Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

British Civil Liberties Film Released

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the slippery-slope-done-gone-vertical dept.

Privacy 282

An anonymous reader sends us to a BBC article about a British film likely to attract the attention of civil liberties supporters. The film, Taking Liberties , is a documentary about eroding civil liberties in present-day Britain. It will be showing in cinemas in major cities across the UK starting next weekend. From the article: "Director Chris Atkins wants Taking Liberties to shake the British public out of their apathy over what he sees as the dangerous erosion of traditional rights and freedoms. 'This film uses shock tactics. We needed to be unashamedly populist... Once you give up traditional liberties such as free speech and the right to protest you are not going to easily get them back,' says Atkins."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'll take back some of my liberties... (2, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364947)

...and just download this documentary. It sounds interesting.

Film as political persuasion (2, Interesting)

mollog (841386) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365063)

I had recently seen to videos that conveyed messages about some current events; http://www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com/ [whokilledt...riccar.com] , and Al Gore's http://www.an-inconvenient-truth.com/ [an-inconve...-truth.com] .

It's interesting to me that video has become the newest, best tool to portray a point of view on an issue. Now if we could get these videos on the airwaves on a regular basis, I think the public good would be served. I realize that oil companies, tobacco companies, and other groups with an agenda might tend to drown out the discourse with their own videos. Still, these videos are better than the 30 second sound bites that we get in our broadcast TV channels.

Re:Film as political persuasion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365443)

It's interesting to me that video has become the newest, best tool to portray a point of view on an issue. Now if we could get these videos on the airwaves on a regular basis, I think the public good would be served.


Absolutely right. A good way to involve more people would be to make local projections (and I mean even your closest 10 neighbors on your lawn and a laptop), but copyright laws would prevent it even if you collected donations to send to the producers.
That's one more reason we must heavily change the copyright laws, and one more reason why we find strong opposition from above.

Grammar Nazi, Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365743)

I had recently seen to videos

Two, three, four, five
Too, also, in addition to
To, towards, because of

Re:Film as political persuasion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous McCartneyf (1037584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366103)

Taking Liberties is, but it may be in a delicate position.
This is a small film, so why is it being released in summer blockbuster season? Maybe it will get an audience--after all, the BBC is advertising it. But it's also possible that this film will be in the cinemas for two weeks and then be pulled for "lack of interest," since so many Brits will be watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3 or the latest Harry Potter film.
And who distributes this to DVD? When it does reach DVD, the DVDs might all be region 1... [sigh]

We needed to be unashamedly populist... (4, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364957)

Yes, but if you overdramatize it people will say "it's not that bad - most of those laws will never negatively affect my life" and whenever they hear about the issue in the future they'll think "Oh, I've considered that - I even saw a film about it once - but I've decided it's not really a problem".

Re:We needed to be unashamedly populist... (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365145)

but I've decided it's not really a problem".

Which is why political change usually comes in the form of War. Most people don't do anything about anything unless they see it as a problem that is costing them more than it would to address the problem. When it comes to regaining eroding freedoms, the cost of getting arrested at a real protest is too high for comfortable middle class folks. Only when things get bad enough that there is no "comfortable middle class" will the masses be likely to deal with the problem of bad government. By that time the only solution is civil war. When a government takes away your freedoms they don't willingly give them back.

Re:We needed to be unashamedly populist... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365953)

Which is why political change usually comes in the form of War.

Just like in the Great Woman Wars, when the suffragettes fought their way, rifles in hand, to the ballot box, the Race Wars waged in the '50s under the careful, analytical and ruthless direction of Martin Luther King, and the Gay/Lesbian Guerrillas of the '70s(who still, of course, meet the Christian Right Crusaders in occasional skirmishes).

Or perhaps there are other ways to change unjust systems in democracies? I'm painfully aware that democracy doesn't work as well as we'd like, but saying that a war is the "usual" way these changes happen seems either overly prematurely defeatist("We can't stop this from devolving into a war"), apathetic("I'm not going to do anything about this until it devolves into a war") or like a survivalist fantasy("Can't wait 'till the war!").

Re:We needed to be unashamedly populist... (1)

ajanp (1083247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365219)

"it's not that bad - most of those laws will never negatively affect my life"
I think that's the problem. People will never wake up to an issue or care to do anything about it until they are directly influenced by it. We all go about our daily lives despite the rampant deterioration of civil liberties, but until you get thrown into gitmo (at which point its probably too late anyways), you (or atleast most people) probably aren't going to take any active steps to make the situation better.

I think that poem you hear quoted more often nowadays by the German anti-nazi activist Niemöller seems appropriate:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Re:We needed to be unashamedly populist... (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366085)

Interesting that you put jews into the poem. The original never mentioned Jews at all.

The other problem is the order. Hitler rounded up the communists first long before he had even looked at the Jews.
After he dealt with the communists he moved on to the Gypsies. The Jews were actually the last victims of the holocaust, although they do probably make up the greatest number.

Where did your version of the poem come from?

Gah! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19364967)

We needed to be unashamedly populist
Are they trying to say that if you have to lie or distort the truth, it is OK because the ends justify the means? I don't doubt that the UK has started to turn into a surveillance state but that doesn't excuse a filmmaker from making populist political propaganda. This will just polarize people rather than help people come to a common decision that these surveillance techniques are extreme. It will be about as useful for changing things as Fahrenheit 9/11 was.

Re:Gah! (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365829)

I don't doubt that the UK has started to turn into a surveillance state but that doesn't excuse a filmmaker from making populist political propaganda.

So, we should just accept all the propaganda that's being shoved our way via Fox News, talk radio (ClearChannel, Salem, TRN)? You don't think that Tom Paine or Ben Franklin wrote "political propaganda"?

I'm not saying there should be any support for dishonesty, but the best political messages have a little drama. You have to get people's attention before you give them the message, yes?

When the mainstream media as used by corporate power is putting their resources toward putting people to sleep and hypnotizing them to be good consumers and borrowers, then maybe it's time to WAKE THEM UP. I mean sure, life will go on the day after we are all slaves to corporate power. We'll eat, sleep, fuck, except our souls will have become superfluous. We'll still be able to watch American Idol after work, and we didn't really need to read all that depressing anti-Bush, anti-Growth, anti-Profit nonsense. Did we?

I'm not going to fault someone who cares about freedom because they used the tools of propaganda to slap these sleepy-assed sheep awake. That's why, in spite of his shortcomings, I think Michael Moore is a patriot, and is doing something very necessary. Of course, the people on the Right will tell you that you shouldn't listen to him because HE'S FAT, but his documentaries are a lot more carefully researched and intellectually honest than anything you'll see come from Rupert Murdoch's sausage-grinder. Sure, it's propaganda, but thank God.

