO2ID – and big thanks to Phil Booth its National Coordinator especially for his work on the Convention - have developed the term I use and find helpful, ‘The Database State’. This may describe it. But where is the motivation? What’s the driver pushing it onwards?

Is it a governing class who, since it supported the Iraq War, knows that the people are wiser than they are (a crucial moment this) and, in its bad faith, wants to secure its control by whatever means it can?

Is it a hardened grouping in the Home Office whose attitude is that if you stand upright and call yourself a “citizen” you immediately become a suspect - to be pre-emptively invigilated and controlled?

Is it corporate lobbying eager for the juicy deals – after all, if you have the contract on a whole country to make its ID cards or support their software and technology just think of the cashflow.

Or is part of what is happening simply a permission from a public that has not woken up to what is going on?

How these questions are answered is just as important as the answers. The answers need not be spoken in fearful whispers and anxiety. They need to be rooted in confident public debate. This is what this Convention on Modern Liberty is all about.

The Convention itself takes place on 29 28 February; you can buy a ticket here.

I shall be going, and I urge everyone else who cares about liberty and who can make to come too. We need to support this as fully as we can; if we don't, I fear it may be our last chance for a very long time.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Open, but the Convention is on the 28th not the 29th (it's not a leap year!) Hopefully see you there.

Glyn Moody said...

It's a government plot, I tell you...(whoops)

Anonymous said...

Great news Glyn, thanks.

I understand that the tickets will be for numbered seating and so for those intending to attend with companions, it's presumably advisable to book at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Glyn,

We've got a nice selection of buttons up for bloggers who support the Convetion if you'd care to put one up.



Glyn Moody said...

Thanks, now blogged.