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Lord Ashcroft woz here

Written By: - Date published: 4:33 pm, March 25th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: crime, election funding, national - Tags: , ,



Boing Boing reports that:

The London police have bested their own impressive record for insane and stupid anti-terrorism posters with a new range of signs advising Londoners to go through each others’ trash-bins looking for “suspicious” chemical bottles, and to report on one another for “studying CCTV cameras.”

It’s hard to imagine a worse, more socially corrosive campaign…

Exactly how I felt when I heard that Ashcroft had convinced Judith (Crusher) Collins to pursue his 1984-ish Crimestoppers programme here.

17 comments on “Lord Ashcroft woz here ”

  1. BLiP 1

    The Aussies aren’t far behind with thier use of anti-terrorism legislation to combat battlng bikies. Here in Aotearoa we’ve already started with the prosecution (or is that persecution) of the Uruwera malcontents.

    First they came for . . .

  2. Indiana 2

    Strange, I thought here in NZ we needed to be looking in our neighbours backyards to see if the kids were being abused? What prey tell is the difference here?

    • QoT 2.1

      OH JESUS CHRIST. It’s “pray”. And at what point the anti-violence campaign advocated “looking into our neighbours’ backyards” (as opposed to, you know, not excusing violence as “cultural” or “only when he/she is drunk” or “family business, not my problem) escapes me.

  3. If there’s only one good use for anti-terror legislation, Fay Richwhite would be a good start. Just look at London’s use of it in regards to British assets held in Icelandic banks.

  4. Actually the London police aren’t asking people to go through each others rubbish bins, they are just asking if you see anything suspicious, report it, what is wrong with that?

    • Felix 4.1

      If I had surveillance cameras recording my every move, as an artist I might want to take some photos of them and use the images to make a statement about my society.

      If you saw me taking photos of surveillance cameras would you report me to the stasi?

      For extra points, what if I were wearing a hi-viz and carrying a clipboard?

      What if I looked a bit, you know, terroristy?

      • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1

        Well it serves you right for being one of these dusky looking blighters with a beard, Felix. And that anorak was a dead bloody giveaway.

        Oh yes, we have Crimestoppers here in Australia. Don’t like the cut of your neighbour’s jib? Enough calls accusing them of running a backyard meth lab will soon convince them to move.

        Reckon their replacements should still be detained on Christmas Island? No problem… as the TV ads tell us, “accessing suspicious looking websites” should prompt a call. And The Standard has always been a bit suss if you ask me.

        Ex-wife getting a bit stroppy over the late alimony? A few calls to Crimestoppers suggesting she’s hiding a gun under the leather upholstery of that new car and she’ll soon get the message. In fact I believe there’s a hotline in the foyer of the Family Court.

        Of course unlike the UK, here it’s run by the constabulary. So there’s none of this mealy-mouthed messing about with rights, it’s just straight round to Johnny Foreigner’s and he gets the message about how welcome he is quicker than you can say “cavity search”.

        I wonder if “Crusher” has need of a few million “be alert, not alarmed” fridge magnets? I could get her a good deal, recovered from various landfills but good as new really…

        • Felix

          Actually a coordinated mass campaign of vexatious and unsubstantiated reporting could be a good way to make that sort of legislation unusable.

          As for the anorak, not recommended. With a hi-viz and a clipboard though there’s not much you can’t get away with in public…

  5. Rich 5

    I think that ad should read “A bomb won’t go off here because the terrorists are all a figment of your governments paranoid imagination”

      • Rich 5.1.1

        Since 2001, when the IRA ceasefire began, there has been *one* incident on the UK mainland where organised terrorists caused fatal or serious injury to a person other than the perpetrator. (Based on your list – one other attack was clearly by a lone psychopath, while two killed only the perpetrators).

        There have been numerous attempts, ranging from writing terorist poetry, through heckling the Labour party conference. Three people (two Muslims and a Nazi) have been actually caught with bombs or weapons in this time.

        I’d consider this evidence that the UK harbours the number of nutters you’d expect in a nation of 60 million, but very few active, competent terrorists.

        For comparison, the IRA, with 4-600 active members, managed almost daily attacks in ireland during the 70’s and 80’s,

        • T-Rex

          I’m not quite sure what your point is.

          That there hasn’t been a terrorist incident resulting in significant loss of life in the UK for about 4 years now, therefore terrorists are figments of the govts imagination? Despite the glasgow airport attack, planned transatlantic aircraft attack etc.

          I don’t like police encouraging the public to view eachother with suspicion by default, but I’d rather interpret the ads as “If you see something openly suspicious – don’t rely on someone else to report it”.

          It’s just as disingenuous, if not more so, to suggest that terrorism is a myth concocted by fearful governments to keep people scared. Sure, the governments might *promote* fear for that reason, but it’s not completely unfounded.

          • Rich

            Yup, I’d say that lack of attacks indicates that terrorists are, if not entirely imaginary, mostly without either the means or inclination to conduct effective attacks.

            The best approach for the government would be to treat terrorism in a similar way to other violent crime by ensuring that the police were competent in detecting any attacks. They also need to accept that occasionally, bad things will happen and that that doesn’t mean that society is falling apart. And they should stop telling people what thoughts and beliefs are and aren’t acceptable, both in the UK and overseas.

            It’s interesting that while Muslims are pretty much the sole focus of government anti-terrorism efforts, right-wing nutters are as big a threat and are not subject to much if any security force attention.

  6. Haven’t surveillance cameras reduced the crime rate in those areas?

    • Felix 6.1

      That has nothing to do with the question. Would you report someone who was taking photos of them if they had reduced crime? What if they hadn’t?

      I know you’re a defender of freedom of expression and an avid art fan, so what do you reckon? Would you report someone for taking photos?

  7. To elaborate on above:

    You would think that with the equivalent of 17 cameras per square km and the power for the police to criminalize anything they see fit on the spot (ASBO’s) that the UK might have a low crime rate or something.

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