IDENTITY REGISTER DEBATE: freedom has a hollow ring

IN 1939 Hitler came out of a meeting in Munich, crossed the road and shook six people by the hand. My Tutor at Cambridge was one of those six. Little did Hitler know that he was shaking the hand of the young history student, Hinsley, who was the first to

IN 1939 Hitler came out of a meeting in Munich, crossed the road and shook six people by the hand. My Tutor at Cambridge was one of those six. Little did Hitler know that he was shaking the hand of the young history student, Hinsley, who was the first to break the Enigma code at Bletchley Park and be his undoing.

My point is that even Hitler, in his Nazi State, would be amazed if he walked down Hampstead Road at Camden Lock today and saw all the paraphenalia of a Fascist state, the array of sinister cameras on poles with spikes on top; the bus shelters reduced in size so that some authority can look into the shelters with cameras and make sure we are not involved in drugs or terrorist acts, with the result that old people have to stand in the rain.

He would marvel in awe at the supine population that allowed this to happen.

He would immediately recognise the grip an authoritarian government was beginning to have on the population by declaring that the streets in future would need to have army patrols to counter the terrorist threat. Goebels and he welcomed terrorism for the fear it produced and he would recognise the relationship of the death of 52 people on the London Underground and the justifications for the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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Hitler would also see parallels between his 1933 Enabling Act and our Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, under which I was arrested outside Downing Street for reading out the Geneva Conventions, while the truly seriously organised criminal was sipping coffee inside, and while, down the road, Brian Haw, the only man in Britain who foresaw the terrible effects of depleted uranium, was constantly called mad by the judiciary and roughed up by the police.

The 1939 - 1945 war was supposed to preserve freedom. Freedom has a hollow ring now. Manufacturers of CVT cameras do not want to stop production; it is highly profitable. They are going to be queueing up at council doors and political conferences to sell their wares.

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Every street will soon have its cameras swinging towards us, comparing our faces with 'the database'. The wonderful human feeling of walking in privacy will be a thing of the past.

Nicholas Wood

South hill Park Gardens, NW3

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