London cops reach new heights of anti-terror poster stupidity

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200 Responses to “London cops reach new heights of anti-terror poster stupidity”

  1. Bender says:

    What exactly is going on over there? Are citizens talking much about this kind of thing? Laughing? Or just quietly going about their days as they’re penned in?

    I mean, this kind of big brother thing is being tried everywhere, but it seems that maybe they’re leading the way.

  2. imipak says:

    @Takuan, #113: I missed that; gots a link?

    The recursive irony is that the Labour government is getting a thorough thrashing from the reactionary tabloid press for “Big Brother” activities in a way that smells (to this armchair politico) very similar to the way the walking corpse of the Major government [1992-97] was doused with a bucket of tar labelled “sleaze”. I think the high-profile, big-ticket projects like the ID cards scheme, the ludicrous national database of messaging traffic metadata (web URLs, email subject lines, POTS phone call initiator/receiver numberstories have been using them as sticks to beat the) and (hopefully!) the NHS CfH slow motion car crash are deadmeat. We already know they won’t work, anyway, and the Tories have been using them as sticks to beat the govt. with for several years now. Ergo, when they get into office, those projects will be canned.

    The interesting thing to see will be how deep this radical new approach to personal privacy and state surveillance will run, once the Bullingdonite-Majorist clique of the Cameron Tories get into power. Once the high-profile foul water’s pumped out, how much will never drain back into the sewers it backed up out of in the first place? Perhaps the answer is to boot them back out of office after, say, a year in power — just enough time to cancel the most egregious projects under way now, and not enough time to think of new ones of their own.

  3. Big Ed Dunkel says:

    “Keep Calm & Carry On … And Maybe You Can Get Nominated for “Outstanding Lead Performance in an CCTV Surveillance Video”.

  4. israfelli says:

    Anytime I’m depressed about the trashing of our civil liberties here in the USA, all I have to do is read about what’s going on in England, and I don’t feel so bad.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why not just cut to the chase and tag this thread of posts “News from Airstrip One”?

  6. travis08 says:

    I think signs like this are mostly disregarded by adults, but I also tend to think its the children that are being targeted. Couple that with metal detectors at school, and imagine what a good citizen a child that grows up with information like this all around them will become.

  7. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Terrorism sucks, but having been woken up this morning by an earthquake, I wonder why it gets to be the poster child for All Bad Things. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, you don’t see signs everywhere telling you to get under the bed if the cat starts acting weird. People in tornado country or hurricane-prone areas don’t spin in circles, watching the sky and calling the National Weather Service to report non-cumulus clouds. Terrorism has turned into the Jan Brady of disasters, not any more special than other disasters, but desperate for attention.

  8. Anonymous says:

    guy fawkes day, anyone?

  9. Bevatron Repairman says:

    Ugh. Turn in Gramps and Get Some Stamps!

    Hardly breaking new ground to say this is just to create a culture of ratting out anyone and anything. Eventually, the government will think of a coherent (which is not to say reasonable) target – smokers, folks who drink more than three pints of beer, folks who don’t always separate their whites and colors – so they really, truly oppress people.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just printed these out and posted them on my cubicle wall next to my phone. Beware of your coworkers!

  11. Dan says:

    #10, I assumed they were parodies too. They are so ridiculously, over-the-top paranoid that they read like an 8th-grader’s parody of “1984.”

    That these are real (!) is depressing beyond measure.

  12. angusm says:

    “Join your local Stasi”.

  13. Bloodboiler says:

    So I should train London cells not to throw away chemical containers and discretely map CCTV cameras. Good to know.

    I kid of course. I’m not a terrorist.

    I just train them.

    Bad joke. Sorry. I’m kidding.

    Or am I?

    BLAST!

    (Stewie Griffin reference)

  14. Alan says:

    Why would a terrorist who’s about to blow himself up care about CCTV cameras? And if London doesn’t want people looking at the CCTV cameras, then why aren’t they hidden? Oh, wait, that’s because they want people to know they’re being watched. For their own protection. Sorry, I forgot.

  15. Gutierrez says:

    “Keep calm and carry on.”, I thought HRH said that. Isn’t opposing a royal degree treason?

  16. MrsB says:

    For all that photographing the police is now illegal, I saw an officer posing with a couple of (young, pretty, female) tourists outside my house the other day.

    I think I’ll go & look at the CCTV camera outside my workplace, though it’s apparently never switched on so no-one will ever know…

  17. Frank W says:

    I wonder how the police will react when I start reporting B&Q, Wickes, Sainsburys and all the local hardware stores for supplying bomb making materials and funding terrorism.

    Actually, that’s a plausible course of action against this madness, if only taken up by enough people. Seriously mess with the signal-to-noise ratio. I just loooooved the Holy Hand Grenade scare.

  18. Jenna says:

    Yep. That clinches it.

    The UK gets zero of my tourism dollars. I’m calm, whitey, christianey, and all things non-terrorist, and I don’t want to ever set foot there now.

    When did the UK actually become the damn comic books??

  19. P1rat3 says:

    I was living in Islington for the 7/7 tube/bus bombings in London. I remember everybody walking home in long lines from Kings Cross to the Angel from work that Thursday.

    On Friday night, when we all could have stayed in and worried about terrorists around every corner and in every garbage bin, the people I spoke to and met were all of the mind to say “Fuck fear. Let’s all go out for a pint and show them that we’re not going to succumb to irrational hysteria”.

    I miss that. What are people going to do when the Government/Police are going batshit crazy with posters like this?

  20. Ferenczy says:

    My friends!

    I invite you all to Norway :)
    Not only are we relatively “free” of the fascist regimes, but we also have a governmental institution to prevent that stuff. You actually have to get a permit, and it is not easy to obtain, to put up any sorts of cameras. if they are present there have to be signs saying so, and it is really limited what you can use the footage for :) As some of the things.
    And – health care would be free :)

    You can stay at my place if you want!

  21. sqgl says:

    Interpol’s chief Ronald Noble says:

    “border officials are not checking the passports of all visitors against Interpol’s database of 7,000,000 lost & stolen passports. Only 17 countries in the world electronically check all visitors’ passports against the the database. They include Switzerland, France, Spain and the countries of the Carribean, but not Australia or the UK.”

    Click here for full radio interview audio or transcript.

  22. Rezpect says:

    I think they are perhaps a bit hyper-vigilant because, in the UK, for the past 30 years at least, shit blows up a lot.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Seriously – what is wrong with people in the UK ?

    You are a danger to freedom _the world over_. You are lowering the bar for everyone in the free world.

    Once all of the money that can be made wiring up the UK is made, those firms will turn to other markets.

    Quit lying down for this crap, brits!

  24. coffeemoon says:

    “Keep Calm and carry on” was reserved for the possibility of invasion though. The now infamous posters where printed and stashed, but not seen in public. The level headed response was:
    “Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might”

  25. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    But Cory…can you provide some context for me as I do not live in London…how seriously do people take this? Are people generally amused and united in their thinking that this is nuts? Or are they taking these requests seriously? What percentage of the people are outraged v. people who would actually report on a neighbor’s garbage?

  26. jpusel says:

    What about the public health hazard of going through trash…or is disease transmission not a threat anymore?

