Loughton, a stuck-up City of London Tory prat who doesn't even live in Worthing let alone represent our interests, was ironically humbled by that most pro-Conservative of newspapers, The Mail on Sunday (December 28). It revealed the shocking truth about Classwatch of which Loughton is chairman (a fact we disclosed in The Porkbolter in June 2008).
Revealed the report: "Schools have installed CCTV cameras and microphones in classrooms to watch and listen to pupils as young as four. The Big Brother-style surveillance is being marketed as a way to identify pupils disrupting lessons when teachers' backs are turned.
"Classwatch, the firm behind the system, says its devices can be set up to record everything that goes on in a classroom 24 hours a day and used to compile 'evidence' of wrongdoing.
"The equipment is sold with Crown Prosecution Service-approved evidence bags to store material to be used in court cases.
"The microphones and cameras can be used during lessons and when a classroom is unattended, such as during lunch breaks.
"But data protection watchdog the Information Commissioner has warned the surveillance may be illegal and demanded to know why primary and secondary schools are using this kind of sophisticated equipment to watch children. Officials said they would be contacting schools to seek 'proper justification' for the equipment's use. Classwatch is set to face further scrutiny over the role of Shadow Children's Minister Tim Loughton, the firm's £30,000-a-year chairman."
Martin Johnson, deputy general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "We strongly object to schools or colleges having free rein to use CCTV and microphones, especially in sensitive areas such as classrooms, changing rooms and toilets." Loughton had nothing of any use to say, merely insisting he had no technical conflict of interest.
But with the Tories keen to make out they are the champions of liberty against the Big Brother state, he has blown a hole in that pretence by showing he is happy to personally profit from fascism in the classroom.
* Loughton has not been invited to take part in the Worthing Freedom March festival!
'ENOUGH is enough!' That's the rallying cry going up all over the world as the neoliberal global capitalist economy spirals down the planetary plughole.
British workers are back on the picket lines, facing the inevitable ranks of dead-faced robocops.
Hundreds of thousands of French men, women and youths are out on the streets with a growing sense of destiny on their side. People are rioting in Greece and Latvia, Lithuania and Madagascar. Rebellion is gathering pace across South America and folk are rising up from Bahrain to Switzerland.
Millions of Chinese are turning against their monstrous regime. A revolution is being carefully prepared in Mexico. Who knows where next tomorrow? If it can happen in Iceland, it can happen anywhere!
And what they don't want to tell you is that we're all up in arms against the same enemy, the same monster that is devouring our lives, our hopes, our futures.
That monster is capitalism and for a lot of people this may be the first time they have realised it even exists, that it is not some cliched term of abuse wielded only by spotty students with placards, but a very real and very dangerous entity with no conscience and no purpose other than to devour more and more of the planet and its occupants to swell its already bloated belly.
Finally, across the world, we have seen it for what it is and now that we have named it we can defeat it. The serpent of greed and power has been around the throat of the human race for far too long. Once we have torn it off we can all breathe and live again.
That's why we've got all these 'anti-terrorist' laws that are really about stopping protesters. That's why we've got CCTV everywhere, that's why our emails and phone calls are monitored, our cars tracked, our data centralised. That's why the state employs agents to infiltrate and disrupt radical opposition groups, that's why it wants to tie our hands with ID cards and expand its ranks with privatised 'police' thugs.
And that's why the struggle for our economic rights, the struggle not to be ripped off and treated as a slave by greedy bosses and authorities, is one and the same as the struggle to defend our right to refuse, to say 'no' to their system.
The idea of Freedom is about a lot more than 'civil liberties' as they are usually understood. It's about our whole lives, it's about who we are as human beings, about the purpose and dignity of our very existence and the sort of world we want to leave behind to our children and grandchildren. If you don't want that to be a cross between a hi-tech prison camp and a battery chicken factory, then now is the time to stand up and voice your resistance!
The latest joyful update is that, to quote The Times (January 4): "The Home Secretary has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people's personal computers without a warrant. The hacking is known as 'remote searching'. It allows the police or M15 officers who may be hundreds of miles away to examine covertly the hard drive of someone's PC at his home, office or hotel room. Material gathered in this way includes the contents of all e-mails, web-browsing habits and instant messaging."
Apparently this has been going on secretly since the early 1990s. Researcher Richard Clayton explained to The Times that the authorities could break into a suspect's home or office and insert a 'key-logging' device into an individual's computer. This would collect and, if necessary, transmit details of all the suspect's keystrokes. He said: "It's just like putting a secret camera in someone's living room."
Meanwhile, The Argus reported (January 3): "A team of private security guards will carry out night-time patrols of villages, car parks, taxi ranks and piers in a council bid to tackle crime. Worthing, Mid Sussex and Horsham councils are seeking tenders for a £900,000 contract to provide extra security for dozens of sites traditionally patrolled by the police across the county." What sort of horrific crime do they expect these privatised 'police' to tackle? A clue comes from the news that Mid Sussex council is bidding for a security presence at evening meetings when there is a "risk of disturbance due to controversial issues being discussed"!
Great to hear that our friends from Max Security, the private security outfit behind the town wardens who declared it was illegal to take photographs in Worthing town centre (see August 2008 issue) have now also won the taxi marshall contract and "wear miniature video cameras to help capture extra footage of problems which could be useful to police" (www.worthingherald.co.uk).
If you're worried about the prospect of unaccountable, untrained, mercenary pseudo-cops let loose on our streets, you won't be pleased to learn that the Government is planning to give them "the power to use force" (Guardian, December 3).
But maybe you're of a mind with Thatcherite South Downs Tory MP Nick Herbert who's not too worried who's out there and what they're doing as long as they keep us plebs in our place – "the more uniformed presence on the streets the better", he told The Argus (January 3), with a turn of phrase that would not have been out of place in Germany in the run-up to the March 1933 elections...
Published and printed by The Porkbolter, PO Box 4144, Worthing BN14 7NZ. No copyright, no freedom in April, then?