If the home office is so deficient, why don't they get on with getting it right rather than flooding us with new legislation?
Yesterday's edition was the latest serious crimes Bill, which (other than allowing the courts to lock people up who they think might create a crime) allows government departments have free access to all the data that government holds on citizens, and allows the Audit Commission (why the Audit Commission?) to trawl through government data and data obtained from outside sources (such as credit card companies, banks etc) in search of criminal patterns of behaviour.
We seen to be totally unconcerned as a nation about this invasion of our privacy -- believing that it will only affect other people. We should learn a lesson from what has happened to motorists -- it isn't the Mr Bigs that get done in, indeed if you have over a hundred outstanding fines they don't bother to pursue you because they reckon they let you know how to avoid pursuit. It's the ordinary motorist who gets done at the slightest excuse, and all our lives are made that little bit more miserable.
I don't believe that we shall be able to make any serious changes to this Bill, my party are too concerned about the public mood, and though the Lib Dems shout imprecations at the government at a local level they want the surveillance the same as everybody else. What I hope to do, though, is to make sure that we have a fully documented record of all the surveillance that is taking place, so that we might at some stage be able to take a long look at what is happening and feel so sick and that we do something about it. Not that these powers couldn't be used well -- but in the hands of the Home Office ...