PERSONALLY, I would have no objections whatever to my DNA being stored on a national database.
But then, that’s just the kind of guy I am.
Filed under Politics, Society
Tagged as DNA database
I strongly object to being part of any such database. If I haven’t done anything wrong, why does the state want my DNA and fingerprints on file?
It’s not a case of “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”.
These days, “I fear having to prove I have nothing to hide”.
You are free to make that choice for yourself.
Please don’t try forcing it on others or pretend that it has any societal advantage except for statist utilitarians who trust their “betters” not to abuse that trust.
I am not suprised you would do it, and it confirms to me just how little you care for individual civil rights, of course as an MP you would be exempt so it is easy for you to talk, as you wont be on the I/D data base either. Why is this ?.
Oh sorry that is a difficult question the type that no one answers in Labour
Why would you have no objections?
And do you really mean no objections?
Cat: 1 Pigeons: 4
Hope you’ve ducked down below that parapet! There may be more to come.
“But then, that’s just the kind of guy I am.”
What, you mean a plonker? 🙂
It’s a very common misconception that DNA is ‘foolproof’. From smaller DNA samples several people in a country with the population of the UK could match. Would you want to be one of those coincidental matches in a murder investigation under a subsequent right wing administration?
I think few people would complain if the system in your home country applied here. The problem is we don’t trust you with any of our data, as you have shown yourself serially incapable of looking after it. I do not like the idea of my DNA falling into other hands.
Smith’s response, as ever, laughable. She’s not up to the job, is she?
Are you happy to have Ron and Reg on it and their kids?
I am working as a tour guide at Dachau Concentration Site this morning and everytime I do the introduction and talk about how the prisoner’s (political enemies of the Nazi’s were the first in) were booked in for an indefinite period of ‘protective custody’ I think about 28 days and ID cards.
Mildly off topic, I guess, but further proof here of the Dear Leader’s deteriorating mental health…
Tacitus – don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
I read so much these days that would qualify as an April 1st story but when the PM provides fodder it’s, quite frankly, disturbing.
But then Gordon’s getting desperate – I received an unsolicited email from ‘him’ the other day telling me how super the plans in the Queen’s Speech are and how well placed the Government is to lead hard working families through these difficult times. I can only imagine they got my email address from the Gordon-is-listening site which I visited to criticise the Government.
They really don’t get it, do they? People like myself have lost all trust in this Government – I don’t trust them to keep promises, to tell me the truth or to govern sensibly and moderately and use my money wisely. In fact I wouldn’t trust them to organise a jumble sale.
Of course, The Times reporter might be spinning to show Gordon in a poor light…
I urge the free world to put pressure on Gordon Brown to leave office now.
For the sake of his people he must do the right thing and step down or surrender himself to a democratic election.
Tom, don’t know if you heard Brown being interviewed by Simon Mayo the other day, but the opening exchange was a pearl
SM: How are you?
GB: Er OK but er I’m er trying to work through at the moment how we can give real help to families and to businesses over this period when things are very difficult and er obviously the cut in interest rates today helps er what we’ve announced yesterday to help mortgage er holders er helps and I’m just determined that we do everything in our power to take people through these er difficult world times in a way that er shows that we can er actually give help to people.
I rest my case.
And lets remind Tom of what the ECHR actually said, and how they described the situation here (but not in Scotland – West Lothian as ever). Tom approves of this, remember, so we know where he stands on human rights. New Labour and democracy are really not bedfellows.
I wonder whether the fact that the snooping into everything bill (anal probes next) didn’t appear in the Queens Speech as had been expected, was down to this ruling?
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled unanimously that the British practice of collecting and indefinitely keeping DNA and fingerprint data of everyone suspected of a crime, including those not charged and those acquitted, violates the right to privacy. The court used blunt language; it stated that it was “struck by the blanket and indiscriminate nature” of the British practice, which “constitutes a disproportionate interference in the applicants’ right for respect to private life and cannot be regarded as necessary in a democratic society“.