  27. RyanMcFitz says:

    I wanted to make a V for Vendetta reference but was beaten to the punch.

    I’d like to second Bender’s question. Can any UK BoingBoingers tell me if this even provokes conversation? Is there any undercurrent of “enough is enough?”

  28. Greeny says:

    It defies logic. I mean… just think about it for a moment… why would you advertise to terrorists what they’re NOT supposed to do?! I had a rant at work about these posters this morning – and I was surprised at the antipathy of everyone. The general attitude was that there’s nothing sinister about them – rather, it’s just a friendly ‘neighbourhood watch’ message. Are people in this city (London) completely stupid?! Stalin… Mao… the Third Reich… the UK Government has been taking lessons from the best in how to divide and conquer through fear, panic and paranoia. F*cked up the economy? Dont worry – distract everyone with a bit of fear; they’ll fall into line like dumb, docile sheep.

  29. Anonymous says:

    why the statement about this being in London? It’s national.

  30. xaxa says:

    I don’t have time for the photoshop, but these posters are asking for one. Perhaps they could be printed out carefully and put on the tube in place of the real thing?

    The top one should be “By overfilling your bin you risk a £75 fine.” and in smaller letters the “Don’t bin it, recycle it!” slogan.

    I’ll leave the second one to someone else. I hope the people in the picture aren’t planning a protest without authorisation. Especially the under 16s, it might be curfew time!

  31. imipak says:

    Anecdote: the CCTV in my local small market town have been covered with black plastic bags secured with gaffer tape for a year or two now. I just spotted a petition by the till in the local hardware shop… “Bring back our CCTV! Protect local people and businesses!” (Note, this is a small, family-run shop, not one of the big DiY chains.) A Google images search doesn’t turn up any pictures, but did find this article from the local paper about a public meeting to discuss it. “…Superintendent Johnson and Inspector Boycott of Gwent Police, both of whom emphasised that, whilst they would obviously prefer to have CCTV available to them as an additional tool, they would nevertheless ensure that their officers worked diligently to deliver the quality of service that the public deserved with or without CCTV cameras.”

    Inspector Boycott. Heh.

    Anecdote != data, of course.

    I doubt any mass campaign to flood the system with bogus messages would work – it’d probably be illegal to organise such a thing, anyway – but something tells me the signal:noise ratio resulting from such campaigns for curtain-twitchers are pretty abominable, anyway.

  32. DeathBoy says:

    Yes, but we don’t actually give a toss.

    Compare and contrast how the government and media reacted to the tube bombings, versus how Londoners in general did.

    The populace was the very picture of “Keep calm and carry on”, despite the shrieking monkeys encouraging us to go ahead and be terrified like good little drones that need protecting.

    I’m sure it won’t be long before Mark Thomas organises a protest in which we all report our next door neighbour for something ridiculous, to flood their switchboards and turn it into a laughing stock.

    Our administration may be corrupt and manipulative, but the man on the street is no more easily cowed than we’ve ever been.

  33. Thebes says:

    So, crack down on photography in public.
    Unless its by the government.
    Then make empty photochemical containers as sign of terrorism?

    How fucked up is that? Orwell was an optimist.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I am curious. Did anyone in England read 1984?

  35. reginald says:

    #18
    let’s not get too carried away

    #25
    or circa 1605 – fails to?

  36. merreborn says:

    #30: If you want to doctor the actual signs, you’d only need to print out the text part, which could then be placed over the text on the original.

  37. Loafer says:

    I was back in the UK in January and walked round open mouthed everytime I heard a recorded announcement about the dangers of this that and the other at the airport, on the underground, at the train station. I found it really really creepy that people needed to be reminded of things constantly, it’s a kind of brainwashing.

  38. Phikus says:

    Because of the diligence of ordinary concerned citizens like you, no Monty Python props or Dalek pieces were found in the vicinity of these photos. Thank you for helping to create a silly-free future for the UK.

  39. Ceronomus says:

    If you suspect something, report it…that is just common sense. Too bad this ad campaign doesn’t have common sense examples…

    “This house wasn’t burglarized because a neighbor reported a man in a ski mask prowling the neighborhood,” is a good example.

    “Something in your neighbor’s house could kill you,” is not.

  40. xaxa says:

    Secret life of plants: most people will ignore it. A few will laugh at it. I don’t think anyone will take it seriously.
    Probably a few people will be unnecessarily scared by it.
    Maybe, just maybe, it will convince someone to tell the police about someone who is planning an attack. I don’t know. It’s very unlikely anyway.

    Ryanmcfitz: I don’t like it, but then I’m reading BB so not a normal UKer/Londoner. More and more stuff is being questioned though, especially in the last year. We’ll have to wait and see whether any of the main newspapers pick up on this (or someone could write in?)

    Previous posters: http://www.wired.com/politics/security/news/2002/11/56152
    http://po-ru.com/diary/watch-your-neighbour/

  41. apoxia says:

    I suspect the base-rate of actual terrorist attacks is quite low, and yet this ad campaign makes it seem that terrorist activity is all around all the time. The UK is starting to look like the US.

  42. GeoffreyT says:

    @ NELSON.C – the fact that not a single one of he neocons ‘intelligentsia’ HAS been assassinated, is prima facie proof that ‘al Qaeda’ is the latest incarnation of Emmanuel Goldstein – i.e., that it is fictional.

    (As an aside, I find it mildly ironic that Orwell clearly meant to imply that the chimeric global villain was a ‘red sea pedestrian’, but now it’s an Arab…).

    As I have written elsewhere, the average middle-level HAMAS and Hizbullah operative has to pass every single day of his life knowing that he has a target on his back. They are ‘offed’ with reasonable regularity.

    However Wolfowitz, Perle, Ledeen, Yoo, Bybee, Addington, Bolton, Feith, Wurmser, Kristol… these and others – NONE of whom have SS details – continue to make public appearances without the slightest hint of being replaced by a smoking crater. They face less risk than the average Palermo anti-Mafia judge.

    There are only two possible conclusions to draw:

    (1) al Qaeda does not exist; or

    (2) al Qaeda is MUCH less ‘hard core’ than Mossad, Shin Bet, the CIA/DIA/JSOC, and Cosa Nostra.

    The ‘blend’ of these two – that al Qaeda does not exist in a form that is capable of doing harm to the ‘highest value’ UNGUARDED targets of its opposition – should be ignored as being coterminous with (1): if they are unable to inflict damage on UNGUARDED targets who directly influence their enemy’s strategy, how on earth have they the capability to organise three simultaneous bombings?

    Anyway … don’t despair: one iron law of economics is that once externalities develop real economic significance, they get internalised. A market already exists to provide disincentives to tyranny… although at this stage it concentrates (perforce) in markets where the cost of government corruption is already perceived as very high.

    Jim Bell called it “Assassination Politics” – a dumb name guaranteed to attract the armed thugs of the state (which it did – he is in jail).

    The idea survives – a ‘liberty pool’ where people place double-encrypted pseudonymous wagers as to the death (or mutilation) date of some or other cog in the machinery of tyranny.

    He whose bet is correct gets the pot (again, pseudonymously), with a penalty function if bystanders are injured.

