Sunday, October 22, 2006

The politics of beer

More mass biometric surveillance evil. Home Office wants to fingerprint guests at pubs as part of war on anti-social behaviour, torture dolphins parenting binge estates, etc. We've long been documenting the biometric and RFID vendors' war on dancing, but this is a sinister new step. The government wants a monster database of everyone who's gone to a pub. Who voted for this?

There is something almost atavistically horrible about this. It may just be that I drink too much beer, but pubs are traditionally where people go to conspire. The original Ranters convened in taverns in places like Kildwick, according to Christopher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution. Later, in the 18th century, groups of revolutionary sympathisers, Revolution-Men and followers of John Wilkes, met in pubs to evade the press censorship. One could go on. Crick and Watson burst into the Eagle in Cambridge to celebrate the discovery of DNA. I hear a lonesome whistle blow.

I wonder if the data from this scheme will be hooked into the DHS computer? John Reid is the most dangerous man in Britain. And if this had existed when he was still on the sauce, there wouldn't have been enough hard drives in the world to hold his file.

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