Saturday, 18 July 2009

More Unintended Consequences

Or at least I assume so. Maybe I am naïve, and should be even more cynical. I give Labour very little credit, but even I don’t think that when they said that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act was intended to be used to counter terrorism they saw it being used to spy on those who had been hurt fighting terrorism. It is fairly obvious that the law was going to be used for surveillance with no connection to terrorism, otherwise the rules would have been more tightly written.

Politically, however, this is far worse than councils watching bins. The government’s relationship with the military has been bad since May 1997 but is terrible now, and continuing the meme of “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”, as the MoD does in this case, is not going down well in public.

As I have said before and I am sure I will say again, parliament needs to scrutinise legislation better. Ideally after more time has been taken to draft it. This government is all about panic reaction and guillotined debates.

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