the Disillusioned kid: Down and Out in London
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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Down and Out in London


George Orwell is perhaps most famous for writing 1984, which depicts a dystopian Britain in which the population are continuously monitored by The Party. It is darkly ironic that today, the area where he lived, like so much of the UK, is saturated with CCTV cameras, the modern day equivalent of Airstrip One's "telescreens":
On the wall outside his former residence - flat number 27B - where Orwell lived until his death in 1950, an historical plaque commemorates the anti-authoritarian author. And within 200 yards of the flat, there are 32 CCTV cameras, scanning every move.

Orwell's view of the tree-filled gardens outside the flat is under 24-hour surveillance from two cameras perched on traffic lights.

The flat's rear windows are constantly viewed from two more security cameras outside a conference centre in Canonbury Place.

In a lane, just off the square, close to Orwell's favourite pub, the Compton Arms, a camera at the rear of a car dealership records every person entering or leaving the pub.

Within a 200-yard radius of the flat, there are another 28 CCTV cameras, together with hundreds of private, remote-controlled security cameras used to scrutinise visitors to homes, shops and offices.
The Evening Standard (via)

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