Libertarians, aged hippies and the privileged are the enemy of the poor and Big Brother
...this fashionable paranoia about data and surveillance goes well beyond annoyance at petty officaldom, and has become something of a mindset, as we will be reminded later today. The occasion will the publication of the Government’s response to last spring’s semi-apocalyptic Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust’s report, Database State....
Michael Wills, minister at the Cabinet Office, introduces his reponse to Rowntree. And what I think he pretty clearly shows is that the original report contained several key errors, a host of unsubstantiated assertions, some fairly dodgy references and a number of unfortunate omissions.
Mr Wills also accepts that government must take blame for the poor level of debate because it has too often been “overly defensive and dismissive of criticism. Government believes it is acting benignly and legally and has not adequately recognised the fears of those who believe this is not the case.”
But his overall point is this: proper use of new technology by the State allows a far more effective delivery of services to those that need them and a much better level of information about what is happening in society so that needs can be predicted and met. For the poor at any rate, such benefits are more than speculative.
Oddly, the Rowntree Reform Trust, which is largely run by Liberal Democrat grandees, gives as its objectives the promotion of civil liberties and social justice. I think the libertarians, the aged hippies and the privileged have taken over the argument and that their cultural preferences have tilted the balance against social justice. Of course, the rich have themselves; the poor have only the Government.
Us privileged old libertarian hippies, we really hate the poor, treating them as equals, capable of making up their own minds, free to choose when if we cared we would realise that they are too poor to be capable and we should watch over them and cosset them all day, every day and make all their choices for them. They are poor, what need have they got of rights when the State is their one true friend, protector and provider?