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Modern Liberty

Via Spy chief: We risk a police state – Telegraph: Dame Stella [Rimington, ex-head of MI5,] accused ministers of interfering with people’s privacy and playing straight into the hands of terrorists. “Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” Dame Stella said in an interview with a Spanish newspaper. “It would be better that the Government recognised that there are […]

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BBC NEWS | Health | Why we need more nannying

The term ‘nanny state’ is not normally used as a compliment. But public health expert Dr Alan Maryon Davis says we need more nannying, not less. via BBC NEWS | Health | Why we need more nannying.

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Police set to step up hacking of home PCs – Times Online

Via Police set to step up hacking of home PCs – Times Online – digg story: THE Home Office has quietly adopted a new plan to allow police across Britain routinely to hack into people’s personal computers without a warrant. The move, which follows a decision by the European Union’s council of ministers in Brussels, has angered civil liberties groups and opposition MPs. They described it as a sinister extension of the surveillance state which drives “a coach and horses” […]

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Back to the USSR

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From the Guardian: Tanks rolling into neighbouring countries, the media back under state control and Kremlin policy shrouded in secrecy … Luke Harding reports on why Russia seems hellbent on reverting to its Soviet past. … “The Soviet Union had global ambitions. It believed in socialism and social justice. Now the main ideological idea is nationalism and anti-Americanism. There are no positive ideas any more, only negative ones,” Kryshtanovskaya [Russia’s leading sociologist] says. read more | digg story

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Preston: summary fines for swearing and bad behaviour

Thanks to the Jeremy Vine Show over lunch: Spitting, swearing and aggressive behaviour will be BANNED from ‘Proud Preston’. … Anyone who flouts the tough new code could be arrested or fined by patrolling police officers or council enforcers. Council officers can fine people £75 for offences like littering, while police can give out fixed penalty notices of up to £80 for a range of offences. Of course the target behaviour is unacceptable, but do we really want to replace […]

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Bill to allow Commons searches with no warrant — The Independent

From The Independent: The vow by Commons Speaker Michael Martin to prevent “unauthorised” raids on MPs’ offices in the wake of the Damian Green affair was seriously undermined last night as it emerged that the Government is preparing new laws to allow investigators to mount parliamentary searches without a warrant. … Defending his position, Mr Martin last week pledged that no one would be allowed to search any parliamentary office until they had produced a warrant and obtained his personal […]

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Anger as Mandelson threatens to sue HBOS merger challengers – Sunday Herald

With a hat tip to Graham: SOURCES CLOSE to Alex Salmond last night accused Lord Mandelson of trying to “stack the deck” against those challenging the merger of HBOS with Lloyds TSB after they were threatened with huge legal bills unless they dropped their case. Lawyers acting for Mandelson, the business and enterprise secretary, told the Merger Action Group (MAG) that unless it halted its legal fight, Mandelson would “pursue costs against each of the group’s identified members”. However if […]

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FT.com – The police, and the state, are out of control

Opinion from the FT: The police are out of control. So is the government. We can only conjecture as to what possessed the senior officers who raided the homes and parliamentary office of Damian Green, the Conservative immigration spokesman. Yet their disdain for political process spoke eloquently to the authoritarian culture of our times. read more | digg story

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Compelling roadside cafes to offer a healthy choice

From the Telegraph: Roadside ‘greasy spoon’ vans will be forced to close unless they offer healthy alternatives like salads and low fat yogurts. The snack vans, often found in busy lay-bys, must also limit the amount of mayonnaise served – because it has been branded a “very high fat product”. Environmental health officers in Guildford, Surrey, will inspect menus during routine hygiene checks. And traders who fail to meet the strict new standards, will be refused a street trader’s licence […]

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DPP: Centuries of British freedoms being ‘broken’ by security state

Well done the Director of Public Prosecutions: Outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken Macdonald warned that the expansion of technology by the state into everyday life could create a world future generations “can’t bear”. In his wide-ranging speech, Sir Ken appeared to condemn a series of key Government policies, attacking terrorism proposals – including 42 day detention – identity card plans and the “paraphernalia of paranoia”. Instead, he said, the Government should insist that “our rights are priceless” and […]

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