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Thread: London's Congestion Charge Two Years On

  1. #46

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    I think you'll find that a gulag is a forced labour camp; Britain has no such thing.

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    I think you'll find that a gulag is a forced labour camp; Britain has no such thing.

    Literally, the word GULAG is an acronym, meaning Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or Main Camp Administration. Over time, the word "Gulag" has also come to signify not only the administration of the concentration camps but also the system of Soviet slave labour itself, in all its forms and varieties. It was the branch of the State Security that operated the penal system of forced labour camps and associated detention and transit camps and prisons. While these camps housed criminals of all types, the Gulag system is primarily known as a place for political prisoners and as a mechanism for repressing political opposition to the Soviet state. It imprisoned millions. Dr John Reid MP was fully aware of all of this when in 1973 he decided that this was the ideology for him and he joined the communist party. He is now the second most powerful politician in the UK and responsible for imposing ID cards and the database state.

    More broadly, "Gulag" has come to mean the Soviet repressive system itself, the set of procedures that prisoners once called the "meat-grinder": the arrests, the interrogations, the transport in unheated cattle cars, the forced labour, the destruction of families, the years spent in exile, the early and unnecessary deaths. This for me, has resonances with the current “extraordinary rendition” and the series of named and suspected “detention” camps operated by the UK and US scattered, archipelago like, throughout the world.

    The connection between soviet gulags and congestion charging may seem a tenuous one; license plates on UK vehicles are to be equipped with RFID chips which can be read by sensors from a distance of 100 metres http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles...getchipped.htm
    But then so will each and every individual via ID cards. Behind both are vast government databases monitoring in minute detail, every aspect of the individuals life of which their vehicle movements are but one component. From these databases, government is able to surveil and control individuals. On TV there are government adverts which subtly threatens us with dark images and sinister music, giving the impression that even if you simply forget to renew your license or tax you are counted among the criminals and you will be treated as one. Taking their cue from stasi like operations, they even encourage us to shop each other in if we have any suspicions. "Turn in your friends and family, great prizes to be won!" The government maintains a database on who owns a TV, soon that will include computers and mobile telephones. Retailers are already required to furnish this information to the government.

    If you guys in America think this far-fetched, last week the United Kingdom Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) announced the location of the 69 interrogation centres around the country that will be used to interview first time passport applicants and later enrol people onto the National Identity Register(NIR). Government is looking all the time at what other kinds of data can be included to serveil us on top of the 40 data publicly announced including:-

    # Medical records
    # Tax details
    # Details of your children - to assist “tracing” them
    # Council tax debt
    # Confirming whether or not you have voted

    There was a 1960's cult series “The Prisoner”, in which a newly designated authority figure demand the character of Patrick McGoohan hand over information. The program was an attempt at forewarning against the accelerating relationship between science, technology, and tyranny, and how it would be used to enslave a docile population concerned only with mindlessness and convenience.

    The Village was a beautiful yet sinister enclave where residents were forcibly placed, kept and watched 24 hours a day by camera surveillance systems. The hierarchy of power was represented by a glowing pyramid with an all-seeing eye (check your dollar bill! lol) in the centre of The Village control room.

    Just as McGoohan was referred to as a number (six) and not a man in the village, so too will we get our own number with our ID card.

    The climax of the series saw McGoohan escape the prison of The Village and re-enter society only to discover that society itself was the prison and that, in his words, "freedom is a myth." Here we are 40 years on and it seems fiction has been surpassed by reality. A “virtual gulag”.
    Last edited by Marksix; May 16th, 2006 at 08:52 AM.

  3. #48

    Default Marksix?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    Just as McGoohan was referred to as a number (six) and not a man in the village, so too will we get our own number with our ID card.
    A “virtual gulag”.
    Permit me to digress for a brief question! Is the McGoohan charactor the reason for the (six) in 'Marksix' ............ and peharpe a play on Marxism!

    P.S. You have spurred my interest in watching the TV series "the prisoner"; as well as raising many other thought provoking ideas....thanks I greatly enjoy reading you posts. As also does - I would guess - Noam Chomsky.

    cheers mate
    Last edited by infoshare; May 16th, 2006 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by infoshare
    Permit me to digress for a brief question! Is the McGoohan charactor the reason for the (six) in 'Marksix' ............ and peharpe a play on Marxism!

    P.S. You have spurred my interest in watching this series; as well as raising many other thought provoking ideas....thanks I greatly enjoy reading you posts. As also does - I would guess - Noam Chomsky.

    cheers mate

    Doh! ya got me!

