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What's wrong with having your name on a list?

What's wrong with having your name on a list?

So… the membership list for the British National Party (a far-right fascist party advocating the consensual repatriation for non-Europeans from British soil … oh, and giving the 2012 London Olympics back to Greece) has been leaked all over the Internet, and British geeks have been soiling themselves all day mashing the list.

So now I can see that my area of London (which also happens to encompass the BBC’s Television Centre) has 7 members – more than any other West London postcode. Other websites have managed to pinpoint with far greater accuracy the data, despite the learned frownings and warnings from many a political/tech geek.

My question is: what’s all the fuss about? Surely if you’re going to donate money to be a member of a political party or lobby group, you are de facto agreeing to most of that political organisation’s aims and ideals, and therefore you should also be proud to identify with them? Give £200 to a political party, and your name is publically registered against that donation. If I were a member of any political organisation, I’d expect my name to be listed against it, and presume that it’s published somewhere.

Whether Labour, the Conservatives, No2ID, Plaid Cymru or any other group publish their membership list publically or not, I don’t know. But I can’t see why they shouldn’t, in the interest of transparency. And the same would go for the BNP. Or the Communist Party. If nothing else, it’d stop those “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?”-type questions.

Now, tell me why I’m wrong.

Nike asks Chinese government to track down blogger

Nike asks Chinese government to track down blogger

From the hypocrisy and you-couldn’t-make-it-up department: Nike have enlisted the help of the Chinese government to track down a blogger who made anti-Nike comments.

So freedom of speech? Human rights? Naaa, who needs it when companies use Communist-era government controls to stifle people’s thoughts?

Am I going to become a Tory?

Am I going to become a Tory?

David Davies’ recent decision to resign as an MP to force a by-election and debate on the erosion of UK civil liberties (you can now be arrested for 42 days without charge, there are CCTV cameras for every 14 people, the biggest DNA database in the world in percentage terms) has attracted a lot of scorn from media and politicians, but it does seem to have had the side effect of suddenly making the Tories look almost electable. Which is one hell of a neat trick, but a bit of a reflection of a growing trend where people now seem ready to come out of the Tory closet.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, when Margaret Thatcher and then Tony Blair were in charge, nobody in my circle of friends would even countenance the idea of voting Tory. Thatcher’s ghost still loomed large, and Blair seemed to be doing a damn good job.

Then suddenly came the Iraq war, withdrawal of student grants, ID cards, the rise of management consultants everywhere, and now Labour are starting to look bloody authoritarian – which, when coupled with civil servants’ transparent disdain for actually securing peopele’s personal data – is not a good combo.

Hell, during the recent London mayoral elections, some friends of mine were openly declaring their support for the Tories and Boris. And that would never have happened in the 1980s and 1990s (notwithstanding the fact that there weren’t any mayoral elections then…)

So in about three years, Labour have gone from being seemingly invincible to throwing away the next general election. and thus letting the Tories back in. Who, to be fair, would probably have also said yes to a 42-day detention, a war with Iraq etc.

Oh dear.

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