Sunday, June 10, 2007

Defend the system, not the person

I think that Downing Street being closed to the public sends entirely the wrong message. It says big brother far more than it says open government.

The argument for the gates, which prevent the public getting near the heart of their government, is that Mr. Blair needs special protection (though the gates were installed by Mrs. Thatcher, before Mr. Blair came to be PM), but I feel that the gates are a massive and inapropriate overeaction.

Just how much of an overreaction? Well, ...

BBC NEWS | UK | Couple breach Downing St security

So two private indivduals, holidaymakers, wander onto Downing Street via an insecure government building are are arrested under the "Serious Organised Crime and Police Act".

How pathetic is that?

The system is valuable and worth protection, but the system is also robust and can survive the loss (in the most extreme and awful case) of an individial. I think the system is much more vulnerable to being undermined by overactions and secrecy and heavy handedness by those in power.

Mr. Blair, tear down those gates.

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