You must mean _Fahrenheit_451_ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365901)

see subject.

Re:Gah! (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365907)

Are you a moron? Populist hardly means untrue.

We needed to be unashamedly populist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19364971)

I'm afraid that is partially how we got into this mess.

Too many of the people willing to give up freedom in the name of the illusion of security.

Too many natural patriots who have nothing to hide.

Too many of the people willing to meddle with those who have distasteful beliefs and habits.

Hope the same people wake up. Because they will have to get us out of this mess, but I have my doubts.

sadly, not going to happen ... (2, Insightful)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365009)

the day they wake up is the day when more ppl are afraid of dying in a car accident than dying in a terrorist attack.

the possibility of such an event ?

Re:sadly, not going to happen ... (3, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365153)

It's not that people are necessarily more "afraid" of dying in a terrorist attack than a car accident. In fact, I think this whole idea that (most) people are "afraid" of terrorists (any more than anything else that can kill them) is pretty much a straw man. People die every day from all manner of accidents and disease. Some preventable, and some not.

The problem, however, is that many kinds of individual accidents can't all be prevented, and thousands of people will still die from them. We can come to terms more easily as humans with someone dying from an accident, like falling off a ladder while cleaning your gutters, no matter how meaningless or even preventable. It's a part of life.

What we don't deal well with is knowing that there is a group of people who - for whatever reason - deliberately plan to kill as many innocent Americans as possible, at the same time causing billions upon billions of dollars of damage to the US economy. The whole idea is to terrorize and paralyze people in the hopes of getting some of your own demands met.

The other issue is that incidents of mass casualty - plane crashes, natural disasters, Virginia Tech, mine collapses, etc. - generally hit humans harder and make the national news. Whether accidents or not, 10 or 50 or 300 people dying at once is an "event" and resonates with people, no matter how unlikely it is in comparison with the things that are (sometimes preventably) killing people every day.

Still another issue is that things like obesity, smoking, etc., that someone is bound to bring up when talking about the "fat and lazy Americans" don't kill a person right away. A big plane crash or bus fire does. In an instant. It's not just "terrorism"; it's mass casualty. The additional problem people have with "terrorism" is that it's another person or group of people plotting harm or death for others. And in the case of non-domestic terrorism, people not even from within our own borders. That's why so many see it as a military, foreign policy, and critical national security issue, not a simple civil or criminal law enforcement issue that we shouldn't take any specific or particular action to stop.

Re:sadly, not going to happen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19366073)

"What we don't deal well with is knowing that there is a group of people who - for whatever reason - deliberately plan to kill as many innocent Americans as possible, at the same time causing billions upon billions of dollars of damage to the US economy."

So, to counter this, we deliberately invade as many tangentially related countries as possible, spending hundreds of billions of dollars, sacrificing thousands of our soldiers' lives and "accidentally" killing tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent foreigners. We imprison thousands of people and deny them trials. We torture some, and send others to third-world countries that we know will torture them for us. We pass laws to make it impossible for any citizen to tell whether government officials are following the law. We empower the military operate within our borders, against our own citizens.

Sounds like a logical, non-hysteria-inspired reaction to me.

you've got it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365209)

a few years ago there was a train crash, loads of people abandoned trains and took to their cars... how damn stupid can you get? It seems easy to ignore the 2500 road deaths in the UK. or

"Around 5,000 deaths in the UK per year may be directly attributable to the presence of a hospital acquired infection, and in a further 15,000 deaths, hospital acquired infection may be a substantial contributor." (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405 /cmselect/cmpubacc/554/55405.htm)

we don't see cameras taking photographs of cleaners/nurses/doctors in hospitals to sort this out do we?

Re:you've got it right (1)

Zombywuf (1064778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366087)

We also don't see mandatory quarantine for anyone entering hospital, or the kind of tough cleaning regimes the food industry has to deal with in hospitals. What we do see is emails being intercepted, computer seized, stop and search and a whole raft other measures to prevent a minor problem.

Re:sadly, not going to happen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365607)

I have a choice about whether to decide the risk is worth it, and get in the car.

Getting blown up by a bomb does not involve me making a choice, or assessing whether I would like to get blown up or not.

People can drive less to reduce the possibility of a car accident, but they cannot personally dictate their countries foreign policy to reduce the risk of terrorist attack.

Joke? (0, Redundant)

matt me (850665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364977)

The first time I clicked "read more" on this story I got the "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." error.

most ppl are stupid (2, Interesting)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 7 years ago | (#19364993)

FTFA

People will only wake up to the destruction of their civil liberties when it is too late to do anything about it.
for most ppl i know, this is just plain wrong. they are just not interested.
oh, and before you ask, many of them regard themselves as 'intellectual' (a.k.a. they don't read yellow press etc.).

kinda seems like only IT ppl and civil rights activists are concerned now. and i absolutely cannot see anything that would change that.

Re:most ppl are stupid (1)

Geekbot (641878) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365207)

I once had an American librarian tell me it was a good idea for government to track what people read in libraries because it would stop terrorists.

Re:most ppl are stupid (1)

Urusai (865560) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365751)

Another effective way to stop terrorists is kill everyone. Let's start with people like this librarian.

Re:most ppl are stupid (2, Insightful)

hxnwix (652290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365411)

Sometimes you can be aware and yet still asleep:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (2, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365001)

Call me a troll if you want, but the Bush administration has clamped down hard on free speech, monitors just about everything, litmus tests public servants, puts whoever it wants on various lists, puts others in prison without charging them, declares pre-emptive war with no legal basis, and does it all while putting every citizen and their children so deep in debt they will probably never get out.

Talk about disappearing civil liberties, but this country might have well reverted to monarchy rule. It would really be tough to call it a democracy any longer.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365033)

The UK is worse. Get back to me when there are talking CCTV cameras in New York and DC.

We are headed there too, but they're one step ahead of us.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (4, Informative)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365157)

Even better. Here in Birmingham (central England) we have Policeman and Traffic Wardens equipped with cameras in their hats/ helmets. Seriously.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365321)

they are just using those to track down the doctor.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365455)

Even better. Here in Birmingham (central England) we have Policeman and Traffic Wardens equipped with cameras in their hats/ helmets. Seriously.
Surely that is less worrisome that other kinds of cameras? The camera just records what the policeman is watching normally as they walk down the street - I'm sure someone will probably try and say it's a good thing as it will discourage them to start at the hot girl walking past as that will be recorded on the camera and have to be explained later.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365843)

Here in Birmingham (central England) we have Policeman and Traffic Wardens equipped with cameras in their hats/ helmets.

I think policemen need cameras in their hats/helmets. Now someone could actually watch the watchers - just so long as the people watching the camera footage aren't corrupt themselves.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365981)

"I think policemen need cameras in their hats/helmets. Now someone could actually watch the watchers - just so long as the people watching the camera footage aren't corrupt themselves."

