Saturday, May 29, 2010

THE NEEDS OF THE MANY – THE NEEDS OF THE FEW

So I don’t really count myself as either left or right on the politics scale nowadays I find myself as far too cynical to consider it. I do have an active interest in politics though and one thing very close to my heart is civil rights. Recently I was listening to Radio Five Live [Part of the BBC’s radio network dedicated to News and Sport] and the DNA database was under discussion. Previously police in the UK were holding onto people’s DNA after their arrest even when proven innocent of the crime they were arrested for. Now it seems under the CONDEM government the amount of time such DNA can be held might be reduced.

However it has been shown that several of the innocent DNA samples have resulted in convictions for other crimes. So there is a vocal section of society that is all for handing over our DNA from birth so no one can hide and all the evil lawbreakers can be found and stopped. I, however, do not consider myself a part of that faction I tend to believe that if you are innocent or not charged after an arrest then you have every right to have your DNA returned and not retained so it should be destroyed.

Yes it may lead to more crimes being unsolved but half of that blame lies with the police itself. The police have become far more political in the last 10 years or so, demanding more powers that they needed in the aftermath of terrorist attacks. Now we see those same laws misused by councils spying on their council payers while judges throw out control orders.

Before you agree to sign over your most intimate details to your government please consider a few things.

The utter regularity with which government departments in the past have managed to lose our details, like the inland revenue or even the armed forces. Don’t you remember all those laptops on the train fiascos now think about the information they lost being the very essence of your being. Also consider your DNA will likely become very valuable in the next few years with insurance companies wanting to likely scan yo so they can refuse you cover or charge you over the odds whern you test positive for a gene making you more likely to develop heart disease or cancer in your old age, now more than ever knowledge is power and can you really trust the government not to make some mutually beneficial deal to hand over your DNA to insurance companies?

Also consider that freedom in and of itself means that you allow people some measure of their own control and choice which sometimes may prove to be the wrong choice. Going for the whole population to be added to the DNA database from birth or from their arrival in the country seems to be taking much of the idea of freedom and democracy out of the picture. Next you’ll want some secret police with the power to grab people at dawn with no evidence… oh wait we do that already my bad.

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