Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Cameron U-turn on DNA

While some governmental policy U-turns are strategically irrational, others are a reasoned and reasonable response to further reflection on the force of popular opinion. The former are often deemed to constitute a lack of political conviction; the latter a lack of political will. Both types are usually portrayed by HM Opposition as evidence of ‘chaos and confusion at the heart of Government’. After all, too many U-turns and the demos ceases to know what one believes in or stands for.

His Grace can live with the U-turns on scrapping free school milk, capping welfare handouts, privatising forests, and sentencing discounts for criminals pleading guilty. The Conservative Party is, after all, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, and compromise is the order of the day, if only out of sensitivity for the Liberal Democrat polling meltdown. But when it comes to abandoning manifesto commitments which relate to our rights and civil liberties, we move into the realm of betrayal.

And betrayal is not too strong a word, for the pledge to expunge from police databases the DNA of more than a million innocent people was not only a Conservative Party Manifesto commitment; it was in the Liberal Democrat Manifesto and then reiterated in the joint Coalition Agreement, which constitutes the Coalition Manifesto.

The Conservative Manifesto pledge (pp79f):
The indefinite retention of innocent people’s DNA is unacceptable, yet DNA data provides a useful tool for solving crimes. We will legislate to make sure that our DNA database is used primarily to store information about those who are guilty of committing crimes rather than those who are innocent. We will collect the DNA of all existing prisoners, those under state supervision who have been convicted of an offence, and anyone convicted of a serious recordable offence. We pushed the Government to end the permanent retention of innocent people’s DNA , and we will change the guidance to give people on the database who have been wrongly accused of a minor crime an automatic right to have their DNA withdrawn.
The Liberal Democrat Manifesto pledge (p94):
Liberal Democrats will protect and restore your freedoms. We will... Remove innocent people from the police DNA database and stop storing DNA from innocent people and children in the future, too.
The Coalition Agreement (Section 10):
The parties agree to implement a full programme of measures to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties under the Labour Government and roll back state intrusion. This will include... The Adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database.
The pledge really couldn’t have been any clearer: it accorded with conservative, liberal and democratic values, and was issued in triplicate.

The Scottish model is a reasonable and fair balance between the manifest need to solve serious crimes and the negative impacts on people's rights and liberties if their details are stored in perpetuity on a state database. Since 2004, anyone (including children) arrested in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can have a sample of their DNA taken, which is then retained in police records forever, regardless of whether or not a person is charged or convicted. There is an inherent presumption of likely future guilt. In Scotland, some DNA from innocent people can be retained, but only for three years and only in cases relating to violent or sexual offences. After that, the police must apply to a Sheriff, who may grant permission for the police to retain the DNA for a further two years. Scotland prohibits the permanent retention of the DNA of children: there is an inherent presumption of future innocence.

But The Daily Telegraph tells us now that the Conservative Party will not ‘end the permanent retention of innocent people’s DNA’; the Liberal Democrats will not ‘stop storing DNA from innocent people and children’; and the Coalition will not be ‘adopting the protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database’. Instead, the police will permanently retain DNA profiles ‘in anonymised form’, leaving open the possibility of connecting them up with people’s names.

This is a perversion of the definition of ‘anonymous’: if a mechanism is retained for matching a DNA profile to an individual, there is no anonymity. The Telegraph observes that this ‘appears to break a Coalition commitment to delete all innocent profiles’.

Appears to break a commitment?

No, it is a positive, absolute, undeniable and unequivocal break of the agreement: it is a breach of faith and trust; a broken promise; a betrayal.

There are presently more than five million profiles on the State Database, which includes a million completely innocent people. The State has thereby assumed the right of ownership of our DNA. If the State can harvest that, why not our kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts and eyes?

The bizarre thing is that this illiberal, undemocratic and un-conservative U-turn does not come as a result of Liberal Democrat pressure upon Conservatives. And neither is it a result of an EU directive or diktat; indeed, the ECHR ruled in 2008 that such data retention was unlawful. So to whose tune is the Coalition dancing? Surely not a police jig?

Daniel Hamilton of Big Brother Watch observes: “This is a disgraceful U-turn on the part of the government. Destroying physical DNA samples is a pointless gesture if the computer records are to be retained. Despite paying lip service to freedom and civil liberties, this government is fast proving itself to be every bit as illiberal as its predecessor.”

Quite.

Come on, Prime Minister. Could you please explain the provenance and reasoning of this U-turn? And while you're at, could you also please clarify what it is you believe and stand for? Thank you.

111 Comments:

Anonymous malvoisin said...

Come on, Prime Minister. Could you please explain the provenance and reasoning of this U-turn? And while you're at, could you also please clarify what it is you believe and stand for? Thank you.

Don't hold your breath.

27 July 2011 at 10:17  
OpenID markoffaith said...

This is a travesty. The Coalition promised to be the protector of civil liberties - both Conservatives and LibDems, as you rightly say Your Grace.
Yet again and again, the policies are not matching the rhetoric. The promised "Freedom Bill" has been turned into the neutered "Protection of Freedoms Bill" - without any of the major civil liberty concerns addressed properly.
The news of this latest U-turn - which is likely to fail the ECHR and the Supreme Court's recent ruling (although a new law would negate the Supreme Court's judgement).
The Coaltion is "fast proving itself to be every bit as illiberal as its predecessor."

27 July 2011 at 10:23  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

I accept that a U-Turn has occurred but I cannot understand why DNA evidence should be destroyed. No-one is completely innocent according to the doctrine of Original Sin and the fact that someone is not guilty now, does not ensure they will not be guilty in the future. DNA evidence does not convict innocent people but will identify rapists and other criminals so that we can get them off the streets before they have a chance to do it again. I'd rather sacrifice my civil liberties if it can create a safer envirionment for women and children.

27 July 2011 at 10:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't see the problem here, DNA evidence is just as likely to exculpate the innocent as it is to incriminate the guilty. Since I have no plans to commit any crimes, I'd be happy to have mine on record.

27 July 2011 at 10:41  
Blogger I am Stan said...

Charles (bar code us at birth please) McEwan said,

I'd rather sacrifice my civil liberties if it can create a safer envirionment for women and children.

27 July 2011 10:32


I rather keep what civil liberties I have left and have those I`ve had stolen returned to me thanks very much, and have a safe environment for the cheeeeldren.

27 July 2011 at 10:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you accept the doctrine of original sin we are all guilty now and it would follow that everyones DNA should be databased. DNA evidence is so compelling that a totalitarian regime could easily fabricate DNA matches to stitch up anyone they wanted so i'd be a bit careful before being to0 keen to sacrifice civil liberties for safer environments..

27 July 2011 at 10:47  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

If it were possible to stitch up DNA evidence then Yes, I would concur. However, if it is as secure as they claim, I still say it is worth it.

27 July 2011 at 10:49  
Anonymous AnonymousinBelfast said...

@Charles McEwan,

In principle what you say is entirely reasonable - but who exactly are we sacrificing our civil liberties too? On the one hand, it seems unlikely that our government will start rolling out any dystopian and totalitarian policies in the current parliament, but on the other hand - is that justification enough to fully give them the power to in the future?

Our political elite have shown themselves, time and time again, to be venal, corrupt, and utterly untrustworthy. Our own country's history is littered with well meaning souls who supported entirely reprehensible policies - eugenics springs most easily to mind, particularly amongst those on the left. Had they had the power then, that we have allowed our own government to have now, you can be assured that as it was in Sweden, millions would have been selectively sterilised for undesirable DNA.

We already selectively annihilate the disabled in the womb, and as a country we treat the less fortunate, the downtrodden, and those greatest in need with appalling disregard. His Grace is entirely right not to trust our leaders for even a moment with sensitive DNA data that could so easily be abused.

I know you mean well, but I would be very cautious of sacrificing any civil liberty to the altar of the state - whether its ruling members are of the left or the right.

