Sunday, 21 November 2010

Labour: Shameless & Despicable

Tony Blair, when arguing in favour of the authorities being allowed to lock terrorist suspects for three months without charge, made the case, over and over that the move was vital for "security". Three months was a bit much, even for Labour and this was eventually knocked down to 42 days pre-charge detention.

The police demanded it, he said, and the police are all-knowing. They never fit up the local suspicious dusky-looking odd-ball for high profile murders, and would never, ever use flawed intelligence to allow them to lock up, or even better, shoot the local suspicious, heavily bearded religion enthusiast. Intelligence, especially in the hands of those tireless and incorruptible public servants is always faultless, and the police cannot therefore be denied any power they ask for. It's for the public's own good, and of course, if you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear. Despite the Government's watertight case, Parliament in one of its occasional fits of contrariness, disagreed. The "compromise" was for suspicious-looking dusky types to be banged up on the police's whim for a mere 28 days without being told why, if a nod from a judge could be obtained. 28 days is of course many, many times longer than in any other free democracy.

This was of course, never about "security". Indeed the powers were never used. The plan was transparent. To create such an outrage against civil liberties that the Tories would be compelled to oppose it, thereby allowing Labour to campaign against them as "soft on terror", because in Labour's white working-class heartlands, "terrorist" means, "dusky, bearded religion enthusiast" and definitely not "us" or "people like us". This case would be handy in a fight against the BNP, as the subtle difference between being locked up and being locked up WITHOUT CHARGE is lost on the majority of Britain's spectacularly stupid electorate.

Now, in opposition, Labour need back their wet-arsed, mewling, pinko former supporters who hated the Labour government's outrageous and savage assault on civil liberties. When in opposition, there are no "difficult decisions" just voters to placate, and lefties, who are so brainwashed into believing that Tory=Evil, and Labour=Righteous that they have forgotten, and forgiven Labour in a mere 6 months, whilst not seeing any irony in still blaming Thatcher & the Tories for everything else wrong with the country. At best, this is naive, at worst dumb, lumpen tribalist stupidity. Labour has admitted its mistakes, and the thuggish Ed Balls has said he MIGHT support a move to drop the detention without charge to the still-outrageous 14 days, which is still much longer than in any equivalent free democracy.

Labour, having run for 13 years one of the most savagely authoritarian regimes in the free world in which they systematically and comprehensively demolished most of the safeguards protecting the people from the misuse of executive power, cannot be taken seriously when they say "whoops, sorry! Our Bad!". I would need to see a lot more evidence of a change of heart before I forgive the party. I suspect Labour's U-turn is as transparently political as the policy when they were in Government. Their U-turn is welcome, but I don't trust them nor should anyone who claims to have any love of freedom, until they expunge anyone who voted in favour of 42-day pre-charge detention.

Yes, that means you, Mr Balls. I make much of Labour's catastrophic economic mismanagement, but it is the profound destruction of freedoms that will be the legacy of the Blair & Brown years long after we've paid the financial bill.



11 comments:

Nigel Sedgwick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel Sedgwick said...

Has it been repealed, the 28-day detention part of the Terrorism Act 2006?

Some time over the last 199 days?

Sorry, missed that.

Best regards

Libertarian said...

nige

sorry what has your comment got to do with the point of this post?


Or are you giving us a classic example of "lumpen, idiotic, tribal loyalty" in which case sorry I missed the irony

Nigel Sedgwick said...

Dear "liberta"

I'm sorry too (well slightly at least): that you don't understand my point. Try harder.

And my tribe has a population of one (at least as far as the blogosphere is concerned). Please do let me know where you have found evidence leading you to think otherwise.

Best regards

Jackart said...

Nigel, I understand the coalition is planning to drop pre-charge detention for terrorist suspects down to 14 days, and Labour have said they might support it, presumably depending on what the focus groups say.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

In response to Jackart's comment, that some progress on repeal is planned: actions speak louder than words.

Also, why only a reduction to 14 days: that is still in the realms of police state policy.

Try 7 days. And only for terrorist activity that: (i) is serious; (ii) is seriously suspected; (iii) with every stop already pulled to obtain evidence more rapidly; (iv) no further interviews on any topic where there is not new evidence material to that topic, that has been discovered after the normal (ie non-terrorist) period of detention prior to charge. We do not want to allow longer imprisonment as the 'cure' for untimely activity through laziness, under-staffing and incompetence.

The current government has no good track record on these illiberal measures. It intends to keep control orders. It has been inactive on 28 days for far too long.

Such slow correction (but doing it eventually) is perhaps more appropriate for lesser inconveniences than being banged up without charge. On that, we have far too many public servants (ha!) still authorised to 'police', spy, and boss/bully the citizens who fund them; all this on the most trivially non-criminal matters. Furthermore, the criminal law has been extended and not repealled on too many matters. Statutory fines have been extended to much more non-criminal activity, outside of proper enforcement by the courts. If public servants want to fine citizens (and other residents) for slow response, I reckon the arrangement should be reciprocal.

Best regards

Jackart said...

Nigel, I totally agree, but I think the post is clear "the still-outrageous 14 days" that I would support a drop to 24 hours' pre charge detention though I can see the point of possibly a judge-mandated week, in extremis.

The coalition are not perfect, they are very far from perfect however compared to the weapons-grade cunts they replaced they're an enormous improvement. It's just left and right agree Cameron = Blair. He is demonstrating by his actions that he is not, and people need reminding just how awful Labour in office was. Lest we forget, never again.

