Data Mine

Ministers are to consider plans for a database of electronic information holding details of every phone call and e-mail sent in the UK, it has emerged. The plans, reported in the Times, are at an early stage and may be included in the draft Communications Bill later this year, the Home Office confirmed. A Home Office spokesman said the data is a “crucial tool” for protecting national security and preventing crime. Ministers have not seen the plans which were drawn up by Home Office officials.

Where do they get their ideas?

George Plays a Blinder

This government has been the most rightwing since the second world war– Monbiot.

He knocks out some nice riffs on the utter bankruptcy of the NuLabour regime and coincidentally he was dreaming of Gini too-

Labour has shifted taxation from the rich to the poor, cutting corporation tax from 33% to 28% and capital gains tax from 40% to 18%, and introducing a new entrepreneurs’ relief scheme, taxing the first million of capital gains at just 10%. It tried to raise the income tax paid by the poorest earners from 10% to 20%. Labour has lifted the inheritance tax threshold from £300,000 to £700,000, and maintained the cap on the highest rates of council tax. While vigorously prosecuting benefits cheats, it has allowed tax avoidance, mostly by the very rich, to reach an estimated £41bn. Inequality today is slightly worse than it was when Labour took power in 1997 (the Gini coefficient which measures it has risen from 0.33 to 0.35).

Above all, the Labour government has destroyed hope. It has put into practice Thatcher’s dictum that “there is no alternative” to a market fundamentalism that subordinates human welfare to the demands of business. Labour has created a political monoculture that kills voters’ enthusiasm, and has delayed electoral reforms that would have given smaller parties an opportunity to be heard. All we are left with is fear: the fear that this awful government might be replaced by something slightly worse. Fear has destroyed the Labour party, but people keep supporting it in trepidation of letting the other side win.

Ps. But he is a meaty bugger.