27 July 2011 at 11:04  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Charles McEwan ... you poor, naive, deluded plonker.

Why not go the whole hog, and ask to live in an open prison surrounded by guards, and locked in your 'home' at night? Why not ask them to vet all your mail, email & relationships? All for your own protection of course, and to create a safer environment for women & children.

[Can I presume you are fully in favour of phone-hacking btw. Coz if they didn't have anything to hide, they had nothing to fear, I presume].

DNA is not the panacea everyone thinks its. Wait til your DNA innocently turns up at a crime scene, or gets wrongly identified. We seem to have abandoned the Biblical principle of having everything established by 2 or 3 witnesses. Only 1 is now necessary - your DNA.

And when you provide your DNA you tell the state pretty much EVERTHING there is to know about you - things that you might not even know yourself. They can identify who your parents are. Who your grandparents are. Who your children are. And who your grandchildren are. What diseases you have and are likely to have. You are not only giving the state information about yourself but about your whole family for generations to come. Who in their right mind would think that the state is going to relinquish this information once they have it in their possession?

You may have faith in some great benevolent state in perpetuity. I most certainly don't. And I think history, as well as current affairs, teaches us that my suspicion of government is far more justified than your fantastical optimism.

How far along the 'minority report' line are you prepared to go in order to be 'free'?

No. No. NO to the government having records of our DNA. Only once you are convicted of a most serious crime should there be any question of the state having any access to our most intimate, biological record.

And what an utterly devious, brazen betrayal by the Conservatives & Libdems.

Yet people like you Cranmer will continue to blindly vote for them come-what-may. If there was another general election tomorrow, with another book of manifesto "promises", you'd still vote for them wouldn't you?

Party politics does not work. It is an irredeemably broken, corrupt & anti-democratic system. And I'm getting to find the lemmings who keep promoting it almost as contemptible as those who are part of it.

27 July 2011 at 11:26  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

How is keeping a DNA database different from keeping a fingerprint database? The US Gov't has had a copy of my fingerprints for well over thirty years. Anyone who has served in the US military has provided fingerprints. Strangely enough, I don't lay awake at night worrying about it.

carl

27 July 2011 at 12:02  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Carl Jacobs ... How is DNA different from a fingerprint? Is that a serious question?

27 July 2011 at 12:07  
Blogger Span Ows said...

If it were possible to stitch up DNA evidence then Yes, I would concur. However, if it is as secure as they claim, I still say it is worth it.

How can it be secure? It proves nothing except that your DNA 'was present'. Doesn't mean 'you' were present. There's no end of stitch-ups that could happen given an unscrupulous policeman/civil servant/dna database worker.

27 July 2011 at 12:13  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Rebel Saint

Is that a serious question?

Yes, that would be a serious question. The host of this weblog framed the issue in terms of the presumption of innocence vs the presumption of guilt. How is a permanent fingerprint record any less a presumption of guilt than a permanent DNA record?

carl

27 July 2011 at 12:15  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

Yes, DNA could be planted but this is just the same as if other items belonging to you are found at the scene of a crime. My point about DNA was simply that it could make a connection with a person who would then have to account for his actions on the day of the crime. This is what happens nowadays with other planted evidence and although courts of law have made mistakes in the past we don't abolish evidence in future cases because it has. The conviction of the Birmingham Six was an example where the evidence was supposed to be incontrovertable but it turned out they had been playing cards and not handling semtex. That wrongful acquittal occurred because the court gave little credence to the fact that the the positive red colour which indicates semtex was very very weak. We come back to the original question - is DNA as foolproof as they say it is? I am willing tio be convinced either way but if it is unique I would still recommend DNA records be kept

27 July 2011 at 12:35  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Charles McEwan @ 10:32,

"No-one is completely innocent according to the doctrine of Original Sin and the fact that someone is not guilty now, does not ensure they will not be guilty in the future"

The concept of Original Sin has been debated for centuries but this is just about the best argument against it that I have seen.

27 July 2011 at 12:47  
Blogger Owl said...

Let's face it, when Dave said that he is the heir to Blair, he spoke the truth.

Blair removed the "Labour" people from the party leadership and re-christened it New Labour.

Cameron removed the "Conservative" people from the party leadership.

We now have the party of "The Third Way" which includes all the leadership of the old
Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties.

Any other political party which does not belong to the "Third Way" will be attacked/discredited,
i.e. removed from the group (calling them Right-Wing is currently more emotional than
Left-Wing but either will do).

We have currently a one party system whether we like it or not. It is already a Totalitarian
system which has used "Gradualism" to infiltrate society in all areas notably the Press,
Health Care and Education.

The Fabian society has been working for over a hundred years on this project, we are now
only seeing the emerging wolf as it flits through the shadows but we can no longer pretend that it is not there.

Dave sold his soul a long time ago, innocent until proved guilty has been done away with.

27 July 2011 at 12:49  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

So Charles, would you be willing for the government to monitor your movements & conversations 24/7? If not, why not? (Not a rhetorical question).

27 July 2011 at 12:51  
Anonymous tony b said...

Owl
Blimey I almost agree with you. Any luck with those transitional species?

27 July 2011 at 13:30  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

It would be helpful if someone could establish a tangible connection between a DNA database and a loss of civil liberties. I mean other than "Ohmygosh, Ohmygosh, Ohmygosh! They are going to put DNA cloning machines in the Black Helicopters and then plant my cloned DNA at a crime scene to frame me!".

carl

27 July 2011 at 13:31  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

I think my comments were quite specific and clear. I do not trust government anymore than the next person. They have started implementing oppressive policies against Christians in the name of 'tolerance' by which people like me are becoming more and more disenfranchised in our own country. Really your comment has suggested my remit to be something different from what it is and not a logical deduction. Let's take people's comments as they are

27 July 2011 at 13:35  
Anonymous tony b said...

Oppressive policies against Christians? Sometimes this blog is like the twilight zone. Such as what?

27 July 2011 at 13:49  
Anonymous The Minister for Public Enlightenment said...

Examination of the political DNA of fraudsters who recently defaulted on their manifesto commitments has revealed that they all related. They share a common Fabian ancestor.

Genes inherited from this progenitor include authoritarianism, collectivism and supranationalism. Such undemocratic political traits have been exacerbated in recent generations through cross-party breeding, ensuring that power remains within an extended family with more than a few bastards of the lying two-faced variety. Blair begat Cameron. Like father like son. Answerable to no one but their EU puppeteers and contemptuous of the people they purport to represent.

Democracy has been trashed by these Mafioso and the realm turned into a de facto single party state.

27 July 2011 at 14:05  
Anonymous Giolla Decair said...

DNA evidence can be constructed from scratch using just the data held in police DNA databases and nothing more:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/18/science/18dna.html

It's no where near as reliable as they'd have us believe.

27 July 2011 at 14:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more; merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stone, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet; and all thyine wood, and every vessel of ivory, and every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble; and cinnamon, and spice, and incense, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep; and merchandise of horses and chariots and slaves; and souls of men.

‘souls of men’?

Their DNA?

27 July 2011 at 14:21  
Anonymous Oswin said...

The issue of broken promises aside, I align myself with the ''poor, naive, deluded plonker(s)'' on this one.

''Bar-coded'' at birth suits me fine. However, my major concern would be a too heavy reliance upon DNA, leading to lazy policing, as with the present analogy of 'lazy' journalists relying upon 'phone-hacking'.


If someone has a mind to stitch me up, similarly any of my descendants, then
they could do so regardless of my DNA.

I don't match the convenience afforded to these potential sinister forces, by access to my DNA, as to I do to the over-all benefit to society as a whole, afforded by the maintaining of a national register/data-bank

If anything, I'd feel at tad more secure, knowing that my stored DNA might serve to save me, rather than to condemn me.

