Monday, July 16, 2007

"As Long As It Takes"

Jones, a former chair of Acpo's counter-terrorism committee, said: 'We are now arguing for judicially supervised detention for as long as it takes. We are up against the buffers on the 28-day limit. We understand people will be concerned and nervous, but we need to create a system with sufficient judicial checks and balances which holds people, but no longer than a day [more than] necessary.

'We need to go there [unlimited detention] and I think that politicians of all parties and the public have great faith in the judiciary to make sure that's used in the most proportionate way possible.'

As I've argued before, anyone tempted to think these powers would 'only' be used on brown-skinned chaps with extreme religious views should think again. It might start there (and it would be wrong), but it would not end there.

"This short-lived legislature left behind it a monument. It passed a Habeas Corpus Act which confirmed and strengthened the freedom of the individual against arbitrary arrest by the executive government. No Englishman, however great or however humble, could be imprisoned for more than a few days without grounds being shown against him in open court according to the settled law of the land... wherever the English language is spoken in any part of the world, wherever the authority of the British Imperial Crown or of the Government of the United States prevails, all law-abiding men breathe freely.

The descent into despotism which has engulfed so many leading nations in the present age has made the virtue of this enactment, sprung from English political genius, apparent even to the most thoughtless, the most ignorant, the most base."

Churchill, in his History of the English-Speaking Peoples, on the 1679 Parliament.


Anonymous said...

'We can't let the threat develop to the point we ordinarily would, because the potential for a suicide bomber to take hundreds of lives is too awesome to merely contemplate'

On that basis internment would first be used on truck drivers, the death rate due to suicide bombings in the UK averaging only 20 deaths p.a. compared to 3000 p.a. on Britains roads.

Anonymous said...

We slowy but surely became a democracy and we shall slowly but surely become a dictatorship.

Anonymous said...

"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."


I wonder if Winny would have made an exception for the deadly - soon to be nuclear - threat we face right now.
Principles are all well and good.
It's just that you need a civilisation in which to smugly pontificate them

Larry Teabag said...

Laban is absolutely right.

Sound the trumpets.

Anonymous said...

Thats right Larry, you take the piss, we allnow the only problem with communal relations is those horrid white racists. Muslims everywhere are peace loving folk.

Laban said...

I think Larry was serious. I certainly hope so. There are some things we can all agree on.

I'll say it again - those laws may start by being used against potential terrorists. But it wouldn't end there.

Marcusa said...

The three pillars of English Common Law, Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, Bill of Rights. These have helped our nation from falling prey to Totalitarian Government. All are now under threat from the EU which wishes to harmonise all law to the Roman/Napoleonic code. If the police cannot charge someone after 48hrs they should be released.