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Monday 11 February 2008

Biggest ever North Sea security operation after woman dreamed about bomb on oil rig

A woman employee on a North Sea oil rig had a disturbing dream that there was a bomb on the rig.

(more…)


Filed under: Politics — GS @ 7:02 am
Tuesday 18 December 2007

Photographers seen as ‘potential criminals’

‘Photographers are increasingly being viewed as potential criminals by police, according to the Bureau of Freelance Photographers (BFP), which has reported a rise in complaints from members.’ Read more.

(more…)


Filed under: Photography,Politics — GS @ 6:33 am
Thursday 26 April 2007

The scaremongering over terror threats is growing…

…says person who read Home Secretary John Reid’s latest attempt.

(more…)


Filed under: Politics — GS @ 3:06 am
Friday 24 November 2006

Bargain Hunters: Big Brother Special

This episode has a Big Brother theme (Channel 4 not Tony Blair via George Orwell).

We filmed it on 1st June. Hilariously, considering the theme, during the making of this we were told that filming in Piccadilly Station is no longer allowed as it’s a ‘terror threat’.

(more…)


Filed under: Food & cookery,Fun,Manchester — GS @ 2:44 pm
Friday 17 November 2006

The Power of Nightmares

If you haven’t seen this fascinating three-part BBC documentary series, you can download it from the Internet Archive:

Part1 | Part2 | Part3

It explores ‘the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today.’

And it shows how politicians have used the terror threat to restore their power and authority in a disillusioned age.

It’s a brilliant use of archive film of all kinds, combined with interviews. Give it a look even if you don’t usually watch this kind of subject, because it’s interesting to see how Adam Curtis the producer combines such diverse visual material.

If you have problems playing MP4 files, just grab the free VideoLan player.


Filed under: Documentary,Politics — GS @ 10:12 am
Thursday 29 June 2006

Tony Blair’s assault on civil liberties

The Independent newspaper has an article (reprinted from Vanity Fair) about the way Tony Blair has eroded civil liberties and freedom in Britain and the scary way in which many people seem compliant and almost resigned to their fate.

Certainly there’s a lack of interest in politics these days. Partly because politicians and the media have managed to make the subject so boring. Sometimes it seems like one group of public schoolboys (the journalists) having a matey jousting match with another group of public schoolboys (the politicians).

Television — the most powerful medium we have, and the one from which most people get their information, has been dumbed down. The awkward programmes — World In Action, This Week, Panorama — have gone or been emasculated. Scare stories about paedophiles, terror threats and health risks are used to distract the public from what the Government is doing in the background.

Tony Blair has created a society where British people work such long hours that many have neither the time nor appetite for serious subjects in the few hours they have to themselves. They seek escapism.

On the subject of ID cards, Neil Tennant of the PetShopBoys is quoted in the article as saying: ‘my specific fear is that we are going to create a society where a policeman stops me on the way to Waitrose’.

Already I see that attitude developing amongst the police. Most recently I noticed it when we went to the Manchester Passion event on Good Friday. We asked a policeman for directions to the street from where the parade was starting off and I happened to mention that I was there to shoot some video. He replied that he had ‘no objection’ to me filming.

I wasn’t asking for his permission to film. This was on a public street at an event that was intended for the public. But, apparently, he felt it was in his power to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to me using my camcorder.

Shooting pictures at the Carribean Carnival last year, I was asked by one policeman where I was from.

Instead of assuming that most people are at an event for perfectly innocent reasons, now there always seems to be a suspicion that you are up to something.

I’ve been out on the streets shooting photographs and video for twenty-five years and this is something that never used to happen. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I can see the day coming when they will expect to review your videotape or look at the photos on your memory card.

Quality of life for ordinary law-abiding people is being eroded because there is a one-in-a-million chance that the Police may catch someone who is up to no good.

This is sneaking up on us. We are being ‘groomed’ ready for a society where we will be tracked and logged twenty-four hours a day and any variation from the home-to-work-to-supermarket-to-home routine will prompt questions and a request to prove who we are, what we are doing and why.

Like Neil Tennant I’ll consider leaving Britain if ID cards are introduced.

PS. I can’t believe I’m quoting one of the Pet Shop Boys. How gay is that? ;-)


Filed under: Politics — GS @ 3:46 am
 
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