    Mid-level ‘enablers’ are the best targets, since they are not ‘True Believers’ and thus respond well – i.e., do their jobs with less alacrity – if they become aware that they can become a target (of non-lethal force, as befits flunkies).

    The ‘penalty function’ is to encourage genuine precision, because ‘collateral damage’ is indefensible. When political parasites try to do each other in, the result is generally widespread destruction of innocents – 200 million in the pissing contests of the 20th century (and 2-3 hundred million more injured). Imagine where we would be if the trillions of man-hours wasted had been used productively.

    Those who think that the Stte exists to serve the polity – grow up. The State is the offspring of the feudal system: you are their livestock.

    You might imagine you’re slightly ‘free range’ relative to a medieval serf, but compared to a serf you’re millions of times MORE likely to die when political parasites have periodic turf wars. The next step after “free range’ is not freeDOM – it is the slaughterhouse.

    To rephrase Jefferson (removing references to imaginary sky wizards and racist nationalism) – I have sworn eternal enmity against every form of tyranny, and understand that the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants.

    I’m a firm believer in the Golden Rule, but once an institution behaves as if it thinks we have a contract that I never signed but that it can alter at its whim, all bets are off. It is implicitly threatening us, since non-compliance with government edicts leads, in extremis, to death.

    Government lives solely through the threat of violence – backed, in democracies, by indirect ‘representation’ which rests on the fiction of plurality, which in turn is just mob rule: at least Saddam Hussein had the guts to be a tyrant openly – McBroon pretends he’s part of something nicer, but those who DIDN’T vote for Liebour MASSIVELY outnumber those who did.

    I have more respect for the church (both CofE and the Micks), since they only perpetrate fraud: they survive through voluntary contributions from people silly enough to believe their hogwash. They used to threaten violence for non-compliance, but they aren’t able to any more. The State will reach that point eventually, at which point massive reprisals against government goons are warranted.

    Cheers

    GT

  43. larsrc says:

    #9: Won’t *somebody* please plaster London with that poster?

    Also:

    Just one piece of information could be vital in helping disrupt terrorist planning and, in turn, save lives.

    Just one piece of misinformation could be vital in helping disrupt innocents daily behaviour and, in turn, destroy lives.

  44. Phikus says:

    “Terrorism has turned into the Jan Brady of disasters, not any more special than other disasters, but desperate for attention.”

    Antinous, that sentence is so full of goddamn win it knocks my socks off!

  45. Chevan says:

    >are amateur chemists
    I think that one’s actually illegal. And if it’s not (don’t know British laws), it’s not a very good idea.

    I know most chemical supply companies make it pretty hard for individuals to acquire their stuff.

  46. 13strong says:

    “I don’t have time for the photoshop, but these posters are asking for one. Perhaps they could be printed out carefully and put on the tube in place of the real thing?”

    I was thinking more of a photo of the police bursting (without warrant) into the home of a British Muslim, beating him senseless, smashing up his possessions, and then carting him off to be held without charge for months on end.

    The script on the right hand side could read:

    “These police won’t be disciplined, dismissed or charged with assault, because the government doesn’t care about human rights.

    Don’t rely on the government.
    If you want it, fight for it.”

  47. puckman says:

    Love the first comment so created a satirical image of it.

    Terrorist Parents

  48. GeoffreyT says:

    Note to all – no doubt you have seen Mark Thomas’ “Stop and Search” card.

    If Britain is a nation of laws, why isn’t Blair on trial in the Hague? British government killers have participated in a slaughter five times as great as the over-estimate of the deaths attributable to Milosevic & Karadjic (I’m no friend of those two either: like all state tools they ought to have a ‘Brick Top’ moment – i.e., be fed to pigs).

  49. Anonymous says:

    With all of these things going on around us, very few seem to care. Where’s the old strong-hearted British spirit?

    In other words, WHY isn’t anyone out on the streets complaining about this situation?

  50. Anonymous says:

    Of course, during the Blitz everyone the authorities were remotely suspicious of was rounded up and interned.

    Are you sure that’s the era you want to hark back to?

    S.

  51. Florsie says:

    This is very close to “Report all Illegal Immigrants” from Children of Men

  52. Antony Bennison says:

    @XAXA

    “I don’t have time for the photoshop, but these posters are asking for one. Perhaps they could be printed out carefully and put on the tube in place of the real thing?”

    A quickie photoshop from me: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonybennison/3382573086/sizes/l/

  53. Anonymous says:

    and as a corollary to “is anyone talking about this?” is “is there anyone who is writing/phoning/emailing/faxing/sending smoke signals their elected officials?”

    I can cluck sympathetically, and display a sharp intake of breath, but since I don’t like in the UK and am not a resident/citizen in the UK, the elected officials could give a toss what I think — and to be fair, I have no right to voice my opinion as I am on the outside — a virtual curtain-twitcher, some might say.

  54. gnosis says:

    Where is Harry Tuttle?

  55. 13strong says:

    The police in my area (Brighton) currently have a poster campaign that mimics the “Keep Calm & Carry On” posters (everyone’s at it).

    I can’t find an image of it online, but needless to say the sentiment isn’t exactly true to the original.

  56. mstoddard says:

    No one likes a tattle tail.

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is double-plus ungood.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Please, is there not a petition against this kind of lunacy? It IS the kids that this is aimed at, totally and utterly separated from their parents ideologies, drip feed by the media and the government with ever fewer genuine sources of reason and historical fact.

    The good intentions of the few are transformed like chinese whispers behind layers of bureaucracy in a kind of clever “ad agency” blue-sky-forget-about-the-consequences fashion. Soon we’ll be reporting on our parents, mirroring a not so far away country’s past dictatorship.

    If we have no voice now we will never have one. Making it illegal to photograph police means they can almost totally prevent photography by posting them around a building. Illegal to shout abuse at soldiers means we are unable to object in their presence depending on the ever loose use of the term “abuse”.

  59. Anonymous says:

    i put all my bomb making rubbish in someone else’s bin.

  60. Stephen says:

    My first response is a sort of shocked amusement. But this may actually BE the nightmarish 1984 scenario it appears and not just some silly nonsense. “Don’t look at the cameras,” is serious crazy.

  61. catastrophegirl says:

    eventually all the good little boys and girls will join [gordon] brown’s youth and turn their parents in for talking to foreigners and keeping cleaning supplies in the house.

  62. Loafer says:

    “These shampoo bottles won’t be going on a plane today because they exceed 100ml”

  63. Angstrom says:

    Funnily enough, us UKavians will need a hell of a lot more brainwashing than our crappy government can afford to throw at us. As has been mentioned, our usual response to being shot at, blown up and proselytised at is: “whateva!”

    One of our few merits is that we are are not easily riled by this fantasy scaremongering stuff.
    Yep, some people do want to kill us for ‘electing’ such a crappy government, but we are more likely to be run over by a bus. So, I would like to take this opportunity to say “whateva!”

  64. sqgl says:

    Oh… the point of my earlier comment was the implication that if the authorities were serious about terrorism then they would at least check at borders if passports were lost or stolen. But no, it seems they are more interested in instilling fear their own citizens (so that they can get more funding, as Cory Doctorow intelligently implies in the BoingBoing article).