How about a live webcam?

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (2, Informative)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366263)

This concept is called sousiveillance ("watching from below" as opposed to surveillance "watching from above"). The general idea is that the people collectively monitor themselves, rather like Wikipedia. It is often advocated by cyborg/wearable PC enthusiasts.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365105)

Could you please provide an example of the Bush administration's limiting free speech in a way that it was not limited before the administration, monitoring anything that wasn't monitored before Bush was elected, using hiring practices that were not in use before the election, illegally imprisoning people without charge, declaring war illegally, or forcing anyone into debt? ($5 says you will now post about censoring speech that was never protected by free speech to begin with, a wiretapping program that was found in court to be legal, attorney firings that were also done by the previous administration, imprisonment of people who have nowhere else to go because their home country will not accept them, a war that has been voted in favor of by the Congress time and time again, and cutting programs to steal from working people to pay off lazy bums.)

As far as the US no longer being a democracy, could you please provide any evidence of that, besides "The president was democratically elected, but I don't like him, therefore he must not have been democratically elected"?

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365117)

So that's why we still see blithering idiots at protest rallies on TV? If Bush was really clamping down on free speech, all of those people would be arrested, the Muslims shot or deported, etc. None of that has happened and you're a loon who just wants to make sure that the West no longer has the will to defend itself from its enemies (who will fuck you over 1000x worse than you can imagine).

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365279)

To quote an AC post that got modded flamebait (and I honestly hope it was because of the little rant at the end, not the rest, because this is a very valid question):

Could you please provide an example of the Bush administration's limiting free speech in a way that it was not limited before the administration, monitoring anything that wasn't monitored before Bush was elected, using hiring practices that were not in use before the election, illegally imprisoning people without charge, declaring war illegally, or forcing anyone into debt?
I'm not trolling. I'm not accusing you of lying. I really don't know of any good examples of the limitations of free speech which you accuse the Bush administration of. If they really do exist, I wish to know about them (well, no, I don't, but I need to know).

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365415)

So your point basically is:
the US may not be a democracy anymore, but it's not a problem because it's been like this for a long time, and Bush isn't responsible?

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365479)

No, my point basically is: I haven't heard of Bush cracking down on freedom of speech, and if he has, it's good for me to know about it. Simply that. I don't have a point, so much as a request for information.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365765)

"Free Speech Zones"? I'm not American, so I don't know much of your domestic history, but the first time I heard of these was only a couple of years ago.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366131)

Free speech zones [wikipedia.org] have a long history, and it's not all American either.

It's also worth pointing out that if the intent of the protesters is to actively disrupt the target, and I think that's a fair assessment of many anti-Bush protests, the zones really are promoting Free Speech, which targets of the protest have as well. Free Speech is not an unlimited right to disrupt the speech of others.

Free Speech zones are a sort of dangerous precedent, but unfettered protesting is a problem too. If protesters believe they have a right to be disruptive and violent because of the sheer overpowering purity of their souls, they'll need to be contained to prevent them from stomping on the rights of others. The protesters are significantly responsible for these zones.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365865)

As the wannabe AC stated, "Free Speech Zones" [wikipedia.org] have not occurred under any other American president. This is an unprecidented abridgement of Americans' rights clearly spelled out under the first amendment to the constitution.

Of the other items mentioned, certainly this administration is monitoring the intarweb more than previous administration, though this is clearly for technological reasons (i.e., there was no intarweb in the Kennedy administration). The Civil Service Act came to be, precisely because back in yon olden dayes everyone from postmaster to dogcatcher got changed out whenever the local leadership changed hands... so that could accurately be termed as regressive.

Illegal wars and illegal imprisonment are, sadly, hallmarks of many administrations and not unique to G.W. Bush. However, I do not find this fact particularly comforting or excusing.

It never was a bloody democracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365655)

The Unites States of America is a "republic".

A republic!
REPUBLIC!

Jeez...

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (2, Insightful)

ajanp (1083247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365775)

Probably worth mentioning that Michael Moore is making a sequel called Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2. It's unfortunate that he's the one making it though because everybody knows that his films are completely biased and one-sided. Fahrenheit 9/11 was more of an anti-bush propaganda film than a documentary, and that's exactly why his sequel is going to be discredited before it's even released, regardless of whether or not its actually good.

What needs to happen is that somebody reputable, well-known, and with the actual power to influence events has to come out and start actively fighting for restoring civil liberties. An Inconvenient Truth was a large success because Al Gore is known to have strong feelings on the environment and he is in a position to bring about change, especially with the help of a growing populace who support his viewpoint and believe global warming is an important issue. With Gore's success, his film has convinced a lot of people about the importance of combating global warming today or atleast supporting his viewpoint should the issue be raised when they can use their vote to help (political candidates nowadays can't just totally ignore the issue when asked about it). But the film did well and the issue is being discussed now largely because Gore made it and can use his connections to increase awareness and help institute change over time (if Moore made the film it would be immediately demonized and forgotten).

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365857)

Talk about disappearing civil liberties, but this country might have well reverted to monarchy rule. It would really be tough to call it a democracy any longer.

Come on, it's not that bad. We get a whole new monarch in a year and a half.

You are not a troll. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19366107)

You are just ignorant.

Re:The Film Would Be Even Longer If Made In The US (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366205)

How many civil liberties are disappearing all around the world while demagogues are distracting you by yelling about the United States' supposed civil liberty problems, which after seven years of rule by a supposed monster has mostly manifested as annoying and mostly pointless security checkpoints at airports?

While you're distracted by the mostly fanciful descriptions of the evil of Bush, Britain is being plated with surveillance cameras, Venezuela is sliding into dictatorship (just got the most popular TV station shut down by executive edict and nothing else a couple of days ago... how many media outlets has Bush done, well, anything to? How many politically-motivated national-security leaks have their been to provide more-than adequate cause that have just been ignored?), Russia looks more like the USSR every month, the entire Arabic world is consumed by a culture that muzzles women, kills gay people, and literally has roving bands of men in the streets enforcing laws like "no smoking", "no listening to music", and even various laws about facial hair with mob-justice-applied death penalties.

And that's just a partial list of the true evil that you are ignoring while you are high and mighty about the evils of the United States, the opposition of which requires uniquely little effort in practice since they mostly don't exist. (It's not a coincidence you hear the same charges over and over again, after all, because even with millions of people watching every move to look for every evidence of injustice, that same rather short list is all they can come up with.)

This British thing is a problem that needs to be faced up to and addressed. You can't just say "The US is t3h wrose!!1!" and consider yourself pure for speaking "truth" to power. It's not that easy.

