in Community Safety, Politics

CCTV and civil liberties

Following up on last week’s post on CCTV my interview never made it into the final cut of the Newsnight feature. Although quotes from it made it into a BBC News online article and some of the associated radio coverage. Just the way the media cookie crumbles.

However, I did get invited onto BBC Breakfast to share the sofa with Shami Chakrabarti to discuss the issue.

I’ve managed to get a copy of the interviews which are on YouTube and embedded below. I’m told this is acceptable (this article suggests the BBC are relaxed) but will obviously have to remove the videos if requested.

Getting the trivia out of the way. The camera adds pounds. Lots of them. And also inches, I was told later that I looked taller than I do on Twitter! And that was another novelty. I was booked onto the show by one of the producers via Twitter, I’m sure it’s not the first time anyone has been booked onto a show like that (though certainly the first time by her), but must be one of the first times something like that has happened.

I can’t deny there’s a little ego in posting this. Not so much because I was on the sofa, but because I was on the sofa with Shami Chakrabarti! I’ve a lot of respect for her as a champion of civil liberties; meeting her reinforced that – as well as making me feel guilty that I’ve never quite joined Liberty.

But I’m also posting because it backs up the point I made last week – and Shami (note the massively unjustified use of first name) and I were not very far apart in our opinions on this – it’s not CCTV itself that is the problem, it’s the use to which it is put. And there’s a lot of unregulated cameras out there.

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  • Weekly wrap-up, 24 July | JamesCousins.com

    […] feelings on civil liberties) was the common ground I had with Shami Chakrabarti on them when I did BBC Breakfast. It might be a strange alliance, but I think it was something of a victory for common sense. As is […]