NO2ID News No. 104
14 August 2008
++ NO2ID AT THE PARTY CONFERENCES ++
Once again NO2ID will be holding fringe meetings at the party conferences taking place this year, which will take place in September/October. We will be holding a TUC fringe meeting in Brighton on Monday 8th September at the Brighthelm Centre, chaired by our Union Liaison Christina Zaba. We have a presence at the Green conference and our General Secretary, Guy Herbert, will be speaking at fringe meetings at the Liberal Democrat and UKIP conferences, both in Bournemouth. At the Conservative conference in Birmingham we have a stall (highly prized, now the Conservatives are widely seen as winners by lobbyists) on the Home Affairs day, and we will be at the Labour conference in Manchester.
Volunteers for all these events are needed. If you are available to help at one or other English Party conference please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the relevant NO2ID local group. If you can help at Scottish Party conferences please contact NO2ID Scotland (email@example.com), and we would be delighted to hear from people involved in Welsh or Irish politics (particularly the latter where our contacts need developing) – email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Today came as something of a relief. I have not succeeded, due to a number of distractions and research requirements, in progressing any further with the chapter outlines for We Are Watching, but last night I found myself telling my parents all about it — what I had so far, where I hoped it would go, why I wanted to write it and so on — and the simple act of speaking it, of hearing the story in outline form, rekindled the flame. With this kind of novel, there can be a tendency for it to sound a little silly in an unplanned oral presentation. But it stood up remarkably well. My parents, who are the perfect critics (direct and, yet, well aware that the novel will have a stronger plot foundation than a spoken outline) got it right away. A very productive conversation.
It also helped me see where I didn’t want to go with the story. In many respects, it is an allegory for the current surveillance situation in the UK — but I saw quite quickly that it is fairly vital that it remain an allegory. I do not want becoming a “government conspiracy” novel involving databases etc. All of that will be there, but as a subtext.
On the subject of government and databases, I today read with a mix of relief and scepticism that no decision on the giant database — intended to contain details of all phone calls, emails and Internet use — has yet been taken. More debate has been called for. Whilst reading this article, however, a piece of advice within it struck me as one worth repeating. It’s something many of us will have been aware of for a very long time, but it never does any harm to be reminded of such things.
“There will be more people look at your internet information than look at a postcard when you write it…”
Take care out there