This film will be enormously interesting... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365061)

...but not necessarily because of its content. No, what is interesting is how the film maker will decry the loss of liberties, the encroachments of freedom, and the institution of censorship -- in a film openly distributed and marketed to the general public, and all without the government shutting him down. Yessireee...a police state! That's what we're living in for sure. The jackbooted thugs will be here any minute now...any minute now...I'm sure they're almost here...somewhere. Well, maybe their black helicopters broke down or something, but I'm sure they're on their way!

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365199)

You're absolutely right.

And yes, we all understand that there are more cameras, modifications of laws to account for acts of terror, etc., but people simply can't see the application of technology or updates of laws for what it is: for the most part, a genuine, honest attempt by persons within free governments in free societies to protect that system that are no more sinister than the police or the state adopting any other new technology that makes its charge from society easier, or an update to any other law, which we ostensibly value in societies that are based on rule of law.

Are there people with ulterior motives and are people in power looking to stay in power? Sure. Absolutely. But the CCTV systems in the UK aren't a part of some larger plot to create a secret police state and keep "the people" down. I find it humorous that the people who live in what are essentially the freest, richest nations that afford them, in general and on balance, the widest variety of personal freedoms coupled with the rule of law required to maintain order and stability in society for all, seem to think they're living in rapidly degenerating 1984-style police states.

We are certainly not perfect. But to paraphrase Churchill, the general systems of what we loosely call "democracy" are a hell of a lot better than any other systems we've seen tried over the centuries. We have the freest flow of information ever, the ability to communicate and share ideas across the globe to nearly anyone instantly, and the ability to produce alarmist films like this without retribution (save by others who disagree with you, which it is also their right to do).

Sure, be vigilant. Be watchful. But this idea that society-at-large is nothing but consumerist sheep who have been brainwashed into complacency by corporations and government, and only the truly enlightened who see the "truth" that we're in a rapid decline to totalitarianism - and I don't care if it's the US, the UK, or EU in general - are going to save us all is just garbage, and these people really need to get some perspective on things, and perhaps a healthy grip on reality at the same time.

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (4, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365319)

And yes, we all understand that there are more cameras, modifications of laws to account for acts of terror, etc., but people simply can't see the application of technology or updates of laws for what it is: for the most part, a genuine, honest attempt by persons within free governments
Whether or not the attempt was made in good faith, the risk of any such system being misused by any future government is even more important that what this one are likely to do with it. It's a cliche, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Personally, I don't trust the current government very far, but if I did, the same principle applies.

I find it humorous that the people who live in what are essentially the freest, richest nations that afford them, in general and on balance, the widest variety of personal freedoms
Yep. You're damn right that I enjoy and want to keep those freedoms.

Are there people with ulterior motives and are people in power looking to stay in power? Sure. Absolutely. But the CCTV systems in the UK aren't a part of some larger plot to create a secret police state and keep "the people" down.
Perhaps not. But does it carry the risk of being abused for the purpose you describe? Yes? Are there sufficient measures in place to prevent this? No? Then please excuse my scepticism, but I don't trust any system that is reliant upon the goodwill of the people administering it.

But to paraphrase Churchill, the general systems of what we loosely call "democracy" are a hell of a lot better than any other systems we've seen tried over the centuries.
What is your point here? That because these moves have been carried out by a democratically elected government, that they're beyond criticism? Nope. Democracy does not mean being unable to point out the flaws of our elected leaders plans; on the contrary, what's the point of democracy if we're not free to criticise and suggest that things might be done differently, by different people?

Remember 1984 tells us about a dictator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365715)

A nasty mean spirited person in total control over his subjects. No other then the author, George Orwell.

An author is an absolute dictator, in his story nobody acts or think without his express wishes. The sun rises on his command, love is stirred at his whim, death occurs only as he wishes.

This may sound trivial but just ask yourselve how an author would react if a novel was democratic. Just imagine 1984 is the readers could have voted for the outcome. Would Orwell have welcomed this freedom of the masses and have changed his novel to have a happy outcome if the readers had voted it as such?

Not bloody likely.

It is important to remember that when an author uses his story to tell us something that he is in total control of the events. He decides what the world is like and what we see of it. The world of 1984 is not a real world any more then a television set is. Ever notice that no matter how small the income of a sitcom character his/her apartment is always HUGE and way beyond their means if it was real life?

Same as tv sets do not have to bother with the messy fourth wall, or prices of real estate, an author does not have to deal with anybody living in his world that he does not want to deal with.

In Star Wars, A New Hope, nobody bothers about who is in all those other jail cells aboard the death star. They were added for scenery but the author did not want to bother about the messyness of rescuing only the nobility and leaving the common soldiers to die, so he didn't.

Same with more serious novels like 1984. We never see the real lives of all the characters because offcourse they do not have them.

A basic lesson in story writing is that you do not say a person is X but let that become apparent through the telling of the story. Do not say your lead is smart, have them act that way.

1984 is a quality novel but I get to much the feeling that the characters act the way they do because the author tells them to do so, rather then acting naturally as they would if the novel had not been fiction.

The diary of Anne Frank is for me way more disturbing because it is real, nobody designed the people in her diary to fit the message they wanted to send. What happens is real and the people obviously behaved as they would as if they were real because that is what they were.

1984 is an excellent novel and well worth reading but you have to remember that it is a fictional world, made up and no more real then any other piece of fantasy. 1984 is no more valid a warning about surveillance then say Lord of the Rings is about creating powerfull weapons.

It is a novel, not a view into a possible future. Fantasy, not fact. Act like it is anything else and you might soon find yourselve forgetting the real stories out there which tells us not what might happen in an authors mind but what has happened and is happening.

Nice try (3, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365237)

...but not necessarily because of its content. No, what is interesting is how the film maker will decry the loss of liberties, the encroachments of freedom, and the institution of censorship -- in a film openly distributed and marketed to the general public, and all without the government shutting him down.
Nice strawman, but he was warning against the destruction of civil liberties, not claiming that Britain was a police state yet.

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (3, Interesting)

makomk (752139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365643)

...but not necessarily because of its content. No, what is interesting is how the film maker will decry the loss of liberties, the encroachments of freedom, and the institution of censorship -- in a film openly distributed and marketed to the general public, and all without the government shutting him down. Yessireee...a police state! That's what we're living in for sure. The jackbooted thugs will be here any minute now...any minute now...I'm sure they're almost here...somewhere. Well, maybe their black helicopters broke down or something, but I'm sure they're on their way!

I see someone has already pointed out your strawman argument, but think about this for a moment. If someone were to prevent distribution of the film, Britain still has enough of a free press (and enough freedom of speech) to kick up a major fuss. On the other hand, if it's distributed, so what? A few people who already agreed with it get their views confirmed, people like the AC and the public dismiss the message and use the film's existence to reassure themselves that we have free speech, and the Government is unaffected. You're looking for the wrong kind of censorship in the wrong place.