  65. mgfarrelly says:

    Dear Britain,

    During the Blitz an American Newsman named Edward R. Murrow was stationed in London. The Germans were making quite a bit of hay out of the notion that the British people were panicking and would soon beg to surrender.

    One night, as the air raid sirens blared, Murrow went out and put is microphone to the street. Literally. He broadcast the calm sound of Londoners walking to the bomb shelters. No panic, no screaming, just people making do in terrible circumstances. It was a massive blow to the propaganda machine.

    Terrorists win when you are terrorized.

    Living in America, I see this bad-thinking all the time. We’re trying to recover from it, but trying and doing are pretty far apart.

    An open society, one where people can be free and private, that is a monument to all the people who did not panic, who did not run or scream, but knew that fear gives the bastards more than they deserve

  66. Boba Fett Diop says:

    “The liberty of the individual is still believed in, almost as in the nineteenth century. But this has nothing to do with economic liberty, the right to exploit others for profit. It is the liberty to have a home of your own, to do what you like in your spare time, to choose your own amusements instead of having them chosen for you from above. The most hateful of all names in an English ear is Nosey Parker. It is obvious, of course, that even this purely private liberty is a lost cause. Like all other modern people, the English are in process of being numbered, labelled, conscripted, ‘co-ordinated’. But the pull of their impulses is in the other direction, and the kind of regimentation that can be imposed on them will be modified in consequence. No party rallies, no Youth Movements, no coloured shirts, no Jew-baiting or ‘spontaneous’ demonstrations. No Gestapo either, in all probability.

    But in all societies the common people must live to some extent AGAINST the existing order. The genuinely popular culture of England is something that goes on beneath the surface, unofficially and more or less frowned on by the authorities. One thing one notices if one looks directly at the common people, especially in the big towns, is that they are not puritanical. They are inveterate gamblers, drink as much beer as their wages will permit, are devoted to bawdy jokes, and use probably the foulest language in the world. They have to satisfy these tastes in the face of astonishing, hypocritical laws (licensing laws, lottery acts, etc. etc.) which are designed to interfere with everybody but in practice allow everything to happen. Also, the common people are without definite religious belief, and have been so for centuries. The Anglican Church never had a real hold on them, it was simply a preserve of the landed gentry, and the Nonconformist sects only influenced minorities. And yet they have retained a deep tinge of Christian feeling, while almost forgetting the name of Christ. The power-worship which is the new religion of Europe, and which has infected the English intelligentsia, has never touched the common people. They have never caught up with power politics. The ‘realism’ which is preached in Japanese and Italian newspapers would horrify them. One can learn a good deal about the spirit of England from the comic coloured postcards that you see in the windows of cheap stationers’ shops. These things are a sort of diary upon which the English people have unconsciously recorded themselves. Their old-fashioned outlook, their graded snobberies, their mixture of bawdiness and hypocrisy, their extreme gentleness, their deeply moral attitude to life, are all mirrored there.”

    -George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius

    Of course, now we have Jacqui Smith warning about chemical attacks while arguing that the government must denounce those who reject “shared values” such as the institutions and values of parliamentary democracy and rule of law.

    Tell me, who will denounce the government? Who will denounce the police? Many denounced Thatcher in 1984-5, and now some of those people have gone further in the attack on liberty than she ever did.

  67. imipak says:

    Now that the complete collapse of the ID cards scheme is just a matter of time – as foretold by prophesy, only to be decided *after* the £8 billion budget has mostly been spent, natch – I’ll soon be looking for another freedom and privacy friendly organisation to support. Liberty have a proud record on this sort of thing.

    In other news:

    Presumably Lesson One will be about how deadly radioactive ninja jihadists lurk around every corner, Lesson Two will be how to polish your fancy new ID card, baseball cap badge and ATF vest…

    All stories from the last 48 hours.

  68. bobsch says:

    Is everyone in the UK government too young to remember:

    “Tell me, Hans. What did your father say about the Fuhrer?”

  69. reginald says:

    #44
    we call them dibber-dobbers.

    and once i have a new shiny suit and a special card – courtesy of our Great Leader – i am going to tattle tail on all the dibber-dobbers.

    in the meantime, i will stick to glaring at people who don’t look right.

  70. jasonq says:

    “This family won’t be leaving the house today because they’ve been terrorized by hysterical government bullshit fearmongering.”

  71. dculberson says:

    Actually I think printing some “keep calm and carry on” stickers and putting them over these would get the message across nicely.

  72. Anonymous says:

    Reginald @51 – Tell Tale Tit!

  73. guernican says:

    Apparently you’re a Londoner, Cory. Are you afraid?

    No. Neither am I. Most of the things the COI – the government agency responsible for churning this garbage out – produces are bobbins of the highest order.

  74. cwclifford says:

    Perhaps suspicion DOES breed confidence.

    Of course, terrorism is nothing new in the UK. I even had to be scolded back in ’95 not to leave my bag unattended. This is maybe not so much a post 9/11 etc. paranoia but rather the fear of nationalistic tendencies rearing their ugly head as people’s guard goes down.

  75. Phikus says:

    “I think they are perhaps a bit hyper-vigilant because, in the UK, for the past 30 years at least, shit blows up a lot.”

    This is more of the problem, not the solution.

    Perhaps it has more to do with this than trying to curb errorism. Where would those who seek to control every aspect of our lives be if not for some implacable enemy that could be lurking behind every dumpster? The errorists have been the greatest gift to these conservative control freaks since communism.

    Being in the US, I find no comfort in the fact that the UK is making such leaps and bounds toward a fascist totalitarian state of late. the pattern lately seems to be one foot goose-steps forward, then the other across the pond follows. We are still marching toward Oceania no matter which jack-boot happens to be leading at the moment. When any of us loose our fundamental rights, we all lose.

  76. brokebutstilldrinking says:

    I finally have an excuse when confronted by home owners.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Makes me want to book my vacation there immediately.
    Not!

  78. Ted8305 says:

    This is ridiculous. The UK has truly become Orwell’s Airstrip One.

    If you folks ever decide to have a revolution, I’m sure I’m not the only us-ian who’d send some aid your way.

  79. Larem says:

    @dculberson good idea.

    How about just report everything. Make them SO busy that they will realize what a waste it is.
    I had a teacher in high school who told us about a policy that a teacher had to tell the office when they left the room. He and a couple of other teachers called every time they left. “I’m going to the bathroom.” “I’m going outside to see the weather.” “I am taking the trash out.” “I am going to make copies next door.” etc… the policy lasted a week.
    Just report everything… that empty cup in the street can be used to hold a bio-weapon… etc…

  80. Antony Bennison says:

    #53 “Actually I think printing some “keep calm and carry on” stickers and putting them over these would get the message across nicely.”

    Not a bad idea at all. One thing about London posters is that they’re often covered by stickers (usually advertising some awful band’s myspace page).

    Meanwhile, here’s another photoshop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonybennison/3382658226/

  81. help i cant comfirm my username themelonbread says:

    Get 20 friends you know to rotate each day in making one ridiculous paranoid call a day. Clog the system that invites inanity with the inanity they deserve.

