Leading article: Through the camera

An awful thought occurs to us, with the news that Big Brother's days are numbered. Has the all-seeing eye finally completed its transfer from the virtual television world to reality? Are we now so used to being watched for real as we go about our daily lives among the CCTV cameras that watching others being watched has lost its novelty? Do we look from the virtual to the real and back again and find ourselves unable to tell the difference?

Or could there be a lesson here for the watchers? That a time comes when there is simply nothing more to be learned; when the interaction of an assemblage of human beings – however ill-matched the characters and bizarre the circumstances – tells them nothing they did not know already. Even the Stasi in their latter years collected so much information that they could not process it. Or is the good news here even better? You can, yes you really can, fall out of love with Big Brother.