Monday, October 13, 2003

I seem to be developing some sort of sore throat and/or uncontrollable sneezing. Hmmm - Autumn time, just returned from Far East. Can anyone say SARS ??

Speaking of hypochondria Phil recently asked his doctor if there was some sort of battery of tests he could take to see if he was actually dying of anything. Apparently the doc was not amused and instead of complimenting him on his advanced approach to preventative medicine just took his blood pressure and told him to bugger off. Still that's the NHS for you - fine if there actually is something wrong with you but somewhat lacking on the whole bedside manner and hand holding front.

I guess that costs extra. And speaking of extra it was a delight to return to Blighty to find David Blunkett being (maybe) told where to stick his dumbass identity card scheme.

Of course it's not over yet and the poster boy for take away my cane and kick me down a flight of stairs is certainly unafraid of public disdain. I think this is why people are starting to loath the Blair government as much as they loathed the Tories. Ideological madness allegedly mandated by it's having been in the manifesto is displacing common sense.

Look at the identity cards. It has been fairly comprehensively shown that they will not increase detection rates for criminals, benefit cheats or terroroists. They will however cost £3bn and undoubtedly involve the government in an horrific and drawn out battle with a cross part group of Britains great and good plus most of the press. So why push ahead? 1) DB wants it. 2) Plod wants it so they can arrest people for not having the correct paperwork about their person.

This is why we are starting to hate Blair so much. Moral argument says it's a bad idea, cost says it's a bad idea, functionality says it's a bad idea and political practicality says it's a bad idea. So why have it? Because they have said so and must never ever be seen to change direction. Result : we end up with an expensive piece of shit legislation that everyone hates and whose only function is to allow further police and state invasion of the individual realm.

But maybe it won't happen.

And on the mandate of the manifesto here's a simple point that politicians seem incapable of grasping. Parties are elected on a raft of policies and for a whole bunch of other reasons beside (ie opposition are the living dead). Just because it was in the manifesto doesn't mean anyone in the country wants you to actually do it, or indeed considers it to be anything other than the rumblings of some deranged sub-committee that will be properly filed in the round file when the time comes.

Actually no-one ever reads manifestos anyway so arguing that it was in there so we must do it is a bit like arguing that it's in the small print so actually, yes, we can repossess your transplanted kidney.

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