Tacitus – thanks for posting that “How are you?” response. I was laughing my socks off here.
You can listen to it here: Never ask a barmy Prime Minister… a simple question.
A more sobering thought is that GB sounds like he has been programmed, which would explain a lot.
Who can possibly trust ‘authority’ with our DNA? Just you so far, Tom.
But then, Tacitus, “blanket and indiscriminate” is what this Government does well: we have the blanket smoking ban (in breach of its manifesto promise), the proposed crackdown on drinking in alcohol-free zones (better make sure the parkie’s not around before you open your picnic bottle of Chardonnay), proof of ID required to open a bank account, buy a mobile phone or make a will, the proposals to reduce the number of points at which motorists will be disqualified together more speed restrictions and zero tolerance of alcohol, the determination of the Government to introduce, by stealth, an unpopular ID card scheme. We live in a country where everyone is no longer presumed innocent until found guilty of a crime, where the letter of the law is heavy-handedly enforced even when its spirit is not in jeopardy and where the easiest option is justified as the best option.
Jay – “we have the blanket smoking ban (in breach of its manifesto promise)” – agreed on a free vote (not whipped by either side);
“the proposed crackdown on drinking in alcohol-free zones (better make sure the parkie’s not around before you open your picnic bottle of Chardonnay)” – yeah, because Chardonnay-quaffing middle class professionals are a real problem – not the Buckfast winos who threaten passers-by and piss in people’s doorways… And a number of local councils – accountable to their own electorates – have already introduced this measure.
“proof of ID required to open a bank account, buy a mobile phone or make a will” – what, seriously? This is a new concept introduced by Labour? I would be interested to know your reaction when someone else opens up a bank account in your name without your knowledge or leaves your property to themselves in your will! Good grief…
“the proposals to reduce the number of points at which motorists will be disqualified together more speed restrictions and zero tolerance of alcohol,” – well, obviously you’re right on this one. You have to wonder why the relatives of people killed on the road moan so much about it. 3000 dead on the roads every year? A price well worth paying in my (and your) book.
“the determination of the Government to introduce, by stealth, an unpopular ID card scheme” – Hang on, how did you know about that? We’ve been trying to keep that secret! We’ve never mentioned it in public. D’oh!
What a strange little world you live in.
“as you have shown yourself serially incapable of looking after it.”
You’ve got a point there. Security is a worry.
All those documents that get leaked, computers that can be hacked into, and the discs and memory sticks that get ‘lost’. Who the hell is doing that, and why?
Whaddya say to this, Tom, from Charter 88. Mirrors my view of freedom, and seems to me entirely reasonable, but I suspect not yours. However, rather than make too great an assumption, I’d be glad to hear how you view this statement
Charter 88 – Ten constitutional demands
We have had less freedom than we believed. That which we have enjoyed has been too dependent on the benevolence of our rulers. Our freedoms have remained their possession, rationed out to us as subjects rather than being our own inalienable possession as citizens. To make real the freedoms we once took for granted means for the first time to take them for ourselves.
The time has come to demand political, civil and human rights in the United Kingdom. We call, therefore, for a new constitutional settlement which will:-
1. Enshrine by means of a Bill of Rights, such civil liberties as the right to peaceful assembly, to freedom of association, to freedom from discrimination, to freedom from detention without trail, to trial by jury, to privacy and to freedom of expression.
2. Subject executive powers and prerogatives, by whomsoever exercised, to the rule of law.
3. Establish freedom of information and open government.
4. Create a fair electoral system of proportional representation.
5. Reform the upper house to establish a democratic, non-hereditary second chamber.
6. Place the executive under the power of a democratically renewed parliament and all agencies of the state under the rule of law.
7. Ensure the independence of a reformed judiciary.
8. Provide legal remedies for all abuses of power by the state and by officials of central and local government.
9. Guarantee an equitable distribution of power between the nations of the United Kingdom and between local, regional and central government.