Naive? Possibly so; but as in all things, it's a matter of balance...and at present, that 'balance' is against the concerns of the innocent, favoring those of the criminal.

27 July 2011 at 14:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would the price of the ‘souls of men’ be listed on the London Stock Exchange?

How much is your soul worth?

27 July 2011 at 14:44  
Blogger Owl said...

Oswin,
I would have thought that by now you would have realised that if our political masters do anything which is "for your own protection" or, even worse, "for the protection of the children" then you know that you're about to be screwed.

Disregarding, as HG most pointedly showed, that these are promises made to the souvereign which are being broken, once again.

27 July 2011 at 14:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, we know that British laboratories are producing animal-human hybrids. Their DNA belongs to the humans you took it from.

Are you intending to produce replicants?

27 July 2011 at 15:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon - as Commissioner Viviane Reding has stated, these replicants will come under the protection of EU law:

Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights specifies that “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”

27 July 2011 at 15:36  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

DNA manipulation can turn a chicken back into a dinosaur.

So if my DNA was found at a crime scene, would it be my higher self that commited the crime, or my reptilian nature?

Tricky stuff this DNA evidence, it does not take into account our complex make up.

If they can identify the Dragon, why not slay it!

27 July 2011 at 15:50  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

So whilst they have lied & reneged on their promise regarding the actual DNA database in the first place, you still choose to believe them when they say, "This information will never be misused, is completely secure and is being held for purely for your own protection. And we can guarantee this for all generations to come"?

DNA is not just an identifier ... it is a determinant. My fingerprint uniquely & singularly identifies my finger. My DNA allows them to determine pretty much EVERYTHING about me ... and my offspring for generations to come.

Every despotic, tyrannical nation around the world tries to gather as much information about it's citizens as possible. The Stasi HQ had room after room after room of filing cabinets of data on it's citizens ... much of it gathered by it's army of informants & covert surveillance.

Turns out they needn't have bothered to going to such lengths. Simply saying, "We need you to tell us everything about you & allow us to monitor you for your own protection" would have sufficed. It seems that a couple of centuries of relatively civil government have lulled a great proportion of this population to sleep. They are willing to trade away their children's birthright of liberty for a mess of pottage.

What's at stake here is more than the prevention or detection of crime. It's about something far far greater than that.

I believe the crime rate in North Korea (as it was in East Germany) is very low and they have excellent clear-up rates.

As far as arrogant monuments to man's own ego go, forget the tower of Babel - the database of Babel makes it pale into insignificance. Combined with the autocratic, bureaucratic EU and it's agencies of 'law enforcement' (all exempt form prosecution btw), it really is an Orwellian nightmare.

27 July 2011 at 16:11  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

Tony B said "Oppressive policies against Christians?" .. such as what?
1) Chsitian B&B establishments being deliberately targeted for court action by homosexuals who are easily able to find other establishments just around the corner.
2) Catholic adoption agencies being forced to close so that children are used as pawns in the agenda of insisting homosexuality be accepted by everyone.

The quotation from Revelation 18 by Anonymous about the merchants of the Earth mourning over the great city which will be destroyed should perhaps make us think that the current financial structures of the world which are a giant lottery making millons for the few and poverty for the many will come crashing down. If you've got a lot of money tied up in stocks and shares perhaps it might be wise to look at other alternatives.

27 July 2011 at 16:12  
Anonymous tony b said...

If homosexuals are deliberately targetting Christian B n Bs that is not a "policy", is it? Insisting that laws that apply to everyone else should apply to Christians also is only oppressive to Christians if it applies only to them or is oppressive to all. Clearly neither is the case.

27 July 2011 at 16:20  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

With regard to the dangers of DNA manipulation which I think is very real, I think our main concern should be about the human animal hybrids they are creating in the labs. This will almost certainly result in humans becoming susceptible to diseases which currently only affect animals. It could lead to a worldwide pandemic of apocalyptic proportions and all in the name of curing duseases. Remember the experimenting which went into finding a way of suppressing the body's immune system in order to facilitate transplant surgery. Did the Aids virus arise because of experimentation in labs? We have thousands of people being able to live longer because of transplant surgery and millions dying of Aids. Why did the scientists not explore the idea of regenating organs form a person's adult stem cels instead? Thankfully they are beginning to do so now.

27 July 2011 at 16:23  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

Yes it is a policy and it does not allow me to openly proclaim my views or live in accordance with them. The homosexuals had other options but they insisted that people should go out of business. You may be raising a good point about obeying the laws of the land but the homosexual laws have only been with us for a few years and we do not know what the effect is going to be on children adopted into such abnormal life styles. We shouldn't be experimenting on Children to satisfy the social prestige of homosexuals

27 July 2011 at 16:29  
Anonymous tony b said...

Given the appalling record of the Catholic church where the care of children is concerned, Charles, I am afraid I am unable to summon up much sympathy, and to be frank I think this is an area where the church is guilty of terrible hypocrisy. You may be right, we do not know what the effects might be of gay adoption. But we know what a baleful effect the church has had on the lives of many children. People who live in stained glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

27 July 2011 at 16:40  
Blogger Owl said...

Without trying to bore anyone, I would like to give two excepts from John Taylor Gatto's book "Underground History of American Education" which apply equally well to the UK.


"With only niggling reservations, the Fabian brain trust had no difficulty employing force to shape recalcitrant individuals, groups, and organizations. Force in the absence of divine injunctions is a tool to be employed unsentimentally. Fabian George Bernard Shaw established the principle wittily in 1920 when he said that under a Fabian future government:

You would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you have not character and industry, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner.
- The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism"

"As the movement developed, Fabians became aristocratic friends of other social-efficiency vanguards like Taylorism or allies of the Methodist social gospel crowd of liberal Christian religionists busy substituting Works for Faith in one of the most noteworthy religious reversals of all time. Especially, they became friends and advisors of industrialists and financiers, travelers in the same direction. This cross-fertilization occurred naturally, not out of petty motives of profit, but because by Fabian lights evolution had progressed furthest among the international business and banking classes!"

Please note that Fabians were also among the leading lights of the Eugenics movement.

They always have had an interest in genetics and....... DNA!

27 July 2011 at 17:19  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Rebel Saint

So whilst they have lied & reneged on their promise regarding the actual DNA database in the first place, you still choose to believe them when they say, "This information will never be misused, is completely secure and is being held for purely for your own protection. And we can guarantee this for all generations to come"?

Could I not ask you "Why would you believe the government authorities if they said they had destroyed this data base?" Indeed, if the information is really this valuable to the government, why wouldn't you suspect that they are already collecting it secretly through the NHS?

What's at stake here is more than the prevention or detection of crime. It's about something far far greater than that.

And what would that "something" be? For what evil purpose will the government use this information? Saying "They will have access to my genetic make-up" doesn't answer the question "What will they do with that information that could harm you?" No one on this thread has yet made that connection.

carl

27 July 2011 at 17:53  
Anonymous Toby the Jug said...

"The State has thereby assumed the right of ownership of our DNA. If the State can harvest that, why not our kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts and eyes?"

I agreed with your post up until this flamboyant analogy. There is a difference and to make such a comparison borders on the hysterical (oops, 'conversion disorder' is the politically correct term these days!).

27 July 2011 at 18:02  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

Cameron has totally lost his way; he once had some good ideas and it seemed that he would push them through. But all this initial "go" has gone; He now gives the impression that he has no beliefs and that he is guided solely by the latest polls or events. He offers what the public appear to want, but when it comes to the crunch, he allows himself to be talked out of it by those with vested interests.
"Raedwald" sums up the situation in his blog today.

Raedwald sees him as indolent, a lazy man; here I differ and have concluded that he has no principles, no guts, he won't actually fight for anything. A Total Wimp.

27 July 2011 at 18:08  
Blogger len said...

What does the Prime Minister believe and stand for?.
I would suggest that he doesn`t even know this himself.
This Prime Minister reacts to situations as they occur.That is it.

