February 23, 2005

burning the Magna Carta

As New Labour continues to try and destroy this country an article by the times and a couple of blogs on the subject. First is Cabalamat Journal about how the Home Secretary Charles Clarke is the biggest threat to this nation. Some really good points in here such as:
Clarke says he needs these powers because if the threat of Islamist terrorism. Let's consider the figures: there are about 1,500,000 million Muslims in Britain, and there have been no terrorist attacks in Britain caused by Muslims. By way of contrast, when the IRA and other terrorist groups in Northern Ireland were active, they killed over 2000 people -- but Britain didn't then give cabinet ministers the power to personally order the detention of anyone on a whim; and nor should we do so now.

The government will probably, when challenged about the lack of Muslim terrorism in Britain, point to the security measures they've instituted. "Look", they will say, "we've been tough," -- they like that word, do the government -- "and vigilant, and we've stepped up security, and that's why there's been no terrorism". This argument is bollocks. Consider how many times last year such groups as Fathers4Justice and pro-foxhunting campaigners have breached Blair's supposedly watertight security.

If there had been any Muslim terrorist groups operating in Britain, they would have been able to get past security too (not to mention that they could have chosen to attack less secure targets -- the government cannot put security guards and policemen in front of every potential target in the country). The real reason there has been no Muslim terrorism is quite simple: the vast majority of British Muslims don't want to commit acts of violence against the British nation.

Exactly, as Ho Chi Min said "the guerilla swims through the people as the fish through the ocean", so guerilla warfare, or terrorism, can only work if the host population supports the cause of the guerilla. Without that general level of support they are like fish out of water. What these draconian measures will do is make the groups that they are targeted against, probably the Muslim community, hostile and therefore more supportive of terrorists.
One of the arguments Clarke has used on why he should be allowed to detain people without trial, is that some evidence such as phone taps cannot be allowed in court, because if it was, terror networks would know too much about British phone tapping policy. But this is nonsense -- it can pretty much be taken as read that any Muslim in Britain, if they're ever had any association with any group the UK government thinks is dodgy, will have the telephone tapped and their Internet communications monitored. Certainly if I was a Muslim, that's what I'd assume.

And he would assume correctly. It isn't just Muslims either, all email is routinely intercepted and automatically checked to see if it matches patterns that could indicate the need for further investigation. Perhaps he is worried about himself being locked up under the draconian Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, as it makes talking about who's communications are being tapped illegal, it is even illegal to reveal it in court. Even if you are the person being tapped, or the having to help the police do the tapping as you work for an ISP or phone company. This legislation itself reverses the burden of proof meaning so that you have to prove your communications have no criminal content should the government not be able to easily tap them, such as if you have used encryption.

EuroRealist points out that what they are doing is removing some of the most basic rights that where put in place by the Magna Carta, and that "Mr Clarke and Mr Hain want to railroad detention without trial through the Commons in six days." six days! They are going to massively change the basic nature of the rule of law in this country and think it can be properly debated in six days? This may not be the first time New Labour has tried to get rid of trial by jury, but please six days to debate a measure that will destroy almost a thousand years of law and tradition. If the Fuedal Lords of the medeval england, hardly big on human rights a concept that had not even been invented at the time, thought that trial by jury has a good idea then what exactly can we say about the instincts of New Labour? Less liberal than a feudal baron is not exactly a complement.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little word of correction -- I actually said that Clarke is the 2nd biggest threat to the nation. The first is our Dear Leader, St Tony of Blair.

4:53 am  

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