Monday, March 02, 2009 

Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

How appropriate that on the day that Charlie Brooker nails our politicians, making an especially apposite analogy about CCTV, the Graun gets invited into the Westminster CCTV control centre, the apparent envy of every authoritarian state on the planet. The attitude of the council's director of "community protection" (is it just me or is absolutely everything turning Orwellian?) pretty much sums it up:

Defending the searching gaze of London's cameras, Ingledew said that people who do not look as though they are doing anything wrong will be left alone.

"If you come up to the West End and you go into a restaurant and a theatre, even if you trip out of All Bar One after one too many, we're not going to follow you down the street."

Behind his back, an operator watched two men in bomber jackets talking animatedly inside a telephone box. Another operator watched a young couple gazing up at Nelson's column.

Ingledew turned around. "If you monitor this camera system," he said, "you very quickly learn to pick out the sharks amongst the shoals of fish."

How very comforting.

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