The moral foundations of this Country have been swept away and all that is left is for everyone 'to do what is right in their own eyes',whatever that might be.

A promise is worthless until it is fulfilled and never has that been as true as it is now.

27 July 2011 at 18:14  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

I don't disagree with you Tony about some events which have ocurred under the auspices of the Church. It is a matter for great shame and regret and I think there are criticisms that can be made about some current policies. However, I was talking not about the failure of clerics of which there have been many plus the failure of many of the rest of us but nevertheless I think that while we do not condemn homosexual orientation it is important to speak out about the practice and the the movement towards making it acceptable.

27 July 2011 at 18:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"If homosexuals are deliberately targetting Christian B n Bs that is not a "policy", is it?"

Actually, I confess that we explicitly book into right-wing Christian B&Bs. They usually do the best 'Full English' breakfasts, you see.

But anyway, the government can cock off as far as DNA storage of uncharged or unprosecuted people are concerned. Civil liberties was one of the main reasons I voted for the Tories.

27 July 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 July 2011 at 18:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Charles: "I think that while we do not condemn homosexual orientation it is important to speak out about the practice and the the movement towards making it acceptable."

You're right. I ought to spend my entire life, from puberty until I die, not having any sort of sexual activity so that the Christian and Muslim minorities can feel better.

27 July 2011 at 18:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Would the price of the ‘souls of men’ be listed on the London Stock Exchange? How much is your soul worth?"

About as much as a unicorn's horn or some fairy dust, I expect.

27 July 2011 at 18:33  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo: just 'do it' with muslims; you can be our Fifth Column ...not quite creating a virtue from a necessity, but ... :o)

27 July 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"How much is your soul worth?"

It depends who you are selling it to, Satan just likes taking them for a joyride, then burning them out. Get insured with Christ.

27 July 2011 at 18:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"DanJo: just 'do it' with muslims; you can be our Fifth Column ...not quite creating a virtue from a necessity, but ... :o)"

I'd love to. You probably won't want to hear it almost as much as they won't but I rather like the look of some of them milling around the town mosque in their religious/cultural outfits.

27 July 2011 at 18:51  
Anonymous Chris said...

@Carl Jacobs "why wouldn't you suspect that they are already collecting it secretly through the NHS?"
Many say that that it has indeed been collected for many years, especially from new-borns. As to what could they do with it, well, Rebel Saint (one of the few on this blog with any sense)has already given more than ample information about the potential dangers.
It's all in mission-creep, you see. First, get the population's DNA, using smooth words to say that it's "in the public interest". Then get it all analysed. Then start selling the information; as has been said, DNA is your personal blueprint. It tells everything about you....EVERYTHING. There's no privacy.
Then start discriminating against individuals, as "potential future criminals" or "potential future health hazards". I have the ability to see and understand precisely what the dangers are, as does Rebel S and a few others.

If some of you choose to remain in cuckoo-land, sacrificing liberties for securities, that is up to you; it is said that you attract everything to you in due course, so you may eventually achieve the kind of draconian-regulated world that you desire.
Those of us who desire something better, which includes personal sovereignty, will have left you behind for some healthier scenario.

27 July 2011 at 19:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Rev Dr John Stott has died today, aged 90.

27 July 2011 at 19:54  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Anon, I'm sorry to hear that.

Charles - When I think of all the hetero couples who have been miserably unsuited to the task of looking after children, I can't convince myself that gay people could fare any worse. There seems to be an implicit prejudice there.

27 July 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Carl Jacobs

Could I not ask you "Why would you believe the government authorities if they said they had destroyed this data base?"

I wouldn't believe them. No state is ever going to relinquish this treasure trove of information. As this policy U-turn amply illustrates. And even if a government ordered it ... the "security" services will not comply.

"Indeed, if the information is really this valuable to the government, why wouldn't you suspect that they are already collecting it secretly through the NHS?"

I do suspect that there will be surruptious collection of the data. Unbelievable? Paranoid? People never believed they would take the organs from children at Alder Hey hospital either. And that's decades ago. We had home births for last 2 children and asked if we could dispose of the clinical waste ourselves.

And what would that "something" be?

Liberty. Freedom. Jurisprudence. The very nature of the relationship between the government & the governed. You work on the assumption that the apparatus of the state is benign & benevolent. I like to err on the side of caution and assume it is malign & malevolent. And I think history would favour my view.



For what evil purpose will the government use this information? What will they do with that information that could harm you?

God only knows! Sell it to insurance companies to load my premiums for future diseases. Selling it to marketing firms if it's found I will suffer premature hair-loss / a sweet-tooth etc. Take 'early intervention' measures if my DNA shows a propensity for religion or spirituality. Conscript me if it shows I have a propensity for aggression and physical prowess. The list is virtually limitless as it tells them pretty much EVERYTHING (is that sinking in yet?).

And unlike my fingerprint which dies with me, this data can be used to target my heirs for generations to come. It tells them about my past, my present & my future. Once the genie is out of the bottle it will never be put back in.

And as everyone seems to think that DNA evidence is irrefutable, it will actually make miscarriage of justices more common I suspect. After all, why spend £000's trying to find other corroborating evidence or witnesses or motives when the DNA conclusively proves that only YOU could have done it.

The glib, care-free approach some people seem to have to irrevocably giving the state their most intimate, most revealing, most enduring information is truly terrifying. Do we really learn nothing from history or by looking at the world political scene?

27 July 2011 at 20:42  
Blogger English Viking said...

Your Grace,

I just wondered if you are going to finally acknowledge that, despite numerous warnings from such as myself about the vile liar Cameron, asking, nay pleading for people to vote for this charlatan at the last election was, at best, a grave mistake?

If not, how many more lies does he have to tell before you do?

PS Not a case of 'I told you so', just a desire to see you use your influence to ensure this traitor is ejected from power at the earliest available opportunity.

27 July 2011 at 20:44  
Anonymous Tony B said...

YG I wonder if you would consider issuing a plea for fewer people to post as "anonymous" - makes it devilishly tricky knowing who's who.

27 July 2011 at 20:56  
Anonymous Charles McEwan said...

Tony, I agree that there is a prejudice there but it is a prejudice against an action which I separate from the person. Prejudice is a natural comcommittment of belief and not just religious belief. Most of us are predjudiced against suicide bombings and we particularly bemoan it when the adults convince young children to be the killers. I'm sure we are prejudiced against bank robbery and that is as it should be. Belief is a pretty strong thing because basically it says that some things are right and some are wrong and this works both ways. The reason the homosexuals target B&D establishments is because they cannot accept that the Christian view of homosexuality is right and they are determined that the establishment view shall be theirs. We have freedom of belief in this country so they are entitled to their view but it impinges on the rest of us. I happen to believe that homosexuality is a disordered form of behaviour. Not everyone agrees but I defend my right to be prejudiced against homosexual behaviour. I have no problems with working alongside homosexuals and if they want to discuss it I will listen to their views and give mine. I don't imagine we will change each others views but the prejudice exist on both sides. Nowadays we have homosexuals showing the same intolerance they decried in previous centuries. If it wasn't right to persecute homosexuals then it is not right to persecute christians now. I've often heard the advocates of homosexuality saying that persecution against homosexuals in the past justifies the present presecution by homosexuals of those who disagree with them and this brings us to the point of whether there is an objective truth or whether it changes depending on the circumstances at different times and who happens to be in power.

27 July 2011 at 22:26  
Anonymous jones said...

You will get no response.

This is simply a prerogative of power.

Some wonder why people are angry?

27 July 2011 at 22:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony B said...
"YG I wonder if you would consider issuing a plea for fewer people to post as "anonymous" - makes it devilishly tricky knowing who's who."

It's my right to remain anonymous. You don't know who might be reading these blogs. One cannot be too careful these days.

