Britain ‘risks a police state’

Following the damning reports of the House of Lords Constitution Committee and yesterday, the International Commission of Jurists, now Stella Rimington, ex-Head of the security service, MI5, has warned that Britain risks becoming a police state. In an internview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported by the Daily Telegraph, Ms Rimington attacked government plans for the National Identity Register and the soon-expected plans for a database of all communications (delayed from last year). If even ex-heads of the security service are now asking the government to change direction, in addition to civil liberties experts, independent judges, and just about everyone else, their stock of excuses must be rapidly diminishing. The current cabinet must know that their actions smack of the desperation of a failing government desperately searching for votes in being ‘tough on crime and terrorism’… but they seem to be locked into a trajectory of ever-increasing surveillance and security that they cannot justify but cannot escape. You do wonder who is actually advising them that this is all a good idea…