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That was a very interesting item, and one that I will re-read in order to absorb all the constitutional niceties, but I think you have stuck to a slightly too mechanical view of how the machinery works.

Are you saying that the Coalition is simply ditching its previous sayings as part of the transition from opposition to government? Are you expressing a kind of anarcho-folk-belief that everybody in power is constantly on the make? You conclusion seems to tend towards, "Oh, my god - we are all going to die."

For a start, one of the things you have neglected is people like you. What happened to the other ingredients of a complex democracy? Free press? Pressure groups? Is it not true that, in the wake of the 'duck island' business, public interest in scrutiny of our rulers is, if not exactly high, at least higher than average?

Another postscript

How do I think these powers will be used? Suppose I were a Minister getting very irritated with ICO’s actions (e.g. say on DNA for the sake of argument).

The powers would not be used to abolish the ICO, but to transfer DNA privacy policy to a new DNA independent (more compliant) regulator appointed by the Home Office.

The powers would be used to transfer a narrow salami slice of the ICO’s role leaving the vast majority of its role untouched and thereby avoiding a court case in Europe.

These powers are available to any future Government and should not be left unfettered – I think this is the point. Also transfer of the ICO from the MoJ is now essential.

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