Anon

27 July 2011 at 22:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Charles: "Not everyone agrees but I defend my right to be prejudiced against homosexual behaviour."

You know that phenomenon where people who are scared of cats or allegic to them always end up with loads of cats around them. Well, ...

27 July 2011 at 23:11  
Anonymous tony b said...

Anon you can remain anonymous without calling yourself "anonymous ". Many others here do. Call yourself something silly.

27 July 2011 at 23:17  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Rebel Saint

You seem to be arguing two different positions at the same time. One the one hand, you want people to rise up against this DNA data base. You said ...

No. No. NO to the government having records of our DNA. Only once you are convicted of a most serious crime should there be any question of the state having any access to our most intimate, biological record.

You also said the following which indicates that you believe there is much at stake in this contest such that it must be won.

What's at stake here is more than the prevention or detection of crime. It's about something far far greater than that.

And yet you also say ...

Party politics does not work. It is an irredeemably broken, corrupt & anti-democratic system.

I wouldn't believe them. No state is ever going to relinquish this treasure trove of information. As this policy U-turn amply illustrates. And even if a government ordered it ... the "security" services will not comply.

And so you seem to be arguing that people must conduct a fight in order to win a great battle that cannot be won. I am not sure what to make of your comments. If the Gov't agencies in question consist of a bunch of malevolent thieves who will never acquiesce to your demands, then why are you calling for the fight, and what purpose will it serve? And what alternate Gov't would you install that would correct these deficiencies?

I would also ask "If one of your children turned up missing, what malevolent Gov't security agency would you immediately call for assistance?" but I already know the answer beyond reasonable doubt.

carl

27 July 2011 at 23:29  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I perhaps agree that this U turn is different as it is common understanding of state liberty and ,state power. I think David Cameron is man in difficult times in that sense I have always erred to think such challenges would require some reconsiderations . He has been cautious on the EU , forests didnt make much sense or value. DNA testing has of course helped catch and convict criminals , and thus far has been used in cases with sucess , which at least shows the law is so far using it in a proper way.
I am sure a database of potentials may have those who try to avoid crime , seeing it as a net to catch them , but it is never that far away that collecting DNA could be an at birth law , to give the state or police a new power .

The DNA of the innocents is not quite the full horror of this , as I think it is a change in actual law and justice that is occuring , where your movements/activities can be known in ways not previously avaialable . This in turn leads to thoughts about proper behaviour in this new world . Predictive crime is an interesting subject , but yet again predictive is different to prevention .
Policing could lose somthing if it forgets prevention has a moral aspect , that upholding the law is somthing that can be taught .I respect a police officer , not because he/she can catch someone scientifically , but because he/she can be both polite and firm , to the people he/she serves and have some sense of the need for the law to be administered not just for the criminals but for all of us .

28 July 2011 at 00:35  
Anonymous AnonymousinBelfast said...

Interesting comments on the civil liberties.

Charles McEwan: Why should those outside the auspices of the church be obliged to engage or disengage in any behaviour to fit a moral code they do not subscribe to? It is one thing to argue rigorously for sexual morality amongst Christians, it is another matter to do so for non-Christians.

Incidentally, the handful of gay Christians that I do know are quiet, monogamous, and faithful (in every sense of that word). There are, it appears to me, a handful of "activists" - particularly amongst some of the US churches - who have raised their orientation over unity and humility, but they do not seem to constitute anything other than a vocal minority. The majority are no more interested in pursuing an aggressively "gay agenda" than most Christians are in reinstating a monolithic Christendom.

Daniel was told he couldn't pray or practice his religion - he was oppressed and singled out by the state. Did he mount an aggressive challenge in the law courts (despite being an important public official)? Did he go out of his way to assert his right to belief? Or did he pray quietly, keep faith, and stick to his principles? Just because we "not of the world" does not mean we have to constantly seek out confrontation with it.

28 July 2011 at 01:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"Charles McEwan: Why should those outside the auspices of the church be obliged to engage or disengage in any behaviour to fit a moral code they do not subscribe to? It is one thing to argue rigorously for sexual morality amongst Christians, it is another matter to do so for non-Christians."

Exactly.

28 July 2011 at 07:22  
Blogger len said...

If you indulge in what the Bible defines as sin you will pay the price cause - effect.You (sinners) give Satan authority(by sinning)over your lives so he can kill, steal, and destroy.

Good enough reason?

28 July 2011 at 07:38  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Carl Jacobs

What on earth are you on about?!

My position is clear & coherent. I am opposed to party politics. I feel the best approach to the power vested in government is to consider it as malign & malevolent and therefore to put in as many checks & balances as humanly possible - they are meant to be our SERVANTS not our masters. Again - history and current affairs would prove the wisdom of this approach.

And if one of my children went missing I would use whichever agency was best equipped to find them. In the Uk that would be a state agency. In some parts of Africa that would be the local militia or some private firm. But how on earth does that undermine my opposition to a national DNA database?!!

If I lived in North Korea and was the victim of a crime I would turn to the police. Would that prove my tacit support for the government?!

28 July 2011 at 09:07  
Anonymous tony b said...

Len if you understand your own religion which I think you should, you are also a sinner. Clearly the position of some people is not ' sinners should not adopt' but 'GAYS should not adopt : there is a big difference.

28 July 2011 at 10:29  
Anonymous tony b said...

Charles : they impinge on you. You impinge on them. It's called life. You want the law to protect you from them. They want the law to protect them from you. You want to use God as your trump card.

28 July 2011 at 10:36  
Anonymous MrJ said...

"You want to use God as your trump card."

This question must be as old as the hills but in terms of Christian apologetics at least as far back as Justin Martyr addressing Antoninus (said to have been called "Pius" for compelling the Senate to deify his adoptive father Hadrian).

[old as the hills: Job 15,7; Miles Coverdale's Bible, 1535: Art thou the first man, that euer was borne? Or, wast thou made before the hylles?-- google search]

28 July 2011 at 11:02  
Anonymous AnonymousinBelfast said...

@Len:

Maybe so - but isn't the Biblical precedent that the world is given over to Satan? We're not meant to win it back (if we'd even have any chance of doing so) - we're meant to win back *people* with love.

If your love, and your earnest desire to seek the salvation of your fellow man lands you in the courts - it is an opportunity foretold by Christ to testify before governor and emperor. If you land up there because of intolerance or a belligerent desire to prove your man-made (and world-defined) "rights", something has got skewed somewhere. Nothing, of course, prevents God from working in a situation like the latter, but it seems to me that it is far harder to testify to the redeeming love of Christ when we're focused on trying to exact our dues from the legal system.

All around the world people are persecuted for their peaceful and loving conviction in the Cross. I observe that the more authorities seek to stamp out Christianity, the more it thrives. If you are really correct that our present government (and the EU) is ultimately working towards the persecution of Christians, then I would not be worried about the state of Christianity in the West. The Holy Spirit has a remarkable intolerance for intolerance, and tends, as is His wont, to have His Will done.

28 July 2011 at 11:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Come on, Prime Minister. Could you please explain the provenance and reasoning of this U-turn? And while you're at, could you also please clarify what it is you believe and stand for? Thank you."

It's not his fault - it's your fault for voting for these people time and time again.

When will the penny drop?

28 July 2011 at 11:16  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Len: "If you indulge in what the Bible defines as sin you will pay the price cause - effect.You (sinners) give Satan authority(by sinning)over your lives so he can kill, steal, and destroy. Good enough reason?"

Sounds fine to me ... if one accepts your god hypothesis. I don't. Or the one involving Zeus. Or Allah. Or Krishna. Which is the point made. Unless one believes the hypothesis is true then it is pointless and nominally destructive hassle by the religious.

We are not 'sinning' by acting according to our essentially harmless nature. Women who bare their arms in public are not 'sinning' by dressing 'immodestly'. You are not 'sinning' by eating shellfish.

