Invitation II

Photos from this weekend’s Peaks Epic – Invitation II “The Revenge”, are still up on the site here. Today starts off eith an e-mail from a French colleague who is quite amused by current events over here. I don’t know what George Orwell would have made of this but it sounds very much like something out of 1984:

From: Gilles
Subject: Big “Labour” Brother is Watching

Concerning the complete absence of privacy in telecommunications (your phone calls, emails and web surfing) in the UK, I wanted to let you know that on 13th November 2003, the Labour literally forced the House of Lords to approve what they call the “Snoopers’ Charter”.

“A series of regulations (Statutory Instruments) recently laid before the UK Parliament intends to create a legal basis for comprehensive surveillance of communications. The regulations will allow an extensive list of public authorities access to records of individuals’ telephone and Internet usage. This communications data” — phone numbers and e-mail addresses contacted, web sites visited, locations of mobile phones, etc — will be available to government without any judicial oversight. Not only does government want access to this information, but it also intends to oblige companies to keep personal data just in case it may be useful.”

To read how this happened, and how the Liberal Democrats and Tories tried to defend your rights to privacy, you can read this:

“Until 2pm today it appeared that the government’s proposals to place every UK email and phone account under surveillance was doomed. Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Cross Bench peers had vowed to oppose them …”

I thought it might be useful to know that every single phone call you pass and every single email you write will soon be stored by your Provider (O2, BT and … ISD?) for an *unlimited* period of time, and will be accessible to many UK *and foreign* governmental agencies.

This British government is really good isn’t it? I mean just look at all the great things it’s done for us…okay that’s a pretty short list.

On a more light-hearted note:

From: Rebecca
Subject: Peter Kay One Liners

I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘No, Six should be enough.”

I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said, ‘Thyroid problem?’

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realised that The Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.

I’ve often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming.

I was doing some decorating, so I got out my step-ladder. I don’t get on with my real ladder.

My Dad used to say ‘always fight fire with fire’, which is probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.

If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?

Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don’t understand, such as working for a living

That reminds me of this weekend’s riding for some inexplicable reason. Getting onto more Bike related matters, another Freewheel Store is closing, a far cry from the time they held stores in nearly all of the biggest Cities and Towns in the country.

From: Jed
Subject: Freewheel

Freewheel has been in business in Prince of Wales Road since 1990 but will close when the Magic City arcade moves into the bike shop’s premises from its current location on the opposite side of the road.

Yarmouth Pleasure Beach proprietor Albert Jones, who owns Magic City and the premises occupied by Freewheel, was granted planning permission by Norwich City Council on Thursday to convert the bike shop into “an amusement arcade which would include an area with pool tables”.

Freewheel’s owner, who has another bicycle shop in Reading, Berkshire, was prepared to close the Norwich branch as it was approaching the end of its lease. There are currently no plans to reopen the store elsewhere in Norwich.

Maybe it didn’t have a lot going for it, but I think I’ll miss it in a way and I’m sure I won’t be the only person who will. Road trip anyone?

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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