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (1)

easyTree (1042254) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365921)

lol

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (4, Insightful)

ciggieposeur (715798) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366185)

No, what is interesting is how the film maker will decry the loss of liberties, the encroachments of freedom, and the institution of censorship -- in a film openly distributed and marketed to the general public, and all without the government shutting him down. Yessireee...a police state! That's what we're living in for sure. The jackbooted thugs will be here any minute now...any minute now...I'm sure they're almost here...somewhere. Well, maybe their black helicopters broke down or something, but I'm sure they're on their way!

That's how the modern police state works, you see. Freedom of speech is still allowed, dissent is still recorded, and people thus think they aren't really living in a police state.

However, start organizing against the state and see just how quickly you can get shut down. Your activist groups will be infiltrated, investigations into your personal life will begin, and at the slightest hint of significant success at changing the status quo you will be arrested and charged with a bogus crime to end your career as a political radical. Web sites will describe your fate and complacent onlookers will marvel that in their free society -- which is clearly free because people can read these stories -- some people can still go crazy about such fringe political topics.

Re:This film will be enormously interesting... (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366199)

Yes it is openly distributed and marketed because the state needs to maintain the illusion that people have rights. Dont worry once they have the population brainwashed enough they'll burn all copies of this movie.

I'm waiting to see the promos (3, Funny)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365077)

"Banned in all the cinemas, NOW!"

Can we.. (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365085)

make one for the USA?

how many different "associations" do we have in the US that /. almost daily points out how "they" are trying to put the screws to us?

"Viva Nepal!" (sorry, couldn't help that)

just not by Michael Moore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365683)

Can we.. make one for the USA?

Just please don't have Michael Moore do anything with it. Last time he alone made me almost vote for Bush.

saw it (4, Interesting)

Teach (29386) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365097)

I'm pretty sure I already saw this movie when it was called V for Vendetta. Or was it Children of Men?

interesting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365933)

Shouldn't that have got modded funny?

We need more cameras (2, Insightful)

kahei (466208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365127)


So in this one South London neighborhood that I occasionally frequent, there was an armed robbery at 4 in the afternoon on the main street last Saturday. It's a quiet neighborhood, very well-balanced, well-off, so it makes sense to come there and rob people.

There was a similar robbery the previous week.

The week before that, it was on a weekday evening, I guess they had a busy schedule that week. It's the same guys each time. They live in this totally different neighborhood a way to the south, though.

And there is absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. Nothing at all. What are you going to do? Call Batman? The UK police are very nice guys (compared to any other police force I've met) but they really can't do much in this situation.

The trouble is, this particular chunk of street doesn't have any cameras. The south half of the street near the station does, and the north half near what's called a 'roundabout' does, but there's this bit in the middle that doesn't. So all you have to do is rob people there, since nobody around here is fool enough to intervene and get jailed or killed, and there's no chance of a conviction (or even police attention) without video evidence. If you have video evidence, and there is a history of crime, and someone gets hurt, then in the end, you can get a custodial sentence passed. It's an uphill struggle, though, because there's a hell of a lot of civil liberties in the way.

If nobody gets hurt, there's nothing you can do even with cameras. Every weekend, kids come up the road from the other, nastier neighborhood to the south, and as they go they kick over stuff and pull flowers out because, well, that's the local culture. It's not a life-threatening problem -- it just means you kind of have to remember to get stuff indoors by a certain time on Fridays. And don't grow rosebushes in the front yard.

But all is not lost. Armed robbery generally *does* mean someone eventually getting hurt, and next year there will be cameras for that bit of street, yay! And none of this is really *Real Violent Crime* such as you might find in south chicago; it's just that there's no reason *not* to mug people or kick stuff over so it just becomes the normal expectation that those things will happen.

The thing about 'omg they are taking our libertiez!' is, Civil Liberties in this sense aren't as important as for example the liberty to *not* be mugged or the liberty to *not* have your stuff smashed or the most important liberty of all, the liberty to *not* have the nature of your life dictated by the whims of thugs. The liberty of not being recorded on camera is actually pretty trivial by comparison.

So install some more freakin cameras. Create new powers to stop 'public nuisance', use electronic tags, maybe suspend habeas corpus or something. Take away more civil liberties. Here, have some of mine. I'll expect them back when I leave the UK.

Re:We need more cameras (4, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365175)

it's just that there's no reason *not* to mug people or kick stuff over so it just becomes the normal expectation that those things will happen.


Do you recall if it was like that there before cameras were installed in the surrounding area?

-Peter

Re:We need more cameras (2)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365177)

But as Franklin said, those who would sacrifice their freedom for a little safety deserve neither (and will get neither).

-uso.

Re:We need more cameras (3, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365181)

No the trouble has nothing to do with a lack of cameras. There were no CCTVs 20 years ago and you know what, policemen did their job and, shock horror, caught thieves.

The actual problem is the competence of the police, or lack thereof. They've become over-reliant on the law bullying the populace. Since the beginning of the year littering has become an arrestable offence and if Tony "Uncle Joe Stalin" Blair has his way before he leaves we'll have the "Suss laws" returning: police can arrest and question you on suspicion of doing something.... no evidence, you just have to look a bit shifty, in the police's opnion.

Re:We need more cameras (1)

themoors (1018768) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365275)

police can arrest and question you on suspicion of doing something.... no evidence, you just have to look a bit shifty, in the police's opnion.
I better loose the beard and bulky, square shaped torso then! I remember a time when the police did actual police work, y'know looking into crimes, investigations, interviews and all that archaic stuff.. I hear they are lowering their entrance requirements... anyone remember the song "things can only get better"??

Re:We need more cameras (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365299)

I agree.

The UK police are completely focussed on automatic revenue-generating activites like giving out speeding tickets. They don't want to actually do real police work and deal with the crime that affects peoples lives on a day to day basis.

You never see a policeman on the beat any more. The few that you still see are all in cars avoiding any contact with the public.

Re:We need more cameras (1)

Gibsnag (885901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365669)

I see a reasonable number of policemen on the beat in my home village (in Devon). Although when one of my friends was running along to our local park (to meet myself and a few others) one of them stopped him and asked him where he was going. And not in a "Whats the rush? Ho ho ho." kind of way, but being quite serious.

Re:We need more cameras (5, Insightful)

mormop (415983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365395)

It's not so much a matter of Police competence as it is paperwork. Twenty years ago, the Police didn't have to fill in an hours worth of paperwork for an arrest for a minor offence which is why they were on the streets doing their job in the first place. For each minor arrest, a copper can be kept off the streets for a minimum of 1 hour documenting every detail of the incident. If a kid vandalises a car, robs someone and is picked up on a description the reaction is more likely to be "fuck off you can't prove it" than "I won't do it again".

