Eurealist looks at the views of David Aaronovitch on David Davis:
With a little bit of NewLabour double think, Aaronovitch argues that Davis is soft on crime because he is against the universal DNA data base, and would only maintain the records of those who have been imprisoned, “what Davis means is that the guilty who haven’t been to prison will also get taken off.”
But surely, as Eurealist points out, people are innocent until proven guilty? The likes of David Aaronovitch don't seem to realise just how easy it is to end up on the Database - nor of the psychological effects being on it can have on the innocent.
The National DNA Database is a despicable abuse of police and Government powers: a friend of mine, recently arrested at Parkside Police Station, Cambridge, on an absolutely piffling and unprovable charge, found himself facing "no further action" - but he's still on the DNA Database. The guy has been a care worker since 1985 and is in his 40s, with no police record at all.
My friend has slid into depression because of his recent experiences at Parkside Police Station - where a young woman police officer gloatingly told him that they could take his DNA "because the Government says we can," and where he spent five hours in a cell waiting for the police officers to get round to looking at the facts surrounding his arrest. Now, he feels insecure and has become somewhat withdrawn.
The most charming of men, well known for his generosity of spirit - he regularly gives up his days off for charity events - there is no way my friend deserved this treatment, and no way that his DNA should be on any database against his will.
"You needn't worry," the police officer at Parkside Police Station said: "Within twenty to thirty years everybody will be on the database..."
The electorate is all too willing to stand by whilst the Government implements this sort of thing - it's the same with the 42 day detention legislation. It's basically throwing away our ancient civil liberties because of a perceived threat of "terrorism". Well, we've lived with that threat (and various attacks) for a very long time. What is happening now does not actually make the public safer. It simply makes the Government and the police force, supposedly there to serve, our masters.
And if you think you are safe from being on the National DNA Database, rubbing shoulders with nasty criminals on a cyberspace list, think again. No ordinary UK inhabitant, no Joe or Joanne Bloggs, is safe. And if you're an upmarket hyphened-type, don't get complacent either. Trumped up charges, various changes to the law, and new highly trivial "offences" can all see you databased - don't even drop an apple core!
"It couldn't happen to me"?
Oh yes it could!