Friday 1 March 2013

A nagging suspicion

History will probably document that this decade has advanced more than any other throughout time, with the possible exception of the Romans and, maybe, Telford’s industrial steam iron
Here we now are in an era that can track us all by satellite, no matter whether we are on the run or on the toilet.
The question remains - should we embrace this advance or fear it?
Well, assuming we are innocent of nothing more than a parking fine, then we should have nothing to fear and be comforted that, were we lost, someone knows where we are.
Today we are back in France after three months in UK, which is no big secret.  If it were I am sure I wouldn’t post it on the internet. What information I would like to retain in a little more personal locker is where I have been, who with, how, when and why. Not because there is anything sinister about that either, just that it is my own business and not anyone elses.
So when I am singled out of a traffic queue at the HM Customs by some power-crazed short legged blonde with a pony tail and a Thatcheresque frown, and questioned on my recent exploits, I don’t feel obliged to play along. No problem, I’ll just have some fun and give them a few sarcastic fibs with a wry smile. We all know how this game works.
But when did they suddenly have the right to take swabs from my door handle?
She thought I hadn’t noticed her henchman in my offside mirror taking tiny samples from the passenger side door, while I was being I was being detained through the drivers window with inane questioning. It is quite obvious she wasn’t listening to me either, when I gave my occupation as circus freak and my home address is Abersandwich. In fact it was only when I drove away that I realised that I had actually just been violated in such a way.
You see, what he had just done was taken my DNA without my permission. That will now be filed, against my wishes, with the reg plate from the car. So whoever has opened this car door within the last week or so will now be stored on file. If they choose, they can now not only track our car by satellite, but follow our DNA trail too
And that bothers me.
If, next week, an innocent tourist has been murdered by a mad axeman in Cyprus, these records will be checked. Even if someone steals a bag of sweets or potentially puts their hand anywhere in the world, the SOCO samples can be checked against me. FOREVER. Basically, I am now a marker for crimes committed worldwide to be checked against.
And that bothers me a fucking-great deal. And I reckon it may even be illegal?
A few months ago the extent of our advances in DNA recognition hit the headlines during routine checks were made on a few beef-burgers. Yes, in that instance, it did lead to better things as it uncovered the pirates who have been filling our pies with horsemeat over the last 20 years. But then, immediately, a witch-hunt started which as usual the media stirred up into a shit-storm. We then find that traces of horse DNA turns up all over the place, as evidence of the tiniest contamination show up everywhere. Not just horse either, but pigs, goats, lamb, all killed in same processing plant that have left their miniscule evidence behind them, despite things being washed down after they have long gone in vac-pacs. You can run, piggy – but you can’t hide!
Here’s a supposition. How long before the bloke that lifted that carcase off the meat conveyor leaves his own DNA behind.
Impossible? Not at all.
Very soon we will see the headlines CANABAL NATION. The vegan brigade will love that one.
But now, let’s move on
What if that bloke I gave a lift to last week had been handling the stuff? Would my car be tracked down to our village in France?
Would the police be worried maybe I have been put into burgers too? After all, this FRANCE…they eat all sorts of shit?
Will my sister be reading the headline that her charming younger brother had just been eaten by an eighteen stone skinhead from Manchester with chips, peas and gravy?
Will hoards of well wishers attend a funeral of an empty Findus box that was once a renowned author with wailing tears, while I am obliviously sipping gin in the Atlantic sunshine?
Maybe my dogs DNA will be found as well. Poor pooper, how tragic that the world may believe you have ironically ended up in a tin of pedigree chum!
I am sure to most this may sound as far fetched as 1984 was to anyone post-war who wasn’t fitted with a straight-jacket? You will be thinking that, as per usual, this madman is cantering around on his hobby horse on the back of the beef horse, but I swear that big brother has long since stopped watching us and now is gathering our genetic finger prints without our agreement.
Well my vote is that each and every one of us should be demanding that it stop before we all end up in the hands of the lawyers, and that we should all demand more clarity on the whole DNA issue. At the very least we should be given the opportunity to smile and brush our genetic hair before the snapshot is taken to preserve us in eternity.

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