Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wash-up 2010: Labour get their way on DNA

Yesterday I wrote:
It's great to see [the broadband tax] killed off (along with the increase in cider duty), but I dread to think which terrible laws will get rushed through in return.
Today The Register reports:
The Conservatives have dropped their opposition to the government's planned changes to the National DNA Database for fear of being branded soft on crime in the run-up to the election.

The opposition had planned to use the Parliamentary "wash-up" this week to insist fewer DNA profiles be retained from people arrested but not charged or convicted of any crime.
The Tories' acquiescence goes against comments by Grayling in January, when he said: "The DNA issue is a real point of principle... in the final days before a general election, there will be no deals to be done.
It is of course possible that the Conservatives will rediscover their principled objection after the election, but I wouldn't bet on it. In any case, they were only quibbling about details:
Now they plan to agree to government proposals to cut retention to six years for innocent people, from the current indefinite period for everyone arrested. The Tories had argued for only a three-year retention period, for those arrested for a violent or sexual offence - the same regime already in place in Scotland.
There's a sting in that last sentence, for Scottish MPs continue to vote to deny the English and Welsh freedoms enjoyed by the Scots.

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