"It seems crazy for Labour MPs to support legislation like this when it looks likely that the Tories will form the next government"
All people who think like the idea of large database surveillance seem to have this blind spot. They either believe that the access measures they will put in place (now that someone has prodded them to consider it *might* be abused) will make sure no one can misuse it. And naturally all the information will be 100% accurate. Maybe they believe they will be in power forever.
I used the term people. You are mistaken if you think this is a right wing/left wing thing. Its an authoritarian / liberty thing. There are democrats (who support democracy) and politicians (who support the idea of getting something done to further an agenda). The two don't always coincide. Authoritarians view the state as a corporate person. Your not opposing their views, your opposing the "State." Their fears, their concerns become its policy.
Side note. Member of the Whips offices are concerned with internal Party discipline. Having a detailed background file on MPs is probably quite useful for this Mrs Timney was a Chief Whip and Geoff Hoon was one of her deputies
I always note 1 thing. The IRA blew stuff up regularly on mainland Britain in the 1970s and 80s. Had she wanted it Margaret Thatcher could have had versions of all of these "security" measures put in then. She was ruthlessness enough to make it happen.
That a leader who had no qualms about using the full force of the state to crush opposition bought *none* of them in should give anyone pause for thought. I suspect she checked the numbers closely enough to see that the cost grossly outweighed the benefits.
30 years later some of those civil servants (or their anointed successors) are whispering in the ear of her Wackiness. She is believing them.
Sadly for some people even the prospect of being persecuted (that's not a typo) under the laws they brought in will not be enough to change their views. They will simply view it as a set back and feel that "Once I'm back in power I'll show them. No more Mrs Nicepserson."
The costs still outweigh the benefits.