Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More Power to their Elbow!

Since I last posted - disappointed that the death of new Labour wasn't imminent, I lost energy and motivation - we've had an apparent Brown Bounce on the back of the credit crunch (which of course was none of his fault...), but now thankfully the polls are showing him plummeting again. And, just in case we feel bad about sticking the boot in, the Government has come forward with a timely reminder as to why we have to get them out, as soon as possible and by any means...

The Coroners and Justice Bill, going through parliament at the moment, is surely enough to rouse any sane person into disgust and hatred for this Government. It has two chief impacts which we should be concerned about here:

* It provides for inquests to be held in secret, for 'security reasons'. This is in the light of the Oxford Coroner criticising the Government's lack of provision for the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, which led directly to a number of deaths, and were the subject of obfuscation and delay by the Ministers responsible (hello Geoff 'Buff' Hoon!). They now want the option to disqualify the public attending, and press reporting of specific inquests, at the Justice Secretary's (hello Jack 'Last' Straw!) or other Minister's discretion.
* 'to amend the Data Protection Act 1998'; the 'Protection' here is to be summarily turned on its head. The state will be able to share any and unlimited data with anyone - from minor public official to private company - in any country, 'in furtherance of any Government policy'; your health records, tax returns, DNA, internet visits, family status and relatives...it also allows the few restrictions on data sharing in the ID Card Bill - no, they haven't dropped it yet - to be summarily overridden.

If you're not terrified at what this incompetent, unprincipled, devious bunch of charlatans could do with the powers in this bill, then think what would happen if somebody even less savoury was in power...

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