10. Draw up a written constitution, anchored in the idea of universal citizenship, which incorporates these reforms.
The inscription of laws does not guarantee their realisation. Only people themselves can ensure freedom, democracy and equality before the law. Nonetheless, such ends are far better demanded, and more effectively obtained and guarded, once they belong to everyone by inalienable right.
I’ve never been a fan of the pompously-entitled Charter 88 and its mob of chattering class followers. Sorry.
You should be in this goverment.
Who do you want to blame? It can’t be johnny foreigner, they’ve already used that over the economy.
The answers as to who is to blame; look at who is in charge. The buck should stop firmly at that person and I do mean at cabinet level as well as perhaps some of those below.
As for how to limit it, perhaps looking at how private companies do so might help.
Not overpriced consultancies who happen to donate to NuLabor but real working companies who actually produce things.
Hmmm. Don’t recall asking you what you thought of them. You take after your Dear Leader, indeed, the whole Newspeak based New Labour project, that has so basely corrupted the English language.
Tom Harris’s epitaph
“He could never give a straight answer”
Anyway, thanks for confirming that you are not fit for office.
Tom, yes the blanket ban was the result of a free vote – given amid fears that Labour MPs would rebel against their own party’s manifesto commitment of exemptions. I have no doubt that many Labour voters wouldn’t have voted Labour had that commitment not been made. I understand that the Government’s latest proposals to persecute smokers (sorry, save thousands of lives) are to be shelved amid fears that they will alienate voters (stable doors and horses spring to mind). We all know, of course, that smokers die younger – one did last week, having committed suicide because he felt so humiliated by the pariah status accorded him by the ban that he’d become a recluse. But then he’s just a selfish saddo who refused to get on message, isn’t he?
Buckfast winos who piss in people’s doorways can be dealt with under law that was in existence long before ‘alcohol-free zones’, after all the crime is pissing in people’s doorways rather than drinking in a designated area. To link the two behaviours is erroneous: it criminalises those who are not guilty of any crime (the family having a picnic) and it fails to tackle criminal behaviour by those who have not been drinking in the ‘wrong’ place but who are guilty of anti-social behaviour (the drunks staggering out of the pubs and pissing in people’s doorways). It’s a good law only if it’s intended to target Buckfast winos…
As for proof of ID – I don’t remember having to prove ID before Labour came to power. I’d love someone to open a bank account in my name – but only rich fraudsters need apply… Leaving aside the fact that people don’t leave anything to themselves in their wills on account of the inconvenience that, when the will takes effect, they’re dead, the small matter that a property they’ve disposed of belongs to someone else might -just – come to light during probate. I’m aware of one instance of testators conspiring to commit fraud. You see, Tom, most people are honest and law-abiding and those who aren’t won’t be deterred by the need to produce ID. This is a quaint notion shared by the populace (but what do they know?) but alien to the Government. I’m surprised that you didn’t mention that, as a critic of the ID card scheme, I must be one of the millions who don’t care that people are killed or injured as a result of terrorism.
As for the 3,000 killed on the roads do you have evidence that the culprits are those who’ve had two glasses of wine the night before driving at 80 mph along a quiet stretch of motorway or am I unnecessarily complicating the issue by imagining that factors other than speed and alcohol per se might have played a part, factors such as excessive or inappropriate speed, excessive alcohol levels, medication, poor judgment, impatience, frustration?
“look at who is in charge. The buck should stop firmly at that person and I do mean at cabinet level as well as perhaps some of those below”
Get rid of ‘those below’ sharpish, checking at the same time whether they’ve got form? Or would that be infringing anything? One has to be so careful these days.
And unfortunately I must have missed the tabloid pictures of Ministers flicking CD’s and memory sticks out of office windows, and lighting their fags with copies of important documents. eh?
Still, the buck stops blah blah.
“looking at how private companies do so might help”
Thought I’d heard recently that a/some private company/ies had been given the boot for not carrying out their contract competently?
Exam papers, computer set ups? Something like that. One forgets, it appears to happen on a regular basis in the private sector.