You believe some stuff whose truth you are unable to demonstration to others. Well, that's fine but why should others be bothered with it? Be good and be godly, and perhaps, just perhaps, you might inspire people instead.

28 July 2011 at 11:50  
Anonymous MrJ said...

An excellent comment, Mr AnonymousinBelfast (11:04), which may be well in accord with this morning's Abp Cranmer article on John RW Stott, RIP.

28 July 2011 at 13:15  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

What on earth are you on about?!

I am just trying to understand what you wrote.

My position is clear & coherent.

Your position is far from clear an coherent. You want to order the "security" services (your scare quotes) to discard data you say they will never acquiesce in discarding. You want to prevent the police from collecting data openly when you assert they will collect it surreptitiously in any case. You claim the Gov't is an immovable 'malevlent' master and then demand it act as a servant. You demand checks and balances even as you deny the "security" services (your scare quotes) will comply with those checks and balances. You even claim that the checks and balances themselves are useless because "No state is ever going to relinquish this treasure trove of information." You demand truthful assent from people you call liars whom you wouldn't believe. That is what I was going on about.

And yet if you needed their help, you would immediately run to these selfsame malevolent "security" services (your scare quotes) for assistance. You will not trust them with DNA information, but you would trust them with the life of your children. The men who would hold this information are not looking to mine a bunch of personal information from your genetic markers. They are looking to identify criminals. They are Law enforcement professionals who don't have any interest in screwing you over. This isn't some Gov't conspiracy to steal your DNA for evil purposes. It's exactly what it looks like - a data base to identify criminals.

carl

28 July 2011 at 13:18  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

We are not 'sinning' by acting according to our essentially harmless nature.

Well, that is the critical assertion. Your claim of 'nature' is founded on nothing more than the self-perceived authenticity of your desire. The whole of your case from beginning to end rests upon this foundation: "My desires are authentic to me, and therefore normal for me, and therefore morally good when acted on by me." But when has desire ever been self-justifying? People naturally desire to do a whole plethora of evil things. I could admit the authenticity of your desire and still assert that it is evil.

Sex is a private act with profound public consequences. It sits at the center of the nuclear family - the only institution in the history of man found to successfully civilize children. Traditional sexual boundaries are intended to protect that institution. If you set no boundaries around sexual behavior beyond consent, you get the sexual chaos that is currently reducing the West to ruin. The establishment of homosexuality as a moral sexual behavior is a denial of structural sexual boundaries that supersede connect. It is a clear assertion that sexual boundaries are defined only by the authentic will to act. It must be so since there is no natural justification for it. There is nothing like male-female complementarity to establish its essential nature. There is only the primacy of human will expressed through human consent. The problem being that men will consent to pretty much anything.

I don't worry too much about secular culture. It cannot last. It is consuming its ability to civilize what few children it decides to conceive, and will reduce itself to poverty as those children find themselves incapable of competing in an increasingly competitive world. This culture is like sailors who rip the wood from the hull in order to make a bonfire on deck. It is what will comes after that concerns me.

carl

28 July 2011 at 13:50  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

"supersede consent"

Stupid spell checker.

carl

28 July 2011 at 13:52  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Who was the first homosexual?

28 July 2011 at 14:08  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Carl ... are you deliberately being a silly arse or is it unintended?

I place the word "security" in quotes, because all round the world and all through history there are agencies for whom the word "security" is a complete misnomer. In fact, it was (and still is for huge swathes of people) the "security" services from whom the people need protecting.

Your apparent innate trust that anything bestowed with the title "security service" is - and always will be -benign & benevolent is naive bordering on insane.

I think there are agencies that will collect DNA data surreptitiously ... therefore we should just roll over and hand it to them anyway rather than make it as difficult as possible, and lay down consequences if they are caught?

I don't trust the state to delete all data they already have ... therefore we shouldn't make it as difficult as possible for them to conceal it, and lay down consequences if they are discovered to transgress?

Why not treat criminality with the same attitude ... there are always going to be burglars so lets not bother with law enforcement?

You seem to believe the state should treat all people with suspicion. I believe we should treat all those who seek power to govern our lives with suspicion.

You believe all those who seek to rule & govern are inclined to be benign & benevolent, and the population should be treated as if they are inclined to be malign & malevolent. I believe those who seek to rule & govern us should be treated as inclined to be malign & malevolent and the population at assumed to be benign & benevolent.

You believe the population needs to make themselves accountable to their government. I believe a government needs to make themselves accountable to the people.

You seem to have a view of the role of the state & the government that wouldn't be out of place in North Korea or former East Germany or Saudi Arabia. Not a world I want to replicate I'm afraid. And whilst the government I live under at the moment is relatively benign [though less & less so], I do not want to give it all the tools it would need to oppress me.

It might be a cliché, but absolute power corrupts absolutely. And I can not think of anything that gives a government much more power over your life than giving them the blueprint of your very biology. Could it be used for good? Yes. Will it being used for immense harm? History & current affairs teach us: almost certainly.

Around the world, more lives are harmed & at risk from despotic, autocratic, totalitarian governments than they are from even the most prolific mass murderers or rapists. I would rather live in a world where criminals are harder to catch than where the state is my absolute master.

[I'll ignore your "what if your children were dying" for the silly, crass argument that it is]

28 July 2011 at 14:10  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Carl Jacobs ...

Your rebuttal of DanJ0's humanistic, hedonistic justifications for sexual licentiousness is superb.

Why you can't apply the same insight into the relationship between the power of the state & the liberty of the individual is beyond me!

28 July 2011 at 14:18  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Well, that is the critical assertion. Your claim of 'nature' is founded on nothing more than the self-perceived authenticity of your desire."

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I am experience it myself and it is authentic. What else is there to say about that? Isn't your sexual orientation authentic to you? It seems a strange thing to say.

"The whole of your case from beginning to end rests upon this foundation: "My desires are authentic to me, and therefore normal for me, and therefore morally good when acted on by me.""

Well, thanks for that. I'll leave you to your strawman there.

"Traditional sexual boundaries are intended to protect that institution. If you set no boundaries around sexual behavior beyond consent, you get the sexual chaos that is currently reducing the West to ruin."

Well, luckily it is not just consent involved for me so I can just step aside from your characterisation of it even if I actually agreed with the form of it, which I don't think I do.

One can see the religious assumptions underlying your view even if you are perhaps not really conscious of them. They distort your view, I think.

Also, I don't think the West is being reduced to ruin. Truth be told, I'm an optimistic sort of guy in that regard, I think we're generally doing pretty good actually. In fact, that's one reason for not being religious: there seems to be an inordinate number of you lot who have a depressing, downbeat view on life.

"I don't worry too much about secular culture. It cannot last."

I'd just get on with it if I were you. I live in a country with a long history. Christianity was here for a fair while but it ended up just a long sojourn in the end. Carpe diem, you'll be much happier if you do I reckon.

28 July 2011 at 14:22  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "Your rebuttal of DanJ0's humanistic, hedonistic justifications for sexual licentiousness is superb."

Hedonistic? Licentiousness? Blimey. :)

Really, it's essentially just like everyone else's relationships, only surrounded with more tasteful home furnishings.

That's the weird disconnection between you guys and the rest of us. Other people's sex lifes are so damned important to you.

28 July 2011 at 14:29  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

DanJ0 ... "I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. I am experience it myself and it is authentic. What else is there to say about that?"

We all have all sorts of desires that come 'naturally' & are 'authentic'. That doesn't mean they are good or to be acted upon. What's hard about that to understand?

Of course, if we are purely animalistic then "doing it because it came naturally to me" is justification in itself [even the idea of 'consent' is largely an artificial construct ... what right has someone to deny me consent to do something that comes naturally and is authentic to me? Does a bear need the gamekeepers consent to crap in the woods? Or a tiger get the gazelles consent to eat it?]

