YOUR columnist Jayne Dowle warns against the surveillance implications of the trend towards abolishing cash: “When we give up paying in cash, we sacrifice privacy and independence. Every transaction is logged, every location notified. I don’t know about you, but this level of surveillance makes me feel more than slightly uncomfortable” (The Yorkshire Post, March 2).
This is entirely correct but the loss of independence goes far beyond such surveillance. Reliance on digital money renders the public completely dependent on private banks. When things go wrong in the banking system, and recent financial history confirms that they still do, banks can lock out customers from using their own money, restrict their access to it and even expropriate deposits. This is exactly what happened, for example, in the Cyprus banking crisis of 2012.
The retention of cash as a means of payment is an essential counter-balance to the power of the banking system and we lose the use of cash at our peril.
From: Arthur Jones, Cheviot Avenue, Meltham, Holmfirth.
ONE cannot but sympathise with Jayne Dowle in her experience with ‘swipe in/out’ on the boat in London, but one has to disagree with her diagnosis of the cause (The Yorkshire Post, March 2).
It could not be a ‘ fault in the machine’ because the machine functioned exactly as it was designed, constructed and programmed to do, by people. The fault lies with the other people who are using the machine.
A clear notice – white background, red lettering? – placed beside the machine, stating ‘Please do not forget (or ‘Please remember’) ‘to swipe out on leaving the boat (vessel)’ would be far more likely to alert passengers of the necessity than odd notices scattered in the cabin, but not the upper deck.
The fact that an employee was spending significant time arranging refunds because they were unaware of the requirement should have alerted management to the flaw in the system and for remedial action to take place.
There used to be a commodity in free supply, called ‘common sense’, which one learned from one’s parents, then teachers and through one’s own experience. It seems to be remarkable in its absence in today’s world.