he extent of NSA monitoring revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden showed that democratic and supposedly "free" governments do already attempt to monitor us. The scale of monitoring required is vast, but the technology is catching up. There are two technological changes that are taking place at present that I believe will fundamentally change our approach to privacy...
Power-crazed organisations coercing government to enact policy against the will of the people and subverting democracy - so runs the popular left-wing critique of big corporations in the corrupt, neoliberal world. There's truth to it in places, but it's major failing of many that they feel to see some of the same issues with unions.
So, please, indulge me as I hitherto invent a new genre of literary criticism and thrust it upon your unwitting and uninterested eyes. I call it a "pre-review review". I hear your teeth grind as you call me a "wally" and slap the back of your own neck in the hope you'll hit that "off-button" sweet-spot. Why not simply call it a "preview", like a sensible person?
As long as the public continues to accept the assurances of the rich that we have to suffer so that they don't have to, the bitterness created will continue to create divisions between ethnic and religious communities that should be working together to destroy zero hour contracts and ensure proper funding for the NHS.
UK ministers always seem to preface what they say about the crisis in Gaza by acknowledging Israel's right to self defence against attack. I agree with them about that. Actually, the Palestinians have the right of self defence too. The point is that neither can credibly be invoked to justify the carnage that is unfolding.
My first reaction to this news was that I should read something substantial about one of the biggest conflicts in human history; perhaps Max Hastings huge new book on the subject, or some of that famous poetry that everyone is supposed to read in British schools. What about the extensive reports that all British newspapers are featuring about WW1?
Everything's a marketing opportunity. Our existence is only a chance to prove how brilliant we are, and to congratulate our mates for their brilliance too... The fact is, the more we PR our lives online, the more isolated we become. With every 'Ibiza. Done' status update we move further and further away from meaningful relationships with our families, friends and lovers.
In this post-Snowden age, where privacy it seems is all but dead, a reinterpretation of Orwell's Big Brother and the omnipresent surveillance state certainly has a lot to offer. But this production at the Almeida is over-engineered, with high concept overwhelming the text, creating an inconsistent, uneven show.
Take a look in HMV and tell me what you see. For while the conveyor belt of the craven book publishing world rolls on, the art world preens and lumbers in search of the next concept, and our once glorious world of music has had its guts ripped out by the internet. Yet the musician persists in his efforts to have the cloth-eared hear his songs.