Surely one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to appeal to something outside ourselves as a higher standard (as you do, when you appeal to the idea of consent). We know it is not always right to act according to how we feel, no matter how authentic that desire may be. Or on the contrary, we sometimes know that we must act against our 'natural instinct' and 'do the right thing'.

28 July 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

DanJ0 ... "Really, it's essentially just like everyone else's relationships, only surrounded with more tasteful home furnishings."

LOL :o)

"That's the weird disconnection between you guys and the rest of us. Other people's sex lifes are so damned important to you."

Actually, I reckon in 75%+ of cases it's other people who raise sex as the point of contention. Why do so many homosexuals seem to need to identify/define themselves around their sexuality?

28 July 2011 at 15:20  
Anonymous non mouse said...

This in support of Rebel Saint's very sensible post @ 14:10.

Whereas it is remotely possible some individuals within the euSSR's machinery have altruistic tendencies, we have little evidence that their placemen, our politicians and law-enforcers, have our interests at heart. Indeed, the U-turns His Grace references reveal that we would be fools to trust the men who pretend to represent us.

Maintenance of records about our external characteristics is one thing; harnessing data about our internal makeup, and retaining it without our permission or knowledge, is both invasion of privacy and appropriation of our most private property. And I'm sure they can harness DNA records through NHS birth records, if nothing else.

Maintenance of DNA databases is, then, the thin edge of a wedge that deprives individuals of part of their inner identity and denies them free will to choose. Furthermore, the wielders of enforcement can also re-inscribe and re-interpret the evidence as wildly as any other deconstructionist does.

As a people, we therefore stand to be more than disenfranchised and dispossessed. The information they collect gives those who consider themselves "elite" unprecedented power to dominate us, and even to move towards the sort of eugenics and battery farms Huxley described (Brave New World).

I believe we should at least acknowledge the real and inchoate dangers underlying this Red Flag.

28 July 2011 at 16:19  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@non mouse

Thank you. I don't think I've ever been accused of writing a sensible post before. I think you say it more eloquently & succinctly though.

28 July 2011 at 17:03  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 July 2011 at 17:03  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

carl jacobs

Excellent posts about DNA (although I do not believe it should be retained in a free society because of man's inherent capacity to abuse power)and also on homosexuality and it's corruption of family life.

We disagree on much but agree on certain fundamentals.

28 July 2011 at 18:11  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

I'll leave you to your strawman there.

No, there is no strawman here. You made a clear assertion - "We are not 'sinning' by acting according to our essentially harmless nature." You are thereby stating that your sexual behavior is in accordance with the intended use of your body. You are saying that your desires are properly ordered, and not improperly disordered. We both know and will admit that there are disordered desires. So the mere fact that you have these desires does not imply that they are natural and properly ordered. It simply means you possess them. So your task is to establish that your desires are naturally ordered without referring to the authenticity of those desires.

The natural order of heterosexual desire is self-evident. It is seen in the complementarity of the genders and its necessity for the propagation of the human race. Homosexuality has no such analog. Biology says at every turn that homosexuality is confusion. You cannot look outward to justify your behavior. You must look inward. There you find desire, but nothing to establish it as part of the natural order. This is your dilemma.

How do you know you are by nature a homosexual? What besides your desire establishes this as a fact?

carl

28 July 2011 at 18:29  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Rebel Saint

You don't live in North Korea or East Germany. You can generalize your comments all you like, but said generalizations are only relevant to this thread if they may be applied to that cop down the street. That's who you have been calling a malevolent liar. It's your own government and security services you have been accusing - and without cause. Strange as it may seem, I don't see a lot of connection between Scotland Yard and the Stasi.

carl

28 July 2011 at 18:35  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Dodo

Thanks for the support. I normally find myself in broad agreement with conservative RCs once theology is removed, and for obvious reasons. But if you wait a few minutes, I am sure I can find another Papal Bull to bludgeon you with. ;)

carl

28 July 2011 at 18:38  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "No, there is no strawman here. You made a clear assertion - "We are not 'sinning' by acting according to our essentially harmless nature." You are thereby stating that your sexual behavior is in accordance with the intended use of your body."

When you write stuff like that, you don't see the assumptions you include do you? It's quite interesting, really.

28 July 2011 at 18:40  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

When you write stuff like that, you don't see the assumptions you include do you?

No, actually I struggled quite a bit with the word choice of 'intended.' I understand that it could be construed to imply 'created purpose' which you reject. I even inserted a parenthetical comment qualifiying the word choice, but deleted it. Ultimately I left it as 'intended' because you had used the word 'nature.' As in "I am doing what I am supposed to be doing." I understand why you want to say that. Homosexual apologists constantly refer to nature to justify their desire. But it becomes a tautological dodge when the evidence of nature is nothing more than the presence of the desire.

carl

28 July 2011 at 18:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Rebel: "We all have all sorts of desires that come 'naturally' & are 'authentic'. That doesn't mean they are good or to be acted upon. What's hard about that to understand?"

When you write it like that, not a lot. It was the 'authentic' bit that was a bit weird to me. You're stating the 'ought from is' issue, albeit in a slightly different way, by the look of it.

Yes, I agree. Just because something is natural, as in occurring in nature, does not make it 'good', and just because my sexual orientation (like yours) is part of my nature doesn't necessarily make acting on it 'good'.

"Of course, if we are purely animalistic then "doing it because it came naturally to me" is justification in itself [even the idea of 'consent' is largely an artificial construct ... what right has someone to deny me consent to do something that comes naturally and is authentic to me?"

What Carl (and you, I guess) miss is that it is not consent in itself that matters to me, it's that the absence of consent makes it an ethically significant harm to me whereas consent between adults is where both parties nominally take responsibility for their actions and the consequences.

"Surely one of the things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom is our ability to appeal to something outside ourselves as a higher standard (as you do, when you appeal to the idea of consent). We know it is not always right to act according to how we feel, no matter how authentic that desire may be. Or on the contrary, we sometimes know that we must act against our 'natural instinct' and 'do the right thing'."

Well, that seems fair enough on the face of it. So, we're back to the underlying issue. For me, sex is not inherently a moral matter. For the religious, I gather that it usually is.

If I were to take a utilitarian view then the 'good' or 'bad' of sexual acts is determined solely by the consequences. Utilitarianism is obviously a consequentialist moral scheme with a number of different flavours.

If I were to take a Catholic (which might be an over-arching Christian) view then our species has a purpose which help determine whether we are acting in accordance with its god's intention (where that is 'good' in some way). Well, news flash here: I think that's bollocks. So, arguments based on it have no sway and, well, we're back to where we started. It was a nice trip around the block though.

28 July 2011 at 18:58  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "Ultimately I left it as 'intended' because you had used the word 'nature.' As in "I am doing what I am supposed to be doing." I understand why you want to say that."

Supposed to be? By whom? What it is actually saying is that I do not have an choice about my sexual orientation. Probably just like you. And I said that it is essentially harmless, which is a large clue to my view of how ethical stuff works.

Rebel used two adjectives, probably from his religious convictions, saying that my justifcations are based on hedonism and that the act is licentious. Well, sex is usually very pleasurable and humans seem to seek pleasure :O and avoid pain so he's right after a fashion.

I suppose there's some bacchanalian-type orgy as a mental image quietly riding on the back of that, collecting religious judgements on the way. If so then bollocks.

"Homosexual apologists constantly refer to nature to justify their desire. But it becomes a tautological dodge when the evidence of nature is nothing more than the presence of the desire."

Are you gay? I am. I know, experientially, what it is like to be gay. It's not like preferring chocolate ice-cream to vanilla. Or suddenly fancying a nice, cold beer on a hot day.

By the way, I love the 'homosexual apologists' line. I must adopt 'religious apologists' as a tag for you.

