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04 February 2009 @ 05:19 pm
Death of Privacy  
Most people scream at mention of the Daily Mail but today their columnist, Melanie Phillips (more screams), wrote exactly what I thought last night, that we seem to be losing our right to privacy. Carol Thatcher has been banned from working for the BBC for a remark she made in private and a nurse has been suspended for offering to pray for a patient.

Once it was considered unacceptable - even malicious - to go behind someone's back and report them for saying or doing something which not everyone agreed with, but which did no harm. Now it seems we are watched, recorded and reported like citizens in a totalitarian state. At the same time anyone in the public eye has intimate details of their private life literally broadcast to the nation. I was at the dentist's today where the radio is on in the surgery to sooth both patient and staff with gentle music interspersed by news. We were given clinical details of Jade Goody's illness. Because we have no TV I'd never heard of her till now when she has become for me the unfortunate young woman likely to die soon of cancer. Isn't this going too far?
Trialiatrialia on February 4th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
Frankly, I would probably have reported the nurse if she'd asked me if I wanted her to pray for me! Of course it was probably meant well, but I wouldn't appreciate being made uncomfortable by feeling bad about refusing someone when they decide to bring their religion into it. I just don't want to know. If someone wants to pray for me, go ahead, just don't bother asking me or telling me about it and expecting me to be grateful...
Equity's Darling: Emotions » Think first!beachcomber on February 4th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Seriously? You'd report someone for offering to pray for you? That's a huge dick move.

We've got no Rights to privacy in this country anyway; but you've made a very interesting argument.

*sits back and watches thread*
(no subject) - trialia on February 4th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thisglasnost on February 4th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ijournaler on February 5th, 2009 10:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
molly!: skinstinboats on February 4th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
No, it isn't. Maybe the surveillance isn't great, but calling a black tennis player a 'Gollywog'? Unacceptable, in my eyes at least. Especially from someone in the public eye; If I overheard someone using a racist term like that, regardless of whether or not it was in private, I would be pretty offended (and I think if you are on TV or in the media you have a duty to be extra with what you say). Also, Jade Goody is a vile, racist ignorant little girl, who is milking her illness for all she can get; I don't mean I am not sorry she is suffering from such a terrible illness, I was quite recently effected by cancer, I just think that of the thousands of people suffering with cancer, why should it be such a big deal for her? Shouldn't she be promoting a positive view? Maybe raising money for Cancer Research or something? Surely if she is feeling that bad she shouldn't have a camera crew following her?

*gets off soapbox*
Equity's Darling: Political » Subversive teacherbeachcomber on February 4th, 2009 06:02 pm (UTC)
I think that the comment made by Carol Thatcher relate to issues of expression, whereas broadcasting the clinical details of Jade Goody's illness is an issue of privacy. I'm not sure they're strictly comparable, but think the move towards a totalitarian state is palpable.

But watch out; with a thread like this, the thought police might get us!
fiat_knoxfiat_knox on February 5th, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
There's an old anarchist saying: When surveillance becomes universal, do everything out in the open.

There is also an old Italian saying: Silence gives assent.

You know what to do.
✞The Rose Rocket Launcher: SQUIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISHpuddinchan on February 4th, 2009 06:04 pm (UTC)
I agree. I was once the subject of gossip, albeit on a smaller scale (my school). It was very annoying for everyone in my year to know that I had a detention. A lot of people in my year have little-to-no sense of privacy.

When we had a debate in class, I chose the topic of gossip magazines, and how little privacy people get nowadays. A lot of my comments were overshadowed by OMG IT'S SO GREAT TO GOSSIP, even if the teacher agreed with me.
molly!tinboats on February 4th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
Do these rules still apply to people who make their money from these magazines? Goody, Price and Hilton all thrive off the attention the get from glossy magazines.
(no subject) - puddinchan on February 4th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fiat_knox on February 5th, 2009 10:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
engorged lawyers: andi's collartaversham on February 4th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think the Carol Thatcher and Jade Goody situation are really comparable. For me, "I didn't think anyone would know" isn't a good excuse for anything, especially not racism. Even if she thinks it, she should know that it's not appropriate to say those sorts of things out loud.

