David Aaronovitch has a pretty typical column in today's Times, where he claims that, Believe it or not, Big Brother is your friend.
I have had this argument before with David. Whilst quite the wit and personally charming, he is a slippery fish to debate against, principally because he ignores his opponent's arguments when they don't suit his own.
So, as he sets about berating "libertarian thunderers," he weirdly focuses only on the year-old Rowntree report into our Database State. So he ignores the new NICE homes health and safety database, the EHRC's sexual equality database, and the Intercept Modernisation Programme, under which details of all e-mails and phone calls are to be recorded. He ignores the ongoing ID cards scheme, rolling out "voluntarily" for workers in some sectors and now obligatory for foreign nationals, under which all uses of the card (and details of those using it) are recorded on a database too.
All of these schemes are openly planned, and none of them are addressed by Aaronovitch, whilst he labels those concerned about such things as "hysterical". Well, if one pretends that such things don't exist, or don't appreciate that they do, then such concern might indeed seem over the top…
By Alex Deane
*UPDATE* Aaronovitch gets the fisking this rather lazy column deserves in a very good piece by William Heath