Monday, 23 March 2009

The One That Says They've Got It Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. . .

The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust has released a document about the 'database state'. The report opens with a preamble detailing the loss of data by HMRC and goes on to make the claim that many of these Government databases are illegal.

You'll get no argument from me on that point.

What is disappointing is the way that these charities always have to have an angle. I don't know much about the Joseph Rowntree Trust as a whole, other than the fact that they have many strings to their bow, I know nothing of their funding nor their political affiliations or leanings.

It is heartening to see that they have decided to speak out against this mania for measuring, recording and controlling every facet of our lives, but they haven't half gone about it in a half-arsed way.

They've spoken about how these databases present a danger to young black men, single parents and children. Well, yes. That's correct, but why pick on the dog-whistle groups? These databases and the appalling security record of the public sector in the field of data security pose a danger to every single one of us.

Come on, use your brain, this paternalistic and patronising attitude has to stop if there is to be any credibility about your report. Don't fall into the Righteous trap, speak out for all of us, not just those who you feel are incapable of speaking out for themselves. I am neither black, a child, nor a parent, single or otherwise. Were it not for my civil liberties interest, I would have looked at these headlines and decided 'Doesn't apply to me, not interested, next.'

If the headlines said that this poses a threat to you, no matter who you are, you'd find interest was much higher.

Perhaps if we spent more time focusing on what binds us together rather than that which seperates us, we'd have a much more cohesive voice. It is in the interests of the status quo for our differences to be pointed out and amplified at every turn.

Must do better.

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