Once was a time when the Samizdata blog provided some useful food for thought. Of course I have never found much to agree with their ultra-libertarian, anarcho-capitalism nor their silly swastika on the flag approach to the EU, but at least the blog did provide a taste of what the leftovers of hardcore Thatcherism were thinking.
And it is always good to ask yourself, whether on the right or the left, how much power we want the state to have. Samizdata has always asked that question – even if their answer was always the same.
But recently I have noticed the blog has been drifting off into the realms of paranoia and fantasy.
The perfect example is today’s post on the plans for a smart card season-ticket system on the London underground – the Oyster card. The idea is that you won’t need to mess with tickets in the machine and that queues will be reduced and people will move around the city much easier.
Maybe that is not all it is about though, Samizdata say:
But could we add another possible aim, to be exploited more fully by a future police state?
Please do. I’m sure the passengers on the Underground are already wondering what the future police state are going to do with their season ticket.
If you tied up the surveillance cameras on the Tube and the rest of central London, with the Oyster card, then linked the card to the congestion charge system, and made the card the only available means for accessing the remaining state-driven transport ‘services’, you’d have the almost perfect system for keeping tabs on everyone’s movements in and out of the capital.
Course you would.
But what is worse the future police state is going to take advantage of our gullibility in front of market forces.
Strangely for free-marketeers, Samizdata now see discounts in the marketplace as being a cynical tool to be used by the future police state who it appears may have infiltrated London transport:
And with very large cost reductions, for taking up the Oyster card, many are sure to sign up to it.
Not if they treasure their liberty and freedom they won’t. I’m getting rid of my mobile phone right now. Who knows that the future police state will do with the tracking technology?
The author then gives us a glimpse of what might lay behind his fears:
Now it’s probably my own acute sense of Orwellian paranoia which makes me agree….. that there could be more to this than meets the eye-in-the-oyster.
Could be pal, could be.
I’m not really sure what his sign off is all about though:
But why is it socialists always seem to hanker after policies which march in parallel with the delusional police-state thoughts of evil individualist-hating men?
What I want to know from Samizdata is – what is the truth about black helicopters?