For a while it was looking like the British political class was taking such stories as George Orwell’s 1984 and Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta as prescriptive guidebooks, rather than as dire warnings.
However, this development, on balance, seems to be a welcome tapping-of-the-brake, at least, for the British super-state.
A “power revolution” in Britain will be promised by Nick Clegg today as he tries to put his personal stamp on the Government in his first major statement as Deputy Prime Minister.
The Liberal Democrat leader will hail his programme of political reform as the most ambitious and radical since the Great Reform Act of 1832. He has told aides that the coalition government has given him the opportunity to implement the changes that he came into politics to pursue.
In a speech in London Mr Clegg will promise a “wholesale, big bang” rather than piecemeal approach, including:
* scrapping the identity card scheme and second generation biometric passports;
* removing limits on the rights to peaceful protest;
* a bonfire of unnecessary laws;
* a block on pointless new criminal offences;
* internet and email records not to be held without reason;
* closed-circuit television to be properly regulated;
* new controls over the DNA database, such as on the storage of innocent people’s DNA;
* axeing the ContactPoint children’s database;
* schools will not take children’s fingerprints without asking for parental consent;
* reviewing the libel laws to protect freedom of speech.