One of the Liberal Democrats' achievements in government was the climb-down on proposals to give the state unfettered powers to snoop on e-mails, mobile phone information and generally continue its criminalisation of the citizen. This doesn't appeal to the authoritarian imbeciles whose anti-libertarian agenda emerges every time there is a perceived threat to the state by terrorists or by groups that do not conform to the narrow-minded bigotry of the Tory and Labour right.
The arguments put forward to justify further intrusion are superficially attractive, but as with all flawed legislation the damage that could be done to the liberty of the citizen is much greater than the protection that could be afforded. As usual, the knee-jerk response comes out - and the parade of has-beens, and never-should-have-beens is repugnantly right-wing. Step forward John Reid, Alan Johnson, Michael Howard, Lord Carlile and the preposterous Home Secretary, Theresa May, who is clearly fostering her insane leadership pretensions by appealing to the snoopers and the state repressors.
Lynton Crosby, the Tories' Mephistopheles, would be proud of the whistling dogs. "Terrorists", nasty, "criminals", well we don't like them, and "paedophiles" - the in-group for condemnation are her justification for resurrecting oppression. The euphemisms of "law enforcement agencies" are not balanced with any coherent justification as to how individual rights are to be secured in a system which makes the power of the state even more arbitrary. Bad legislators make stupid laws - the Dangerous Dogs Act is a prime example.
The denial of rights is only justified in time of war and under clear limitations. A further encroachment on liberty should be another reason for Nick Clegg to consider who his interests are really aligned with.