Do you think that we live in a democracy? Think again. It’s 2018, and neoliberalism is steadily morphing into neofacism. The UK is sleepwalking into a totalitarian regime. Extreme surveillance has already been introduced in the shape of apparently harmless RFID tags, and 75% of population already use them. People have become another trackable item in a gigantic Internet of Things. And that’s not all.
This is more or less Andrew Tiernan’s vision of what the UK under extreme surveillance would look like. His terrifying sci-fi flick UK18 shook those who attended the screening last night at the Regent Street Cinema. This highly audacious and low-budget movie makes an unequivocal statement against the ugly surveillance developments already taking place in the UK right now. This is an urgent piece of filmmaking, which everyone should see.
Sadly Andrew Tiernan’s film could be frighteningly prescient. The highly controversial Investigatory Powers Act was passed last November with barely any objections from the political establishment, and very limited exposure in the media. The UK government now has unprecedented powers to snoop on our Internet history. Edward Snowden tweeted: “The UK has just legalised the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy. It goes further than many autocracies”. We are quickly turning into an Orwellian society.
Now Theresa May wants to withdraw the UK from the European Convention of Human Rights, which would give her carte blanche to implement the most draconian measures imaginable, without any regards to human rights and civil liberties. The only country ever to abandon the Convention was Belarus, often described as the last dictatorship in Europe.
The screening was followed by a very exciting debate with Andrew Tiernan, the actress Shona McWilliams, the street artist Mark McGowan (aka Artist Taxi Driver), the artist Nick Reynolds and the researcher/ writer Wayne Anthony (author of the book Class of ’88). They urged people to stand up and resist the current government, and agreed that voting at the next general elections on June 8th is key to that. Mark delivered a particularly passionate speech against “Brexshit” and the racism attached.
Below are pictures from the lounge, the cinema, the Q&A and the drinks afterwards!