Posted in Debate, Human Rights, Law, Liberation, Modern society, Politics, Thoughts, Uncategorized

42: It’s too late

I watched the TV as the vote was announced. To my horror it was true. The new anti-terrorism legislation, where an individual can be held up to 42 days without charge, on suspicion of terroism  was passed. This video is the best I could find on YouTube discussing why this is a big mistake. George Galloway’s arguments were recorded in April, and hence before the recent parliamentary vote. He makes a passionate plea saying don’t let this folly occur: stop it before it is too late.

But it is too late. The goverment stitched this one up nicely. With a majority of only 9 votes and to the astonishment of many in the House of Commons the motion was carried. It appears that the voting was swayed by Unionist MP’s eager to secure some financial and political rewards. The usual tricks in the world of politics. I bet the whips had to work overtime on this one.

Today The Independent reports on the resignation of David Davis, Shadow Home Secretary forcing a by- election. He wants to make a stand against what he perceives as an erosion of civil liberties and human rights. I agree wholeheartedly with him and in brief, I give my own reasons why I am against this legislation.

  1. This act can be open to abuse. People banged up in cells, where any whiff of terroism is suspected. The state can and does get it wrong. We only have to look at the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes last year.
  2. Could this open the door to other areas of law and order enforcement where the detainment rule could apply. The insidious erosion of people’s democratic human rights where non-terror crimes are treated in the same way.
  3. What I hate most about this is, theoretically anyone could be taken off the street, detained under anti-terror laws and just taken into custody without any powers of appeal over the 42 day rule.(Correct me please if I am wrong on this last sentence).
  4. The absolute power of the state over an individual who has no say in the incarceration of their person. The act here implies guilty until proven innocent.

While, I acknowledge the threat of terrorism in this country, I can see Galloway’s point when he talks about Northern Ireland as a parallel. Before the peace process no where was potentially more volatile and open to acts of terrorism then what occurred In Northern Ireland and also the bombings in main land Britain; where even our own Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher could have easily have been killed in the Brighton hotel bombing. However, the government did not pass this kind of legislation then.

I believe this law could further feed the fanatical worry of terror; so called terror. Yes, terror exists and we need international responses to combat terror. Let’s start looking at the wider picture of real terror. For example, what is occurring in Zimbabwe where two women were murdered in the most in-human way because their husbands support the opposition party. Somehow, the government appears to take little interest in eradicating such an evil despot as Robert Mugabe. We will just leave that one alone should we?

This new law makes Britain what it really is. A frightening place to live in. Better watch out for that knock on the door. It might be you they have come for.





Committed to the education of children and the health and human rights of women and mankind. I also enjoy taking photographs and sometimes I write poetry.

2 thoughts on “42: It’s too late

  1. I understand your concerns, but I’m afraid I couldn’t disagree with you more on this.

    Somehow, the government appears to take little interest in eradicating such an evil despot as Robert Mugabe. I don’t think that that’s true at all. You cannot operate in a foreign country (especially an ex-colonial territory) in the way you could within your own country and it seems unreasonable to expect a government to do so. What else can Britain do, apart from invade and start another war?

    A frightening place to live in. When I go to London I am frightened, not by the fact that I am living in Britain, but by the fact that terrorist may blow up my train and by the fact that the government may not have enough time to convict the terrorists. The whole scare monger stories don’t seem to have taken on board that there are loads of safeguards in place to ensure that the extreme measures are only used in extreme circumstances.

    As far as I am aware, when existing liberties were enshrined in law, people weren’t doing obscene murders planned on the internet and with mobile phones in the hope of getting to a divine orgy with 70 virgins. The advances in technology, and changes in the nature of terror mean, as far as I am concerned, that changes in the law (with appropriate safeguards), are necessary.

  2. I knew our opinions would be different on this subject, from what you have written earlier about this and similar topics- the use of torture etc to obtain information from terroists, as one example.
    For me my problem with this law is that we are becoming more and more like a police state. Arrest, shoot and ask questions later.
    On the subject of fear, when I go to London I am not frighterned, because I know the chances are I will be killed by a train accident more than a terriost bomb. Terroists bombings are still rare, with our high intelligence system- better than the USA I feel. I am sure we would have known about 9/11 before hand , if it was our nation being preyed on.
    What about Guantanimo (sorry can’t spell) bay? What right do these authorities have in incarcerating these people for so long, many will never come out from their ordeal “normal.” How many were real terroists?
    To be fair, I probably have been too simplistic concerning this bill. I have not, like many, read the small print and there might be safeguards in place where this will be used in extreme circumstances. But I still think that could be open to abuse.
    On the subject of Mugabe, there must be more internationally we could do to stop him. There has to be. Simply saying what can we do is no where near good enough for me. The same applies to Darfur. No one is interested because there is no oil there, so everyone is left to be rapped, mutilated and killed. Bring oil into the equation and everything changes. Some how good old Sadham had to go because he was terroising his people and because of trumped up charges of weapons of mass destruction he never had. We can “liberate”? the people then.
    The British and the American goverment are one and the same and so I don’t get MI5 to spy on my computer, I had better leave it there. Big brother is definetly watching and I don’t mean on Channel 4.
    Thanks for your well meaning disussion. We agree to disagree and stay friends.

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