Written answers and statements, 24 January 2011
Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Plaid Cymru)
To ask the Prime Minister whether there have been any changes to the Wilson doctrine since May 2010.
David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
Technically this one word answer is a re-affirmation of the Wilson Doctrine, espoused by the then Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1966, that no Member of Parliament's telephone shall be tapped, unless there is a major national emergency, and that any changes to this policy will be reported by the Prime Minister to Parliament.
No doubt some Downing Street apparatchik thought that he was being clever by draughting this one word "No" Parliamentary Answer, but the political effect is to make David Cameron appear as arrogant and uncaring about our freedoms and liberties, as his control freak Labour predecessors Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
Back in 1966, most people did not have direct dial international phone lines, let alone facsimile machines or mobile phones or the internet.
The Wilson Doctrine has been re--affirmed by every Prime Minister since Harold Wilson, and has been extended to cover Peers of the House of Lords as well as Members of Parliament in the House of Commons. It is also meant to cover mobile phones and computer telecommunications.
There is no reason why it could not or should not be extended to cover the elected Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the European Parliament.
All of these are democratically elected by the same British electorate who lend their power to the Parliament in Westminster.
The Wilson Doctrine is not meant to help financially or morally corrupt or treacherous politicians hide their crimes and scandals, but it is vital to give the right signals to the electorate, that their communications with their elected representatives will not be snooped on by the Government, especially when they are complaining about Government policies or are whistleblowing and exposing the incompetence or wrongdoings of Government bureaucrats.
Interestingly, it was left to a Welsh Nationalist MP to ask this important question about the Wilson Doctrine.
It is unsurprising that the authoritarian and incompetent Labour party. the so called Official Opposition", could not be bothered to ask any Questions about the Wilson Doctrine and the safeguarding of the communications of their constituents, presumably because of their own appalling record in creating the current, out of control, database surveillance snooper state.
Instead, there are several disgraced or disgraceful Labour figures who seem more concerned about the News of the World voice mailbox interception scandal.
Why did they not raise such anti-Rupert Murdoch claims when they were Government Ministers ?
If these Labour politicians were so inept with basic mobile phone security (i.e. changing the default voicemailbox pass code and not leaving any sensitive voicemail messages whatsoever) with their private mobile phones, then how many Government secrets have they betrayed to foreign intelligence agencies and criminal gangs etc.via their official Government issue mobile phones ?