Rather than being "caught out", like Carol, Jade Goody positively encourages press coverage of her illness, through the public nature of it's announcement, her thousand and one interviews on the subject, and her constant press releases. If someone's willingly selling their "Oh no, I have no hair anymore" post-chemo photos to magazines for thousands of pounds, then I don't see how their privacy is being infringed by a "totalitarian state".

(At least when Jade was caught being a racist she apologised rather than saying "I may be a racist, but what about you eavesdroppers"....)
Mat Bowlesmatgb on February 4th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
I agree. I also like the way the BBC refers to Clifford as her "spokesman" now. He used to be referred to as her publicist, it's what he does.

If she didn't want the story out there, it wouldn't be, I don't like Clifford, but he is the best in the business, the infamous "Freddie Starr ate my hamster" headline was done to distract attention from a different story, etc etc.

@OP: Because we have no TV I'd never heard of her till now

I'm amazed. No TV, or radio, at all? I didn't ahve a TV at all during the big brother fuss, but it was unavoidable. She lives by the sword, and wants her story known, it's how she makes a living.

As for your original point? Phillips is a blowhard. There are serious privacy concerns within modern society, but Thatcher, the nurse and Goody are terrible examples to highlight them, the nurse broke her terms of employment and had already been warned in the past to stop doing it, Thatcher's shown herself to be an ill informed racist not deserving to be in front of the camera and Goody is paying a publicist to get her story out there.

Best advice, ignore Mad Mel, she has that nickname for a reason.
(no subject) - ijournaler on February 5th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
Rustleafrustleaf on February 4th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I don't know the full story about the nurse, but it wouldn't surprise me if this was more of a case of a straw breaking the camel's back. I've worked for the NHS, it is not easy to fire some one. I had two members of staff whose terrible work created administrative clinical risks, and whose attitude was atrocious. We couldn't just bring them in and fire them, there was a set protocol to follow which included informal disciplinary meetings and formal disciplinary meetings. Their contract ended before we were able to get rid of them.

You have to do something pretty bad or do lots and lots of little things to be able to get fired (Or you might be fired as a scapegoat, which is usually the case if you are in management.)

While I don't think offering/asking to pray for some one should be an offense to get some one fired on it's own (unless is was done in a 'I'll prey for heathen soul' to some one who is an atheist or of a differing religion), I do think the ward manager should have a word with the nurse. Unless you know some one is overtly religious and of the same religion to you, it's best to be respectful and realise not everyone has the same beliefs as you. Some of the those people my even feel very sensitive if they are in a minority and have had to suffer intolerance through out their lives because of it.

But lets face it, the Daily Mail isn't known for giving all the facts, especially when those facts don't suit what ever agenda they are trying to push. Which is usually for whatever it thinks white, middle-class christians want to hear.

And gollywog? Really? I fully support the BBC in this. I do not feel sorry for her at all.

Rustleafrustleaf on February 4th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Just did a quick google, and apparently this nurse has been disciplined for this before.
(no subject) - eulipious on February 4th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rustleaf on February 4th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rustleaf on February 5th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re 'Does that make us even?' - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ijournaler on February 5th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rustleaf on February 5th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rustleaf on February 6th, 2009 11:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eullipia on February 6th, 2009 11:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rustleaf on February 6th, 2009 10:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eleanorb on February 4th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
eulipious on February 4th, 2009 06:44 pm (UTC)
The snitch on someone, politically correct, holier than thou thought police are swarming like bees . . . . . .

Such perfect people on this thread.

The BBC are totally hypocritical sacking Thatcher whilst keeping that slob Johnathan Ross on board.

But my oh my how sensitive everyone is becoming. If a nurse offered to pray for me I'd take it as an act of kindness, well intentioned and completely harmless.

I wonder if she would have been suspended if she had been Islamic. I somehow doubt it. We would have tolerated her difference - and not have risked the charge of inflamatory prejudice.

As for Carol Thatcher - I think she proves that she is dimwitted rather than racist. Her generation have quite fond memories of Golliwogs.

Jane Goody? A Self publicist of excellence.
molly!tinboats on February 5th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC)
You make political correctness sound like a big thing, maybe it is flawed, but I'd rather live in a world where people have to think about what they say rather than a racist one.

What about the "If you want a nigger for a neighbor, vote labour" campaign that was used in the 70s? That was only 40 years ago, and only 50 years ago we were still segregating buses, hotel, bars, restaurants.

