Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Spies Like Us

Spies Like Us
One of the most unpleasant side effects of living in a Nanny state is the fact that many people seem quite happy to start to spy on their friends, neighbours and strangers; reporting them to Nanny for any perceived misdemeanour.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to learn that the staff at Tescos, in Barnstaple, were happy to "shop" someone to Nanny the other day.

"Pete Williams", a pseudonym, is a deer hunter who took his photographs of a recent hunt to his local Tescos.

Deer hunting, I would note, is perfectly legal. Yet Nanny's nasty little spies took it upon themselves to report Pete to the police.

The police ended up questioning Pete for several hours about his perfectly legal activity.

"Peter Williams" said that he was "made to feel like a terrorist".

Tesco's actions are all the more strange, as they have no ban on photographs of shooting, and its privacy policy says:

"We will never pass your personal data to anyone else".

Rather odd that they passed on the details to the police then isn't it?

Anbyhoo staff at the Tescos, as seems to be the way of the Nanny state these days, took it upon themselves to act as judge jury and executioner and decided to disapprove of what Pete was doing.

They judged that the photographs of him with his gun and a deer that he had shot were "inappropriate", although he had broken no animal cruelty or firearms laws.

Two policemen arrived at Pete's house on a Sunday morning, with a set of prints given to them by Tesco.

After questioning him, the police accepted that he had a firearms certificate and had not broken any laws.

Simon Hart, the chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said:

"This is one of the most disturbing and ridiculous examples of ignorance and demonisation, of which Tesco should be ashamed."

Sir Terry Leahy, the chief executive of Tesco, said:

"On being asked to view the prints, our store's management team decided that there was cause for concern

and as such contacted the police

A second letter on behalf of Sir Terry said:

"Tesco does not discriminate against any lawful section of the community.

We are confident that the actions of our staff were within the law

Evidently spying is now acceptable!

Tesco added:

"We are sorry for any upset or distress caused to the gentleman.

However, if our staff are concerned about

the content of photographic material it is

right that they should seek advice from the appropriate authorities,

in this instance, the police

Nanny and all other petty dictators manage to maintain their power base by encouraging a climate of fear and mistrust, the most effective method of doing that is to encourage people to report each other to the state.

Feel free to tell Tesco what you think about them reporting Pete to Nanny, via this link


  1. Anonymous12:36 PM

    so they say they won't give your details to anyone else and then do so. That looks like a pretty clear breach of contract to me. Don't imagine there'sd be too much sympathy for Tesco if he sued em.

    (this would have the added amusement of the tree huggers having the choice of backing tesco or backing a huntsman!)

  2. Anonymous5:05 PM

    It gets even worse :/
    Tesco also snaps its shoppers
    As reported in the London Times and the Guardian, hidden cameras at Tesco have taken mug shots of people picking up products with Spychips. Now, the press reports that Tesco "expects to finalize a deal within weeks for the purchase of millions of [RFID] tags." It's time to take a stand.

    Don't let Tesco spy on YOU!

  3. I shall go to Sainsbury's in future and if everybody took their custom away from Tesco the management might see sense.

  4. Anonymous10:34 AM

    I think I remember stories about Boots photo processing staff 'shopping' someone who took some family snaps of his newborn to be processed.

    Potentially anyone using a film developing and printing service runs the risk of being reported for something. As I recall the child protection laws make it almost a duty of care. There are probably statistically based guidelines for how many pictures of children are considered exceptional per batch of prints and so worthy of reporting.

    In the case of the huntsman the problem seems to be that the police were nable to apply a judgement or assess an appropriate and proportionate response. Perhaps an isolated failure, perhaps not. In terms of job safety the police seem to be in thrall to the fear of being killed on duty. In itself that is not unreasonable but if they have a genuine fear despite increases in use of safety equipment and procedures (6 armed response vehicles to deal with an elderly farmer for example) something odd would seem to be occurring at a psychological level.

    As for RFID tags - expect to see all companies using them in the very near future - the government wants to use them in vehicle number plates to track all journeys for example. Such technology seems the most likely to be able to deliver the EC's dream of road charging and population manipulation. That said I suspect the supporting computer systems have a lot of development still required before they could cope with the transaction volumes.

    At some point in the near future we may well be grateful for powercuts that will return to us our right to privacy, even if only for short periods.

    Of course all of these things will be subject to the Law of Unintended Consequences which will undoubtedly produce many more examples of ludicrous decisions for our further entertainment.

  5. Anonymous2:42 PM

    I do NOT shop at Tesco's anyway, and having heard about this do NOT plan to do so ever!!
    It is also worth pointing out that 'professional informers' flourished during the Roman Empire, whilst the more autocratic emperors were in power (not good emperors such as Augustus) and also in Nazi Germany and Stalin's Russia. It is NOT acceptable in a democracy which this country still remains --- in theory.

  6. Anonymous8:11 AM

    I have now added Tesco to that of Boots the Chemist as retailers that I will never take a film to for developing and printing. Neither can be trusted not to report you to the authorities for innocent photograps that they deem worthy the attention of our nasty police.

  7. Anonymous10:55 AM

    It makes you wonder what nanny is dreaming of to deal with those antisocialist bastards that use digital and keep the evidence-oops I mean snaps- private on their hard drive?
    @ new watchwords for this goverment, to be seen soon!
    1 paedaphobia (unreasonable fear of paedaphiles)
    2 Pivaphobia (unreasonable desire for privicy)
    any more folks?