The Prime Minister revealed recently that, when it comes to justifying the introduction of disproportionately intrusive surveillance legislation, he draws comfort from fictional depictions of crime detection:
In the most serious crimes [such as] child abduction communications data… is absolutely vital. I love watching, as I probably should stop telling people, crime dramas on the television. There’s hardly a crime drama where a crime is solved without using the data of a mobile communications device
Although this relevation has drawn some criticism, I think such criticism is unfair. Mr Cameron’s policy approach has a precedent. Hansard shows that, more than forty years ago, his predecessor adopted similarly
populist bullshit robust research. Harold Wilson, in a debate on proposed changes to laws regarding investigation of serious crimes
is recorded as saying
The Prime Minister: In the most serious crimes a spectral assistant is absolutely vital. I love watching, as I probably should stop telling people, crime dramas on the television. There’s hardly a crime drama where a crime is solved without a private detective consulting his dead partner who has returned as ghost whom no one else but he can see. If we don’t modernise the law to permit this sort of practice we will never know how many dead people could still have fulfilled their calling to support their surviving crime-busting partners while wearing dandyish white suits
So, Loz Kaye, Paul Bernal, OnlyOneIssue et al…enough with your cynicism. Get out your history books and recognise that there’s a venerable tradition of people with too much time and money on their hands imagining that fiction is reality.