February 27, 2008

Labour does what Labour does

Another week, another gross infringement of liberty proposed by the Labour Party. Labour apologists will of course try to say that this is only a small step onward from what already exists, namely the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 by the Tories and the Assets Recovery Agency created by Labour in 2002.

There is one very big difference between the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 and what is being proposed. Under the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 people have to be convicted of a crime before it was possible for them to have their property seized. Only after they had been convicted of doing something wrong was it then possible to try for the state to grab some of their assets. The Drug Trafficking Act 1994 followed the principal set down in the Bill of Rights that 1689.

Obviously having to actually prove that people had committed a crime before going after their wealth wasn't going to be good enough for Labour so they set up the Assets Recovery Agency. Nice use of the word 'recovery' implying that these assets all actually belong to the state, they are just lent to people and can be taken back (recovered) should the state take a disliking to them.

The Assets Recovery Agency didn't have to wait for anybody to actually be convicted of a crime. It could start proceedings against anybody to go after their wealth, whether they had been convicted or not. It had a budget of £15.5m, but it recovered only £4.6m which Labour count as a failure because it was supposed to fund itself from the money that it took. Rather like the way that witch hunters in the middle ages funded themselves by confiscating the assets of the witches they found. Labour even made sure to reduce the burden of proof to make it easier for them, from the normal test of 'beyond reasonable doubt' to just the civil standard of 'on the balance of probabilities'. Even then it could not seize enough to pay for itself, and is now being merged with the Justice Minister's private police force, the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

This fits well with the pattern of how civil liberties are taken away. Not in one big rush but piece by piece, just slowly enough to fool people into forgetting what it was like before.

The first of this set of erosions of the right to private property, the principal of no punishment without conviction, and that all punishments should be set according to the crime that they where convicted of was the Drug Trafficking Act 1994 which meant that after somebody was convicted of a crime the state could then ask the courts to let it seize assets that it could show where the proceeds of this crime. This should be repealed as soon as possible. Then Labour, never liking to have to actually prove people have done something wrong before punishing them, got rid of the requirement for them to be convicted of anything or having to prove that these assets where from a crime. It changed the law that so that it could seize the assets of anybody where it could show on the balance of probability could be from a crime. Now it wants to water this down even further so that the state can seize the assets of people on arrest. No need to prove that the person is a criminal. No need to prove in any way that these are the proceeds of a crime.

The same steady chip, chip, chip eroding away our liberties can be seen with Habeas Corpus. For most of the time since the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679, Habeas meant that when anybody was detained they had to be charged with a crime within 24 hours. Labour have sent this rocketing up being now over 24 days, soon to be 42 days. I have no doubt that after they get 42 days they will be back for more, just as they demanded more after raising the limit to 28 days, just as they demanded more after raising the limit to 14 days, just as they demanded more after raising the limit to 7 days.

This tactic can also be seen in the way that ID Cards and the NIR are being slowly forced upon us. Start with one group that looks like an easy target, such as children through the Contact Point database, then add more and more. Claim that it won't be compulsory to carry, but then make more and more things reliant on it until there is de facto compulsion which can be switched to enforced compulsion without raising much fuss. Or the national DNA database where everybody gets put but they are never taken off even if they prove to be innocent slowly rachetting up the number of people that it contains.

Labour simply do not care about the Liberties of the citizens they have been elected to represent, they only care about power. This can be seen by they way they are so willing to sacrifice the citizens of the UK should they think they can get a bit of leverage from it. Thanks to our entanglement with the EU the government was obliged to accept the EU arrest warrant, meaning that people can be arrested here and extradited even if they have done nothing that is illegal here. They did not however have to accept an extradition treaty with the USA that includes provisions so illiberal that the US government refused to let them apply to United States citizens, just the second class citizens of the United Kingdom.

That is the New Labour political project. Thatcherism was about economics, but Labour is about civil liberties. Thatcherism was about removing the state's power over industry. The New Labour project is about removing any checks on the state's power over individuals. The Thatcher reforms to industry where brutally implemented but in the end good. The Labour reforms to civil liberties have been carefully brought in at a measured pace, but in the end their result will be disastrous.

February 20, 2008

This caught my eye in the paper yesterday related to the case of the Islamists that had been plotting kidnap and murder.

This caught my eye in the paper yesterday related to the case of the
Islamists that had been plotting kidnap and murder.

"Basiru gassama, a Gambian man Khan tried to recruit to help him,
pleaded guilty to failing to inform police and was sentenced to two
years. Having already served an eqivalent time, the judge ordered that
he should be deported to Gambia."

Notice the travesty of justice? Nothing to do with the case itself. It
happens in many cases, ones without even the slightest similarity to
this one. The problem was that he was sentenced to a time that he had
already been held on remand. In this case he was guilty, but what if
he had not been? Guilty or innocent he would have been held in prison
for exactly the same time. Guilty or innocent he would have had the
same punishment. This cannot be right.

