Archive for the 'Terror' Category

Burning issues

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Once again we see that there is no idea for a new law so stupid that you can’t get a policeman to speak up for it. So, burning a flag should be a criminal offence, should it? Not for any reason it would seem other than the usual politician’s reason – passing a new law is a substitute for enforcing the laws we already have. I’m surprised to see the police going down the same political route. Actually, no, hang on. I’m not surprised to see the police taking the same easy option as New Labour have been taking for nearly a decade (and, to be honest, the Tories before them), since under the present government the police have become totally politicised.

The useless prick who drew up these and other proposals is quoted as saying:

“There appears to be a growing public perception that policing of demonstrations is unduly lenient.”

Perhaps he should have considered that the reason for this is that his force has singularly failed to enforce existing laws against some demonstrations (the defining characteristic of the leniently policed demonstrations will be left as an exercise for the reader). Resulting not, as any fule kno, from a lack of laws, but rather from a lack of will on the part of the Met hierarchy to do their duty and enforce the law impartially.

Meanwhile, Lord Goldsmith is ‘preparing a package of announcements’. That sort of thing always makes me shudder these days. What new repressive abomination are they dreaming up? Which further part of our liberty will be chipped away? Apparently ‘Everything is on the table’ so that ‘We are hoping to announce a national strategy for dealing with these people in November.’

Is it just me, or is there something chilling in the phrase ‘these people’? Still, there’s always a New Labour rent-a-mouth MP ready to do his arse-licking duty (some people really have both no brains and no shame). Step forward Shahid Malik – maybe there’s a promotion in it for you.

For fuck’s sake – why not go the whole hog and and just ban dissent altogether? Oh hang on – they already did.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Edmund Burke

The most evil man in Britain?

Friday, October 27th, 2006

This blog is 25% evil, seemingly. Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint which 25%.

This site is certified 25% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Less evil than either DK or Mr Eugenides! Though a devil that’s less than 50% evil is a bit hard to take seriously.

This site meanwhile is 63% evil (an underestimate, I feel). And John Reid – 65% evil. But try putting ‘Gordon Brown MP‘ into the text box: 99% evil. You know it makes sense…

BTW, we were all wrong it seems. Apple is more evil than Microsoft.

Update: even adding the words ‘Gordon Brown MP’ upped my evil rating to 42%! Lord knows what I’ve done now… I dare not even write his name. From now on he is just ‘the Evil One”.

Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
Edmund Burke

Doggerel Dave elsewhere

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

My alter ego, Doggerel Dave, has been active in the comments to Rachel’s rhythmic, rhyming rant. I can’t help myself – I just find it too easy and tempting, and my brain just works that way. Come and have a go yourself – let’s face it, there’s plenty of source material.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
Edmund Burke

Plus ca change

Monday, August 28th, 2006

well, I’m back. I’ve been in New Zealand for a month, and had fun rebuilding my computer after getting home (it’s rather like my grandad’s hammer now, as all that remains of the original is the box and the power supply – still cheaper than buying a new one to the extent I’ve treated myself to a 19-inch TFT screen, and I can now read text without squinting). In the interim nothing much seems to have changed, just more of the same old rubbish. The people who want to control every aspect of our lives (for our own good of course) are extending their tendrils of surveillance and instruction; and those who should be standing up to them are still shuffling their feet, looking at the ground and waiting for someone to tell them what to do.

I must have missed the announcement that the terorists have won, though. Did it happen while I was away? Anyway, we’re now officially told to be terrified all the time. And apparently the threat to our culture and way of life is so severe that the government have decided to lock out freedoms away and change our way of life to keep it safe. For as long as it takes.

Now that all looks to me as John Reid, Princess Toni et al. just don’t get it. But then, it’s pretty clear that they never did.

It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others: or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own.
Thomas Jefferson

Letter from America

Friday, March 31st, 2006

25th March 2005
I won’t pretend that I don’t want to seem melodramatic. But I want to echo Thomas Paine and say these are the times that try men’s souls. I am here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a state which is itself one of the fruits of early American imperialism. Yet when I consider developments in the UK and in the USA, it is surprising how often I am brought back to the writings of the Founding Fathers of the United States and the writers who inspired them.

It is all too tempting to see the American rebels as just that – American. Yet they based the justification of their revolt on the liberties and rights they felt they possessed as Britons. And in the face of those liberties and rights being ignored or overridden, they reacted as Britons would – they rebelled against the King’s Government.

So now we find ourselves in the USA faced with laws, in the form of the Patriot Act (and what a despicable give-away name that is), that are prima facie unconstitutional, yet somehow unchallenged as the pygmies who comprise the political elite fear to appear ‘weak’; and in the UK with laws that effectively strip away all the protections of the citizen against the might of the state apparatus, and laws that aim to enhance the power of the executive to a level unknown in the whole of British history.

