Because I forget stuff. Part of

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Originally posted January 27 2005 at 12:01 under General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.


A bit better but now angry
At home (voluntarily)

Just as we thought the worst was over with the departure of one home secretary, the UK manages to stoop to amazing new abuses of power. Having had it pointed out that detention without trial is, surprise surprise, an abuse of human rights it now has plans to introduce indefinite house arrest, determined by a politician without judicial review, for it own citizens. Yes, Charles Clarke says your a risk so they can lock you in your house and cut off access to the outside world (the banning of telephones and net access has been mentioned). Presumably they’ll take you ID card too. As the Law Society says, this is an abuse of power and an extreme one at that. Of course such “control orders” will barely be open to public scrutiny let alone that of the courts. The home secretary can quite easily claim that details must remain secret in the “interests of national security”. Well, I feel so much more secure knowing that this government is introducing laws more reminiscent of a German party of the early period of the last century. This is a country which is not a stranger to terror. For decades the IRA posed a much clearer and more present danger (they were after all actually setting off bombs and killing people—it doesn’t get much clearer or more present than that), yet no such measures were felt necessary. Yet because the US finally has a taste of what most of europe has known at one stage or another the world is suddenly a much worse place, where we must subject ourselves to the will of “those who know best”, which appears to be those who say they know best if you listen to the politicians. This country was free, it invented the models of democracy and law which we’re supposedly fighting to maintain and bring to the rest of the world. What if those principles of freedom are no longer here to export though, will we not then have lost? The introduction of ID cards would be a bad enough erosion of the right of citizens to go about their business unmolested by the state which is supposedly there to serve them, not itself, but these measures take us towards the territory of the regimes we have most criticised in the past. It would be unbelievable if it weren’t so frighteningly real. It is time to stand up and point out that despite what the government believes the rulers of society are its citizens and not those few they have temporarily elected to do their bidding. If only there were someone better to replace it with, but of course one of the great disqualifications for being a politician ought to be the desire to be one.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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