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The dull sword of Clegg.

REPORTS ARE REACHING the hinterlands of the EU province known as the East Midlands that Master Clegg (former representative of same area) has wielded the Sword of Liberty and struck down evil Tory plans for a Snooper’s Charter. Thus with one decisive stroke Master Clegg has freed his citizens from the threat of having the details of all their emails, phone calls and internet browsing (apart from the content) recorded and kept for the spooks, loons and desk wallahs of the benevolent state to sniff their way through.

Or has he?

Unfortunately, Clegg has simply added a bolt to the door of the stable from which the proverbial nag departed a number of years ago.

The piece of legislation he has purportedly stymied is the Data Communications Bill, which is no more than the ghost of the former Labour government’s Intercept Modernisation Programme hauled from its stinking crypt and paraded in new clothes by the current crew of the intellectually challenged and morally stunted.

The point being that the horse – the really, really important horse – that bolted goes under the dull name of Directive 2006/24/EC, otherwise known as the Data Retention Directive. This, as you can probably guess from its name, is a European Union diktat. It requires every member state to compel their internet service providers (ISPs) and telephone companies to log and keep for inspection all the details of their customers’ activities.

This Snooper’s Charter, which received no attention whatsoever in the UK media, was “transposed”, i.e. incorporated into English law in 2009. Thus we are already being snooped on. Both the Labour government’s planned database and the Coalition’s are merely expensive add-ons to what already exists.

Again, I see no mention of this in the British media. And Master Clegg, Saviour of Citizens’ Rights and Privacies, being a quisling of the EU, must surely know of it. Just as surely, he’ll be hoping this unpleasant factoid will not find its way into the news.

That won’t happen, of course. Luckily for him the British media are a bunch of compliant serfs whose ignorance is matched only by their sense of self-importance. So he gets to look like he’s done something honourable for a change, the journos rehash their press releases and pretend they’re doing a useful job, and the spooks keep on spying on us.

Michael Blackburn.


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