Movember 2010… Day 29 & Fear and Freedom

Home, UK     29 November, 2010     5pm GMT

Donations for Movember gladly accepted at

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety  deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

About a couple of years ago I was attending the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad, India. It took place just after the horrific shootings and massacre on 26 November in Mumbai.

Prior to going, there was concern from all.. concern that it could happen elsewhere in India, especially at the meeting I was going to, or a touristy place that I would visit. Now India is a big place… something happening in Mumbai and not going to Hyderabad is like saying something happened in London and one must not go to Prague. The distances are great.

Of course, I did not turn a deaf ear to those who showed concern, however I decided to go. I decided to go because I do not wish to lead my life by fear. Too many people, in my opinion, lead their lives by fear. I guess it brings a level of certainty to their lives… but why do we need certainty?

Once in India, the security was high. The coach from the airport to the hotel was checked… when it got to the hotel it was checked by security staff there… when we arrived at the meeting venue all our bags were checked… there were UN security staff and local police.

I then headed off to Goa.. same again.. walk into the hotel and you have to go through metal detectors.. bags checked. The same in Mumbai.. although with Mumbai, even though a hotel car came to pick me up from the airport, it stopped at the hotel gates. Car checked, baggage checked.. change of car.. into one that goes between the hotel gates and the hotel door. Through metal detectors to get inside hotel.

Now, was that too much? Was it necessary? Does it give people a sense of security or does it make them even more scared?

Fear makes people do many things… it makes them agree to draconian measures by Governments that strip away their civil liberties because those new powers can be abused… (a couple of examples.. The Civil Liberties Act in the UK, and the PATRIOT Act in the US).

Even the Jubilee Line on the London Underground train network… they have a driver in the front cabin, however there is no real function for that driver as the whole network is run automatically. Is the driver only in place to give people a false sense of security?

Oh boy, I did not mean to write so much on the topic today… just a small teaser of a much larger area of discussion… What does the readership think about this?

On to Movember… Today’s Mo photo… bit of a tidy up, and my chin tickler is expanding slightly…

Only one more days of Movember to go… so please put your hands in your pockets and donate whatever you can to this cause. Thanks to those of you who are already supporting me in this… as of this evening, my Mo has raised £670.

I hope more of you can support my ‘Mo’ growth by donating (even if it is just £1 / $1 / Eur 1) to the Prostate Cancer charity via my Mo Space at