Veiled beneath the tricks and clicks of smartphones and technology, more and more people across the world are recognising that these technologies are being used to subjugate rather than free them. Try phoning almost any large organisation and you will find yourself forced to ‘verify’ yourself, after hanging about pressing 1 or 2 or 3 on your phone keypad for five minutes – usually in response to ‘choices’ that don’t relate to your call. Then you’ll have to provide personal information, passwords etc. while the anonymous operative at the other end remains unknown to you. This, apparently, is in your interest. Why then do I feel so irritated and abused?
The fact is that the state and big business have more resources to spend on technology than you or me. And more time to spend establishing elaborate protocols to manage ‘call volumes’ than we do. To pay my tax on line I must quote a 17 digit number which changes every month. There is, underlying these new technologies a groundswell of disrespect and lack of consideration of the customer/citizen, so much so that nearly everyone dreads having to call local services, government departments or financial institutions of any type.
Surely, this is just a minor aspect of modernity?
I suspect not, I suspect that beneath this technology driven disrespect there is a growing contempt among the powerful – reflected among those working for big organisations – for the little people. Recently riots were sparked by the killing of Mark Duggan – an incident that has still not been explained. Casual violence against citizens seems commonplace among the police. Here you can find the video of the assault in Peterlee,
[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”2SqlC-l97_E” width=”640″ height=”480″ auto_thumb=”1″]
The attack was condemned as a form of torture by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). But no-one was sacked: one officer was fined £40.
This is not an isolated incident. A total of 333 people have died in or following police custody over the past 11 years, but no officer has ever been successfully prosecuted. According to a watchdog’s report, prosecutions were recommended against 13 officers based on “relatively strong evidence of misconduct or neglect”, but none resulted in a guilty verdict.