I used to be able to…….

Third post, I thought I should attempt to write something relevant to the Site title, and; no it isn’t about getting older and not being able to do a back flip, it is a touch more serious.

Being a Daft Old Fart I have seen many changes- almost no cars-millions of cars, B/W TV-Colour TV, digital TV, cable, satellite, , no computers, then the Sinclair ZX, Commodore 16/64, the Amstrad and now do-dahs with all the bells and whistles, dial up, broadband, landlines only, brick sized mobiles mini mobiles and now paper mobiles.

In many ways my life is better because of the technological advances, but on the downside has my freedom been eroded?

I used to be able to take a walk in my local park alone (widower of nearly six years), without being followed by CCTV and stared at by the “Mums” if there were any spawn in the playground bit because I may be a Paedo (which I am not, I like children-especially roasted).

I used to be able to take a photo or two of the Ducks and other wildlife (a bit of a hobby, quite badly done) in said Local Park. But now if there is a kiddly within half a mile it is considered “Perverse”.
And I used to be able to take a snap of a copper or a street without being bludgeoned or whipped off for interrogation on terrorism grounds.

I like driving, I used to be able to drive where I wanted when I wanted, but now we have the “Congestion Zone”, up and coming pay to use roads, and is the exorbitant tax now levied on petrol and diesel and the high cost of the road fund license interfering with my freedom to travel?

Likewise with the price of rail fares, and parking charges at stations.

I used to be able to join other like minded people and have a bit of a Demo outside Parliament or have a placard, which said “Nick Clegg is a tosser” no more it seems.

Now we have the 1986 Public Order Act, the 1992 Trade Union Act, the 1994 Criminal Justice Act, the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act, the 2003 Antisocial Behaviour Act, the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act and the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

The 1997 Protection from Harassment Act was supposed to protect women from stalkers but it was so loosely worded that the first three people arrested under the act were not stalkers but peaceful protesters and against a protester in Hull, on the grounds that he had been “staring at a building”.

Sections 145-149 of the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act are aimed at animal rights protesters. The act prohibits “interference with contractual relationships so as to harm animal research organisations”. The definition of harm includes causing “loss or damage of any description”.

And yes I know that some of the tossers have been violent and arsonists but:

If, for example, you were to send a newspaper article about how one of these businesses treats its animals to a client or a shareholder, you’d be in danger of prosecution under the act. This would be bad enough. But police and prosecutors have cast the net even wider and made the law even vaguer by prefacing it with “conspiracy to”.

I used to be able to have a stroll round what is left of the town in the evening and do a bit of window shopping (all I can now afford), but no more, the drunks, addicts, tramps and lack of Police “persons” have seen to that.
At one time I could park for free on the roads that I have paid for in the town centre, now it costs 60p for twenty minutes, and the number of “traffic wardens” outnumbers the shoppers.

Enough! I hear you cry, so I will end here but you may get my drift, do we have more or less “Freedom” that we used to, can we do what we want within the ever expanding realm of the law, or, is our Liberty disappearing faster than the money in my bank account?

3 comments for “I used to be able to…….

  1. May 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Good post. Undesirable social and political trends are a problem because they proceed quite slowly and we adapt to them when we should oppose them.

  2. May 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    There’s a post I have coming up at my place in a few days about just that. Someone quite innocently going about his business and gets arrested! This is insane today.

  3. May 18, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    For some reason I recall Gertrude Stein’s line, “When you get there, there is no there there.” You’re so right about cameras – better than ever before and you can’t use them. Perhaps the point of technology is to realise that you don’t need it.

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