Fox (n): carnivore of genus vulpes; crafty person; scavenger; (vb) to confuse; -ed (adj): to be drunk.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Never short of an idiot.

YESTERDAY a man in charge of an organisation which stuck its nose where it shouldn't, and justified it by saying such behaviour caught the occasional paedophile, had to resign from his job.


The very same day, a man in charge of an organisation which wants to stick its nose where it shouldn't, and is trying to convince us it's all right because it will catch the occasional paedophile, said: "This is not about extending the reach of the state into people's data, it's about trying to keep up with modern technology."


I'm fairly certain sleazebag not-a-journalist Paul McMullan has said much the same thing. Have we ever seen the two of them in the same room? And look at Dishface, he's even got the same pen.

Of course the needs of government are very different to those of a newspaper chasing down a story. Journalists, for example, have to justify their actions and stand for election every time they publish, whereas politicians do so only once in four years.

And let's not forget that Dishface insists the extra checks on our online activity by his spooks will come with plenty of checks and safeguards to make sure the new powers aren't abused.

Are these the same 'safeguards' which prevent armed police shooting innocent people, benefits cheats, lying politicians, illegal wars, secret justice, unsafe convictions, friendly fire, institutional racism, public corruption, insurance companies refusing to pay out, voting fraud, sham marriages, tax errors, medical blunders, the guilty walking free and zoos paying the Chinese £1million a year for pandas who would have no idea how to get jiggy even if we gave them Viagra, a map and a torch?

Oh, those safeguards.

Humans are fallible. The things they do and systems they invent are flawed. There isn't a power given to the state which has never been abused, and although that does not mean the state shouldn't be given those powers it does mean we have to weigh up whether the benefit of knowing who's talking to who on Facebook is worth the price of some gonk in GCHQ stalking his ex-girlfriend with it.

And I'd feel a lot happier about the whole idea if I hadn't just received a letter from the state tax authorities which has got my name entirely and completely wrong, and if when I rang up to correct them hadn't been told I couldn't do so because I was not the person named on the letter. These people couldn't find a clitoris, never mind a terror network.

I wouldn't mind if the state snooped, if I could just be sure the state wasn't being run by idiots.

But then, idiots are about the only thing we haven't run out of.

"I'm pretty certain that's the wrong hole."