And there's the truth of the matter. Everyone in the UK knows their rights but too many have no sense of responsibility and they are fully aware of the fact that some smart arse lawyer who doesn't give a shit about truth because that's not what he's paid for will get them off on some minor procedural technicality. And the worst part is that it's a small section of the Police that bought this situation about. Remember the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad that caused as much crime as they stopped? The Birmingham 6 & Guildford 4 convictions, the Special Patrol Group etc. Normally, when things get out of control there's a swing back towards the other side five years down the line only in this case, the swing has continued to the point where your average thug has the same immunity to consequences that the above had in the 70's and 80's.

CCTV should not be a necessity. Unfortunately, in this "have your cake and eat it" society it is a sticking plaster over the gaping wound of idiot thuggery that seems trendy at the moment. If you can work out how to make being an evil little tosser uncool then you may have a chance of improving things but sadly it seems to be evil little tossers that run this country seem happy to put up more cameras.

 

Re:We need more cameras (1)

trewornan (608722) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366139)

"The actual problem is the competence of the police, or lack thereof."

I recommend you read Wasting Police Time by David Copperfield ISBN:0-9552854-1-0

Re:We need more cameras (2, Insightful)

Bertie (87778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365289)

Meanwhile, in my sleepy small town in Surrey, where nothing has ever happened, there's a CCTV camera right outside my bedroom window.

Big Brother is watching you, but he most certainly isn't watching the fucking criminals.

Now, just for a minute, try and do something that British people are generally terrible at, and try and look at the big picture. Why is there so much armed crime round your way? Clue: the answer is not "because there aren't any CCTV cameras".

The real, underlying problem with life in Britain today - the problem which is a major cause not only of this sort of crime, but of the creeping totalitarianism that this documentary is about - is that the majority of the populace care about absolutely nothing besides the value of their fucking houses. The greed and selfishness is the root cause of the crime, and it's the reason why the government can get away with the stunts they've been pulling. As long as those house prices keep going up, nothing else matters to the average voter.

nice fearmongering, try responsiblity instead. (5, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365353)

So all you have to do is rob people there, since nobody around here is fool enough to intervene

Ahh. there is your problem. People in that nieghborhood don't give a shit. How did nieghborhoods ever have low crime rates before CCTV? Because they stood by their nieghbors and acted in their own best interest by actually doing something about it themselves. By hiding behind closed doors pretending not to see, they are getting the shitty neighborhood they deserve. Act like a victim, get treated like a victim. I have more than once come out of my apartment into the street and made my presence known, when there is a disturbance on my street.(I live in New York City) Guess what happens when I walk out and look them in the eye? Well usually it's some arguement that is starting to turn physical, but when suddenly there is a witness threats go back to being just words. The one actual mugging that I encountered the guy just ran away.

Re:We need more cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365459)

This sounds like the perfect real-life example of a 'slippery slope'. More and more cameras along with more and more laws that make it easier to control and monitor people.

The grease on this slope is comments like "they really can't do much in this situation", or "if nobody gets hurt, there's nothing you can do even with cameras". It's this gradual progression of reasonable sounding, but flawed, logic.

There are laws. There are police. It sounds like there are also many witnesses (and from the affluence of the neighborhood, they're probably all upstanding citizens to boot).

Call the police, describe the thugs, get them arrested.

I suppose this isn't the perfect example of a slippery slope, as you've yet to see the bottom.

What would make it perfect: the neighborhood gets annoyed with your constant demands for better surveillance and unnecessary laws and, after some horrible North Korean nuclear aggression, the neighborhood identifies you as a threat and get you sent off to an Internment Camp. [wikipedia.org]

What is liberty (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365507)

The world used to be so simple, when I was young primates had a male leader who had beaten the previous male leader in a fight and replaced him. Younger males could live under his care until they became too dangerous to his rule and were forced to live outside the group, were natural selection would make on of them the next challenger.

It all made sense, was simple and that was how the monkeys lived and in some way so did humans.

Turns out that is not the case at all. The male leader may very well win temporary control just by beating the old leader BUT if he then acts like an asshole to his new harem of females and is too rough with their young then he might just learn that a dozen pissed of female monkeys can seriously hurt one male leader, especially one not smart enough to have a second in command.

So in one docu the old leader is replaced by a new upstart, the females don't like his attitude and give him a near lethal kicking and the old leaders second becomes the new boss with the old leader now being the second in command. So the females really decided who they wanted after all. Revolution in the monkey world.

Note however that at no time did the monkeys bother with election or trying to correct the behaviour of the hooligan monkey. He died of his wounds. Execution.

Yet for the last couple of decades both left and right wingers have toned down the element of punishement for crimes in our own society, the left because they are bleeding hearts and the right because they are to cheap too pay for prisons and other essential tools of a justice system.

This leads to repear offenders by wich they don't mean people who are commiting their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, etc etc crime but people whose offences are in the triple digits, and still are getting non-sentences that are often not even applied.

What does a sentence forcing someone to do a few hours of community work sentence but a clear message that working is a punishement (how would you like to have a job to wich other people are sentenced) especially if people then can use excuses like actually perfoming this sentence would place an undue burden on them.

Note that both the left and the right are to blame for this. The left because they believe the softly softly approach will work despite several decades of failure and the right because they think you can keep cutting costs and still get the result. It is odd that right wingers are all for locking people up for life and executing them but when you ask them cover the cost of the bullet they can't be found. Just as odd as the left wingers who shout the hardest never ever seem to live in the areas affected by their social experiments. Odd eh.

The situation you describe is the end result of years of mis-management, were rights granted to combat excesses were taken to far and now create just as much problems as they were supposed to correct.

I do not think it is right childeren should be sentenced as adults. HOWEVER that does not mean that kids under a certain age cannot be touched by the law. There are criminal gangs that use children because they know the police does not have any power to stop them. A kid who commits a crime knowing he cannot be punished is a sign that things have gone to far to the other side.

Perhaps a person needs a second chance BUT at the moment the system seems to be more like a person needs another chance, and another and another and another add infinitum.

I take public tranport in amsterdam, holland as an example. There used to be conductors on the trams. They were removed. The left thought the people could police themselves, the right wanted to cut staffing costs. Problems encurred, were muffled over by both sides until finally the problems became just too big, too many people not paying and security problems. So now we have both cameras and the conductor back. One huge failure of a social experiment but does anyone bother to interview the people that said the conductor could be taken off the trams and ask them to admit they were wrong?

No, same as nobody goes and asks the inventors of the community service sentences why their plan has such lousy results.

