December 2013: As yet another year steams, apparently unstoppably, towards its conclusion, we should, perhaps, take a moment to reflect on those who, through no fault of their own, failed to make it to this year’s New Year’s Eve party. Some will be seen no more, while a significant few took such a battering that they will take an age to recover.
We refer, in our left-wing, right-on, radical way, of course, to such lofty ideals as Honour, Integrity, Respect, Loyalty and Trust.
Politicians’ expenses scandals, clandestine ‘phone-tapping, insensitive calls for a return to the ‘greed is good’ mentality (if it ever went away) have all sledge-hammered at the edifices of those aforementioned attributes until just their crumbling cores remain. Character traits that take a lifetime to build, destroyed by several heavy thwacks from avaricious individuals with no sense of society. Every single self-serving act planned and perpetrated behind closed doors from the comfortable, padded, winged armchairs of some Club or other away from the dirtying gaze of Joe Public.
Oh for the introduction of some form of legislation that would kick those doors ajar and see through the obfuscating clouds of selfishness that lay like yellow-brown smog over our ruling ‘elite’.
But wait…what’s this…as set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, a bill to allow Government agencies access to everyone’s emails, texts, calls and website visits. Perhaps this will make the upper middle classes think thrice before attempting their fraudulent activities. Ah, hang on! It’s only to be used to identify those likely to perform acts of terrorism. We can’t think of any in the higher strata of our society that the Government would conceive of being a terrorist, since they’re all making a killing selling arms to them instead, so that would mean their parabolic dishes and electronic interception equipment would be pointed directly at us, the Great Unwashed…and as any country’s leaders regard their own citizens as the biggest threat to their security, each and every one of us would be under suspicion, allowing each and every one of our electronic communications to be monitored. The phrase, ‘one law for us…’ has never been more apt.
For the second issue running, I’ve allowed my disgust of injustice and double-standards to turn this little editorial into something of a rant, but dissent needs to be voiced and heard, or we will start to get the idea we don’t live in a democracy!
More detail on surveillance methods through the ages (and, hopefully, more humour) can be eavesdropped in our Cover Story. Those of you hoping for a little more in the way of festive delights will be pleased to learn that our Ethics Girls are attending an adaptation of a Dickens favourite and they would love your company, while those readers who prefer an outsider’s viewpoint will be apoplectic to learn that offerings from three Friends of the Inconsequential await your attention.
Until we grope for each other in the void once more, keep checking the room for bugs and, remember, they know where you live…