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Archive for April 1st, 2009

UK “citizens” to be known as “suspects” from July 1st

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From The Independent

Civil liberties campaigners have condemned as “chilling” UK government plans to replace the term “citizen” with “suspect” on all passports and driving licences from July 1st.

The amendment was one among a number of changes approved by MPs last week as part of the controversial Coroners and Justice Reform Bill, which will also increase data sharing between government departments, and allow some inquests to be held in secret.

A Home Office spokeswoman, who asked not to be named, told the Independent that staff will be working around the clock to ensure that the changes are implemented smoothly. UK passport and driving licence holders will be asked to begin handing in their documents within the next few weeks.

The Home Office insists that the change enjoys broad public support, and merely formalises a policy that the government has been operating in practice for several years.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of the British public. This vital amendment clarifies our relationship with the people we are working so hard to protect, and will enable us to streamline our intelligence-gathering activities. Those raising questions clearly do not understand the nature of the threat we are facing.”

Update – 2nd April 2009 – As readers may have deduced, this article is somewhat less than wholly accurate, but perhaps it’s just a matter of time…

Written by Richard Wilson

April 1, 2009 at 11:00 am

Don’t Get Fooled Again now available in paperback

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dgfa-paperback

I’m pleased to say that Don’t Get Fooled Again is out in paperback today and is available now from Amazon. The book looks at why it is that time and again, intelligent, educated people end up getting fooled by ideas that turn out on closer examination to be nonsense – from everyday high street scams to stock market bubbles and media spin, to the political delusions that led to the Iraq war and all that came with it.

Don’t Get Fooled Again has previously featured in The Guardian here and here, and you can also read online reviews here, here and here.

Written by Richard Wilson

April 1, 2009 at 6:00 am