What about that company ?4 that was put in charge of prisons years ago, but the prisoners kept escaping (leaking? – just my little joke) – it was on Michael Howards watch, and no-one could winkle him out, but he sacked ‘one of those below’ , but I digress…
“Who do you want to blame? It can’t be johnny foreigner”
I don’t like or use that expression, and don’t blame them.
@Tom Harris December 6, 2008
I’ve never been a fan of the pompously-entitled Charter 88 and its mob of chattering class followers
Oh dear. Class war again. Unbelievably tedious. Grow up.
@Jay – yes, legislation – New Labour need to mainline it or they get sick. Anyway the gloves are, if not already off, near as dammit, and one thing I do know is that very few pensioners and very few people otherwise relying on savings, won’t be voting for this steaming pile of kack again.
(Former Labour voter, by the way, over 30 years.)
Tr. “I personally have no problem with putting all my eggs in a single basket that has lots of holes in it, sticking a sign above it saying that the eggs are solid 22k gold beneath the shells, and assigning guard over it to someone already over-worked as it is. I will then proceed to teach the world about what a marvellous storage system I have contrived, papering over the holes, and insist that any eggs not in the basket, regardless of whether they just happen to leave via the holes either by accident or the designs of others, must automatically assumed to be rotten.
But that’s just the Edwina Currie I am.”
If the senior management won’t suffer when security is infringed they aren’t going to be very bothered to do anything about it.
It’s a simple fact of life, unless they fear repercussions they won’t put in the time, effort or resources. If they’re numpties this won’t stop the problem but will allow for removal of the numpties and hopefully replace them with someone more au fait with the requirements of the job.
Yes the repecussions should also go down, but the responsibility also resides with those who take the credit when things go well.
If a company employees somebody who has a criminal record for breaking security then I would suggest that the human resources department need to improve their pre-employment vetting.
It is legal and always has been to check court records. Just as you are free to check the electoral roll to check someones address.
For my present job I actually had to get a letter from the police confirming that I had no outstanding writs, criminal record or court orders against me.
Not a problem, just requires sensible procedures commensurate with the position being filled.
The recent incompetent company I think you are refering to haven’t been totally thrown out.
However I did specifically exempt consultants.
My comment about private companies was in reference to how they handle their own security issues, not other peoples.
Lots of large private companies have sensitive data, both personal and business and, in the main, keep it fairly secure.
The obvious exceptions being banks.
As I said, securing data isn’t hard though employees may not like the limits it puts on their activities during working hours.
Then again we are being paid to work not trawl the internet or copy what is meant to be secure data onto flash drives or leave company laptops on train seats.
Much as I dislike writing and revising them, procedures are useful things.
“PERSONALLY, I would have no objections whatever to my DNA being stored on a national database.”
For many years people have been able to volunteer their DNA to the police without being under suspicion for anything at all. The Sun, for example, ran a (very short lived) campaign that actively encouraged the public to go to Police stations to volunteer DNA to support the database. Yet the way you phrased your statement implies that your DNA isn’t on the database.
I’d ask why not, when you seem to support the database, but you’ve already claimed that their is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be. Erm, except that you imply it isn’t.
A possible answer might be that you are so ignorant about the DNA database, the way it works and the issues surrounding it, that you didn’t realise that you could volunteer your DNA to support the database. If you have carefully preserving your ignorance about the DNA and the way it works why should your readers give your argument weight?
Right, wee Tommy. Multiple choice exam for you. Let’s take each point of the Charter 88 declaration, and you say Yea or Nay to it. Fair enough. One at a time, so as not to rush you.
1. Enshrine by means of a Bill of Rights, such civil liberties as the right to peaceful assembly, to freedom of association, to freedom from discrimination, to freedom from detention without trail, to trial by jury, to privacy and to freedom of expression
Yea or Nay?
Thomas @9:10pm above
Remember – the guy is a career politician. And career politicians are bad news in every way, as we are finding to our cost; a cabal of the over-ambitious, overweening and incompetent. Brown hardly held down a proper job before entering politics, as has no economic qualifications whatosever (nor has Darling), as we are now finding to our cost.
