Cctv So much for liberalism. The Lib Dem-run Northampton Borough Council appears to get at the cutting edge of Orwellian intrusion.

They have introduced talking CCTV cameras, mostly with recorded messages but also with the facility for the CCTV operators to issue specific commands. According the Daily Mirror a couple were spotted having sex and told to stop it at once. Cllr Andrew Simpson, the Lib Dem councillor responsible for the cameras says: "I wasn't expecting them to pick up on that sort of thing." He doesn't sound as though he is on top of his brief.

Some people oppose CCTV on grounds of principle. I don't. If it can be shown to be effective to catching and convicting criminals hen the cost and intrusiveness of CCTV is probably justified. But blaring out instructions to people to stop having sex seems to be going a bit far.