The Indie is reporting today that Straw is backtracking on Clause 152, the data sharing clause, in his Coroners and (in)Justice Bill. I suspect the Lords would have hammered this anyway, so it's more of a face-saving retreat to avoid a defeat than a change of heart.
The danger of 152 is not that the government or security organisations need it to combat crime or terrorism - they have powers enough for that - but that it would embed Nanny in each of our lives. The purpose of the information sharing proposed was in furtherance (50A(4)) of government 'policy objectives'. The safe drinking initiatives, the anti-smoking crusade, the low-fat raw vegetable drive and all the lunatic social engineering tinkering that Labour love so much. For 'policy objectives', nothing more, was Straw proposing to allow council prodnoses to see our medical records, alcohol quangos to access our tax records, carbon-saving do-gooders to see our vehicle details from DVLA plus our business mileage from HMRC and so on, to enable 'focused targeting' of Nanny's policy initiatives.
There has quite rightly been widespread concern over this. This is a temporary retreat by Straw, not an admission of misguidedness. Labour can't change its spots.