Privacy in the UK is contradictory. The UK is one of the largest surveillance societies in the world intruding on its citizens privacy. There is so much concern about it that laws have been created to restrict it.
A fascination with intruding on others’ privacy in the tabloid press is seen as ok.
A reputation for being reserved and private in personal lives. Not wanting to be intruded upon contradicts the intrusion of surveillance and interest in celebrity sex lives.
For a country to monitor its population implies an element of mistrust, and wanting to control. A hierarchy and class system encourages mistrust. The feeling of us and them is hinted at during exchanges between politicians and commentators. Our press is divided by the class of its readers. It is not a popular view today to say class exists. Many think it does not.
Privacy means different things to different cultures.
A fascination with sex is part of the stereotypical English reserve. The French do not care. The French do not believe that anyone else is interested. They believe that personal love is a matter of private business. There’s a very French willingness to accept that a relationship might not come to anything. There is no closure, or marriage. It is just a basic human experience of love.
So what makes the UK so interested in sex? Is it a compensation for being repressed about it? Two opposites ends of the same idea? If the UK was more sexually liberated: would the population want to read about it as much in the press?
Being reserved, not being open cannot resolve mistrust. Nothing is clear. The English language is not meant to be. The language with its supportive culture of manners does not want to offend. Better to say words that have ambiguous meaning than to insult the listener.
Surveillance, sex, and reserve are linked by the English character.The English character is ultimately undefinable. But then looking at privacy in the future might give an indication of how the English character might change in the future. Privacy UK.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.