Sadly people just don't care. Left or right wing don't matter, both are wrong. For re-eduction of criminals to work you need to convince them first that the alternative is really going to hurt (left, pay attention) and that this is going to cost you a lot of money (right pay attention).

Cutting costs and trying to be nice is NOT working, it has been tried and it has failed.

So stop electing the same people that created this fucking mess to begin with.

Re:We need more cameras (1)

CaponeX (984794) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365745)

And none of this is really *Real Violent Crime* such as you might find in south chicago;

Hey, wait just a minute. Violent crime in the city of Chicago has dropped markedly over the past 10 years or so. Perhaps you meant St. Louis or Detroit, two cities that are chronically at the top of the U.S. Most Dangerous Cities list (http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/30/real_estate/Most_ dangerous_cities/index.htm [cnn.com] ). Notice that Chicago isn't even in the top 25 most dangerous! Know the facts before you type. Thanks.

Re:We need more cameras (1)

black88 (559855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366079)

you are a gutless pussy slave. enjoy your safety, douchebag!

Repect for the law (1)

PingXao (153057) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365167)

I'm in the US, so things are a bit different. Apathy is the same. Here, we have our rights enshrined in a Constitution. In Britain everything is based on tradition and the consent of the Crown rather than a written document, unless you go back to the Magna Carta. I could be wrong on that so flame gently if required.

Nevertheless, when the most sacred and cherished documents in history are trashed by a government of men (British or American) over a period of years, apathy sets in the longer it goes on without anyone doing anything about it. When the key documents are shat upon, I, for one, lose respect for every written rule, law, regulation and contract. Writing isn't worth the paper it's written on.

I don't go around breaking contracts because I believe a person's word is their bond and carries honor. Everything else, however, is debatable IMO.

Re:Repect for the law (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365623)

The English system is based on common law, ie tradition. When there is no precedent, judges in courts of law decide, but this can be appealed up to the House of Lords in Parliament. Parliament can introduce new laws but if they come in conflict with common law then courts could refuse to apply them as invalid. This would result in a consitutional crisis as Parliament is the body with greatest legislative power in England.

The Magna Carta restricts the power of the monarchy such that it is bound by the rule of law, so there is no consent from the crown, but rather the other way round -- the monarch rules with the consent of the people and has to do so bound by the common law. No individual in England has anywhere near the power that a US president has to introduce new laws or restrict civil liberties. Neither the queen or prime minister can veto Parliament, for example. So if/when Parliament introduces laws that restrict civil liberties then it is the judges/courts that ultimately decide if the new laws are enforcable. In actice new laws have to pass through the house of lords, and the law lords there (very senior judges) advise on whether the proposed law is in fact enforcable.

V for Vendetta! (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365171)

oh wait, I guess it a different movie lol. But I hope some ppl go watch it in their V for Vendetta masks :D It's like sending the government a terrorist death threat over their ridiculous use of cameras and stuff without really sending one lol.

Bad timing (5, Insightful)

kirun (658684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365195)

Who's going to go watch a documentary about civil liberties when Big Brother's on TV?

Intresting quote on the site (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365231)

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty nor security.

It is intresting because the words in bold are not usually included. Watch the excellent british series "yes minister" ("the right/need to know" I believe) for why these words are so fucking important.

In that episode it is the word "significant" wich is added to a sentence to make it into weasel language.

Yes, if this quote above is correct, then Benjamin Franklin was a weasel.

After all, just what do you classify as essential or for that matter tempory. The right to travel outside your own country is hardly essential for the majority of us, and if a sacrifice would grant you a million years of security by the age of the universe that would still be temporary.

They are weasel words, words that can be used to, well weasel out of commiting yourselve to anything firm. Franklin by including these words could always claim that he never meant for something to be considered an essential liberty or that security measure in his eyes was not temporary.

The world changes. Take travelling, pasports have been known for a long time and used to be documents that merely asked of friendly powers to let this person pass unharmed. The dutch pasport at least still has text that asks friendly powers to allow the owner of the pasport to free passage and any aid or assitance necesarry. Officious language from an age when the vast majority of people never travelled from their place of birth.

Nowadays you can easily find a job were you pass several borders each and every day. Taking a long weekend on the other side of europe is common as hell and airports handle millions of people everyday.

Obviously then a passport today is much different then it once was. More and more info linking the intended owner to the document is included. Loss of an essential liberty? Providing temporary security OR the price for a liberty that gives us some security. Discuss, but know that Benjamin Franklin's famous quote does NOT take a firm stand against any amount of biometrics to be included on your pasport, not even if it was to be injected in your body. "Essential" and "temporary".

Liberty is a noble goal. Just go ahead, disable the traffic lights on a busy intersection, see how well people cope with liberty. The simple fact is that for instance speed cameras do have a positive effect, areas known to be heavily controlled show a drastic reduction not only in the speeding itself but also in accidents. The essential freedom of being able to speed sacrificed for the temporary security of not being killed by some idiot who thinks he is Michael Schumacher?

Play an MMORPG for a while, say WoW and see what a world looks like when the police and the state are essentially absent. It ain't pretty. Yes it is freedom, but at what price?

We should always be wary of what is being done in the name of security, but next time someone quotes Benjamin Franklin and leaves out the two weasel words take note of it. These words were included by a smart man for a good reason, why did they choose to leave them out?

no one will see it anyway.... (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365261)

they'll be too busy watching the blockbusters that are stacked up for showing over the next few weeks... the only way to get a real audience would be to show it before the main feature or else in primetime on the main channels... but there's no way the main broadcasters would shift their soaps for that... 'tis weird that the really good programmes get shown opposite the cruddy soaps...

Right to bear arms? (0)

m0nkyman (7101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365291)

How much do you want to bet that the right to bear arms isn't mentioned in the film?

Re:Right to bear arms? (3, Insightful)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365687)

We in England have never had the right to bear arms, nor the right to arm bears.

Furthermore, not one British citizen on 10,000 would want anyone to have such a right. the other 9,999 are 100% behind the full enforcement of 7 years jail for anyone posessing a weapon, legally or otherwise. The American right to bear arms is seen as the reason why American deaths from gunshot wounds run at around 100 times the rate here, adjusted for population size. In short, almost everyone in the UK sees weapons as the problem, and none see them as the solution.

A few criminals have guns, and probably a similar number of country dwellers have them, and perhaps a few who shoot competitively as a sport, but carrying guns is not something many in the UK would consider. Those with a sound legal reason for carrying a gun have very little support here.

Our police dont normally carry guns, but have still managed to shoot more innocent people than guilty ones. Each time a policeman is shot by a criminal, there is a clamour to arm the police, but I do not recall any incident where this would ahve prevented the policemen being shot. AFAIR 75% of American polise shot are shot with their own gun, or by a colleague.

