"The Dying Light" by Henry Porter. It was on the new books shelf in the library and I picked it up as 'orange spot reading' - our library labels crime and associated fiction with orange spots. I tend to equate it with light reading, escape reading.
This book is set slightly into the future in the United Kingdom. It has Orwellian overtones. It is close enough to reality to be disturbing for the general reader. If you know anything about the machinations of government then it is a little more than that. It is about control, the sort of creeping control that we are largely unaware of. It is about the sort of control that, even if we are aware of it, we believe there is nothing we can do about it.
I am not paranoid - at least, I do not think I am. I do not hear voices telling me what to do. I do not constantly look over my shoulder. I do not believe I am always being followed. I am aware that people read this blog. That does not matter. I chose to make it public.
There are things however that I should be able to choose to keep private. There are things I should be able to choose not to do. Medical and financial affairs certainly fall into the former category of matters which should remain private. I should be able to choose not to join a union or political party or any other group unless I wish to do so.
I should also be free to pay my debts with the legal tender of this country without penalty. The increasing tendency of utility providers to demand that people go 'on-line' to pay their bills worries me. Charging people extra for not doing so amounts to theft. There is no such thing as 'internet security'. There is no system which is so secure that it cannot be breached by someone. If a human wrote the programme another human can breach it. It is a short step from there to the collation of large amounts of data about each individual - data that can then be used to control. It can be used to 'guide' elections. (In a country like Australia where there is a compulsion to attend the ballot box this is even more disturbing than in a country where no such compulsion exists.) Our present Federal government has already returned to a union dominated system more in keeping with the middle of last century. It plans an identity card -compulsory if you wish to access any form of social security, including a Medicare rebate for a visit to the doctor. At some point we will cease to be ourselves and we will be what the government wants us to be.
We have identity theft by stealth and we are told it is for our own good.