Libertarian said...

Nige

I understood your point fully, but it wasn't part of what he wrote in the first place.

ie that Labour were being duplicious

Do you see? My evidence was based on the fact that you did exactly what he predicted in the piece, which was rather than argue the point of the story you actually did a "yah boo, the other lot are doing it too"

Nigel Sedgwick said...

Libertarian, even through the confusions of punctuation, capitalisation, a call on irony and other rhetorical artefacts, I think you accused me of "lumpen, idiotic, tribal loyalty".

The only way that makes sense, IMHO, is if you view me as supporter of the Labour Party (new, old, whatever) or its policies.

I challenged you on this, and you paraphrased my (totality of) comment as: "yah boo, the other lot are doing it too".

The other lot (Conservative/LibDem coalition) have not undone it, despite having adequate time to do so. Clearly I am criticising them for that.

However, it is very narrow-minded to assume that such criticism is tribal according to your definition; there are other reasons for criticising the Coalition, other than being of the 'other tribe'.

Currently, and for many years, I have been critical of too much government, and even more critical of too much bad government. This has been (IIRC and, IMHO, with intent) to criticise on the policy issues irrespective of which political party tribe (or even if any such tribe) is making them. In this, I surely have much policy overlap with your name (Libertarian), though I am not a member of that tribe either (certainly not of its minarchist or more fundamentalist wings), again always assuming there is such a tribe.

Furthermore, your attack on me makes me wonder if there is a risk that "libertarianism", as previously interpreted by me, is open to denigrating shift in the same way as "liberal" has suffered (in the USA in particular, now meaning little different from socialist): cunning capture by an mainstream existing political party of a once-respected term for its own different policies.

The Coalition (and particularly the Conservative Party) have, so far, been crap on issues of government oppression of personal freedom (irrespective of their action in the National Identity Scheme), distinctly disappointing on policy for financial prudence, and lacking judgement on the EU, the NHS and defence. Only on education do I see hope, and that is distinctly muted through New Labour's confusion of departmental responsibilities, that have not been undone though they should have been.

The big problem is both a public service and a politocracy that has been corrupted by at least 15 years of a policy of socialism, and financial and other governmental incompetence. There needs to be a big clearout now; it is doubtful on progress over the last 200 days or so that we are going to get it from the current government.

If you must put me into a tribe, try that of the people (and particularly the taxpayers). And the other main tribe, that is their principal enemy: Westminster, its Village, its colonies throughout the country, and its lover in Brussels.

That this is 'off-topic' from Jackart's original post is, I see, distressing to you. Not being of the tribe (any tribe), I often hang my view on any tribal post for which it comes close to it being on-topic. I view that as being preferable to a silent wait for violent insurrection against the 'current order': something that is unlikely to put things properly right before I'm in my grave; also something distinctly against my inclination.

Best regards

Nigel Sedgwick said...

The Part One

Libertarian, even through the confusions of punctuation, capitalisation, a call on irony and other rhetorical artefacts, I think you accused me of "lumpen, idiotic, tribal loyalty".

The only way that makes sense, IMHO, is if you view me as supporter of the Labour Party (new, old, whatever) or its policies.

I challenged you on this, and you paraphrased my (totality of) comment as: "yah boo, the other lot are doing it too".

The other lot (Conservative/LibDem coalition) have not undone it, despite having adequate time to do so. Clearly I am criticising them for that.

However, it is very narrow-minded to assume that such criticism is tribal according to your definition; there are other reasons for criticising the Coalition, other than being of the 'other tribe'.

Currently, and for many years, I have been critical of too much government, and even more critical of too much bad government. This has been (IIRC and, IMHO, with intent) to criticise on the policy issues irrespective of which political party tribe (or even if any such tribe) is making them. In this, I surely have much policy overlap with your name (Libertarian), though I am not a member of that tribe either (certainly not of its minarchist or more fundamentalist wings), again always assuming there is such a tribe.

Furthermore, your attack on me makes me wonder if there is a risk that "libertarianism", as previously interpreted by me, is open to denigrating shift in the same way as "liberal" has suffered (in the USA in particular, now meaning little different from socialist): cunning capture by an mainstream existing political party of a once-respected term for its own different policies.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

The Part Two

The Coalition (and particularly the Conservative Party) have, so far, been crap on issues of government oppression of personal freedom (irrespective of their action in the National Identity Scheme), distinctly disappointing on policy for financial prudence, and lacking judgement on the EU, the NHS and defence. Only on education do I see hope, and that is distinctly muted through New Labour's confusion of departmental responsibilities, that have not been undone though they should have been.

The big problem is both a public service and a politocracy that has been corrupted by at least 15 years of a policy of socialism, and financial and other governmental incompetence. There needs to be a big clearout now; it is doubtful on progress over the last 200 days or so that we are going to get it from the current government.

If you must put me into a tribe, try that of the people (and particularly the taxpayers). And the other main tribe, that is their principal enemy: Westminster, its Village, its colonies throughout the country, and its lover in Brussels.

That this is 'off-topic' from Jackart's original post is, I see, distressing to you. Not being of the tribe (any tribe), I often hang my view on any tribal post for which it comes close to it being on-topic. I view that as being preferable to a silent wait for violent insurrection against the 'current order': something that is unlikely to put things properly right before I'm in my grave; also something distinctly against my inclination.

Best regards

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