>> On privacy
Precisely why any scheme controlling public data needs to be thought through considerably, a commitment I don't see being made by Monsieur Blunkett at any stage, and hence why any scheme to bring obligatory public data together isn't my favourite.
Lib Dems warn of Whitehall snooping: "The data suggests the cases cover more serious issues than using Whitehall computers for sending private emails; the Department for Work and Pensions excluded "minor" cases from the reported 31 occasions on which it took action again staff members."
>> On Iraq
Tony Blair's off for a visit to Mr Bush, now, and wouldn't like to have either of their jobs. Are they willing to give up control of the Iraqi region to achieve some semblance of stability? Are they f**k. Everyone seems acutely aware - most of all the Iraqis - that this about who has control over the region, and it makes sense to me that people can get pretty angry about any other country coming in and setting things up just as they like it. It's one thing to impose the best way to proceed upon a nation, it's another to let them work things out for themselves.
This quote from Blair gets me:
"Iraq has been a deeply damaged country and going from totalitarianism to freedom was always bound to be difficult."
Why do they keep bandying around this "freedom" tag, like it's some utopian holy grail that can be forced upon them? How can you impose freedom? Blair seems to think it's like some magic pixie powder handed out from the barrels of tank guns, like the Iraqi people are suddenly going to sit down and think to themselves "Oh, I see now, this Western civilisation thing is much better than what we have - let's all give up our religious malpractices and become a free-thinking developed nation! Yeah!"
No, it's not like that. The only way there's going to be quickly-achieved, short-term peace in Iraq is through the same amount of control imposed by their former dictator. Control, that is, not fear. The coalition's plan is probably to keep military control in place until a "free" market can develop, thus replacing the sticks and knives and guns with the droning process of the Western world, where control is stabilised through keeping the people in competition with themselves, rather than against the government.
But either way, it is not the "freedom" being touted by Mr Blair or mr Bush, and nor is it the "control" that the Iraqis understand to be theirs (from whichever region you look at). Will Iraq resist the call of the sheeple?
Gah. Rant over.