Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Labour's "War on Terror"????

Two terrorist suspects are on the run after breaking control orders which are supposed to monitor their every move, the Home Office has admitted. One man, a British national of Pakistani origin escaped from a a mental health unit in West London two weeks ago.
The second man, an Iraqi is known to have been at large for several months and was suspected with others from Iraq of links to al-Qaeda in Iraq. He absconded soon after successfully persuading a court to relax the conditions of his control order.
At Prime Ministers Questions on 9th March 2005 Bliar said: “…the police and the security services are advising us that they need these control orders and, what is more, need them to be applied in circumstances in which there is reasonable suspicion that people are engaged in planning or plotting terrorist acts…”
So why can’t this government make the control orders regime actually work? The control orders were rushed through parliament last March in the face of widespread opposition and were riddled with contradictions.

At the end of March 2005 The Grauniad reported how Mahmoud Abu Rideh, who had been detained without charge and trial in Belmarsh prison and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, was being kept under house arrest at night, but was able to roam freely under tagging during the day. At the time, he said: "I go everywhere now - on the underground, buses, the mosque. But I must be home by 7pm. People think I am dangerous, but I am not dangerous. The government is playing games. If I am a risk to security, why are they letting me out to be with people? I wouldn't do anything silly. I am not a dangerous man." So the latest report of the two chaps who did a runner while under control orders should hardly come as much of a surprise to anyone...even Tone.


Colin said...

"Mahmoud Abu Rideh, who had been detained without charge and trial in Belmarsh prison and Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, was being kept under house arrest at night, but was able to roam freely under tagging during the day."

Isn't detainment without charge and trial against the law, against the century old tradition of "the rights of an Englishman"?

"The rights of an Englishman to a fair trial are some of the hardest fought for in our history and too a large extent define that history. The stability of our society which has limited the power of government and allowed British subjects freedom is in many ways based on avoiding the imprisonment of innocent men and women.

The Magna Carter provided these rights for nobles, and the rest of us have received them over time. But now Tony Blair ( an ex Lawyer) wants to 'rebalance' the rights.."

Once the rights of an Englishman have been taken away under the pretense of fighting terrorism, the government is free to detain everybody without charge and trial, e.g. individuals suspected of infringing laws against so-called hate crimes or xenophobia (i.e. opposing the EU). This is the road to dictatorship and historically states have killed more people than terrorists.

Steven LaTulippe , a physician from Ohio and a former officer in the US Air Force voices his concerns about the similar situation in the US:

"Many conservatives have rationalized these facts by claiming that these extraordinary measures will only be used against terrorists.

That is bunk. The entire history of government teaches us that it always attempts to accumulate power and always tries to undermine limitations on its authority.

As night follows day, these new powers granted to law enforcement agencies under the various anti-terrorism laws will be used against American citizens in situations with no connection to terrorism. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, a story broke in which a man in New Jersey was arrested for shining a laser at airplane cockpits. He is being charged under anti-terrorism laws, even though the government admits that his actions had no connection to terrorism and that he is not a terrorist.

I fully expect that this trend will eventually include the torture of American citizens. After all, if it is permissible to extract information from suspected terrorists in this manner, why not bank robbers or rapists…and then, later, "tax cheats" or "political extremists"?

Folks who believe that this will stop with al-Qaeda are ignorant of history."

And British xenophobes might be detained and transferred to Turkish prisons without charge and trial. What a beautiful new world.

istanbultory said...

I agree. Prime Minister Tony Blair's government is moving down down the road towards a police state.
We need a proportionate response to the threat of terrorism, and not sweeping powers that turn the government into the police, judge and jury.

Colin said...


You are absolutely correct.

"towards a police state"

A while ago a read an article about a British politician demanding the use of GPS devices for fathers who don't pay for their children in order to make sure that they don't spend their money in pubs. GPS tracking has also been proposed in the US, see Fathers group opposes GPS devices for restraining orders.

Formerly, GPS devices were used only for sexual offenders. Now ordinary fathers are on the list if they don't pay but go to the pub. A form of slavery.

It will not take long and an electronic tracking bracelet is attached to any suspect for any crime including PC offences.
Computer programs would be able to check if PC offenders meet. The entire system of observance could run on autopilot by including punishments (e.g. electroshock or even electrocution delivered by the electronic bracelet) into the computer program.

The next improvement would be to implant electronic devices already at birth so that government knows at every moment what everybody is doing.

The way we turn into 1984 is to allow the government to spy on its people. Some might say that our elected politicians are too nice to allow something terrible to happen. However, once the machinery is in place, some other tyrant down the road (e.g. after an Islamist takeover) will expand it even further and use it for far less noble ends.

Anonymous said...

Tony Blair has been touring with a small theatre company doing some of the old Brian Rix face routines.............he has had three major bookings for runs in London and his cheesy smile kept the audience amused even if the performances were a bit amateurish

Anyway, it is getting to the point where a new act is in town with a song and dance man, and he always has a lame child as a prop in case audience sympathy is required

He hope he might get a few engagements in London, but somehow I think the material is old