This is the second time I am writing this. My phone decided to crash and I lost it all once. But here goes.
Lets consider what free means. I mean today I had email from Pizza Hut offering me free food. A free lunch? Nope sadly not quite. What they were offering was this:
1. Download our fab new App
2. Rock up to a Pizza Hut Restaurant
3. Show us your App ID
4. Eat yummy food
5. Earn App points
6. Use points for more yummy food
Well actually free means no charge, but effectively by earning their points which I need to use I am buying the food but using their own defined currency.
So nope not free. If but it were. If there was free food life would be so much easier for so many of us.
We all accept there are no free cars, free food, free holidays or infact usually free anything.
I am currently sat writing this in the picturesque Peak District village of Castleton. Its teeming with tourists and the weather is brilliant. I can look up on the weathered stone remains of Peveril Castle, once the main administration centre of the Peak District and I am yards from Winnats Pass. A historical piece of road once renowned for Highway men and thieves. Maybe even the true hunting ground of the ‘real’ Robin Hood if he did indeed exist beyond legend and fable.
As I sit here in this beautiful setting, a breeze almost disturbing the still of green leaved branches I consider are we free?
Even here however you cannot escape CCTV, both in the shops and likely upon the streets. Carefully hidden maybe so as not to interfere with the natural beauty that encourages the purse strings of the tourist class remain a regular feature and very loose.
Consider this. We live in the UK. We are brought up to believe we are ‘free’. We have no chains and are only imprisoned if we do wrong. To some degree that’s correct. However what is ‘wrong’ and who decides? We live under rule of law. Law is supposed to apply to all .with no exception. We are always told ‘no one is above the law’. Sadly it seems that is empty rhetoric and completely untrue.
Our country in fact has more legislation (laws) governing ‘our’ conduct than anywhere else in the world. We used to have legal aid to ensure we all have recourse to legal representation but now we rarely do. For the likes of me or you to get a case into court the cost would be beyond our means. Even to ensure access to our own children when the other parent stops it.
We have conviction without trial which is unheard of in almost every culture.this is achieved through fixed penalty notices, and cautions both of which are seen as admission of guilt and are recorded upon your criminal record. They are not a case of ‘getting off’ as people often see it. They can stop you getting work, having access to vulnerable people, holding public office and even travelling.
The level of surveillance is more per head than any other country. With face recognition tech you can be tracked from one end of the UK to the other by the ‘security’ services. Lets digress for one moment. Whose security do they ensure? Yours? Mine? No sadly they only endeavour to keep members of the ‘establishment’ safe. The Royals, the aristocracy, the gentry and now the ‘super rich’. You are not their priority. In fact you are seen as part of the problem. Possibly not as much as I at times but definitely in some way.
Free thought then? Nope. Well yes you can think what you like but cannot voice it without risk of consequence. The recent behaviour of officers and officials of the Labour Party have highlighted this all too well. Suspending members, removing their voice and vote and even throwing them out of the party. The reasons often given is that those said officials have not agreed with a view the person has shared with others on social media.
I also know people that have been sacked or even arrested for what they have posted.
I have now moved on to Tideswell, the village with ‘The Cathedral of the Peak. I still find myself contemplating free.
So what freedoms do we have? In truth very little. Our options and choices are governed by how much money we have. Money is not only a token for choice but an indicator of how free you truly are. The more money the less restriction upon your options, upon your freedoms.
Is that acceptable? Not to me. I want to live in that world I was told as a child I did. I want to know life is more important than money. That we all have rights and are all free. Dont you?