Following the Snowden revelations there has been a consistent campaign by the literally unholy alliance of state and commercial bodies who profit from the excessive levels of snooping and security to which we are all subject. We are led to believe that the gormless youths in an ISIS video represent a threat to the state. We are told that Islamic extremists have new kinds of explosives. We are told that we need to switch on our phones and computers at airports. Where is the evidence of the levels of threat and risk to which we are said to be subject in our daily lives? We ask for evidence. “We cannot show you the evidence because that would compromise security”. Those with huge vested interests in scaring us can’t loose. We cannot trust governments in this, because any government naturally wants more information on us than it should have.
I have been told by security staff at an airport that “this is being done for your safety”. I have not asked anyone to carry out expensive and time-consuming checks that are ritualistic in ineffective. I can tell anyone who is interested how to get a penknife on to a plane. Or maybe I won’t because it would compromise security.
There are half a million people now employed in the security industries in the UK, costing us billions of pounds. A substantial portion of this cost represents the conjoined success of terrorist threats and the security industry. Terrorists and those employed in security thrive in their entirely symbiotic relationship.
The levels of risk to me and you of terrorist attack are infinitesimally small. There are almost 30,000 gun deaths in the USA each year, none the result of terrorist activity. The lifetime risk of being killed on the roads in the UK is an astonishing one in 240. If a fraction of the money spent by security cabals on combatting chimerical risks was spent on improving road safety, something worthwhile could be achieved. If a fraction of the money was spent on the poorest sector of our population, infant deaths would drop significantly.
Every time any security official or representative of commercial security is interviewed in the media, whatever they ostensibly say can be read as “give us more resources [i.e money]”. They cannot loose. But we do.