Facebook's Richard Allan, a former Liberal Democrat MP steeped in the traditions of Westminster, predicts the real challenge to the surveillance state rollback will be national security-related pressure from civil servants:"In meetings with ministers, they will always say they need to keep a record of everything that anyone has ever said on the internet because they once caught somebody that no-one knew about that way."
"Labour is not the opposition," agrees [Privacy International's policy director, Gus] Hosein. "The civil service is."
I have no doubt that this is true: the civil service have long since ceased to serve anyone—it views itself as master of both politicos and citizens.
Which is why I have maintained for some time that, were I in government, my very first act would be to sack every, single civil servant in at least the top three grades. Not only would this make it much easier to get a radical agenda through, it would provide a massive shock for those who think that a civil service job is for life, and would also save large amounts of money. Plus, of course, it would be thoroughly hilarious to see the looks of shock and outrage on the once-smug faces of the assorted Sir Humphreys.
Sounds like a winner to me...