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NO2ID Database State Mayoral hustings - where was Livingstone ?

The NO2ID Campaign organised Mayoral hustings meeting yesterday 8th April 2008 at the Friends Meeting House opposite Euston Station was interesting.


From left to right:

Jenny Jones (Green - deputising for Siân Berry), Lyndsey German (Left List / Respect), Boris Johnson (Conservative) NO2ID moderator Christina Zaba - brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat), Gerard Batten (UK Independence Party).

The arrogant authoritarian incumbent Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, refused to turn up to this hustings meeting. Neither did he send a deputy, nor did he or his spin doctors dare to send any Answers to the 4 Questions which NO2ID had sent to each of th invited Candidates beforehand.

His malign "database state" influence was represented by a Cardboard Cut Out Ken, to much amusement from the audience.


Boris Johnson said that this absence confirmed Ken's identity as a chicken.

The BNP candidate Richard Barnbrook (sporting what was described as an "SS style haircut" - short back and sides and brylcream) was present in the audience, and he made a comment asking why he was not invited - presumably because his party had no elected representatives in the Greater London Assembly or European Parliament, a criterion which also excluded the other minority or independent candidates , Alan Craig (Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party), Winston McKenzie (Independent), and Matt O'Connor (English Democrats).

All the Mayoral candidates on the platform for pretty much in agreement in their opposition to the evils of the inept Labour Government's National Identity Scheme centralised biometric database

Brian Paddick (the former very senior Metropolitan Police officer) said that none of the 52 inocent people killed in the July 2005 bomb attacks, nor any of the 27 children murdered last year nor the 11 murdered so far this year in London, would have been saved by the ID Card scheme. He said that he would follow the example of his Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and would risk going to prison rather than be forced to carry an ID Card.

Boris Johnson said that he would grind up his ID card in his Moulinex and sprinkle it over his cornflakes and eat it.

Gerard Batten said that he was totally opposed to the Government's National Identity Scheme and that he would use his position as Mayor to oppose it, although he was not opposed to a secure ID scheme under the control of the individual rather than a centralised Government one.

The plan announced by the Labour Government to inflict the NIS database on to non-EU foreigners first, who cannot vote to oppose it, was condemned as racist.

The Candidates also pretty well agreed that the Oyster Card data should not be handed over routinely to the Police, except in the most serious of cases, and only where the Police can show justification, probably in front of an independent Judge.

None of the Candidates supported the current policy, which is being vigorously followed by the Metropolitan Police Service, of taking and retaining, effectively forever, the DNA profiles and human tissue samples of millions of innocent people who have not been charged or who have been found not guilty of a crime, and of hundreds of thousands of children.

The way in which the Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone was set up and run condemned, even by the left wing candidates who supported the idea of such a scheme for environmental reasons..

Naturally the discussion about the vast array of CCTV cameras in London, with threats of even more of them being installed or co-opted for the London Olympics was also condemned by all the candidates. A couple of the candidates made the very fair point that technological gimmicks like CCTV cameras were no proper substitute on, say the buses, for human bus conductors.

Richard Barnbrook sang out something about "being spat at", which could have been relevant to the debate about CCTV on buses or DNA samples (London bus and train crews now carry DNA sampling kits in case they are spat at etc.) , but this just provided the experienced Lyndsey German with the opportunity to get a round of applause by saying that being heckled by the BNP was a compliment.

Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick left the meeting at about 8.30pm to appear on television later, and most of the press etc. followed them.

It was interesting to see five of the actual Mayoral candidates (and one substitute who is standing for the GLA) in person, all pretty much opposed to the incompetent and authoritarian Labour Government and the incumbent Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who obviously are hoping that the electorate will ignore their dismal record on unnecessarily introducing the technological infrastructure of a surveillance database state, as a "magic fix" to substitute for effective human policies.

Hopefully these rival candidates and the media will goad Livingstone into trying to defend his record of inept authoritarianism, and the electorate will kick him and his fellow travellers out of office.

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