A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Finger of Suspicion

Lord Justice Sedley last week called for the composition of a national DNA database where EVERY person's DNA would be included. He also suggested that EVERY visitor coming to the UK should submit a sample for the apparatchiks to sort and store.

The learned gentleman sees no problem in this. Even though he is an Appeal Court Judge he thinks "the risks, so long as they are confronted, are controllable", but the problem he fails to address is who should do the controlling. When he was a member of the British Communist Party, no doubt he had long detailed discussions with his comrades about state control and alleviating the citizen of personal choice. Maybe old habits die hard?

Soon after the judge popped up with his views on the subject, then Lord MacKenzie, the policeman turned Labour Peer, was outlining similar thoughts to Jon Snow on Channel 4. MacKenzie thought it a brilliant idea. He had no qualms. Rather pompously (typical New Labour stuff!) he dismissed the civil liberties arguments and waffled on, saying "when I go to the United States I get finger-printed, checked, etc. I don't complain, cos I've got nothing to hide."

The sly dig here is that anyone gainsaying his talk HAS! It's rubbish, of course. The United states is NOT taking DNA from all and sundry. Their checks at the border are to weed out known troublemakers or those on a wanted list. A compulsory DNA list is certainly not the same, but this was lost on MacKenzie (perhaps intentionally).

Where this DNA database is leading us (if it ever got off the ground) is for us all to be in a potential situation of having to defend ourselves from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Currently the parents of Madeleine McCann are going through such hell over DNA. According to Allan Scott, a lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire's School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, DNA is "so sensitive" that if two people met in the street and shook hands and then one committed a crime, they could possibly leave the other person's DNA at the scene. How many criminals' hands has Lord MacKenzie shaken? Does he know who will be a criminal? Has he supped with any?

Lord Archer was Chairman of the Tory Party. He spent time in jail. He shook nearly every Tory's hand in the country! All sorts of murderers, rapists and conmen have moved in and out of peoples lives. Mixing with people who have "nothing to hide". Wouldn't it be great if (and I hope it is never put in place) the DNA database threw up the names of Sedley and MacKenzie? They had to account for the fact that their DNA was somehow found at the scene of a terrible crime. But before they could babble about freedoms, their names were plastered all over the tabloids giving rise to febrile suspicion.

You can bet your bottom dollar they would be huffing and puffing and protesting vigorously!


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