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Home Office minister: We can change snooping bill quickly

11 December 2012

After Nick Clegg and Labour rejected the draft Communications Data Bill, Home Office minister James Brokenshire appeared on the Today programme to explain that while the Home Office accepts the ‘substance’ of the joint committee’s report, he believes it won’t take too long to redraft it. He said:

‘We believe that the changes that meet the substance of these recommendations can be met in a reasonably short order, but in saying that what I am clear is that we know that we need to work this through with the coalition.’

He pointed out, rightly, that the committee was clear that there was a need for the legislation, but that there were concerns about the balance between collecting data and individual privacy. This is the point that Nick Clegg made, but there is a distinction between the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement that ‘we cannot proceed with this bill and we have to go back to the drawing board’ and Brokenshire’s assertion that the Home Office can make changes to the legislation. The latter sounds far less radical than the return to the drawing board that Clegg envisages.

How the two parties play this out will be an instructive health check on the coalition and how good their respective ministers are at communicating with one another. The Tories and Lib Dems are hardly going to part ways over the draft Communications Data Bill, but it could well be that the Deputy Prime Minister remains unhappy with the legislation once ministers have made the changes that they think are necessary. Jeremy Browne is the Liberal Democrats’ man at the Home Office: how he communicates with his departmental colleagues will also be integral to keeping rifts from finding their way onto the floor of the House of Commons.

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Show comments
  • Realist

    The web is our power. Knowledge is power.The self serving undeserving elitist scum know this and want to keep everybody under their control. This country is gonna end up like china or the old east germany. Politicians dont even care any more what we think or want- look at the expenses scandal look at the eu hitler would be proud of them

  • Jelly Jim

    Brokenshower regurgitates whatever’s thrust in front of him by the permanent civil servants at the Home Office. He’s just a temporary resident, no different in substance or form to his predecessors. Nobody could honestly pull out a distinct piece of policy and attach his name to it.

  • AnotherDaveB

    I think both the LDs and the Conservatives opposed this bill when it was proposed by the Labour Gov’t. Why it being proposed again now?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    One of the reasons the electorate booted NuLabour out of office was its fascistic tendency to snoop on the general public, ID cards and the building of a database state. Now we find that Dave and his chums are intent on doing the same. Plus ça change …

    • TomTom

      Not quite…..Emails and Texts from Cameron like those from Blair seem to have a privileged status when Leveson or Chilcot come knocking…….on the other hand the Met seem to resort to the old-fashioned methods when intercepting Damien Green’s Emails !

    • Realist

      I totally agree. I voted tory at the general election as they made out thy were against new labours big brother state plans- now the torys are trying to bring in more or less the same laws and labour are now opposed to it! Is it me or are they all playing games trying to make out they are any different from each other. The saying “prime ministers arent elected they are chosen” is starting to make sense. Is there a higher office at play telling the political parties what to tell the public, making us think our elections give us a choice?

  • Colonel Mustard

    Words fail me when I look at the photograph of that bureaucrat, his character writ large in his face, and must consider him a minister of state charged with balancing the power of that state with the freedoms and privacies of those it supposedly serves. HIs surname is appropriate. The Shire is indeed well broken by servants of the Dark Lord like him.

  • RKing

    He’s Pinnochio playing live at the Old Bexley and Sidcup theatre this christmas.
    Tickets start at £15 but are free for snoopers and illegal immigrants.

    Speciality act is when the nose starts to grow!!

  • TomTom

    Brokenshire should stand in front of a live audience and explain himself. Another of these types who has never had to justify himself to a sceptical audience. The destruction of Western Civilisation commenced when politicians hid in TV studios with make-up and lights and lost contact with Working Mens Ckubs to perfect their stand-up routine

  • George_Arseborne

    From his name you know the entire Government is Broken. amassing record debt, dire economy, confuse conservatives trying to force their way into social liberty and so on and so forth.
    We know they are all pretending just to gain vote, Learning from the catastrophic failure of their counter part republicans in the USA.
    The voters ain`t going to fall into that trap, The Tories are all wild animals in human skin.

  • RKing

    What sort of government is this turning out to be?

    Snooping Bill
    Gay Marriages
    Money ,”OUR MONEY”, being wasted on Foreign Aid and being ring fenced.
    No in/out vote on the EU.

    It doesn’t bode well, how many of these were in the manifesto. Has he had lessons from Egypt’s Leader?

    His slogan at the next general election should be:-

    “Vote for me and I’ll promise the earth………. then when I’m in power F**K OFF I’ll do as I please.
    Dictator Dave

  • WIlliam Blakes Ghost

    We believe that the changes that meet the substance of these
    recommendations can be met in a reasonably short order, but in saying
    that what I am clear is that we know that we need to work this through
    with the coalition.’

    That sounds to me like code for coating the proposals with bullshit….


      Brokenshire’s sentence which you quote above isn’t correct English, so I hope he won’t actually have a hand in actually writing the laws.

      • TomTom

        Legal draftsmen are paid by Law Firms to generate so many loopholes that Judges can wax lyrical at client expense

  • anyfool

    Hopefully reasonably short order is a euphemism for u turn, but i would not hold my breath, we now have become such a haven for terrorists and their support groups that the US needs to keep a close eye on everyone in this country so it will be back either soon or when the freedom loving socialists get in.

    • TomTom

      They got in back in may 2010 or have you not noticed ?

  • jsfl

    Brokenshire sounds like yet another broken record from the broken department that once was a great office of state but is now morphing into a creation of Orwell.

  • In2minds

    Vulture is right you only have to look at James Brokenshire to realise this
    is a man who thinks he can walk on water. If however you write to him
    with serious questions all you get back is cut and paste waffle, the
    man is out of his depth and drowning in civil liberties issues he
    does not understand.

  • Vulture

    Brokenshire looks and sounds like a nasty little jumped up oik on the make. Hair like a bog brush and brains to match if his performance on Today was anything to go by.
    Just the man to usher in the next stage of our electronic police state.

    • telemachus

      You just cannot abrogate the message by ridiculing the messenger
      This man is right
      I only hope the wet-bellied Tories stand up to the Odious Clegg on this

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