"A lie told often enough becomes truth." This quotation is attributed to both Lenin and Joseph Goebbels and nowhere is this truer today than in the repeated mantra of the Labour Government in respect of the proposed DNA database for all our UK citizens. The lie in this case is, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” The truth is that we all potentially have something to hide.
The discovery of the DNA genome has led to significant medical advances over the last decade and research continues apace. These discoveries hold out the hope that, in future years, cures may be found for many of the diseases that afflict our world: various cancers, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and many more. The research is based on the identification of various DNA “markers” that indicate a propensity for an individual to develop a particular disease at some stage in their life, often as a result of heredity transmission of specific genes. And herein lies the real danger for the future and the reason why many of us “have something to hide.”
Now we must turn our attention to the woefully abysmal record of this government when it comes to securing sensitive data from loss or theft. There is no need for me here to reprise all of the incidents of data loss through ignorance, negligence and downright stupidity [perm any two from three] as these have been well documented by our ever-vigilant news media. As a result, anyone who puts their trust in the government to protect their personal details should, almost by definition, be housed in sheltered accommodation for the terminally bewildered.
Let us now marry these two concepts. Imagine, if you will, that in 5 or 10 years time, medical science has advanced the investigation of DNA to the point where they can positively identify the DNA markers that signify a propensity for an individual to develop all or any of the diseases mentioned above. Imagine also that our control-freak leaders have extended the DNA database to cover [let’s be conservative here] say 50% of the population. This will give the government a very good idea of how many people in the future are liable to develop certain diseases, enabling the planning of healthcare resources, which is no bad thing.
However, all this information will be held on a supposedly “secure” database. No it won’t! Government databases cannot be regarded as secure for the following reasons.
 The existing record of government keeping individuals information secure does not bear close scrutiny.
 The government actually sells the information that it holds on our citizens, the DVLA being a prime example.
 Vested interests [pharmacological companies, insurance companies, banks] will all seek to have access to these databases and, in all likelihood, get that access.
So, imagine that your DNA profile indicates that you are likely to develop pancreatic cancer during your mid-thirties. Currently, neither you nor anyone else would know about this until certain symptoms become apparent. However, if your DNA profile were established at birth [as the government would wish] this information would be on file from the moment that you entered into this world.
Given that the “vested interests” mentioned above would, by whatever means, have access to this information, what do you reckon on your chances of [a] getting a long term job, [b] getting a bank loan or a mortgage [if, indeed, banks are ever going to lend money again in today’s economic climate!] or [c] taking out an insurance policy? In fact, you may be blissfully unaware of your impending disease until you application for life insurance is denied on the basis that you are an unacceptable risk.
Is this just the ravings of someone who is totally paranoid? Not necessarily. Paranoia can be described as the irrational fear that the whole world is out to get you. In most cases, this would indicate that a course of psychiatric help is in order. But if you are a soldier fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, then adopting the mindset that the whole world [or at least the world in which you are currently operating] is out to get you is a pretty good self-preservation strategy.
Given that the current UK government is established as being one that is centralist; that seeks to control ever larger parts of our lives and has a dismal record in protecting the privacy of our citizens, do you really think that you have got nothing to hide? Think about it.
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