Friday, February 16, 2007

1,516,874 voters ignored, and counting

"I know," said Tony Blair, "let's give people a way to tell us what they think - that'll reduce cynicism about politicians, and help people get involved." And so the "Number 10" e-Petitions site was born. Or maybe not...

Unfortunately those pesky voters keep asking for things that the Dear Leader doesn't want. Apparently 1,515,317 people have signed a petition against the spy-in-your-car satellite tracking system he plans to build. No, wait, it's gone up while I was writing... now it's 1,515,867!

Go sign the petition, if you don't want Tony's cronies to track your every move (and get rich doing it, if past IT contracts are anything to go by).

Only 4 days left - it closes on 20th February.

Of course, if you want to be tracked everywhere you drive, there is a petition in favour that you can sign. It's still a free country, though they're working on that!

Unfortunately, Tony says you are all wrong and he's going to ignore you - but it's getting harder to ignore the 1,516,366 people who are using their freedom.

Sorry, make that 1,516,874!

What else is wrong with the country?

So Britain is now, apparently, the worst country in the developed world for kids (here's the UNICEF report). Unfortunately that's not all we're bad at.

It seems we're one of the most spied upon countries as well. A Privacy International report from November late last year puts us in the bottom group of countries, those with "endemic surveillance", alongside Russia, China, Malaysia and Singapore. And that's without Tony Blair's proposed spy-in-the-sky satellite tracking of all motorists!

Even the government's information commissioner thinks so - he said we are sleep-walking into a surveillance society. This was after a report to the International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners' Conference, which he hosted in London.

It's depressing.