It would be easy to assume that I, as a conservative, would be upset at the Law Lords decision not to allow anonymous witness evidence at court - but I happen to think they are right on this occasion. I know a lot of people will be put off appearing as witnesses by this decision, but the fundamental right of the accused to know their accuser should be upheld.
What this really demonstrates - once again - is the way British politicians and media get hung up on the symptom rather than identifying the actual problem. The question for me is not whether witnesses should be allowed anonymity or not, but WHY should they require it?
Strip away all the bullshit about "organised crime" and what it boils down to is the simple fact that the public no longer have faith in the police or the criminal justice system to protect them from violent and dangerous criminals.
It also reflects the contempt criminals have for the criminal justice system. The police, courts and prisons hold no fear for them. They know they won't be hanged, they know that a "life" sentence will mean they'll be out in 10 years or so and they know that they'll be able to continue running their little criminal empire from the cosy confines of their cell without any serious disruption.
It's a similar thing with the furore over council surveillance. I've heard a lot of people say they are in favour of councils using powers provided to tackle terrorism if it stops people fly-tipping, dog fouling, litter dropping and anti-social behaviour - but these "offences" are all symptoms of a bigger problem.
At the root in the collapse of manners in society lies one thing - progressive liberalism. The ideology that taught people that they can do what they want and that authority is to be ignored or challenged at all times.