British people can now li... (06 Apr 2004)

British people can now live happy in the knowledge that the Criminal Justice Act (2003) came into force yesterday:

They enable police to retain fingerprints and DNA samples from anyone arrested - whether or not they are charged.

The Home Office will look at whether police should be able to [drug] test all suspects arrested for offenses such as burglary and theft which are considered as "driving up" drug abuse.

So what the Police want is a national DNA and fingerprint database, by the back door. If they actually tried to announce it, there would be dissent - and Labour are fed up with that after the whole tuition fees saga. So, slowly, they are going to build it anyway.

You have to wonder how difficult it would be to setup a new political party. And `difficult' means `money' in this case. I think a 30-second TV slot would cost you about 250K, so 10M wouldn't even be a large advertising budget. I'm sure 5M would slip away all too quickly in other costs.

In the 1997/8 fiscal year, corporate donations for the Conservatives (the biggest number) was about 2.8M - so one would need some significantly more generous investors.