I curse the day I was fooled by that primping Narcissist Blair. I recognised the Labour Party had to change to get elected again, but I wanted them to be elected.
Had no idea the nightmare that would unravel in the wake of his lies, one in which we are now the most surveilled country in the world. A country that was once a beacon burning bright in the cause of freedom.
Tacitus at 12:13 pm
“Remember – the guy is a career politician.”
That’s more, not less, reason not to question his inconsistencies.
“And career politicians are bad news in every way, as we are finding to our cost; a cabal of the over-ambitious, overweening and incompetent.”
While I share a generally low opinion of career politicians I giving him credit for trying to use his blog to connect with the public. There’s no reason why be couldn’t simply censor these critical comments.
“I curse the day I was fooled by that primping Narcissist Blair. I recognised the Labour Party had to change to get elected again, but I wanted them to be elected.”
Blair never won me over. As for yourself, you could look at it this way, once bitten twice shy.
“Had no idea the nightmare that would unravel in the wake of his lies, one in which we are now the most surveilled country in the world. A country that was once a beacon burning bright in the cause of freedom.”
If the Coroner’s bill passes in it’s current form, things are going to get worse. Not only does it propose secret inquests in the name of security. (with absolutely no inspiration from the DeMenzies cases of course). But it also gives a general power, free from Parliamentary oversight, for ministers to further water down data protection regulations for public bodies at the stroke of a pen. Just pooling existing government data from various sources increases the scope for surveillance.
This government have already weaken the rules regarding passing data on individuals to third parties.
It seems to me that while the debate uses terms like ‘surveillance’ and ‘privacy’ what is really being established is the level of government control of the population.
@Thomas December 7, 2008 at 7:01 pm
Tacitus at 12:13 pm
That’s more, not less, reason not to question his inconsistencies
Oh, I hope I didn’t imply otherwise! Oddly, the ridiculous Ms. Blears, in a rare moment of lucidity noted that we have too many career politicians. Brown another classic example.
How the hell did we get in this mess?
And how the hell are we going to get out of it?
“It seems to me that while the debate uses terms like ’surveillance’ and ‘privacy’ what is really being established is the level of government control of the population.”
Yes – it would seem that the Data Protection Act will apply only to the private sector. Tom, just a reminder, the private sector is what creates the wealth that the public sector feeds off like a leech.
Heard Straw on the radio this AM, complaining that courts were misinterpreting how the HRA was implemented. Same argument Cooper used on QT to zay that Councils were misusing RIPA.
In both cases, the truth is that the legislation, as ever with the New Labour legislation junkies, is ill-thought out and badly implemented.
Interesting also how so much new legislation relates to crimes against the state. Whilst incidence of violent crime rises and rises, the government busies itself with wheelie-bin laws.
But Harris doesn’t connect with the public. Ask him a “difficult” question and he either ignores it, sneers at you, or makes a funny-ha-ha snide remark. This is not an open conversation going on, when one side is selective in how or what they answer.
Mind you, he would be frightened of Gorgon spanking his botty, I am sure.
‘Children’s secretary Ed Balls said the criticism by Conservative MPs was “undermining” the Speaker. ‘
Uh? Why bother? He can do that all by himself.
“Yes – it would seem that the Data Protection Act will apply only to the private sector. Tom, just a reminder, the private sector is what creates the wealth that the public sector feeds off like a leech.”
The Serious Crime Act 2007 amended the Data Protection act to weaken it to allow wider data sharing between private bodies, and for public bodies to pass onto private bodies, data about
“(a) the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject,
(b) his political opinions,
(c) his religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature,
(d) whether he is a member of a trade union (within the meaning of the [1992 c. 52.] Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992),
(e) his physical or mental health or condition,
(f) his sexual life,
(g) the commission or alleged commission by him of any offence, or
(h) any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings. ”
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Who lives in Nuneaton anyway?