Friday, September 07, 2007

How many times and how loudly can we shout "NO"

This is an impression of DNA. We're all quite sophisticated now, we all know that DNA is unique to each individual and can be a very useful tool in detecting criminals.

It is also a dangerous discovery that will allow governments of all hues to record your life and mine in minute detail if we allow it. Perhaps it's a good thing that more criminals are being brought to what is laughingly called justice in this country; make up your own mind on that one (as if you wouldn't anyway).

Now take a peek at the grizzly old phisog to the left. This is Lord Justice Sedley.

He reckons that everyone should have a DNA sample taken and put onto a national database so that everyone can be checked against any crime that may be committed. Let me say this in plain and simple language - this is an idea that Mr Hitler and Mr Stalin would have adored. Why? Because it is very easy amongst the general ignorance of the public (me included) to "discover" that certain genes or patterns of DNA lead to "criminal behaviour" or "anti-social behaviour". What would Hitler or Stalin have done with information like that, do you think?

Let's define "criminal behaviour" as if we might be a less benevolent prime minister than we've enjoyed for the last few decades. Perhaps being a trade unionist? Perhaps being a member of Liberty? Perhaps they'll just take a dislike to the troublesome Cornish?

In this country something like 4.5 million people are already on the police's DNA database. Many of them have never been charged with any crime let alone convicted. This is the beginning of a totalitarian regime, make no mistake. We must make a noise and we must stop it.

There is a famous quotation, which appears in several versions and which has always resonated with me, and has helped to form a fair bit of my activism and political belief.

The quotation is from Pastor Martin Niemoeller, a complex and historically contrary man who initially supported the Nazis in Germany but was imprisoned by them after he opposed their control of the Christian churches, pictured below:
"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 trades 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."

In a linked thought process - here's the current list of what our our government is planning or already operating in what the Clash once called "The Clampdown". Will you trust them with your DNA as well? (I have lifted the list directly from, some of the links might not work, but will if you visit

1. So-called 'biometric' ePassports that log data about your travel when used - see (my own note - oyster cards in London and soon-to-be-rolled-out travel cards in the South West also log every journey and your personal details every time you use them. I believe this is also the case with the Torpoint Ferry electronic payment methods).

2. Centralised medical records without privacy - see

3. Biometrics in schools - see

4. ID interrogation centres - see our 'hunt the interrogation centre' section

5. Fingerprinting in pubs - public campaigns now launching in towns and cities across the UK (my own note - this link is very worrying, how do you fancy giving your prints every time you want a jar or two of ale?)

6. The Children Act 'Information Sharing Index'

8. Massively increased Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks for employees and volunteers

9. Recording of all car journeys as a matter of course, using ANPR
There's no funny pay-off line to this one. I recommend getting active: write to anyone you can think of to protest; leave the country if the option is open to you; never believe that they are benevolent, it may seem so initially but it's not their job to be benevolent, it's their job to control.

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