    I only wish I were that bright; in fact Marks one to five were mere prototypes but you have given me an idea - I shall adopt "I am not a number - I am a free man!" as my new signature and drop Michelangelo's "...I have never found salvation in nature. I love cities above all" forthwith. Or even sixthwith.





    Actually - that village really exists. It's Port Merrion in Wales near to Port Madoc (Porthmadoc) and one of the most beautiful places you can imagine. I have even stayed there for a weekend with my g/f and it is anything but free - almost £600 for two nights!!!!

    Remind me again who Naom Chomsky is...

    It was built by the famous architect Clough Williams-Ellis- looks like Italy - in reality is Wales

    http://www.portmeirion-village.com/en/index.php

    I just googled it - try this site if yoou are interested in the cult TV series:- http://www.portmeiricon.com/

    Also - you might like to see how the UK government's TV ads create the kind of environment the Stasi would be proud of in which they encourage each of us to report on our neighbours:-

    http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=30640
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    Last edited by Marksix; May 16th, 2006 at 03:37 PM.

  5. #50

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    Marksix - Indeed if you did you research about Reid, you'd know that he made a comment along the lines of: "I used to be a Communist. I used to believe in Santa Claus". The fact that you dismiss the fact that he left after two years after being disillusioned with the whole idea of the implementation of marxism highlights your flawed approach in trying degrade someone who probably is one of the more credible MP's around.

    Using the term gulag when describing the likes of Belmarsh is so flawed that it makes me laugh. The fact that you try to make a connection between one which forced people and their families to work to their death with a small selection of people that have security concerns is absolutely diabolical.

    And to top it off, you come up with a statement like this:
    "The connection between soviet gulags and congestion charging may seem a tenuous one"

    The reason there is a deadline to pay your taxes, tv licence, etc is so that government can function. If there wasn't people wouldn't bother paying their taxes, there wouldn't be the money for health, education, etc... Also you'd either have to be insanely stupid to 'forget' to pay taxes, considering you have all the documentation at hand - its up to you as an individual to pay those taxes and if you fail or forget then that is your fault: not that of the state who has given warning via adverts in the media to the exact date. So basically you're trying to say that its wrong to snitch on someone who isn't paying their taxes but is getting all the benefits that those taxes bring?

    I think you'll find that thats a far less intrusive procedure of being able to monitor those who pay their TV licence. If they didn't do that, we'd either have no BBC or every so often people would have to come around to check our TV and ensure that we have documentation to prove that we have paid: that would not only be inefficient but far more intrusive.

    Interrogation Centres? Again totally off the spot; you'll find that the reason for interview centres that is to stop fraud. Currently you could post for a passport with phoney pictures: you can't do that if you have to go through an interview to clarify that you are the person applying for the passport. This is how a lot of identity fraud takes place, this would go forward in reducing it.

    The irony is that you claim these to be part of some sort of police state: yet everyone knows about them: they are obvious, they aren't secretive.

    And now you refer to The Prisoner - I guess Star Wars will be next right?

    Also I think you'll find that the reason we have numbers for things like our credit cards, NI cards is because our names aren't unique. You couldn't for example have a list of people who have paid their NI by name, otherwise you'd have a problem with Mr John Smiths', confusing people and chasing those who may have paid and not chasing up those who haven't. We have our name, but numbers help identify us - not blank us out.

    I think the most troubling problem with you is not the fact that you seem to be blurting quotes from websites and others (and seem incapable of thinking for yourself), but the fact that you twist it all around to be something that it isn't. That is how totalitarianism takes hold: you spread fear that something is happening when it isn't, to fool the electorate into believing you and then ensuring that you cement your position in politics. You go on about Blair and others, but I'd actually fear more for my liberities if someone like you ever came to power.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    I think the most troubling problem with you is not the fact that you seem to be blurting quotes from websites and others (and seem incapable of thinking for yourself), but the fact that you twist it all around to be something that it isn't.
    ^
    my admitted ineloquence forces me in this instance to reply by yet again quoting (plagerising?) again another fictional work by someone who knew little about this subject:-

    "Parsons was Winston's fellow employee at the Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the thought police, the stability of the Party depended."

    G. Orwell "1984"

  7. #52

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    Marksix - I'm unsure whether you see the irony in referring to 1984, because by not replying to my points that I put forward you instead mock me for knowing more about government and politics in the UK than you do.

    By failing to debate, you prove my point that you show traits of totalitarianism - that somehow your beliefs are above everyone elses, even if they are totally wrong and ignorant of the situation and that those that question you are somehow fools.

