In an effort to push through an extension to the number of days the police can detain you without charge (if you are suspected of being a terrorist), the government—sorry: “Gordon Brown”, because all current and future legislation is the work of a single overbusy Scotsman—is suggesting that it will compensate innocent suspects held under the new legislaton:

Unveiling what appeared to be one final compromise, Tony McNulty, the Home Office Minister, disclosed that ministers were considering a compensation proposal. It was believed that suspects would be given up to £3,000 for every day they were held but subsequently released without charge. The Home Office later refused to confirm specific figures, however.

Putting a potential £126 000 of prize money at stake—time for me to work on that beard—is a cunning plan to ensure that when critics make reference to “Big Brother” legislation, the general public will think of the game show rather than the character in 1984.