Thursday, March 05, 2009
The most dangerous criminal
Writing in his local rag, Jack Straw tells us that his concern in terms of key freedom is the freedom from crime. Given that the government gets to decide what is criminal and what is not, this is a piece of simple special pleading: if the Government wishes to do something illegal to me, it can simply define what it wishes to do to be legal. Therefore, "freedom from crime", if it is to mean anything, ought to mean freedom from being a victim of State crime as well as personal crime, except this is too difficult for most politicians to grasp, since of course, if the State does it, it is not criminal by definition.Thus, taking data about me, provided for one purpose, and using it for another purpose, or taking my data and passing it onto a third party without my permission, are both illegal. Unless you are the Government, in which case the Coroners and Justice Bill will give you a completely free hand with my data, no matter who currently holds it.Taking a sample of my DNA and holding it without my permission and without this being part of any conviction for a crime should be illegal. Perhaps it even used to be illegal. But surprise! One of Jack's proudest achievements is to extend the database so that perfectly innocent citizens cannot get their samples removed. And all this, because of an "extraordinary injustice". To save one extraordinary injustice, the government has created potentially sixty million ordinary ones.It is very easy for authoritarian legislators to suborn the State, turning it into the most dangerous criminal in the land. Short of a written constitution, what can be used to stop them?