The Telegraph is reporting that the Government have signed up to provide DNA evidence to authorities in other Member States. Unsurprisingly, when in opposition Dominic Grieve, shadow justice secretary from January 2009 categorically stated that a Conservative government would ensure that Britain did not opt into the scheme. On the basis that DNA belongs to an individual and not the state, it is reasonable to assume that in a true democracy the owner of the DNA would have been asked whether they agreed with such a proposal - however, as we all know, we no longer live in a true democracy. For those interested, a summary of the European Evidence Warrant (EEW) can be read here and the Framework Decision here. In fact this is another example of an area of co-operation, or a system of mutual assistance, which has mutated into one of enforcement - quelle surprise!
Where is their permission from me to hand over what is not theirs?
The second story only appears, it seems, in the print edition of today's Telegraph and relates to Oadby and Wigston borough council who wrote to a 9 year-old girl after discovering a letter addressed to her in her neighbour's bin and accusing her of leaving her rubbish outside another person's property. The neighbour had previously written to the council to explain she had agreed to take any rubbish the mother had in excess of the permitted three black sacks. The council apologised on being made aware of the girls age, but Anne Court, the director of services at the council is reported to have said that she would be surprised if the rubbish agreement between the neighbours had been approved.
Why should I have to ask permission to reach an agreement with my neighbour over disposal of my rubbish?
In the first item the state gives away that which is not theirs and in the second the state demands that which is not theirs. The authoritarian manner in which our politicians and bureaucrats are behaving leads me to remind them of some words by Kenneth Kuanda, the first President of Zambia:
"The power which establishes a state is violence; the power which maintains it is violence; the power which eventually overthrows it is violence."