I am not, in any way, a fan of the Sun. When I bothered buying tabloids, I bought the Mirror; if I buy papers now I tend towards the Times, which is really just the Sun without the poor comics and with bigger words.
But back to the Sun…
One of the reasons that I’m not a fan is that they’ve never once met a civil liberty that they didn’t think was an inconvenience. According to it, the right to a trial is considered a luxury too good for the likes of paedos, terrorists, or those who would disagree with the Sun in open court. The right to privacy is a threat to all our security. If you’ve nothing to hide, it says, you’ve nothing to fear; it then goes on to disprove this by publishing page after page of exposé on someone who happened to have a ‘juicy’ secret.
It’s been backing up Jacqui Smyth on her insane plans for terror-prevention. Before that, it backed all of Labour’s fucked up excuses for Home Secretaries. Frankly, it scares the shit out of me.
But it would appear that even the Sun may feel that things have gone too far.
I USED to think ID cards were a good thing. Along with CCTV cameras and DNA databanks. Even, at a pinch, 90-day detention.
What law-abiding citizen could object to these new weapons against terrorists, rapists and murderers? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.
Not any more.
Not after the death of innocent Jean Charles de Menezes or the pointless shooting of drunken barrister Mark Saunders by two police marksmen.
Not after the inexcusable bugging, strip-searching and futile £1million vendetta by police against journalist Sally Murrer for revealing officers had lost the keys to the local nick – a case which was rightly dismissed last week.
And certainly not after the Stasi-style raid by anti-terror police on an MP I know to be above reproach.
Yes, hundreds and thousands of innocent people have had their lives disrupted by the relentless invasion by the state into everything. Millions are living under the never ending surveillance of masses of watchers. All of us are subject to countless acts of invasion in the face of a threat that is vague and not one tenth as damaging as the invasions are themselves.
But that didn’t sway the Sun. Nor did the deaths of Jean Charles de Menezes or Mark Saunders, for they happened months ago and the Sun didn’t change track.
But then, as soon as a politician and a journalist fall foul of the new system, then the Sun cries foul. Then apparently the scales fell from their eyes and they bore witness to the awfulness that is the modern security setup in the United Kingdom. Then, columns appeared complaining against heavy handedness and lack of accountability.
Because it is one thing to screw over an entire country and do damage that I cannot see ever being fully undone. But it is quite another to mess with the journalists who have happily overseen said damage, and willed the bastards on to more damage; more in volume and more in severity.
Self interest is a wonderful thing, but sometimes I think it would be wise if certain individuals in Wapping had realised that they’re citizens of this little country as well, and are just as vulnerable to the destruction of liberties as the rest of us…