Monday, October 27, 2008

A nation of suspects and informers

"I was once an advocate of joined-up government, because I wanted efficiency. But too often joined-up government seems to mean joined-up fascism. In June, a select committee of MPs heard some astonishing evidence from respected campaign groups. One, Parents Against Injustice, gave instances where people whose children were being taken into care had not been allowed to challenge the allegations against them. The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (Aims), said that midwives were being turned into 'health police'. Jean Robinson, of Aims, said that she had seen case after case where health visitors and midwives were not supporting postnatally depressed mothers but reporting them to police and social workers, whose interventions largely made things worse." —Camilla Cavendish

"Is Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, a pocket dictator? Is there no drop of liberalism in her veins, no concept of personal freedom, no fear of a repressive state? Or is she just another home secretary? This month she apparently felt obliged by dark forces beyond her control to add another weapon to the armoury of illiberal power. She wants to record at her Cheltenham communications headquarters every mobile phone call, text and internet message of every Briton living. This is close to madness." —Simon Jenkins

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