Draconian Measures Enforced by Fear

On July the 7th 2005 Rachel North was on her way to work, her carriage was carrying one of the suicide bombers who killed 26 people that day. Earlier this week she was asked to give evidence before the Home Affairs Select Committee on the government’s proposed anti-terror legislation. Writing in Comment is Free in the Guardian today Rachel says that she is “opposed to the further extension of detention powers, because [she has] not seen any compelling evidence that such powers are necessary”. Her sentiments are shared by a number of politicians, activists, and basically the majority of the British population who see this new proposal as another draconian measure introduced by power-hungry politicians who fear that we may “one day” need 90 days to question terror suspects.

While it is always refreshing to read the story of a person who although has been personally affected by terrorist attacks, does not blur their opinion with emotion, and instead takes a reasoned and logical approach to this issue, I do think that it in protesting against such a proposal it is important to differentiate between “personal freedom / liberty” and “security against the terror threat”. As with most legal issues, this topic also needs to be approached with an evidence-based argument. There has been legislation, which although impinge on “freedom” (individual data collection being one), are totally acceptable – so one would ask the question that if this legislation will be brought in force to protect the citizens of this nation, then why are we opposing it? In my opinion the answer is simple, up till now the argument for the extension of the detention limit has not been backed up by any hard core evidence, facts or impact assessments about the effectiveness (or lack of) of the current detention limit or why we need to increase it – until this is done it will be difficult to see its necessity and the argument for the government to spend my hard earned taxes for an extra 32 days to question and charge a suspect falls short. If anything, this just goes to show the ineffectiveness of the police.

Atomboy from Notes and Comments sums it up in the following way:

We did not need extra legislation to protect us from real terrorists like the Red Brigade, the PLF, the IRA the Baader-meinhof Gang and all the other groups of the seventies and we lived through it.

Peter Ustinov said something like: “War is the terrorism of the rich; terrorism is the war of the poor.”

We have followed hysterical and childish Americans who think they can “whup” terrorism by invading the rest of the world or bombing it to oblivion. The two B’s of Blair and Brown have clung to the coat-tails of the Big B Bush in the hope that they will look powerful and capable. Blair ended up looking like a mentally-challenged seven year old at Camp David, stuffing his hands into his pockets and grinning at the world “Look at me, I’m with the most powerful man on earth, which makes me powerful, too.”

Brown, for his part, has never made a secret of the fact that he just wants power, at any cost and however long he has had to wait. We are governed by scaremongers of base designs and inferior intellect, who simply hope that they can terrify the population into thinking there is a genuine terrorist threat of greater weight than we have always had. They are a bunch of lickspittle, sticky-fingered liars and should be booted out at the next election or sooner if possible. 

It is not a question of having nothing to fear but fear itself; nor the artificial fear of a bogus terrorist threat hyped up by the circus barkers of this government of infinite corruption. It is the fear that freedoms will be siphoned off from the people and these will entrench the power of the British terrorist state.

Here, here!


1 Comment

  1. Yes, indeed.

    It seems the only thing which is saving the world from utter catastrophe is the general incompetence of our governments.

    Oh, that and the stupidity of politicians.

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