Homosexuality is controversial to many of you but it's not to me and it won't be soon to most people I reckon. Once we get rid of the cultural legacy of Christian sexual hangups and its weird guilt nonsense, that is. *shudder*

There's no need to justify one's sexual orientation, that's just something that 'is'. What actually needs justifying is religious intrusion into the lives of the non-religious.

28 July 2011 at 19:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "The natural order of heterosexual desire is self-evident. It is seen in the complementarity of the genders and its necessity for the propagation of the human race. Homosexuality has no such analog. Biology says at every turn that homosexuality is confusion. You cannot look outward to justify your behavior."

Piled full of unstated assumptions! :O

28 July 2011 at 19:26  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@DanJ0 ... "There's no need to justify one's sexual orientation, that's just something that 'is'."

I'd largely agree with that. Though I think Jesus summed it up nicely when he said, "Some are born that way, others are made that way by others". I think the body of evidence pretty much stacks up with that statement too.

I don't think many people who have an issue with sexual orientation. However issues of morality are raised by issues around sexual behaviour - and that is just as much to do with heterosexual behaviour as it is to do homosexual behaviour. And don't tell me it is only those with religious convictions who are obsessed with sexual behaviour. Compare the average output of Christian media compared with their secular counterparts to discover who is most obsessed with sex!

DanJ0..."What actually needs justifying is religious intrusion into the lives of the non-religious."

But what about the "intrusion" of the non-religious in the lives of the religious? Isn't any legal imposition or prohibition the "intrusion" into the lives of those who disagree with it?

What has any of this got to do with DNA databases?

28 July 2011 at 20:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"And don't tell me it is only those with religious convictions who are obsessed with sexual behaviour."

I'm not, really. I'm actually saying they seem to be obsessed with judging and, given half a chance, potentially regulating the private sex lives of others.

"But what about the "intrusion" of the non-religious in the lives of the religious? Isn't any legal imposition or prohibition the "intrusion" into the lives of those who disagree with it?"

Yes. But we try to justify those in worldly terms so that we can all buy into them whatever our various religious beliefs or absence of religious beliefs.

28 July 2011 at 20:21  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Carl said ... "... generalizations are only relevant to this thread if they may be applied to that cop down the street. ... It's your own government and security services you have been accusing - and without cause. Strange as it may seem, I don't see a lot of connection between Scotland Yard and the Stasi."

I admire you childlike trust & innocence. It may be great in the kingdom of God. But in the "kingdoms" of this world you're going to end up getting yourself (and a whole lot of others) in some seriously unpleasant do-do!

Can I assume that when you hear of the police have arresting someone you think to yourself, "Well he must have done something wrong otherwise they wouldn't have arrested him?"

28 July 2011 at 20:32  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"What has any of this got to do with DNA databases?"

Nothing. Well, until they find the 'gay gene' anyway and then things will get quite interesting. :O Blame Charles for the tangent.

I'm with you completely on the DNA thing. We need to be ahead of the game as far as ethics are concerned there. With citizens databases in general too. I usually laugh at 'slippery slope' arguments involving multiple steps and snort at conspiracy theories but all one needs here is an understanding of the extent of technological developments over the last 30 years and a fairly normal level of imagination to worry.

28 July 2011 at 20:34  
Blogger len said...

Interesting theory the 'gay' gene.

Perhaps there is a 'Christian gene'. 'its not my fault I just can`t help it?'

28 July 2011 at 21:29  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Rebel Saint

Can I assume that when you hear of the police have arresting someone you think to yourself, "Well he must have done something wrong otherwise they wouldn't have arrested him?"

Yes, you can assume that about me, because in fact it is almost always true. May I assume that you have never worn a uniform in your life?

carl

29 July 2011 at 00:24  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

DanJ0

By the way, I love the 'homosexual apologists' line. I must adopt 'religious apologists' as a tag for you.

I welcome the title 'Christian apologist' although I am not sure I deserve it. For what it is worth, I use the phrase 'homosexual apologist' to show respect.

carl

29 July 2011 at 00:34  
Anonymous carl jacobs said...

Hrmmm ... that previous post doesn't read quite right. Let me try again.

Rebel Saint

Can I assume that when you hear of the police have arresting someone you think to yourself, "Well he must have done something wrong otherwise they wouldn't have arrested him?"

Yes, you can assume I would think that, because in fact it is almost always true that someone arrested is in fact guilty of something. May I assume that you have never worn a uniform in your life?

carl
who would have deleted the previous post if he knew how.

29 July 2011 at 00:50  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Interesting theory the 'gay' gene. Perhaps there is a 'Christian gene'. 'its not my fault I just can`t help it?'"

For the record, I don't think there's a gay gene. I doubt there's a set of genes either. My money is on environmental factors in the womb, such as hormone levels at key points in brain development or something.

The Christian gene thing is interesting too. I've often thought that there may be a set of genes which express together to incline one more towards accepting unsubstantiated beliefs, like the power of crystals, or water divination, or Christianity.

29 July 2011 at 06:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Carl: "who would have deleted the previous post if he knew how."

You need to register with Google to get a blogspot account to do that. It enables a delete button. Obviously, anonymous (or typed in name) posters don't have one because the author can't be subsequently identified to allow him to delete just his own posts.

Registering just requires an email address at first. Later, it seems to want a telephone number to carry on. I'm awaiting the request for DNA samples next. :)

Once Google get's DNA samples it can correlate that with my browser cache, the contents of my Gmail account, and later identify me to marketeers of tasteful home furnishings, or asthma medicines, or penis enlargement. Perhaps.

29 July 2011 at 06:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "Perhaps there is a 'Christian gene'. 'its not my fault I just can`t help it?'"

Incidentally, I reckon there's an implied assumption in there relating to justifications or something. There is no fault in being gay or nominally acting on it. I have no guilt, nor should I have, despite the best efforts of evangelicals or other, erm, Christian fundamentalists to feck up the heads of kids growing up. I've survived that. It's like having ginger hair or being left-handed, really: a benign attribute. The issue is one for Christians to deal with inside their own heads.

29 July 2011 at 06:39  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...why not our kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts and eyes?"

Well they'll be back for those shortly.

"Presumed consent" for organ transplants after death? Heard of that?

It hasn't gone away, you know; it's probably just waiting for a beneficial crisis, probably involving blonde muppets, before it rears its head again.

29 July 2011 at 15:08  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

And btw it is depressing beyond words to see how many people (if one can dignify them with that title) on this thread are completely relaxed about his business.

Yes, let the State bar-code us, watch over us, monitor and (later) control our every action, listen to our conversations to ensure our views are the approved ones, track us wherever we go, tell us what to eat, drink, and think, all for our own good. Yes, we're completely in favour. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. What could possibly go wrong?

You are all pathetic, I'm afraid.

29 July 2011 at 15:11  
Anonymous SFJD said...

http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2011/07/29/appeals-court-upholds-mandatory-dna-testing-for-arrestees/

29 July 2011 at 23:51  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Weekend Yachtsman - so, sail-away to your paradise of choice...

30 July 2011 at 14:59  
Anonymous MichaelA said...

"Yes, you can assume I would think that, because in fact it is almost always true that someone arrested is in fact guilty of something."

Not only incorrect, but also irrelevant.

Fortunately, the reason that "British justice" is held in such high respect around the world is because it makes no such assumption. Quite the opposite - the foundation of western freedoms is that every person is to be considered innocent until *proven* guilty.

DNA is no different. It can be terribly misused, all the more so because the general public (or is it just the media?) often assume that DNA evidence could not possibly be incorrect for any reason (contamination, shoddy administration, mislabelling, or even corruption etc).

This is not to say that DNA shouldn't be used (indeed, its original purpose was to help release some of the many innocent people wrongly convicted each year). But it should never override the fundamental requirement that a judge and jury sift through ALL the evidence with an open mind.

4 August 2011 at 07:16  

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