Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 18: Scrutinisingtheherald

"MPs are not immune to secret scrutiny", shouts the Herald editorial today:
"When the Green MP Keith Locke complained recently that the Security Intelligence Service was keeping a file on him, many might have wondered what was wrong with that."
"In Parliament, he is a frequent critic of Western intelligence efforts and could be expected to attract more of the service's attention than most MPs."
Am I really blowing this thing way out proportion? Yes, as a commentator here said yesterday, Keith Locke was a bit of a nutter in his support for communist governments. But it's another thing to suggest that wacky fellow travellers are either a direct danger to the country or even some kind of fifth column intent on bringing down democracy. The writer of the editorial seems to think that it's just not a big issue: "the question is about nothing more sinister than keeping a record". Oh good, so having government agents tracking my movements and reporting on me is no different to the government having my birth certificate. That's a relief.
"One of the principles that distinguishes a liberal democracy from totalitarianism is the ability to ensure domestic spying agencies cannot become an arm of the ruling party."
Really? I would have thought that one of the principles that distinguishes a liberal democracy from totalitarianism is the idea that people should be free to dissent from the government, and even the system of government, as much as they like without having to worry about attracting the attention of government spies. Am I going insane here?

In other news, since I started writing this blog I have noticed a definite increase in the number of black helicopters flying overhead.

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