Political Correctness Gone Mad seems to be the tag line for any Daily Mail columnist with nothing else to complain about.
Tolerance - ijournaler on February 5th, 2009 11:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 11:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
XIV_Gemina: Buttercupxiv_gemina on February 4th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
Death of Privacy
The Coroners and Justice Bill is currently in the process of going through Parliament.

It specifically empowers ANY Minister to decree (without Parliamentary influence) that ALL your private data be shared across any arm of Government that they wish. i.e. every facet of information about you that is held by ANY branch of Government - e.g. DVLA, NHS, Prison Records, Court records, Social Services, JobCentres - can (so will) be shared across EVERY organisation that is paid by the Government - including Corporate contractors.

It also contains a hodge-podge of other provisions that empower any future Government to remove citizens' rights, freedoms, privacy and liberties.
It is yet another in a line of badly-drafted Bills, designed to bury controversial measures among hundreds of other, unrelated proposals - with the aim of preventing Parliament from applying any scrutiny to them.
i.e. it is yet another attempt to pass Police State laws by 'stealth'.

Look it up on th'Interwebular tubez, then contact your MP about its nightmare provisions.

There's also the admission by Blair that the ID database would be partly funded by SELLING all of our personal data to any company that wants it.

I would also like to know the identity of the people who are pushing this b/s from within Whitehall.
It started in the early 1990's when Home Secreatary Michael 'something of the Night' Howard first proppsed a national ID database - so it is not a 'Labour' proposal, or a 'Tory' proposal - it's the wet dream of some unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

How many lost discs, lost memory sticks and lost/stolen laptops wil it take before the Database State idea is dropped?

In my opinion, the ONLY event that would stop the constant tide of this crap would be if the full personal details (contact, financial, criminal, health) of every MP, Cabinet member & Shadow-Cabinet member, and senior Civil Servant (AND the details of their children) were to be published on the internet and used specifically to sign them up for membership of aggressive religious Cults, opt-ins for 'marketing' schemes, etc.

THEN they might see the risks inherent in their ridiculous schemes.

And all of this is before we consider the track records (of huge budget over-runs and failure to delvier a workign product) of the handful of Corporate contractors that are large enough to bid for the job of building the databases.
eulipious on February 4th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
Re: Death of Privacy
At last a serious response.
Re: Death of Privacy - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 11:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 08:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - tinboats on February 5th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 06:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Later. - eulipious on February 6th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Death of Privacy - fiat_knox on February 5th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sharing our private data - ijournaler on February 5th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
eleanoreleanorb on February 4th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Surely, in the case of the nurse it's a matter of professionalism. You would not, as a professional, normally espouse your political or religious views to a customer or client - unless your profession was politician or priest.
slw2004slw2004 on February 5th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
Carol Thatcher made a racist remark which not only would have hurt people but would also have hurt the public image of the show she was on, leading (possibly) to loss of profits. If she had had any sense she would have not said anything. Because she's on TV.

Jade Goody has a reality show about her fight against cancer. I haven't seen it but in the adverts, if I remember correctly, she says that TV appearances and publicity are her only financial income (or her main one) and so it could, potentially, hurt her and her family if, for the sake of privacy and squeemishness, she wasn't allowed to make a money from it. If I remember correctly she wants to have money to leave for her children.

Now the Google thing, which I saw in the Metro today, that might bother me once I've had time to research it and get more sources.

Edited at 2009-02-05 11:38 am (UTC)
ijournalerijournaler on February 5th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. I have touched on the points you raise in some other replies. Thank you for the google link - it's very alarming and maybe, like the issues raised by m_ij above needs a separate entry.
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - slw2004 on February 5th, 2009 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eulipious on February 5th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scottindacity on February 8th, 2009 11:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
burn his wigacrorat on February 8th, 2009 11:39 am (UTC)
Privacy? GPS chip implants may be next!

I am incensed by the Big Brother attitude our country is displaying, and I'm a (fairly) apolitical middle-aged, middle-ground sort of person.
ijournalerijournaler on February 8th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Privacy? GPS chip implants may be next!
Thank you for this comment. I'm in agreement and feel strongly enough to have posted a new entry on the subject.