Friday, 11 April 2008

Quote of the day

“ You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.”

Lyndon Johnson

Local Council use anti terror legislation to spy on ordinary family over school application

This is not the first time this blog has touched upon the UK’s sinister (but innocuous sounding), Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Now don’t get me wrong - in this day and age there may be a place for some of the draconian measures within it. But only if kept under the tightest controls, left exclusively in the hands of the police and security services - and fiercely overseen and regulated.

As was predicted, this slapdash piece of state control legislation is being used by local councils - and who knows what other jumped up junior clerks, to spy and intrude upon ordinary people - on us.

It seems Poole Council are getting into the James Bond business, spying on school children and their parents. Petty beurocracy given powers far beyond their remit or capability.

If this act gives them the powers to do so, when it was railroaded through on the basis of countering terrorism, then it is simply yet more of New Labour’s Fascism-Lite (or maybe not so Lite anymore) at work; and deeply, morally, wrong. It should be repealed, or amended beyond recognition at the earliest opportunity.

It is part of the same mind set that uses so-called anti terror legislation and the police to violently eject and bar an 82 year old who speaks up for what they believe in from a party conference and heckled a minister. The same mindset that wants us all to have to carry ID cards to prove we have a government granted right to even exist.

It is supposed to be the other way around, we the citizen are supposed to grant the government the limited right to exist for around 4 years.

Make no mistake. If legislation exists it will, sooner or later, be used. None of us should countenance any legislation without keeping it in mind that it may be used - not as allegedly intended, or advertised, but on ordinary people.

Not just mad bombers, or criminals who ‘deserve it’ but people like you and me.

How long before they use this and other legislation to spy on you over something like your council tax, or a library book or parking ticket, for all we know they are already…