Not content with putting together a legislative framework to rescind free speech and trample on due process, New Labour has now decided to embark on plans allowing your post to be intercepted in secret:
The government is now drawing up plans to amend the Postal Services Act to allow tax inspectors to intercept and open people’s mail before it is delivered. Given the state’s ambitions to collect all communications data this is hardly surprising, but we must ask ourselves how many more rights are seized by government and its agencies before Britain becomes the GDR‘s most obvious European imitator.
Currently postal workers have the right to intercept suspicious letters and packages and pass them to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and then at an agreed moment the item is opened in front of the addressee. The change in the law will mean that HMRC will be able to open whatever it likes without the addressee being present or being made aware of the interception.
I’m sorry but this is not the behaviour of a democracy in the understood meaning of the word. But it fits precisely into their plans to redefine the relationship between the individual and state for the 21st century. Since the Enlightenment the state has been answerable to the people; New Labour’s ID strategy aims for government to moderate all interactions between individuals by controlling their identity. What then is so surprising about wanting to access their mail before they do?