  82. imipak says:

    @40,

    “a photo of the police bursting (without warrant) into the home of a British Muslim, beating him senseless, smashing up his possessions, and then carting him off to be held without charge for months on end.

    The script on the right hand side could read:

    “These police won’t be disciplined, dismissed or charged with assault, because the government doesn’t care about human rights.”

    The weird thing is that the Labour party, and indeed government, is schizophrenic about such things. It’s a fact that they’ve passed a Freedom of Information Act, the Human Rights Act, and a number of other excellent, progressive pieces of legislation. On the other hand, anyone who ventures within a few hundred yards of the Home Office is uncannily tranmuted into a glazed-eyed parroter of bad Frederick Forsyth novels. Unfortunately this has lead to many dreadful laws, starting with RIP back in 2000 (yes, pre-911.) My theory is that it’s partly paranoia at being painted as “the criminal’s friend” by the traditionally right-wing, “law-and-order”, authoritarian Tory (Conservative) Party. That was a big reason they were out of power for 20 years.

    Sometimes cops ARE actually caught out abusing prisoners and suspects – far more often than used to be the case, which is in itself (I think) evidence of a healthier scepticism of the infallibility of the police and other uniformed types. (I don’t think it’s happening because the police are “falling people down stairs” or “banging their head when getting into the van” more often, I do think it’s because it’s more reported, more believed, and more acted on when such stories come to light. I could be hopelessly naive, of course.)

    BBC, 18 March 2009:

    “The Metropolitan Police have agreed to pay £60,000 damages to a man arrested during an anti-terror raid.

    The High Court heard that Babar Ahmad was subjected to “serious gratuitous prolonged unjustified violence” and “religious abuse” after his arrest.
    [...]
    Mr Justice Holroyde heard that one of the unnamed officers allegedly involved will face criminal proceedings.

  83. Anonymous says:

    you can point the finger- the middle finger -at the geniuses who decided to run this campaign

  84. Nelson.C says:

    You know, I think our government is just rattled by the thought that Al Qaeda might decide to start targetting MPs, like the IRA did occasionally. That’s why you see this propaganda all over London, and nothing outside the capital. They don’t really care about the public, which is only fair, because the public cares little for them.

    I think Tony Blair put it best, when he said, “Am I bothered? Look at my face, is my face bothered? Does my face look bothered? Face, bothered? Am I bothered, though?”

  85. stoatman says:

    Y’v rlly gt bnr fr ths prnd pst-cybrpnk dystp, hvn’t y? The poster’s aren’t telling people to look through their neighbours’ bins, they’re just telling people to keep their eyes open. Same as a Neighbourhood Watch scheme really – which admittedly at its worst is the height of banal curtain-twitching suburban nosiness, but it’s consensual and it does stop houses getting burgled.

    Gt vr t, t’s nt tht bd. nd f y thnk Lndn scks s mch…

  86. stoatman says:

    Oh, and another popular poster during the blitz was ‘Be alert’. Which is all this one’s saying really, isn’t it?

  87. Phibius says:

    I’m sure these posters are going to generate a very large number of false positives. However…

    …I do remember how my aunt and uncle’s shop used to display posters written in a similar vein warning people about bombs hidden in stock, and that one day, a member of staff actually found a real, live, bomb – and told my aunt, who promptly picked it up and carried it into the street (they called the police too, but she didn’t want to risk the shop for a second longer than necessary).

    Like I said, lots of false positives… but remembering what nearly happened that day, I’m not sure which way the cost/benefit ratio tips on this one.

  88. 13strong says:

    IMIPAK:

    That’s actually the story I was more or less referring to.

  89. OP_TIMUS says:

    “#167 posted by Chevan , March 25, 2009 8:31 AM

    >are amateur chemists
    I think that one’s actually illegal. And if it’s not (don’t know British laws), it’s not a very good idea.

    I know most chemical supply companies make it pretty hard for individuals to acquire their stuff.”

    Are you freakin’ serious dude?

    You actually think amateur chemistry is illegal?

    Please read the following:

    http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2005/2005-08-12/backscatter/index.html

  90. EscapingTheTrunk says:

    It’s interesting that both of these posters are clearly about protecting young white people. I think I see one black face in the background of the second poster, right next to the single grey head. Are these representative samples?

  91. steelwraith says:

    What I want to know is what marketing/advertising company is putting this campaign together for the Metropolitan Police Service? Could they be related to the 2012 Olympics quango? Is there some MP in the background that’s getting a kickback?

    The way to really end this is find the person responsible and kick them where it really hurts.. their wallet..

  92. Faustus says:

    For people who feel strongly about this, coem to the G20 protests at the weekend. Not that they have anything to do with this issue but it’ll make you feel better :)

    Also there’s a black bloc going to protest on wednesday the 1st of april for “financial fools day” in the city. I believe it starts at midday outside of the bank of england.

    That might be a bit more dramatic though so you know, be careful.

  93. PeteAJ says:

    Hmm. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m 1/2 British, but I’m not phased by these at all. If you see lots of strange chemicals in a neighbors trash, shouldn’t you tell someone? Wouldn’t it be odd to see someone “studying” surveillance cameras?

    Like, yes, London has an insane number of surveillance cameras and yes they can’t alone prevent a terrorist attack. Duh.

    What are the police supposed to do?

  94. pyota says:

    like unclemike i was also reminded of the motivational posters in the great film brazil; another good one: “suspicion breeds confidence”.

  95. Takuan says:

    what would happen if you set up an easel in the street and started rendering a pretty water colour of your local CCTV camera? And then immediately started a second sketch of any copper that came by to harass you?

  96. OP_TIMUS says:

    Here is a ‘modified’ billboard from Nottingham:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3591/3404507622_6f07f4f1bf_b.jpg

  97. Tdawwg says:

    Strictly speaking, it doesn’t look like one’s being asked to rummage through garbage in the first poster: the “incriminating evidence,” ha, is right at the top of the can, helpfully resting on top of the rest of the garbage (which would rather suggest innocence, no?). “Visually rummage,” then, which is more than obtrusive already. These posters, and the underlying messages and policy behind them, are horrible enough without adding meaning to them….

    I take it from that open garbage bin that England doesn’t have raccoons or other hungry vermin?

  98. PeteAJ says:

    “why would you advertise to terrorists what they’re NOT supposed to do?!”

    I don’t think these are that specific directives. And maybe you’re over-estimating some of the terrorist population. Ha. They don’t all read Boing Boing.

  99. Takuan says:

    or stood there with a tape recorder, dictating a detailed description of all you saw?

  100. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that bin would be collected by the Council anyway; the lid is at far too great an angle http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article2951267.ece

  101. Anonymous says:

    Try to find out anything about Pavlik Morozov from the USSR. This nice guy pointed his parents to NKVK (secret political police). In cause they were hidding some agricultural product in their cellar.

  102. imipak says:

    …and then I wake up to this as a lead item on the news.

    Social network sites ‘monitored’
    - Details could be leaked, said one Lib Dem MP

    “Social networking sites like Facebook could be monitored by the UK government under proposals to make them keep details of users’ contacts.

    “The Home Office said it was needed to tackle crime gangs and terrorists who might use the sites, but said it would not keep the content of conversations.” [...]

  103. Takuan says:

    think it’s possible to get a UN sanction against the UK for human rights violations?

