The thing that amazes me about my homeland isn't its willingness to live under state surveillance, but the way we freak out whenever anyone else uses cameras in public. "I was determined to make a stand," said one local, who helped block a Google Street View car from heading into a Buckinghamshire village.
My dad, who lives just an hour away from Broughton, suggests that the key to understanding this apparent paradox is in the amused contempt that many Britons have for politics. It's not that they're sheep: they just think that no matter what powers are given to the police, freedom is guaranteed by the fundamental incompetence of British police. We trust the authorities because the authorities are too stupid and useless to harm us.
This is why Britons will ignore CCTV cameras, but scream bloody murder at Google.