How about a right to bare breasts? Now that really would be popular!

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

m0nkyman (7101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365781)

We in England have never had the right to bear arms, nor the right to arm bears.

No more than you have the right to free speech, etc. etc. [wikipedia.org]

Your last vestige of the right bear arms was taken away, and in short order you see your other rights sliding slowly away. And there's no correlation.... Slashdot really needs to implement smilies, 'cause I really need to use :rollseyes: right now.

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366105)

There isn't that correlation in the US. In fact, gun groups like the NRA are usually at odds with civil liberty groups like the ACLU. So if anything there's a reverse correlation in the US. Can you back up your thesis in any way? Because it seems to me that the erosion of rights in Britain has more to do with the so-called "War on Terror" than gun issues.

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

m0nkyman (7101) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366149)

Really? You want to back up the assertion that the NRA are at odds with civil liberty groups like the ACLU?

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

Guuge (719028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366177)

I'll let you do the endorsement research. Let's just say they don't often concur.

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365919)

How about a right to bare breasts? Now that really would be popular!
Legal protection for topless women already exists in Ontario, Canada. I'm not aware of any efforts made in other provinces in Canada, but the Ontario supreme court ruled back in 1996 that it was fine for women to be topless in public.

http://www.fcn.ca/Gwen.html [www.fcn.ca]

Few women do so, but I've seen women sunbathing topless in the park south of my house in the summer(grassy area, near Lake Ontario). It's not really made a huge deal of, at least that I've seen. The women have no shirt on, and neither do the men. They get a tan and then go home. *shrug*
A boob is just a boob, not anything to get TOO frantic about.

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

UncleFluffy (164860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365969)

We in England have never had the right to bear arms,

Not true, in fact archery practice was mandatory for quite some time, and in some border towns killing Welsh people was regarded as a public service. If by "never" you mean "in the last 100 years" and by "arms" you mean "guns", I think you'll find that the restrictions were very different pre-WW2, definitely pre-WW1.

How about a right to bare breasts? Now that really would be popular!

Hrm. Maybe. Depends on the breasts.

Re:Right to bear arms? (3, Informative)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366179)

"If by "never" you mean "in the last 100 years" and by "arms" you mean "guns", I think you'll find that the restrictions were very different pre-WW2, definitely pre-WW1."

You're pretty much correct. The first British gun licensing laws were enacted in 1870, but they were essentially a revenue generation tool. You had to pay ten shillings for the right to carry guns around in public places, but could keep as many at home as you wanted without one, and the licenses were handed out at post offices to anyone who could pay for them. The first actual control legislation was in 1903, when certain classes of pistol could only be sold to people who produced a valid game or gun license, although once again such licenses were extremely easy to obtain, and any other sort of gun could be bought without them. True gun control didn't happen until 1920, and was largely a reaction to the 1917 Russian Revolution, where private gun ownership played a significant role in overthrowing the Czar, and the British government feared that the millions of recently demobbed (and therefore extremely cheap) weapons from WWI would be used to start a massive armed revolt.

Re:Right to bear arms? (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365987)

"We in England have never had the right to bear arms"

I suggest you check your own history, paying particular attention to the 1689 Bill Of Rights, which (among various other things) gives the right to have armaments for personal defence.

Re:Right to bear arms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365699)

Well, British people prefer to leave the arms on bears - it seems to be the least cruel option.

Slow down quick draws. (1)

boolithium (1030728) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365523)

You know my grandfather used to say you can't comment on something you know nothing about. I was just glancing at the comments to see, if anyone has actually seen this movie, and what they thought about it. I noticed people going off about propaganda before they gave it a chance. A free society comes complete with propaganda. An educated individual views all media as propaganda of one kind or another, then views it with an open mind and draws conclusions thusly.

Nonsense (2, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#19365675)

Once you give up traditional liberties such as free speech and the right to protest you are not going to easily get them back,' says Atkins

We've never had them in the first place, Mr Atkins. In order for there to be inalienable rights like freedom of speech, there must be constitutional limitations on the power of the state, legislature and judiciary, all three of which needing to be subject to the rule of law.

WE DON'T HAVE SUCH A DOCUMENT. WE DON'T LIVE IN SUCH A STATE.

We never have.

Therefore your film about rights we've never had is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Re:Nonsense (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19366207)

We've never had them in the first place, Mr Atkins. In order for there to be inalienable rights like freedom of speech, there must be constitutional limitations on the power of the state, legislature and judiciary, all three of which needing to be subject to the rule of law.

WTF are you talking about? The UK is a constitutional monarchy. Our constitution is not a written document, but rather spread across several laws. There are indeed limits on state power and recognition of natural rights, going back all the way to the original Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta. Since we joined the EU last century, we have further restrictions on state power.

WE DON'T HAVE SUCH A DOCUMENT. WE DON'T LIVE IN SUCH A STATE.

50% right, 50% wrong. We do live in such a state, it's just that there's no one singular document that we can point to and say "that's it". It's way more complex than that, mostly because the UK is comprised of a mixture of constituent countries that are a thousand years old.

I'm getting really fed up with people spouting off these misinformed "factoids" that they heard somewhere, like "Oh, Brits aren't citizens, they are subjects". Nonsense. Don't repeat somebody else's opinion you heard on Slashdot as fact. Not only are you wrong, you are actually spreading ignorance.

No, it hasn't. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365733)

The site's own schedule states that the earliest release date is June 8th. So nobody can watch the video now, which makes this both an incorrect and useless post.

free speech and the right to protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19365811)

Every living person has free speech and can protest. You cannot GIVE freedom to a human being, he is free by definition. I'm living in a country where by law you cannot protest, and you can be punished for "wrongly" speaking - it's Israel, so what? At most you spend some time in jail (which I and many my friends did) or killed, but your mind is always free.

scarier in the U.S. (5, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19366113)

I just got done sitting on a jury for a drug trial. It was a frightening experience. The evidence was so weak and indirect that I couldn't even believe they had charged these two people with a crime. One of them was a transsexual prostitute who was clearly (to me) just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Well, when the jury started to deliberate, there were four of us who all thought it was going to be an open-and-shut not guilty verdict, but we ended up with a hung jury, 8 voting guilty and 4 not guilty. This is the kind of offense that can easily land you in prison for life under California's three strikes laws. And no, you don't have to be a career criminal to fall under three strikes. The prostitute was charged with three felonies from the same night, and that's enough. There's a guy who's in prison for life under three strikes for stealing four chocolate chip cookies. After the trial was over, I visited the place where the cop claimed he'd conducted surveillance from using binoculars. Well, you absolutely cannot see the stuff he claimed to have seen from that location. There are buildings, trees, and walls in the way. I hope these defendants don't have to go to trial again, because next time they might be unlucky in the jury they get.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?