Monday, 23 June 2008

The (local) government now starts to engage with the Freedom agenda

Today we hear that Sir Simon Milton, chairman of the Local Government Association, has written to councils warning them that overzealous use of the powers could alienate the public.

The local councils have powers such as phone and email records as well as surveillance , given to them under anti-terrorism legislation introduced by Labour.

They have famously been used for tasks other than preventing terrorism.

And here is the problem of laws framed by politicians who believe its okay to create intrusive powers, as they can be trusted to use these powers. They ignore the fact that powers on the statute book tend to get used in ways you didn't expect. ( As the poor pensioner dragged from Labour's Party conference a few years ago under anti-terrorism legislation for shouting at Jack Straw discovered. )

What the announcement by Sir Milton shows is that those in power are now worried about how the issue of freedom is playing with the public. He has also provided Labour with a fig leaf to use when these abuses of power are brought up in debate. They all seem to forget that we are laying the foundations of a totalitarian state, which may be run by people they haven't thought of yet.

And this is, as I understand it, at the base of David Davis' campaign.

Update: And so apparently does he !

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