Thursday, 10 September 2009

Bonfire on Databases

I am not too sure what I am to write about today. It seems as if most things have been exhausted e.g. there is so preciously little we appear to be able to do about the malaise that infest our daily lives. When freedom and justice has died in the heart of man how are we, who still cultivate this belief, going to raise it from the dead like Jesus did Lazarus?

Why is it that no one cares anymore? Why is it permissible for the Independent Safeguarding Authority to even be set up - which sole purpose it is to check and see if people wanting to work with children are pedophiles or not. You might scream 'child protection' yet for all that we stand for, no other nation in the world has gone this overboard with databases. In Sweden your name appears, on average, on 300 databases ranging from private to public. Are we even to dare to estimate that number for the UK, I certainly would not like to know. It is one of these areas where ignorance truly is bliss where one is happier not knowing how many people know about my first failed exam - ever. Yet do you honestly think we will be safer if we are registered on 2000 databases or even 10,000 databases? Even if our name appeared on every single institutions' databases, that we came in contact with, that is not going to stop a wicked mind from being wicked. How could it?

What is wrong with us? Why is not Dave mentioning this when he is doing very well in making the easy choices, the superficial ones that will amount to a difference for you and me to the tune of naught. Yet the soon-to-be eradicated Labour Government have so much British blood on their hands it is almost difficult not to damn them for every act they have passed since coming into power. People make the argument that we elected them and as such have to stand by our choice. We made that choice on the premise that the people we elected were honest and descent, that is what it previously meant to be publicly elected. Yet we get a government that now is actively indulging in social engineering and is not ashamed of it, take Carol Ann Duffy's poem, 'Education for Leisure'. The exam board AQA has removed the poem from its GCSE anthology, and has asked schools to destroy old copies containing the poem, because it supposedly glorified knife crime.

What is poetry? There are as many definitions of poetry as there are poets. Wordsworth defined poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings;" Emily Dickinson said, "If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire ever can warm me, I know that is poetry;" and Dylan Thomas defined poetry this way: "Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing." Poetry is a lot of things to a lot of people. Poetry is what our heart tells us the words mean together, in their glorious, doomed escapade trying to explain and alleviate life in the eye of the beholder. Even if the message of a poem is so blindingly obvious - that in itself is a contradiction for being obvious is not a necessity of a poem nor is beauty only understanding. But understanding is also a personal concept, like meaning it cannot be thrust upon the stronger minds who seek to question the power lurking behind the cloak of words. That power however is now contained by the government which tells us, through decrees, what we can and cannot read. Recall that most films about autocracy always feature a 'blacklist' were artifacts of culture are hidden away from the public away because they are 'dangerous' and can corrupt feeble minds.

A cull on quangos indeed, all 1,162 of them. But what about these?

ContactPoint: To hold name, address, gender, date of birth, school and health provider of every child in England

National DNA database: Of 4.5m people whose genetic fingerprints are on the database, more than 500,000 are innocent, including 39,000 children

Communications database: Plan to centralise details of calls and websites visited from phone companies and internet providers, open to 510 public authorities

Onset: A profiling tool which examines a child's behaviour and social background to identify potential child offenders

Detailed Care Record: When rolled out, will allow hospitals, GPs nurses and social workers to update patient's records with unmonitored "wikipedia-style" entries


Communications database Would bring together details of emails, telephone calls and web use

National Identity Register Will store biographical information and biometric data linked to ID cards

The NHS Detailed Care Record Will hold GP and hospital records

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, pointed to significant legal and practical problems with a further 29 databases, including the national childhood obesity one and the planned NHS summary care record system...

It goes without mentioning that the ones we "share" with the EU are not exactly libertarian either.

What is wrong with us? Perhaps that is the key question, perhaps that is the Magnus Opus feat of this government, this seemingly Herculean question, not so much the question itself but the very fact that we are now so desperately in need for guidance that the only people who cannot escape from the disaster, unlike this government and its immasculated purpose, who are responsible - we are those people. Their victory lies in us having to ask ourselves that question instead of those whom we elected.


Goodnight Vienna said...

I think this is the question those of us on this side of the blogosphere have asked with increasing frequency.

One of the causes of the seeming apathy is, I think, that society (English in particular) has become very fragmented over recent years. Each has their own aim and each their preferred way of achieving it. Immigrant ghettos, gated-development ghettos, isolated old folk, a socially-engineered education policy in tatters, crime-infested streets and an overwhelmed police force coupled with a generalised contempt for the way of politics & politicians.

I could go on but what's the point? It's very simplistic I know but this lack of cohesion plays a large part in what we see today. The question is: which is the chicken and which the egg?

13th Spitfire said...

I suppose there is no one golden key to get us out of this mess. Cohesion is a good place to start, reigning back power from all its divestitures e.g. RDAs and the EU. Problem is as always to do that requires cajones.