The planned ‘track and trace’ system which is to be introduced ostensibly to help control the spread of the virus, is in fact a draconian surveillance measure which along with many other aspects of the lockdown and the emergency powers that Parliament has ‘unanimously’ enacted, gives the government massive new powers to control our lives. These powers represent a real threat to our democracy, undermine the freedoms our society holds so dear and intrudes massively on the individual’s right to privacy.

Authoritarianism is an ever present danger in a democracy and it is the task of opposition parties to challenge and hold to account those in power whenever hard-won civil rights and freedom is threatened. It was therefore with a great deal of sadness that I read the letter by Molly Scott-Cato (letters 17th June) outlining the Green Party’s approach to the next phase of the coronavirus response. Of course a locally administered track and trace system would be marginally better than one run centrally (although to be effective it would have to link up with a centralised database). The aim of a truly radical and progressive party however, must surely be to strengthen individual rights against corporate and state power and recognise that such systems of surveillance simply bring ‘the brave new world’ of total control a step closer.

Bernard Jarman