  104. siliconmeadow says:

    If CCTV cameras require the public to monitor them, are they effective in ANY way?

  105. Takuan says:

    a good link in #189 Op Timus, spread it.

  106. Anonymous says:

    These kind of posters (stickers, actualy) were extremly popular in ex communist countries. The text of those were along these lines …- “If you notice activities contrary to the socialist system and morality cal this number XXXX”
    Some gimmicks never go out of popularity no matter what the actual system is.

  107. amg says:

    They look like photographic chemicals in that bin. Proof that photography contributes to terrorism.

  108. deckard68 says:

    Given that these posters verge on parody, it feels like free people have a friend in the advertising department. Whatever company is being paid to make this B.S. seems to know it is B.S..

  109. 3lbFlax says:

    The large margins above and below the main text are presumably reserved for hundreds and hundreds of teeming, seething and ravenous fnords.

  110. Takuan says:

    yes, yes we do.

  111. Anonymous says:

    If you are going through someone’s trash looking for chemicals wouldn’t you then be accused of going through trash to try and get papers for identity theft? Infact it is a great ploy for con men, just carry an empty bottle of chlorine around with them and if anyone spots them routing through trash, they can say ‘just doing my civic duty look terrorists’.

    This government have us all bent over squealing whilst they are all patting themselves on the back with wads of our money. They actually believe they deserve a pay rise for squandering millions of pounds of our money on their crackpot schemes and advertising, telling us to put our hand over our mouths when we sneeze, and we are the stupid mugs bloody paying for it.

    Well all I can say is up your *%$£ labour, my two year old son could do a better job than you clowns!!

    LD :)

  112. J France says:

    *sigh*

    This sort of stuff requires some actual terrorism to occur, and the paranoid cynic in me thinks that some sort of secret state-sanctioned event has to happen in order for them (should I say Them?) to be able to say “Now look at all the bombs that aren’t going off because you snitched on someone looking at clouds”.

    My lack of sentence structure is deliberate.

    But really – how do these help anyone’s situation? I hope that responses like the examples here are the result of too many committees. One after the other tweaking offensive, misleading or inappropriate pieces until it becomes a useless wash of half-ideas. But that’s the naive cynic in me.

  113. Steaming Pile says:

    I think everyone should study the CCTV cameras. We should bring little notebooks where they make shopping lists, diary entries, or doodles while we’re at it. We should be sure to wear Inspector Gadget style trenchcoats and fedoras, since London weather will give us a nasty cold if we’re not careful.

    Oh, and we should all take up amateur chemistry like we wanted to do as children, but our parents prohibited it. Really. And photography. Maybe we could hold an online contest to see who can take the best photographs of CCTV cameras.

    Really. If we all did this back when John Ashcroft was urging us to narc on our neighbors back in 2002, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now.

  114. bitman362 says:

    V for Vendetta was prophetic

  115. Marcel says:

    Orrrrrr…..

    We can walk past these things and say they’re just some stupid posters some idiots hung up, shrug our shoulders and go about our business.

    We have that choice.

    Because we are our own authority.

  116. Anonymous says:

    Not just London – we have these in Birmingham. too.

  117. DWittSF says:

    They remind me of the laughable Anti-Drug ad campaigns that we Americans have been subjected to (and paid for) over the past 30 years or so. Both are boondoggles of the highest order, whereby money can flow to privileged institutions to produce this worthless crap. All to keep the citizens in thrall.

    In his wildest dreams Orwell wouldn’t have guessed he was writing instruction manuals.

  118. yopino says:

    Outrageous! CALL THEM NOW!!! I called them yesterday to tell there was a 94 year old lady crossing the road suspiciously slow! If we all start calling now, it hopefully will swamp them to death…

  119. semiotix says:

    I really want to take the creative geniuses behind this campaign, and put them in a locked room with the D-list pseudorappers who sell “snitches get stitches” t-shirts.

    Everyone wins!

  120. Teller says:

    The presumptive nature of the copywriting: because of one action, something bad didn’t happen, is what I dislike. I don’t mind when US airports remind travellers to stay with you luggage or we’ll take it. That’s a heads-up. Neighborhood Watch signs say Report Suspicious Behavior. I get that. But this work is guilt-trippy. What’s Year 2? A destroyed food market and bodies strewn with “Thanks for not reporting a man staring at the CCTV. Happy now?”

  121. Versh says:

    Here’s some future slogans for ya’:

    Get back at the noisy neighbor by reporting an exaggeration of their behavior.

    You better look through their bin if you don’t want to get brought in– (for negligence of a citizen’s duty).

    ♪CCTV, it’s for the good of you and me,♫ — So mind everyone’s f#%*ing business or WE’ll be up in yours.

    “Those who give up their liberty for more security neither deserve liberty nor security.”

    Ah, scratch the last one, that was just some paraphrased quote from some Yank. You know, the guy on the $100 bill?

  122. 13strong says:

    “I take it from that open garbage bin that England doesn’t have raccoons or other hungry vermin?”

    Foxes, squirrels and seagulls mostly.

    Though in Scotland there’s an increasing problem with urban deer. No joke.

  123. Patrick H says:

    Well, the Blitz was also the period of “Loose Lips Sink Ships”.

    Patrick H

  124. Anonymous says:

    I very much doubt either of these two ‘incidents’ actually happened. So I think we should all complain to the Advertising Standards Authority about misrepresentation (aka lying) in these ads.

  125. shadowfirebird says:

    Maybe what we need is lots more campaigns like this — or if possible, even more extreme ones. Because maybe then more people in the UK would get a clue about how ridiculous this is.

    “Adopt a CCTV camera today!”

    “Report suspicious chickens!”

    “Are YOU secretly a terrorist? Here are the warning signs…”

  126. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Why did my url get eaten?

    Huh? Everything that you’ve posted with a URL is intact.

  127. LX says:

    When V for Vendetta was released, everyone thought the Wachowski Brothers lost their marbles choosing Britain instead of the U.S. – but their premonition seems to work better than expected. Now we just need a british politician aiming for Great Chancellor… V, were are you?

    Greetings, LX

  128. Uncle_Max says:

    MARRZ @33: I’d never seen that image before, and now this t-shirt makes a great deal more sense:

    http://tinyurl.com/9a59fw

  129. rmstallman says:

    It occurs to me that counter-posters might be useful.
    For instance, how about this one:

    If someone is rummaging through garbage,
    please phone the police at XXXX-YYYY.

    Lots of people might buy such signs and post them on their homes.
    Would someone like to make and sell them?

    And this one:

    Look up!
    Smile for the CCTV camera

    Big Brother is watching you

    If someone makes such stickers, people might post thousands of them.
    Would someone like to make them? Sell them?

  130. Dillenger69 says:

    Wow, the only thing missing on those posters is the INGSOC logo.

  131. Anonymous says:

    @169, did anyone in England read about the Holocaust and Nazi Germany?

    This will just make it possible for any BNP or racist bastard to report any Muslim or Asian or black person, so they will feel even more like 3rd class citizens. The Tories would be just as bad though. They all seem to want to appeal to those morons who were shouting at the small group of Muslim protesters at the army march.

