Wednesday, October 26, 2005


The Terror Bill

Having just done a short briefing on the Terror Bill- see companion site Politics Considered for full text- I feel able to say I'm not supportive of the Terror Bill. And I'm not alone. The Conservatives support it- scared of seeing Blair entrench himself even more securely in the once Tory owned centre ground- but the Lib Dems do not, Cherie Blair, by all acouints does not, Lords lloyd and Steyn, not to mention scores of thinking Labour MPs all oppose it as well. Why do they oppose a measure designed to make us safe from terrorists?

1) All the measures needed to fight terrorism, as Lord Lester impressed upon Charles Clarke yesterday to a committee of both houses, are already on the statute book.

2) Labour seems to react to crises by legislating for want- one supposes- of something better to do. So we find clauses, on the 'glorifying' of terrorism which cannot be defined for legal purposes as Lord Lloyd complained on Panorama, 9th October 2005.

3. The measures proposed, as the former MI5 operative David Bickford, complained on the same programme will alientate the source of intelligence on terrorists: the Muslim community in Britain.

4. The proposed 3 month detention without trial clause threatens the very basis of civil liberties in this country, laid by the Magna Carta. No other European country is proposing or has in law, similarily draconian measures.

The Terror Bill, in other words threatens to be counter productive while unacceptably eroding the very bases upon which democracy is based. No point in fighting terror if we first feebly surrender what we are defending.

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