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No one escapes suspicion, least of all respectable academics such as Dr Eamonn Butler, Director of the Adam Smith Institute. In an embarrassing indictment of the surveillance culture he has just written a book about, Butler was last week detained by police for, er, walking along the street. Ironically the incident occurred while he was being interviewed about his book, The Rotten State of Britain. “We’d finished the inside shots, so we went outside to do some set-ups of me walking down the street,” he tells me. “After about two minutes up screeched a red police car, and two armoured officers got out to ask our business. Pretty obvious, I’d have thought, since the cameraman had a huge camera on a tripod and the interviewer was carrying one of those microphones like a shaggy dog.” Officers explained the offenders had been captured on at least four different security cameras, and they were merely following procedure.

Published in The Independent on Sunday here