Will you be visiting Britain this summer? Leave your camera at home in Canada - it could land you in jail for a very long time. A new proposal before the UK parliament will make it a criminal offence, punishable by up to 10 years in jail, to take a picture of a policeman, reports Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
No really, this is not an April Fool's joke; we are still in the chilly depths of February. Big Brother Britain also wants to install CCTV cameras inside pubs and is considering banning the wearing of hats in pubs so the cameras get a better view of the pub's patrons.
CCTV cameras already follow the British people everywhere they go. Licence plate recognition cameras identify and track people as they drive. Speed cameras snap your plate if you so much as venture a hair's breadth above the limit. A national DNA database can link you to a crime scene if your DNA is found at place where an offence is later committed.
Why is all this happening? Because Britain is constantly under a perceived threat of terrorism. It all sounds very draconian and unreal, but similar laws have been used in recent years to detain train-spotters.
Whatever happened to the friendly British bobby who would gladly pose for tourists' photographs? Whatever happened to freedom?
"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese
Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.
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