Saturday 9 May 2009

The language of priorities

The clocks are striking thirteen. Knowing that its time is running out, Labour is racing to complete its key project before it’s ejected from power – the creation of a police state in Britain (see my blogs of Jan 17, 22, Feb 17, 19, and March 15). Labour can’t afford to provide decent pensions for the Gurkhas or compensation for Equitable Life investors who saw their life savings go down the drain, and we may all have to wait until 70 for our state pensions.

But finding money to build a police state? Not a problem. £2 billion is going to be blown on the project to snoop on every email we send, every phone call we make, every website we look at, providing, in the words of a former director of public prosecutions, “an unimaginable hell house of personal private information. It would be a complete read-out of every citizen's life in the most intimate and demeaning detail." (I have just re-read 1984. Most instructive.)

Even David Blunkett now thinks ID cards are a bad idea, but Labour remains quite happy to spend at least £5 billion on them. Independent assessments reckon the cost will be up to £20 billion. In addition every one of us will have to shell out at least £30 for our cards, and unlike MPs’ chocolate bars, bath blugs, pet food, Chinese rug repairs, Tudor-style beams etc, the cost presumably will not be reclaimable from the taxpayer.

But why is Labour so fixated on destroying our democracy? I know they’re a pretty fifth-rate, incompetent bunch, and I know that their only guiding principle is to get favourable headlines in right-wing tabloids and try and make the Tories appear “soft”, but I do remain puzzled at their sheer fanaticism. Is it that they are so consumed with self-loathing over the lies they told about Iraq and the crimes they committed there that they feel like Macbeth:

“I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

Or is there something I’ve missed? Can anyone explain?

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