    Quite simply, you don't want freedom, you wan't authoritative power and you want that by preying upon the fears generated by your illusions that we are somehow living in a free-less society. Go on about Blair and Iraq - but people like you are the really scary ones: people who won't take criticism, nor allow for others to question them.

  8. #53
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    Nick-Taylor/Ник – только, чтобы указать к Вам, что я изучил русский язык в течение трех лет, жил в Санкт-Петербурге и иметь много российских знакомых там, все, кто сделал так, чтобы личная семья испытала из фактов проживания в полицейском государстве. Я был также там в течение нападения на Белый дом. Я не имею никаких иллюзий о тоталитаризме – это пугает меня, и я буду бороться, это как русские наконец сделало – к смерти. Я сообщаю о дословных фактических, культурных и личных событиях того, что я вижу как угроза моему и ваши свободы. Я только надеюсь, что однажды Вы оцениваете принесенные жертвы и быть сделан позволить глупым людям как Вы существовать в свободе.

    (to native Russians – excuse my still poor skills in your beautiful language)


    Quoting from government’s own legislation, these are the actuality of ID cards in the UK:-

    The Home Secretary (Dr John Reid – former member of the Communist Party and believer in Santa Claus) can impose a requirement, under clause 5(4) of the Identity Cards Bill 2005, for applicants to attend at any specified place and time in order to have yet-to-be-determined biometric data sampled and “otherwise to provide such information as may be required by the Secretary of State”, with no requirement that the time and place — or the other such information — be reasonable, for example.

    Once an individual has been compelled to get a card, under threat of repeated £2500 fines for each occasion where the Home Secretary notified the individual of their compulsion, £1000 fines may be levied for forgetting to renew their card (see clause 9 of the act), or for forgetting to jump through hoops set by the Home Secretary in clause 5(4).

    In my own case – I will be ordered to attend India Buildings, Liverpool “enrolment centre” and asked a series of questions (i.e. interrogated) to provide 40+ pieces of information. Refusal to answer questions will result in £2500 each time I refuse to answer (again, clause 9 of the act). I will then be finger printed, photographed, have my iris scanned and probably, a sample of my DNA taken.

    The reality of totalitarianism came close to home to me today when less than two miles from my home, in the River Mersey a 500Kg world war two deep penetration bomb was found. One of thousands dropped from aircraft onto my city 60 years ago by a state who also had all of their citizens forcibly “enrolled” onto state registration schemes.

  9. #54
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    Default VeriChip

    this is guaranteed to wind Nick-Taylor up! VeriChip Corporation is a very interesting company. They have designed a RFID chip that can be imbedded into the body. About the size of a grain of rice, the device is typically implanted above the triceps area of an individual’s right arm. It responds to a remote reader which can correlate the user to information stored on a database for identity verification and is being marketed to medical institutions.

    The US government is looking at similar tech to be incorporated in compulsory ID cards to be carried by all US citizens, looking at the UK's example in particular.

    I'm not a religous person and some on here even call me paranoid (hi N-T) but religous leaders in the US have come out strongly against this tech speculating that it might be the fulfillment of a prophecy from Christianity, where each person is marked for an identification, by an evil government. This is one of the most famous passages of The Book of Revelation, a section of the Bible thought by some to be prophecies of the end times.

    "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. The number is six-hundred and sixty-six."

    According to a recent ABC News article, some of the people being implanted with this chip do, in fact get it in their right hand. Spooky or what? lol lol.
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    Last edited by Marksix; May 16th, 2006 at 03:49 PM.

  10. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    Nick-Taylor/Ник – только, чтобы указать к Вам, что я изучил русский язык в течение трех лет, жил в Санкт-Петербурге и иметь много российских знакомых там, все, кто сделал так, чтобы личная семья испытала из фактов проживания в полицейском государстве. Я был также там в течение нападения на Белый дом. Я не имею никаких иллюзий о тоталитаризме – это пугает меня, и я буду бороться, это как русские наконец сделало – к смерти. Я сообщаю о дословных фактических, культурных и личных событиях того, что я вижу как угроза моему и ваши свободы. Я только надеюсь, что однажды Вы оцениваете принесенные жертвы и быть сделан позволить глупым людям как Вы существовать в свободе.
    Why type in Russian? Why hide behind a foreign language? I thought there was meant to be transparency, but instead you type in Russian somewhere along the lines that you don't believe that there should be people like me in this world. That sounds an awful lot like you believe in a super-race that is consistent in only your opinion!

