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Watching Big Brother Watch

(Cross-posted to Liberal Conspiracy)

The Sunday Times carries news of a civil liberties campaign being launched by the TaxPayers’ Alliance in October. TPA chief executive Matthew Elliott wants the campaign, called Big Brother Watch, “to become the central hub for the latest on personal freedom and civil liberty – a forum for information and discussion on something that directly affects British citizens in their everyday lives”.

In response, Spy Blog challenges many of the claims in Elliott’s article and asks:

“Why exactly should Spy Blog, or anybody else who cares about these issues, support Yet Another Campaign Organisation rather than existing ones like:

• the NO2ID Campaign,
• Privacy International,
• GeneWatch UK,
• Open Rights Group
• the Foundation for Information Policy Research
• Liberty Human Rights.”

It’s a good question, and one that is particularly pertinent to an organisation that every week rails against “non-jobs”.

Big Brother Watch’s choice of staff doesn’t bode well either. Elliott says it will be headed by Alex Deane, a barrister and former chief of staff to David Cameron, and “supported” by Dylan Sharpe, Boris Johnson’s press officer for his London mayoral campaign.

But while Elliott attacks the growth of CCTV and says the campaign will “use the legal system to help the man in the street fight injustice and regain his personal freedom”, Deane has used his ConservativeHome column to boast that “David Cameron was instrumental in the introduction of the network of CCTV cameras”, and was hardly brimming with concern over the tale of a Muslim family who were abused, detained and deported by immigration officers.

You can read more of Alex Deane’s musings here, including his views on legalising drugs (against), voluntary euthaniasia (against), the right to choose an abortion (against), and Simon Cowell (for).


Posted by Other TPA at 02:54pm on 6 September 2009
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