I did feel sorry for the Chancellor, Alistair Darling this morning. I was guilty of giving him a bit of a kicking on Radio 4's 'PM Show' yesterday and having started the ball rolling with 'Catastrophe' at lunchtime, it wasn't long before all the big 'Political guns' waded in with versions of the same in time for the evening news.
How the Chancellor can say that "Banks are monitoring the affected accounts" I don't know. The systems to 'monitor' 7.5 million bank accounts will only look - as far as I am aware - for remarkable activity based on the account history, a bit like a thermostat. So £5,000 suddenly going out would provoke a reaction but £500 might not.
The organised criminal gangs - mainly Russian - that are in this kind of business are far more likely to try and rob a million people of £100 than 100 people of a £million. It's the Nigerian/West African gangs that are more frequently detected because they are often greedier and are more inclined to make silly mistakes.
Anyway, the good news is that the discs remain lost but their intrisic value on one of the many thriving criminal equivalents of eBay - they do exist see photo of the Shadowcrew site - courtesy of the FBI - is enormous.
Outside of the loss of the information, the critical question that needs answering is why on several occasions, every data protection rule in the book was broken by the Revenue's staff. HM Revenue & Customs have a fundamental duty of care to the citizen, as does the medical profession and for them to ignore such fundamental safeguards is both shocking and alarming and begs the question as to whether we should trust the agency with anything a basic as our tax calculations? The recent fiasco concerning family tax credits which has caused such hardship in Thanet, suggests not!