Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Price Of Progress

Those who know Bill Blunt will tell you he's not a man to shun modernity. I like to think I can move with the times.

That's why I couldn't muster much real sympathy for the residents of Broughton, Buckinghamshire, who hit the news this week by railroading an innocent Google cameraman out of their village. There was too much of anally-retentive Middle England about the whole episode for my liking, and I wondered (idly, of course) whether the same people might also spurn the attentions of a proctologist who wanted to send a camera up their back passage.

Nevertheless, I had to rethink my attitude to Google's plan to digitally photograph the streets and roads of our country when I received a letter from my solicitors yesterday morning. One of the more attentive juniors in the offices of Aperture, Lenz & Shutter had been instructed to tear themselves away from Facebook to spend an hour or two scouring Google Street View. The result was a raft of photographs of their more famous clients in (supposedly) compromising positions, which had led Mr Lenz, at least, to suggest we may have a claim for damages.

While I realise that a stagnant property market has left a lot of solicitors with time on their hands, I can't help thinking this smacks of opportunism on the part of my briefs. It's typical of modern Britain that, the moment a new technology is introduced, someone somewhere is sniffing around for a cut of the dosh.

Speaking entirely personally, I'm not in the least perturbed by the idea that I might have been snapped by Google while straightening my tie in a Waterloo Street doorway sometime last month. I've had a few of my friends look at the image thoughtfully forwarded by Mr Lenz, and none of them recognised me through the gauzy blur Google has added.

So, my advice to the people of Broughton is to relax a little, and let the camera in. You can't stop progress.


Daddy Papersurfer said...

My fear is that I'll be spotted using a hose during a ban or placing the wrong type of plastic in the re-cycling bin ...... the end is nighy - I tell you we're doomed doomed doomed .....

Gail said...

Fully agree Bill, you can't stop progress. It makes you wonder what those middle Englanders were trying to hide. Who knows what goes on among the gladioli and behind the nets!