There's a good article by Seamus Milne in the Guardian today, which sums it up nicely
NSA and GCHQ: mass surveillance is about power as much as privacy
Western spying agencies are instruments of control, and their record is disastrous. They have to be held to account
When I was watching William Hague making his very, very, very carefully worded statement (that the government weren't using the American surveillance as a way of circumnavigating legal safeguards to collect data on UK citizens), he had that look on his face that said "why am I spouting this patently untrue nonsense? Nobody with half a brain is going to believe this drivel. It'll be my arse on the line for lying to parliament when this lot (somewhat inevitably) comes out in the wash"
Its all rather reminiscent of Alastair Campbell and Blair, and the supposed 'evidence' that justified invading Iraq. Its so clearly a pack of lies. Though Blair did at least lie-through-his-teeth with a bit more conviction