    You don't need to go to the River Mersey for evidence of totalitarianism - you're managing that yourself.

  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    Why type in Russian? Why hide behind a foreign language? I thought there was meant to be transparency, but instead you type in Russian somewhere along the lines that you don't believe that there should be people like me in this world. That sounds an awful lot like you believe in a super-race that is consistent in only your opinion!

    You don't need to go to the River Mersey for evidence of totalitarianism - you're managing that yourself.
    Nick, not everyone is like your typical Englishman; ie, only half fluent in one language.

    Why dont you try to use some Russian? Oh no, wait, you live in England SO EVERYONE must speak English right?

    When William landed 1000 years ago, everyone spoke French. Would you have objected then too were you alive?

    I can give you directions to the nearest library, if you need them, but there are many russian resources online. Good luck!

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum
    FLAME FLAME FLAME FLAME!

    GT, you did not have anything to say ON THE SUBJECT, so just stay out of it, K?

    If you want to start a flame war, go somewhere else.

  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge
    GT, you did not have anything to say ON THE SUBJECT, so just stay out of it, K?

    If you want to start a flame war, go somewhere else.
    Touche sir.

    Since when does the suggestion of learning a new culture constitute a flame war...

    My contribution to Nick:

    1. Englishmen and women should get out of their beloved cars (which are actually "couches on wheels" for them) and use their not bad public transport (but which is probably not quite as developed as New York, Moscow, Hong Kong or Tokyo public transport) - check out the double decker trams in Hong Kong - they rock!

    2. While sitting on the metro, tramvaj, autobus etc, the English could actually learn another language using a discman, ipod or a plain and simple textbook.

    3. Result = smarter englishmen, thinner englishmen, less cars on the roads, no need to pay congestion tariff to the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

    Nick, I'd suggest that you start with Magyar (Hungarian), it's by far and away the easiest language.

    G.K.T.
    Last edited by Gregory Tenenbaum; May 17th, 2006 at 12:27 PM.

  14. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum
    Touche sir.

    Since when does the suggestion of learning a new culture constitute a flame war...
    Dont play dumb Greg, you know you were baiting. And I am not playing. Have fun!
















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  15. #60

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    Touche Sir.

    But it was more suggesting an Englishman learn a language than it was baiting.

    Here's why the colonials have shown the white man a thing or two.

    http://www.thingsasian.com/goto_arti...icle.2865.html

    Two big thumbs up to Hong Kong.

    And the underground in Hong Kong is the cleanest I've ever seen, every time I go there.

    There's a station in central Hong Kong (Admiralty Station) which has airport style check in counters for all of the airlines where you can check in your luggage even the day before your flight - they transport it to the plane. I've never lost any luggage and have done this several times. This is especially good for the traveller from the UK because Nick we know from your fellow countrymen in New York just how much you all love to shop!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_Express_%28MTR%29

    One way trip on the train costs about 8 English Pounds Sterling.

    Then you can just relax in the centre before heading out to the airport on the train yourself. It's quite amazing and beats the Paddington Express by a mile (or several).

    And by the way, Hong Kong has one of the world's most amazing airports, even better than the old one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:HKG_HongKong.jpg

    So no congestion in Hong Kong. Also Nick, Hong Kong taxis can take you for about 10 minutes anywhere for about 2 pounds. That's about 10 times cheaper than London cabs. I usually take a 10 minute trip from Mid Levels down to Wan Chai district and it costs me no more than 15 Hong Kong Dollars - which is only the flagfall!

    Usually I never have to wait more than 1 minute anywhere in Hong Kong to hail the distinctive red cabs.

    With trams, underground and cheap taxis, No wonder no one in Hong Kong needs to drive their portable couches from one Tescos to another.

    Perhaps Nick you could learn Cantonese instead of Hungarian. Hong Kong is more space age than London, a city of people who want to be transported everywhere on their couches on wheels, notwithstanding their reasonably good public transport.

    And I didn't mention the escalators, yes that's right, escalators (800 metres in total) - which take you from central to Mid Levels (1/2 way up the Peak), the buses, and the ferries (for Kowloon to Hong Kong trips).

    Also, in the centre of Hong Kong there are a series of walkways between almost all of the major buildings which are elevated one story above street level.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Elevated_Walkway

    I guess the average Hong Kong commuter could say "Colonial Power, B*tch".
    Last edited by Gregory Tenenbaum; May 18th, 2006 at 06:04 AM.

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