The Government’s proposals to do even more eavesdropping on our phone calls, emails and web browsing do not meet with the approval of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre. We can be sure of this because the Vagina Monologue’s unfunny and tedious churnalist Richard Littlejohn has made the subject the lead item in his column today.
I'm on Candid Camera, innit?!?
And Dicky Windbag is in prime exaggerating form as he pulls out all the stops to make a point that most people will already have figured out. “In the name of ‘security’ we are subjected to levels of surveillance that would shame the former Stasi state of East Germany” whines Dick, and in this case he is right. The Stasi would have been ashamed to have gathered so little information as we do.
“Every time we leave the house, we are caught on CCTV hundreds of times a day”. Really? You mean like the CCTV that they didn’t have in southern Portugal when Madeleine McCann went missing, which meant it was castigated by the Daily Mail as being like some kind of third world country? You and Dacre ought to make your minds up what you want.
There’s more: “we are treated like terrorists, fingerprinted, photographed and subjected to virtual strip searches at airports”. We are? I had to remove my shoes at Liverpool Airport last November, but wasn’t fingerprinted or photographed either there or at Madrid, Manchester or Milan Malpensa. Dick is getting UK security confused with the US version.
But he saves the pearler for “Every litter bin in London was sealed after the IRA bombing campaign in the Seventies – and it still didn’t stop them blowing up Harrods and Bishopsgate”. Leaving aside the minor error in Dick’s timeline – litter bins were taken out of use far later than the Seventies – there is another and more obvious problem with this argument.
And that is that neither bombing had any relevance to litter bins: the Harrods one was so large it needed a car to transport it, and the Bishopsgate bomb so big that the IRA had to hijack an Iveco tipper truck to move it. The latter device had the explosive power of 1,200kg of TNT, “the equivalent of a low-yield tactical nuclear weapon”. Litter bin? Come off it.
The world must look so different from the poolside of that gated Florida compound. Still, churning out this drivel enables Dick to keep trousering the money, and makes his editor marginally more pleased and less angry, so that’s all right, then.