Philip Davis. Big disappointment.

Philip Davis, Conservative MP for Shipley and champion of freedom, writes about the need for CCTV and the DNA database.

For me, being a libertarian is an all or nothing philosophy. You can't just subscribe to the bits that you fancy and reject the bits you don't. Freedom means being free from the control of others and not trying to impose your control on others or interfere in any way with their lives.

Philip Davies, in his frankly backward take on freedom, suggests he should have a "Freedom not to be the victim of crime". He champions the DNA database and CCTV as a way of ensuring that right and he intends to fight against any restriction of them.

A right not to be the victim of crime? That is the stance of an authoritarian, not a libertarian.

A libertarian would argue for a right not to be monitored and controlled by the state when they have comitted no crimes. A libertarian would understand that crimes happen and take whatever possible steps to ensure they dont become a victim. They would certainly not cry to the state for intrusive measures that make everyone a suspect.

This arguement is made in the same vein as a non smoker. "What about my freedom not to breathe your cigarette smoke?". A Libertarian who disliked ciggy smoke would make a choice before entering a venue that allowed smoking.

CCTV watches everyone with impunity. It costs a fortune and doesn't have much of an impact on crime. If a crime is in progress, its much better to have a bobby in the area rather than sat watching a monitor.

Over reliance on CCTV is slowly taking us away from active policing. It is no deterrant to crime and it can't stop a crime in progress. A criminal knows they are unlikely to be recognised on camera. You can see that just by looking at the quality of pictures relaesaed on the news. They also know that if a CCTV operator calls the police, they will be long gone before any response arrives.

It is in a similar manner that over reliance on speed cameras has turned a, once enviable traffic police force into a brightly coloured team of tax collectors.

The DNA database is an even worse peice of hideousness. To keep someones DNA on a database when they have committed no crime is the ultimate tool of the authoritarian.

Mr Davies argues that having our DNA on a database would not affect us in any way. It certainly would not infringe our liberties and should be seen as no different to having an NI number.

Why would the police want to keep your DNA if you have not committed a crime? In case you do so in the future. That can be the only reason, so by definition, we are seen as possible criminals, not innocent people.

He suggests the use of DNA is restricted by legislation. I have never been willing to entrust anything to the state, no matter how secure they think they are.
Apparently, "If no further offences are committed there is no reason for anyone to be troubled again".
Really? I know I would be terrifed if my DNA was on file. We beleive that DNA is so infallable that if a mistake was made with yours, you would find yourself in prison before you could say Deoxyribonucleic acid.
DNA is not infallable. Mistakes happen . happen . happen . happen .

I worry about this more than I presume, others do. I have never committed an arrestable offence but I have been arrested without charge. Fortunately it was before the widespread taking of DNA. The Rt. Hon. Phillip goes on to suggest that DNA retention is actually good for individual liberty because it can be used to "Rule you out of a crime" "Protecting your real liberties".

There are many ways to rule someone out of a crime. The main one being lack of evidence due to being innocent. I would rather take the risk of not being ruled out on DNA evidence than the risk of being wrongly convicted on it.

If I was arrested again, I would be asked for my DNA. I would say no. What would happen? It would probably end up with me being held down and my DNA being forcibly taken. Is that protecting my liberties? I think not.

The main point to be made is that we cant whitewash over societies ills my monitoring and controlling everyone. Fighting crime is a long and arduous process that need to begin at the grass roots levels of society. Treating everyone as possible suspects is not the answer.
People need to understand that crime happens. They need to take this on board and take measures to ensure they do not become a victim.
What they do not need to do is cry to the government for more restrictive ways of wrapping them in cotton wool.

I'm sorry Mr Davies but I no longer see you as the freedom lover you profess to be.

2 Comments:

David A. Evans said...

Bucko said...