Monday, February 28, 2005
I find myself along with many others lining up to object to and protest against the current measures being considered by Parliament to curb the activities of terrorists. The scourge of terrorism certainly needs to be eradicated, but not at the cost of removing some basic human rights and liberties woven into the texture and fabric of our long history.
Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, wishes to guide through a measure which would enable Ministers, acting on the advice of the Security Services, to place a "suspect" under house arrest, withdraw their access to a telephone, remove their access to a computer, and severely restrict who would be allowed to visit them.
Today's Daily Telegraph reports the concerns of many M.P's who believe that this places too much power in the hands of politicians.
Read it here. click here
We all have a right, at present, to have accusations against us made public in a court of law, and to be given a fair trial if it is believed that we have committed a criminal offence. In essence, a body of evidence is gathered to present to the court as a statement from the prosecution. This body of evidence "habeous corpus" will be the main weapon of our accuser and we are then assumed to be innocent until proven guilty!
This has been the right of our citizens for centuries, and it is in danger of being ripped apart in the next few weeks.
Please don't view me as being a sympathiser of terrorists, far from it - "those who live by the sword shall die by the sword" is my motto! One of the aims of the terrorist is to change our normal way of life in a peaceful democratic society, to alter our way of thinking, to cow and batter us into a political step change. If this new anti-terror legislation passes through Parliament unchallenged, then one of the terrorists aims will have been achieved.
This is a worrying development, any future Minister may decide to hold me under house arrest because I may make some unsavoury comments calling people to action through this weblog. The security services may build a file on me, and their "evidence" may be sufficient for me to lose my rights to freedom and liberty. What would there be to prevent a future administration locking away political dissidents?
This is Great Britain remember - not bloody Burmah!! - Cick here
If the authorities have evidence of a crime likely to be committed, put it in front of a judge at the very least!
The state has many other weapons and pieces of legislation at it's disposal which can all be used to combat the threat of terrorism, internment in Northern Ireland in the 1970's failed conspicuously to deter Loyalist and Republican terrorists, but "other measures" certainly removed many of them from the streets - permanently! This was achieved without a resulting loss of liberty for the rest of us.
I rest my case m'lud!
Born in 1956
Former Borough Councillor
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