TO describe our present government as careless, inept control freaks is an understatement.

The latest debacle of losing the personal details of 25m people is only the latest of a string of misplaced such items. As usual the junior clerk is to blame for all this.

The government response is as always to wheel out some unknown secretary to fend off the mighty Jeremy Paxman and claim that lessons have been learned. And that it will never happen again.

You can hear the stable door slamming shut as this particular horse gallops off into the hands of the conmen of the world.

Northern Rock, a worthy but greedy institution, as are all banks, finds itself exposed to the chill winds of similar greed in America. Its response? Mr Darling, can you lend us a few bob until the weekend?

What a surprise, the few bob turns out to be a minimum of twenty five billion pounds and maybe as much as forty eight billion pounds. Of course this is not Darling’s money but the poor beleaguered taxpayers’. The fact that Northern Rock is a plc, listed on the stock market and a company with as rosy a future as an ice cream parlour in Greenland doesn’t bode well for the return of our money.

When Darling finally broke cover and was challenged about the security of information held by the Government his reply was that if we had an ID system in place in this country that would prevent fraud. Have these people no sense of irony? They have just handed out the largest boost to identity theft imaginable.

George Orwell wrote 1984 as a work of fiction. It makes you wonder what he would have thought of the present day’s events. My suggestion is that the government ie Big Brother be banished to room 101.

Edward Livingstone