Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 15:53 UTC

The UK is about to become one of the world's foremost surveillance states, allowing its police and intelligence agencies to spy on its own people to a degree that is unprecedented for a democracy. The UN's privacy chief has called the situation "worse than scary." Edward Snowden says it’s simply "the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy."

The legislation in question is called the Investigatory Powers Bill. It's been cleared by politicians and awaits only the formality of royal assent before it becomes law. The bill will legalize the UK's global surveillance program, which scoops up communications data from around the world, but it will also introduce new domestic powers, including a government database that stores the web history of every citizen in the country. UK spies will be empowered to hack individuals, internet infrastructure, and even whole towns - if the government deems it necessary.

"Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame?"

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RE[3]: Why brexit?
by BeamishBoy on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Why brexit?"
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They're all signs of increased nationalism and racism, which are always - ALWAYS - based on fear

Brexit is a sign of increased nationalism and racism in the UK? Show your workings, please.

As to the EDL: thankfully they're an utter irrelevance. Half of them are probably undercover police officers by this stage.

As for voting reform - the UK isn't a democracy in the sense most people think of when they think of 'democracy'. The number of seats a party occupies has effectively nothing to do with the actual votes cast.

We have a FPTP system nationwide in the UK. A majority in favour of changing that system does not appear to exist. It's a different form of running elections to what's common in the EU, but to even hint that the UK isn't a "proper" democracy is silly.

The end result is that the far-right conservative party has effectively totalitarian control over every single government institution, despite only getting 37% of the cast votes.

Thom, are you sure you know what the terms "far right" and "totalitarian" mean?

You think the situation in the US is bad, where Trump "won" the elections despite Clinton getting 2 million more votes? That shit is peanuts compared to the idiocy that is the UK electoral system

Apples and oranges I'm afraid since we don't elect our head of state. We elect our local member of parliament which, incidentally, is pretty much identical to the way our American friends elect their Congressional representatives.

(Nor, by the way, do I think the electoral college system is "bad". It's merely the system under which they have consented to be governed.)

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