  132. Teller says:

    ANT: “Terrorism has turned into the Jan Brady of disasters, not any more special than other disasters, but desperate for attention.”

    Funny but off-key to me. The goal in natural disasters is to lengthen the time of warning. Tsunamis buoys, etc. Still, we can’t prevent them. But we can prevent bomb-placing. And since it’s mostly a street-level crime, they’re seeking the assistance of people on the street. Not siding with these paranoiac ads or even the enlistment of the public to point like Donald Sutherland at the Non-Pod People. Just saying I don’t quite buy your correlation between natural disasters and man-made ones. But I still love you – until I catch you in my dumpster.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      But we can prevent bomb-placing.

      I believe that is an incorrect statement. There’s a soldier every two feet in Iraq and there’s still a bomb blast every day. Given millions of people willing to be suicide bombers, we have no more control over terrorism than we do over natural disasters. We do have the options of diplomacy and education, and maybe some day, somebody will remember that.

  133. 13strong says:

    “Now we just need a british politician aiming for Great Chancellor…”

    I think you’ll find in reality that’s happened the other way round. Chancellor aiming to become (and becoming) Prime Minister.

  134. AJ says:

    @13 – Yeah, I’ve seen the police posters in Brighton too, f**ing scarey!! “We’ll give you a good talking too”… WTF ?? Is that supposed to make me believe the police want to tell me everything they’re doing or just want to arrest me ?

  135. arkizzle says:

    Rmstallman,

    Have you not seen the “Smile, you’re on CCTV” notices before? They already have them, all over the place.. in overt police-state colours and everything!

    How about this one from Dublin:

    https://www.cs.tcd.ie/David.OCallaghan/images/luas-cctv-poster-s.jpg

  136. wackyvorlon says:

    Would it count as civil disobedience if hobbyists throughout london began making comprehensive maps of the locations of all CCTV cameras in the city? Put it online, as a nice big PDF. Or maybe a google maps mashup.

    The cameras are watching you, but who watches the cameras?

  137. AlligatorPatrol says:

    For the opinion of the man-on-the-street, you might like to consult the two most recent posts at ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com, concerning Google Street View, recently launched in the UK.

  138. Catsidhe says:

    They have been doing a similar campaign in Australia for a while now.

    This is a take on the concept I did when Howard was still PM.

  139. sam_i says:

    Thought Police anyone?

    Eeep!

    I do wonder if they will push these terrorist things so much until the new prime minsister takes over, then we have the Obama style ‘Everything has changed and is now great’, but really we will of lost all of our human rights and we would of descended into a real life 1984 world.

    I am actually getting scared by this country – not because I have anything to hide – but incase I don’t know I have!

  140. Anonymous says:

    Hahahaha, reminds me of when I accidentally tried to check in at prestwick airport with a blunt butter knife in my bag. I giggled and said “oh yes, in case I spread someone to death”. I was met with a steely stare from the old man “On September the 11th the world changed forever…” I sighed, stared at my feet and tried to look innocent and humbled all at the same time…

  141. Catsidhe says:

    Antinous@146: Metacommentary

    I was sure that when I posted the comment at #132 that the contents of the <a href=””> was pointing to my flickr page, but when I checked upon getting to work, it points back to this page. Is that just me?

  142. mstoddard says:

    @69 TAKUAN

    Why not public interpretive dance? no suspicious tools necessary, just the raw power accorded by a hearty breakfast.

    I’m not joking

  143. Anonymous says:

    There is a typo in the Met page too.

    At the bottom, the text for the link to the MP3 misses the second s from suspect.
    I find that very supicious …

  144. guernican says:

    “When V for Vendetta was released, everyone thought the Wachowski Brothers lost their marbles choosing Britain instead of the U.S…”

    Or had read the book.

  145. Takuan says:

    uhh…. uh huh…

  146. Anonymous says:

    This is just crazy.

    You have all been deemed criminals. Big Brother is watching. Love Big Brother.

    The Land of Eng is becoming a farce

  147. Antony Bennison says:

    I wonder if an effective form of protest would be for as many Londoners as possible to ring that number in, say, a planned two hour period and report as many instances of ‘suspicious’ activity that they’ve see that day?

    In the meantime I find my initial anger tempered by more photoshopping of the posters (these are the last two I’ll post in these comments though). http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonybennison/3381955947/in/photostream/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/antonybennison/3382805656/in/photostream/

  148. lazarus7 says:

    Similar signs are starting to appear on buses in Vancouver, Canada.

    I took a low quality pic of one with my cameraphone which prompted a fellow passenger to jokingly comment that he needed to report me now.

    Jokes aside, that is exactly what the poster was asking him to do!

    We actually got a small conversation going about the stupidity of reporting people for trivial actions.

  149. Andrew W says:

    “We’ll give you a good talking too” … that’s from the new policing pledge they’re on about. I’ll believe it when I see it. I can’t get the police to come around about a kid who drives his scooter at high speeds on the sidewalks in my estate, could barely get them out when a neighbour was wielding a kitchen knife at another neighbour.

    But the thing I love about this news story is how cathartic it seems to be for all you Yanks, getting to shout about how terrible another country is. Jenna, tell me: how many people have been arrested and suffered “extraordinary rendition” upon flying into the UK? When that starts happening, I think you can be afraid then.

    Regarding how we take it over here, its largely viewed as a joke. I’m surprised there’s no active resistance to a lot of the stuff that’s going on, but no one supports it. It will be the nail in Brown’s gov’ts coffin, that’s for sure.

  150. Daemon says:

    Because terrorists can’t afford a few dollars worth of readily available materials from their local store, and as such will have no option but to dig through the trash.

    Honestly, time for flashmob… find a CCTV camera and stare at it.

  151. Anonymous says:

    It’s the same in America – except, a lot less people say anything because the ones that do know about the inverted capitalism, are being watched. The ones that don’t… repeat in silence; “don’t get involved, don’t get involved. stay uninformed.” We’ve been tricked for so long, and the political organization is so untouchable, moving out is the only way to escape. But to where?
    Welcome to 2011 – Osama wins. We live in fear.

  152. FredicvsMaximvs says:

    “F.U.D.:
    It’s what’s for dinner!”

  153. Anonymous says:

    Terrorism: The use of violence, threats and fear to intimidate or coerce others.

    The Government is the Terrorists!

  154. Takuan says:

    @93, speaking of; I note the olympic property- development-for-profit group carried out their first summary execution of a homeless person the other day.

  155. Anonymous says:

    It’s not just London. This poster appeared in Wells, Somerset, a few days ago. I couldn’t quite believe my eyes. When is enough going to be enough? We know what they’re doing, and they’re doing it to us. This is a war-criminal government of psychopaths. Removing it and holding its members to account in an appropriate court of law so they can be jailed for a long long time is the duty of all of us.

  156. urshrew says:

    *Picture of two parents with a small boy*

    Caption:

    “Joey’s parents won’t join radical militants in an attack on London because he reported all their strange activities to the police and they were duly arrested.”

  157. Anonymous says:

    Makes me want to re-labels all my bottles with a tag that says, “Suspicious Chemical Container”.

  158. Anonymous says:

    From Terry Gilliam’s Brazil:

    “Don’t Suspect Your Neighbour, REPORT THEM.”

