January 28, 2005

Other views on the terror laws

First from Civitas, which is self proclaimed as classically liberal, which says:
"Control orders are unlikely to prove any more effective against genuine terrorists than ASBO’s have proved in restraining juvenile delinquents given them. In its ‘Public Agenda’ supplement this week, The Times reports that the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers has found ‘in some areas of England every ASBO is breached and that one breach in eight leads to custody”.

Should ‘control orders’ be as ineffective a constraint as ASBO’s, then all the Lord Lords will have accomplished by delivering their ruling -- besides triumphantly displaying their newly granted authority over Parliament which, for all its flaws, remains, for the time being, elected -- is to make us have to rest less easily in our beds … or on the tube, going to and from Westminster. "

Also very similar views from Blimpish, a self proclaim authoritarian.

Another here from Samizdata with a lot of links to relevent web pages.


Some more blogs picking up this story such as Honourable Fiend with a slightly satirical view, and The England Project

Everything I have read so far has been overhelmingly negative, if rather resigned due to how in keeping this current attack on freedom is from the Blair government. However this could simply because my own biases leads me to generally browse the more anit-authoritarian sections of the Blogosphere. If there is anyone reading this that can point me towards someone arguing that these measures are a good thing I would be most greatful.


Just hit a couple of newspapers, the Telegraph and the Guardian, both of which have the same headline 'Better than Belmarsh, just'. So the two polar opposites of the broadsheets both take the same view that this is bad legislation, that opens the door to a police state, but not quite as bad as what was there before. The Guardian appears to be the more anti-internment of the two. The Scotsman takes a harder line, saying:
"For these measures will leave many wondering how a country that once so prided itself on its love of liberty and its enshrinement of individual freedoms over centuries now seems to have lost the constitutional assumption of liberty and the right to make and shape our own laws."

It then goes on to show how this horrible mess was triggered, but probably much to the joy of our extremely authoritarian government, by in incorporation of several peices of unneeded EU regulation:
"The European Commission (elected by no-one) lost no time in pointing out that Mr Howard cannot adopt a go-it-alone policy for Britain, which has opted into the common asylum system and is signatory to a convention binding across the EU.

Moreover, a forthcoming EU directive on proceedings for asylum would limit powers of instant deportation - another measure that Mr Howard advocated but may now be unable to enact (unless, of course, he adopts that tried and tested continental custom of signing up to pious, politically-correct directives and then quietly flinging people out of the country).

As I have argued here before, once a country loses the power to control who comes in (and who it can expel), it has lost control not just of its own security policy but of an essential ingredient of its sovereignty.

Notions of "citizenship" become meaningless in such a terrain. Little wonder there is so much talk about the need for "citizenship ceremonies", as if to clothe the nakedness of this reality and to maintain the myth of a separate constitutional "nationhood". "

Strong stuff, seriously something to read.


Looks like this afair is leaking out into the forgien press as well as it has appears in the Washington Times. Some more from the Gaurdian from the former head of Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad saying that Labour is turnign the country into a Police state and the Telegraph, with this tasty little tit-bit in the Telegraph article:
"But the logical conclusion, spelt out by Mr Clarke in an interview in today's Daily Telegraph, is even more far-reaching. Their spouses and children would also in effect be under house arrest."

This is what is known as collective punishment, and is considered a war crime. From the Evening Standard, via Thisislondon, it appears that the only group "broadly welcome the announcement" is the Muslim Council of Britain as it does not discriminate against foreigners, not much suprise there as these measures would not look out of place in a Sharia dictatorship after all. Amnesty International on the other hand is not best pleased.


One last thing before I get placed under house arrest without trial, from Boris Johnson's blog it appears that the Tories may be beginning to grow a spine and stand up to Blair. They have formed a Civil Liberties Group. Good stuff from Boris as well, a politician that I am beginning to respect. From the comments on Boris's Blog I found another couple of Blogs, again very anti the first being Bloggerheads there being a nice little statement on there
"I don't care if it's in Belmarsh, my own home, or a sodding budgie cage... detention without trial is detention without trial. And I'm simply delighted to wake up in a country that will now allow the same treatment of its own citizens."

The other is Europhobia which has a very long article on the subject. There is also the BBC 'have your say' section where as of the time of typing this the debate was going 11 in favour, or just not explicitly against, of the measures and 39 against, so there is some hope.


The independent also seems to be following the general consensus that this is a very bad idea. Perhaps not as strongly as I would like. There is also a letter that bears reading pointing out the obvious simalarities between this legislation the ones imposed by the Nazis, and in the same week that we should be remembering it with the 60th aniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It is the first under the title "Auschwitz warns how easily freedom is lost"


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