“Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death”

The British public constantly complain that we are being watched; we worry that the country is a nanny state, which has to monitor everything we do to ensure we comply. As we drive down the street, we are constantly on the lookout for the bane of the highway; the dreaded speed camera, solely designed to ruin our fun, stop us getting home quickly and to make money off of us. Or so the Daily Mail would have us believe. Perhaps, just perhaps, they are put in place to ensure the safety of us, other drivers and pedestrians. After all, it is pretty important that you drive slowly around schools and village centres. Yes, I do think that they make a tidy penny out of it, but those who are caught speeding always say the same thing; “why don’t the police spend their time catching real criminals?” Well, like it or not. If you speed, you are breaking the law and if you break the law, you are a criminal. Everybody speeds at some point, but you are aware of the risks. If you speed, you can get slapped with a fine, or you could crash, hit another car and kill someone. I know how extreme that sounds, but that is why the law is there. If you speed and hit another car or a pedestrian, the outcome will be far greater than a couple of points on your license. We know why we shouldn’t do it, but on occasions we do. I’d just like to hope that we do it sensibly; I don’t drive fast in villages or near schools etc. Plus, I don’t go dangerously fast, I only ever nudge the limit.

We walk through a town centre and there are video cameras tracking our every movement; again, our Orwellian friends would have you believe it was so that the government’s all Seeing Eye was trying to track down your every move. To be honest, I don’t think they are unduly upset that you are going into Primark or that you have had a dirty rendezvous with someone you shouldn’t. It is much more likely that it is those with criminal intentions; if you are planning a jewellery heist, then yes it is something to complain about. But in the event of an attack, I’d much rather there was video footage to aid any possible prosecution. This seems an unusually optimistic outlook for me, but I can’t really think that the government is interested in the minute of lives and even if they are, they might catch a criminal off the back of it, which is a bonus.

The average Briton likes to complain about these things from time to time, but it isn’t something that hugely bothers the majority of us. Perhaps we have an inkling that life aint to bad in good ol’ Blighty; afterall, my dad lives in the Middle East (which isn’t necessarily a reason why Britain isn’t so bad!) Anyway, I digress. The UAE has had massive difficulties of late with the surge of technology and smartphones. Apparently a lot of people who used iPhones and other smartphones in the UAE complained that their battery life was appalling; yes, I know, we all have the same problem. But it seems that we don’t; the reason their phones would not even last a day was because they were not the only people using their mobile internet. Essentially, the all seeing eyes of the oligarchy (for that, it definitely is) have been checking out what the general public use their phones for.

This didn’t go down so well with RIM, the manufacturers of Blackberry, who would not conform to these rules and regulations. So when the UAE made a move to ban the blackberry, all the juicy details spilled out. The reason that Blackberry don’t conform is because they have Blackberry Messenger, which unlike text messages, phone calls and emails, it cannot be tracked as it is sourced through another country. Fear not, RIM are aware of how big a market Dubai and it’s little brothers are, so they are working out how they can conform. But why does Sheikh Mo and his family see it as necessary to track what everyone is saying and doing? How many times have you drunkenly googled something like “the film where the bloke has a baby with Arnie in it”? These things have no significance to you, but for some reason you really want to know after the second bottle of wine. (It was Junior, by the way.)

Dubai is currently suffering from crippling debt and is being bailed out by Abu Dhabi; so why the hell are they presumably paying hundreds of civil servants a frightening sum of money to sift through all this banal and useless rubbish? I cannot even see how this is being done to protect anybody; I understand speed cameras and CCTV in town centres, even if I am not dead keen on them, but this? It smacks of something fishy to me.



(If you don’t see me again, you’ll know the all seeing eye has caught up with me…)