Sunday, 8 April 2012

Britain's snoops to freedom of thought in the Middle East

Isn't it scary what's happening in the UK? I'm talking about how even our emails and blogs and, no doubt, comments on articles will now be vetted by local councils. Facebook and Twitter too. Whatever happened to that once lovely island? When did we allow these intrusions into our day-to-day lives? We are continually watched by CCTV cameras. Every traffic light hosts a camera in order to see that we don't dare use our common sense to traverse a road - even when the traffic light is so temporary that the hole it is overseeing rarely sees a car coming in the opposite direction. How long will it be before the thought police break into our homes because we even mention someone of the opposite faith or we criticize the government?

The government has full knowledge of the hate preachers and the terrorists in our midst. Surely it needs to concentrate on these before it concentrates on us! Why doesn't the government crack down on those hate sites posted on Facebook? Why not go after the nauseating 'films' of beheading and suicide rallies that feature so frequently on YouTube? Why not simply deport those whose presence on British universities is so divisive and who have no connection to the country other than to whip up further hatred towards one particular race and country? The French government can do it, why not ours? Because it's easier to snoop?

They started working next door at 6.30am this morning. I was awake. I was not ready for the banging. I took myself into the kitchen and even though it was early and the sun was just making its way over the heads of the buildings opposite, it magnified the dust. I'm not a bad housekeeper but, as is often pointed out to me, we are in a desert! Not entirely a desert but there's enough sand and dust around that it often appears to me to be a total waste of time to continue with the dusting. However, we would then be covered in the stuff if I didn't bother! Every day I go around with the mop and the duster but it's a thankless task. We've had some amazing weather the past few days. Hot and sultry and very summer-like. Of course the dust is combined within the heat - a symbiosis of the two. Very Middle Eastern.

There was another demonstration in Kikar Rabin last night. It's Tel Aviv's major square for all kinds of large gatherings. It was renovated recently and is a really delightful place to sit and watch humanity. There are newly landscaped green areas with fish ponds and comfy chairs and the Philippino care-givers take their charges in their wheelchairs to sit and chat while watching the karp and the goldfish swimming among the reeds. Just recently the municipality created a bike lane at the side of the square and it is graced by tall, elegant palms and seating and floral arrangements every few metres. The fountains have been cleaned and painted and the paving slabs that once hosted tanks at Independence Day events have been replaced. Last night apparently a few hundred people managed to get themselves together again to protest the cost of living rises. I'm always in favour of protest when it's due but I do get irritated when it spills over into egocentricity. From demonstrating one topic it seems to follow on that you impede the traffic or get in the way of other people carrying out their own lives. So two or three hotheads were arrested. I wonder whether their Facebook pages will now be vetted by those above or their Twitter accounts taken offline. I doubt it. We still seem to have some autonomy here. Let's hope that it lasts.

1 comment:

Nicola said...

I don't think it's that scary. There will have to be a court process before the government has access to anyone's account and from what I can understand, they are indeed targeting around 1,000 'hate preachers and terrorists' at any one time which, in a population of around 60m, is peanuts. Just my view! x