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Giant Steps Towards Cashless/Surveillance Society Going
On Unnoticed In London
Tube fares go up if you want to use cash, go down if you use cashless "smartcard"
We have previously exposed how there is a movement afoot towards a cashless society, to be tied into the surveillance database grid behind national ID cards and Biometric Passports and driving licenses.
A cashless society would mean total control over everyone as people would be forced to pay for everything electronically. Every purchase would be traceable and the ability to buy or sell could be halted immediately at any given moment.
The BBC has today reported on how London's transport fares are to be put up, but only for people who wish to pay in cash. For those who get an electronic smart card, the price will go down.
The Mayor even had the nerve to state that it was the "free choice" of people as to whether they continue to pay by cash.
The oyster card is waved over a reader in underground stations to gain entry, users top it up as they would credit on a cell phone.
Its is all about getting people used to a cashless society in which it is deemed an inconvenience to have actual money. It will become positively embarrassing to be seen to hold up the queue because you want to use real money.
I live in London and I only occasionally use the tube, thus I have no call to get an Oyster card. This is clearly aimed at people who do not need a smart card but will be easily persuaded if the price is right.
It has been previously exposed how Oyster cards are also used to track commuters.
The ad campaign behind the card is that it's easier and less hassle and can magically transport you quicker, something that anyone who uses the Northern line regularly will know is BS.
We have continually warned how these big brother tools will be marketed as convenient as well as cool and fashionable. Even the Oyster Smartcard is being marketed in this way as people are wearing it on handbags and clothing.
The ultimate element of a controlled cashless society is of course the implantable microchip. We have previously exposed how this is being used in Europe to gain VIP access to nightclubs and pay for drinks.
How long will it be before we have to take the chip to get on the tube?
Tubes and buses hit by fare hike
Tube and bus fares in London paid for with cash are set to increase next year, the Mayor has announced.
A single Tube journey in zone one will cost £3 instead of £2 while a single bus journey will rise from £1.20 to £1.50, said Mayor Ken Livingstone.
However fares will fall for holders of the Oyster pre-pay smartcards.
With Oyster, a zone one Tube ride will be cut from £1.70 to £1.50 - half the cash fare. Mr Livingstone said the aim was for fewer people to pay with cash.
Speaking at City Hall, Mr Livingstone said the increased fares to be introduced from January would raise about £80m.
'World's most expensive'
"This proposed fares package focuses on halving the number of cash journeys made in 2006 to speed up journeys and improve the efficiency of the network," he said.
He conceded the new single Tube fare of £3 would probably be the most expensive in the world.
Roger Evans, conservative chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: "How can the Mayor expect people to leave their cars at home when bus and Tube tickets are spiralling out of control?"London Assembly Lib Dems said the price hikes would clobber tourists and ultimately businesses during what is already a difficult time in the wake of the London bomb attacks.
Geoff Pope, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport spokesman, said it would also hit those who cannot use Oyster cards because the majority of train companies running services to and from the capital still refuse to accept them.
The fares announcement was also criticised by business representatives as being "desperately short-sighted" in view of the current retail slump on the high street and recent rise in the congestion charge.
"The Mayor seems determined to kill off London business by putting up the cost of visiting the capital by tube, bus or car," said Victoria Carson, spokesperson for the Forum of Private Business.
A further rise in fares is expected in 2007, the last of three previously announced price hikes.
The basic fare on London's buses rose by 20p to £1.20 in January this year.
From August this year, all under-16s have been entitled to free travel on London's buses and trams and this will be extended to all under-18s in full-time education by September next year.