  159. ThermobaricTom says:

    Wait a minute! So the second poster is essentially If someone is looking up, Report them.

    It reminds me of that guy who was arrested for looking down (apparently taking pictures of Manhole covers on his phone but said pictures were never found).

    Will the next poster be friendly advice to keep you eyes forwards when on the streets?

  160. dculberson says:

    I guess the fingermen are right around the corner.

  161. AJ says:

    AAAAArrrrrgggghhhhh !!!!
    I really must leave this country…I’m thinking of Afghanistan or Iraq, at least the threat is real there.

    I wonder how the po-lice will react when I start reporting B&Q, Wickes, Sainsburys and all the local hardware stores for supplying bomb making materials and funding terrorism.

  162. reginald says:

    oscar!

  163. Abracapocus says:

    @9 UNCLEMIKE

    Brazil also had signs that say “Be Safe. Be Suspicious.”

  164. spazzm says:

    Where’s the old strong-hearted British spirit?

    What spirit?
    Britain is the clamp on the foot of the EU – stubbornly sticking to their antiquated measures and currency, and their outdated aristocracy. If there ever was such a thing as a “British spirit” it’s been washed out by celebrity-obsessed tabloids and supplication to the yanks.
    Britain is now the crime and Reply

  • Anonymous says:

    OK folks! Everyone go through your neighbors garbage, EVERYONE. Now, when you’re all done with that, walk around the CCTV cameras and look closely at them,…. all of you do this. Then, start reporting hardware stores, pharmacies, pool chemical companies and what not for selling dangerous chemicals. C’mon everyone!! Do it! Do it! I wonder how they’ll handle thousands of people doing this all at the same time?

  • usonia says:

    The commies won’t take over because someone blacklisted Dalton Trumbull.

    Don’t relay on others. If you spot a pinko, call it in!

  • anwaya says:

    The Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was interviewed on BBC Newshour today (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p002frx8 – starting around 34m30s). Early in the interview, she says:

    …We have a program of work to prevent people turning to violent extremism and supporting terrorism in the first place [...] What we’ve also focused on is the values that we share, and we have said that where people may not have broken the law but nevertheless act in a way that undermines our belief in this country – in democracy, in human rights, in tolerance, in free speech – actually there should be a challenge made to them, not through the law, but what we’re calling a civil challenge. You know, that we should argue back, make clear that those things are unacceptable [...]

    This is the Jacqui Smith who authorized the harrassment of photographers, and has overseen the expansion of state surveillance of citizens in the UK. I think a “civil challenge” of the Home Secretary is in order. There is no question that she has undermined my belief in my country, in democracy, human rights, and tolerance. One of the rights, one of the oldest, is liberty, both the freedoms to act and the freedoms from interference. We do not serve the state: the state serves us.

    I call on all UK residents to make a civil challenge of the Home Secretary. It’s time she understood that her actions are unacceptable.

  • LB says:

    If you catch someone rummaging through your trash, report them as vagrants. That’ll put an end to *that* rather quickly.

  • firetheft says:

    For me the baffling thing is that there is nothing in the British consciousness that makes it more likely to fall for this kind of universal government thuggery. I’m no expert, but Britons have never seemed more slavishly trustful of their government than any other democracy.

    That the terms we use to discuss the dangers of the police/surveillance state came from British novelists in the first place is a glaring irony.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ten years ago, this would have been inconceivable. Police state seemed so far away, didn’t it?

  • spazzm says:

    Ooops, that “poverty” should be linked here:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_gin_ind-economy-gini-index

    And technically ‘social inequality’ would be more correct than ‘poverty’.

  • usonia says:

    Er….Trumbo. Sorry.

  • Xopher says:

    I like the idea of flashmobs staring at CCTV cameras. If anyone’s actually watching them it could give them a “special moment.” But is it really a flashmob if it’s not all in one place? I think it would be more effective if the starers were all time-coordinated but scattered throughout the city.

    Nah, in the UK today you’d probably all be charged with “making terroristic threats” because obviously only terrorists stare at CCTV cameras, so by staring at one you were pretending to be terrorists.

    No way am I setting foot in the UK for any reason while this shit is going on. (And no, I don’t blame people from other countries for not wanting to visit the US these days, either.)

    Reginald 51: in the meantime, i will stick to glaring at people who don’t look right.

    Hey, if they’re too dumb to cross the street safely, what good does it do to glare? Also, if you’re to their right they won’t even see you.

  • dr80085 says:

    @149
    Makes me want to re-labels all my bottles with a tag that says, “Suspicious Chemical Container”.

    i think i also like it as a t-shirt slogan. although paranoia could be a problem.

  • unclemike says:

    In the background of the movie “Brazil,” many times there appears a government poster, stating, “Don’t Suspect A Friend, Report Him!”

    Just sayin’.

  • acb says:

    It is now illegal to photograph police officers in Britain (ostensibly because terrorists or extremists may do so to attack them or their families). It is not yet illegal to photograph CCTV cameras, though I imagine that it is only a matter of time until this omission is rectified.

  • deathfisch says:

    OOH! We have one of these in Salford. Fear finally bridges the North – South divide.

    Personally, I like these posters, I have been getting on far to well with people recently…and their genuine nicety has been unusual…what’s that number again?

  • Anonymous says:

    * Picture of Overflowing Bin *

    These chemicals won’t be used in a bomb because the wheelie-bin police have arrested the terrorists for having an overflowing bin – along with Mr Jenkins, Sarah’s mum and that nice elderly gentleman at number 27 …. we’re all criminals now.

  • Sarahway says:

    I read the ads before the headline and assumed they were parodies. Holy crap.

  • Brainspore says:

    The best part about working for the Ministry of Truth is that you get a free big-screen TV installed in your home.

  • objektivone says:

    This is insane. They are putting citizens against each other. The main point is “Don’t rely on others, if you suspect it, report it”. They are building a nation of paranoia!

    I also love how “the bomb maker” put all of his/her explosive chemicals right on top of his garbage in full view for everyone to see and catch him right in front of his house.

  • AJ says:

    I started to report all these comments… they look suspicious to me :P….

    But I got bored… as will everyone 5 minutes after these posters have been out up.

    The only people these scare are the tourists whose money we desperately need in these recessive times.

  • Anonymous says:

    “When in trouble or in doubt/Run in circles scream and shout”?

    The talking moose on my old Mac used to say this with a loopy grin on his face. I wonder if we should take some of his other advice, and “fix” the CCTV with a ball peen hammer?

  • Takuan says:

    Ferenczy’s offer is a trap! They’ll make you drink akkevit!!

  • cmacis says:

    I saw these posters in Leeds. My thoughts were “I should take some photos for boingboing”.

  • Falcon_Seven says:

    If I was a curtain-peeping Londoner and I saw someone rummaging through my trashbin, I’d report that as suspicious behavior. All the better if they were rummaging in there because they were suspicious of me. Do you see how that works people? That’s how totalitarian states control the citizenry. You’re suspicious of your neighbor but too frightened to say anything out of fear of drawing their suspicion.
    Londoners who are tired of this should organize a protest of their surveillance state by spending a Saturday simply staring at the local CCTV cameras.

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