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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...

 

 
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No doubt many people, like the GOS, rejoiced to hear this piece of news
 

 
The Government's high-profile national DNA database was in tatters today after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. In an unprecedented move, judges decided that keeping samples of people with no criminal convictions on file is a breach of their human rights.
 
The verdict could force the Government to remove the DNA details of hundreds of thousands of Britons from the current total of about 4.5 million held on the England, Wales and Northern Ireland database. Scotland already destroys DNA samples taken during criminal investigations from people who are not charged or who are later acquitted of alleged offences.
 
Today the Strasbourg judges said keeping the DNA of innocent people on a criminal register amounted to discrimination and a breach of the 'right to respect for private life' safeguarded by the Human Rights Convention. The result is a victory for two Britons who have been fighting to change the law after police insisted on retaining their DNA records.
 
Michael Marper, 45, was arrested in March 2001 and charged with harassing his partner, but the case was dropped three months later after the two were reconciled. He had no previous convictions. In a separate case, a 19-year-old named in court only as 'S' was arrested and charged with attempted robbery in January 2001 when he was 12, but he was cleared five months later. The men, both from Sheffield, asked that their fingerprints, DNA samples and profiles be destroyed. South Yorkshire Police refused, saying the details would be retained 'to aid criminal investigation'.
 
The men's claims were later thrown out by the House of Lords, which ruled that keeping the information was not illegal under the Criminal Justice and Police Act, and did not breach human rights. But earlier this year, when the cases came before the Human Rights Court, lawyers for the two men argued that keeping the DNA of innocent citizens left them under a cloud of suspicion.
 
It violated their 'right to respect for private life' and 'prohibition of discrimination' safeguarded by the Human Rights Convention, to which the UK is a signatory. Today's ruling raises major questions about how DNA is collected and stored by the police. At the moment, officers can take a sample from anyone they arrest, even if no charges are brought.
 
But the court ruled that this process breaches their human rights, specifically the right to a private family life. The ruling could force ministers to remove the profiles of everyone arrested but not charged from the national database - believed to be 850,000 people.
 
The Home Office says the database is a 'key intelligence tool' and points to the prosecutions that would not have been solved without it. Some even argue that everyone's DNA should be held on record, on the basis that the innocent have nothing to fear. But human rights groups maintain that holding innocent people's personal information breaches their rights, and today's ruling is strongly in their favour."

 
No2ID report that nevertheless the Home Secretary has said the existing arrangements will remain in place for the time being, while ministers consider the "implications" of the ruling.
 
Before we get too carried away about the "implications", consider this article in the Independent by their law editor Robert Verkaik
 
Personal information detailing intimate aspects of the lives of every British citizen is to be handed over to government agencies under sweeping new powers. The measure, which will give ministers the right to allow all public bodies to exchange sensitive data with each other, is expected to be rushed through Parliament in a Bill to be published tomorrow.
 
The new legislation would deny MPs a full vote on such data-sharing. Instead, ministers could authorise the swapping of information between councils, the police, NHS trusts, the Inland Revenue, education authorities, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Department for Work and Pensions and other ministries.
 
Opponents of the move accused the Government of bringing in by stealth a data-sharing programme that exposed everyone to the dangers of a Big Brother state and one of the most intrusive personal databases in the world. The new law would remove the right to protection against misuse of information by thousands of unaccountable civil servants, they added.
 
Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, said he believed Britain had gone too far in helping to bring about a "surveillance society". In a report drawing on personal data infringements across Europe but "inspired" by Britain's plan for a new internet, email and telephone database, he added: "General surveillance raises serious democratic problems which are not answered by the repeated assertion that those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear. This puts the onus in the wrong place: it should be for states to justify the interferences they seek to make on privacy rights."
 
He said he was "very worried about the downgrading of the protections of personal information", adding: "Of course there has to be a balance to be struck. At the moment we have not got it right."
 
David Howarth, the Liberal Democrat justice spokesman, added: "The Government shouldn't try to sneak through further building blocks of its surveillance state. Unrestricted data-sharing simply increases the risks of data loss. This is particularly troubling since the Government has already shown itself entirely incapable of keeping our personal data safe."
 
The data-sharing measure is referred to in the Coroners and Justice Bill outlined in yesterday's Queen's Speech. It could, for instance, pave the way for medical records to be sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to identify drivers who pose a health risk, or school attendance data being handed to the Department for Work and Pensions to verify social security claims made by parents.
 
But civil rights groups warned that the possibility of public records being transferred to private companies on a minister's whim was of even greater concern. Under the existing system, public bodies require primary legislation to authorise the transfer of data to another agency. The new plans would end such parliamentary scrutiny by permitting ministers to use secondary legislation without a full vote of MPs. The Bill sets out how ministers would be able to sidestep data protection and human rights laws that prevent public bodies revealing private information.
 
NO2ID, a group which campaigned against government plans for ID cards and the associated National Identity Register, said the proposals went far beyond data protection and were intended "to build the database state, concealed under a misleading name". The group's national co-ordinator, Phil Booth, said: "This is a Bill to smash the rule of law and build the database state in its place. Burying sweeping constitutional change in obscure Bills is an appalling approach. Having proved - and admitted - they cannot be trusted to look after our secrets, they are still determined to steal what privacy we have left. Parliament needs to wake up before it has no say any more."
 
Civil liberties groups said the new powers could be used in conjunction with the equally controversial plan for a giant database holding details of people's emails, telephone calls and internet searches. The Communications Data Bill, which would contain this information, was set for inclusion in yesterday's Queen's Speech but will now be part of a consultation paper to be published in January.
 
Mr Hammarberg said Britain's poor record on data loss had led to an EU-wide debate about the dangers of a surveillance society. He added: "Data protection is crucial to the upholding of fundamental democratic values: a surveillance society risks infringing this basic right."
 
The Ministry of Justice said data-sharing was essential for the delivery of "efficient and effective public services, tackling crime and protecting the public". "Any draft order would require parliamentary approval and a privacy impact assessment," said a spokesman. "Additionally, the Information Commissioner would have been invited to comment on the proposals. This will ensure any potential privacy issues and risks are identified and examined.
 
The power will be exercised only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public interest and proportionate to the impact on any person adversely affected by it."

 
Only in circumstances where the sharing of the information is in the public interest. Yeah, right. Like the anti-terror legislation is only being used to defend us from violent extremists? Only today the local newspaper in Cambridge revealed that the council have used anti-terror legislation to spy on newspaper boys to see if they had the correct permits to work.
 
What's more, the council spokesman couldn't see that there was anything wrong in misusing the regulations in this way: "We're only enforcing the law", he said. Which is local authority-speak for "we can do as we damn well like and there's nothing you can do to stop us".
 

 
So the Stasi Labour Government marches forward, onwards and upwards towards its eventual goal of total domination over every waking moment and every waking thought of every British citizen.
 
And come to think of it, we may be a bit over-optimistic in our use of the word "waking".
 

 
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