Once Labour have been thrown out hopefully it will be possible to
overturn their many attacks to the ancient principle of Habeas Corpus,
including the prospective extension to 42 days. Hopefully at that
point it will also be possible to bring the spirt of Habeas back to
the law by reforming the dreadful remand system as well.

February 13, 2008

Thought crimes

Good news for liberty, an appeal court judge has ruled that thought crimes are not crimes. I can only hope that this sets the precedent so excluding thought crimes from the common law.

A written constitution

After 10 years of his parties constitutional wreaking Jack Straw now thinks it might be time to start thinking about a written constitution, presumably to cement in the changes that they have made. He seems to have forgotten that there is a written constitution for the rulers of the UK being ratified at the moment, the EU Constitution. However the EU will not last and a written constitution for the UK is needed, the old gentlemanly rules that made the unwritten constitution work are no more since Labour decided it could actually do as it pleased.

Cobbled together from a number of sources here are some ideas of what certainly won't be in any constitution dreamed up by the political elite.

We the people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

We hold that the Crown in Parliament is sovereign over these islands and may pass such laws so as to uphold the constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the liberty of its citizens.

It is Parliament that shall make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution its powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United Kingdom, or in any department or officer thereof where they do conflict with the basic liberties outlined in this Constitution. In all areas that Parliament has not ruled the people are at liberty to conduct their affairs as they see fit so long as they do not conflict with the basic liberties to life, liberty, and property of their fellow citizens.

We hold that a robust civil society is vital to the good order of the state and to this end Parliament shall make no law that interferes with the following basic freedoms:
Freedom of speech.
Freedom of conscience.
Freedom of movement.
Freedom of association.
Freedom of peaceful assembly.

We hold that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.

To this end Parliament shall make no law that interferes with the following basic liberties:

All citizens are equal before the law.

All citizens are to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. To this end the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it. Excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

All citizens have the right to their lawfully acquired property. All grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction, are illegal and void.

All citizens have the right to defend themselves and their lawfully acquired property.

No capitation, or other tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

All citizens should have their privacy respected, unless a case for the pressing need for the violation privacy related to the investigation of the violation of specific laws can be presented to a legally appointed authority.

February 07, 2008

Fuck you Rowan Williams

Remember back when the Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir-Ali warned that parts of the UK where becoming no go areas to non-Muslims? Well the religion of peace extended its normal hand of friendship and the bishop is now having to live under police protection (thus proving him right). His boss was obviously not going to make that mistake. No, he thinks that Sharia is inevitable and that it will be a good thing to have two separate types of laws for the two separate types of citizens in this country, the Muslims and the Dhimmi. Yes I can really see how that will be just great for social cohesion.

It is understandable, if objectionable, for a religious leader to call for the barbaric laws required by their particular stupid superstition to be forced on people. However it takes a special type of moron to call for the barbaric laws required by a rival superstition to be imposed. He must therefore have somehow come to the conclusion that Sharia is actually a good thing. Let us for the moment assume that he hasn't accidentally suffocated himself will all the public hair sprouting from his face and become brain damaged, or rather more brain damaged than somebody must already be to believe that an invisible fairy in the sky talks to them, so if Sharia is so good what exactly is he advocating?

We already know that bigamy, while illegal for everybody else, is not just allowed but encouraged for Muslims however if one of your current harem is boring you and you fancy a really quick divorce to get a younger one? Under Sharia divorce is only ever as far away as the man saying "I divorce you" three times. How young? Well under Sharia you could follow the example of Muhammad and marry a 7 year old, but you would have to wait until she was nine before starting to have sex with her (possibly fucking a seven year old would have involved too much blood even for a lying, murderous, rapist like Muhammad).

However if four wives is not enough for you then under Sharia Law you could just find a woman you like the look of and rape her. Unless she can get four men witnesses to back up her side of the story there cannot be any legal repercussions against you. Under Sharia if she where stupid enough not to know her place and try to lodge charges for the rape then it could well be her that faces being beaten should she not get the required male witnesses.

Lets say you are satisfied, or just exhausted, with your four wives but it is your children that are causing you grief. If a young woman a gets brutally kill by her family for falling in love then that is murder, unless the murderers where Muslim in which case they could claim that under Sharia they where extracting a rightful punishment for her moral failings.

Or maybe your family is properly cowed under your despotic rule, but you happen to think that somebody might be homosexual and that intimidates you. No problem under Sharia, just call the police and have them killed.

The thing is that if anybody really does want to live under Sharia law then they are already perfectly at liberty to do so. They are perfectly at liberty to leave this country and find some barbaric shit hole that is more to their liking. There are plenty of third world shit holes that have Sharia law. If people want that then they are free to move, and every year many do. They move away from Sharia shit holes and move to the decadent west.