Tories attack Labour surveillance schemes

Kablenet.com | Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, has criticised the ID-card scheme, among other government projects, in his speech at the Conservative conference.

In Birmingham on Tuesday, Grieve said the public is “fed up with the creeping growth of a surveillance society which intrudes into their private lives and loses their personal data”.

He said the government had “created the worst of all worlds”, by increasing surveillance while levels of crime heightened. “We’re less free. We’re less safe,” Grieve said.

Much of Grieve’s speech concerned policing. He said the Conservatives would cut form-filling requirements and scrap targets for police forces. However, Grieve also criticised the fact that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act allows local authorities to use surveillance.

Grieve praised his predecessor, David Davis, who resigned to fight a by-election over issues including ID cards earlier this year. He said that neither Gordon Brown nor Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, had referred to the ID-card scheme in their speeches to the Labour conference last week, despite Brown boasting of it the previous year.

“We’re winning the arguments on freedom, and David Davis deserves the credit for his stand,” said Grieve, adding that the Conservatives would “meet the terrorist threat head on, without sacrificing the freedoms that millions died defending”.