In a sense it is impossible to be melodramatic about this – the reality outstrips any hyperbole I might attempt. But in defence of our liberty, for ourselves and for our children, we need to affirm, in Jefferson’s (still striking) words, that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”; that no government can have any legitimacy which seeks to undermine, limit or curtail these rights; and that whether these acts are motivated by ignorance or malice, we will be swift to condemn and slow to forgive.

We are a free people. The state should be our servant not our master. Britons, strike home!*

*Tim sums the reasons up as ever more thoroughly and intelligently than I ever can.

Update: I am now in California and Internet-connected again. In the meantime, the House of Lords appear to have fallen for a trick that a school-child would have seen through. It’s the database, you fools. Sigh.

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone
Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi

Render unto Caesar…

Saturday, March 18th, 2006

So finally they admit it (while no doubt hoping to bury it) – rendition flights did land in the UK. And the careful language that was noted in the non-denial denials (‘”We have found no evidence of detainees being rendered through the UK or overseas territory since 11 September 2001,” said Mr Straw’) proves to be just as expected. Of course you found no evidence you devious cretin – you never looked for any. And as for “we understand our obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture”, I can only say that the egregious Mr Straw (and who says names are not destiny?) and the Foreign Office seem to have a very idiosyncratic conception of what those obligations are.

Meanwhile, surely this means that ‘Buff’ Hoon has been caught lying to Parliament? It’s hard to see how else you could categorise the statement (which as far as I can see was made to MPs) that “the government had since provided the full facts and had nothing to hide”.

So when the leaked memo said there ‘could be more’ than the 2 flights in 1998 they weren’t joking. At least 73 more in fact. I suppose it isn’t suprising that people who can overlook the odd extra £14 million in the accounts (or not notice that a £400,000 mortgage has been paid off) could easily miss 73 flights taking people off to be tortured abroad. Quite understandable.

Given the way this sort of thing tends to dribble out, it does make you wonder how many more than 73 there have really been.

‘Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.’
- George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

Freedom? It’s a steal

Tuesday, February 28th, 2006

The Peter Hitchens programme on Channel 4 last night was interesting – it’s good to see this issues get some mainstream(-ish) airing – but not really anything new. It was instructive, for example, to see the the country’s chief law officer, the Lord Chancellor Charlie “any pal of Tony’s can get to be a minister” Falconer, is as ignorant of what is meant by civil liberties as his boss – or cares as little for them. His suggestion that restrictions on liberty were justified if they were at some point to bring to light evidence of a possible terrorist crime was frankly mind-boggling in its inanity. Is that honestly the best argument he’s got? Here’s a hint Charlie: destroying the centuries of legal tradition that lie at the root of our way of life on the basis of a hypothetical is at the very least pretty stupid. For a trained lawyer to do so amounts to professional incompetence on an epic scale. I thought the law was about evidence – pious hope is supposed to be the province of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Perhaps he’s in the wrong job.

The case studies that Hitchens used were disturbing:

  • the train spotter harassed and searched in public (on a station platform) by transport police;
  • the Christian couple reported by a council minion and then threatened with prosecution for ‘hate crime’ for their – admittedly unfashionable – beliefs;
  • the student whose fingerprints were linked to a theft from a post box – because he had written and posted the letters which were part of the evidence – all because his prints were held on file even though he had never been charged with or convicted of any offence;
  • the schoolboy arrested, DNA-swabbed, then released – all because he was a witness to a crime – and his DNA, of course, remains on file;
  • the Labour peer (and former senior policeman) threatened by the North Wales police;
  • and of course the woman convicted for reading a list of names by the Cenotaph.

These are merely the tip of the iceberg, and there is a case to be made that this sort of thing represents a serious and worrying change in the role of the police, from being the servant of the public charged with preventing and detecting crime, to agents of the state with a role in policing what people say and think. There is also a clear indication that there are many, both in public authorities and in the various police forces (the real plods and the pseudo-plods) who just like throwing their weight around. This, in itself is nothing new. What is new is the extent of the opportunities for such abuse, and the support which it receives from government; that we seem to have a government which is more and more concerned with overseeing and controlling citizens’ speech and thought, while leaving the victims of crime increasingly unprotected; and obsessed with monitoring and recording every movement, every transaction, of every one of us. In effect, that the role of the police is gradually becoming less and less one of protecting the citizens against criminals, and more and more about protecting the state. That should worry everybody.

Give me liberty to know, to think, to believe, and utter freely, according to conscience, above all other liberties.
John Milton

Artificial Intelligence

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

One of the great irritants of the ongoing ‘war on terror’ is the regular appearance of conveniently-time briefings from ministers and (despicably) from senior police officers about the threat from terrorism. The latest example being particularly risible. I mean talk about figures just plucked from the air – fifty years? Of course one would hardly expect someone whose job depends on persuading us of the threat to say, “No need to panic, it’s all in hand – by the way this is where to send the P45″ would one?

You have to love the way so much of this depends on veiled references to ‘secret intelligence’, particularly when they bring up ‘plots which have been foiled’. Strange how these foiled plots never seem to lead to any arrests or prosecutions isn’t it? Add to this the ‘friend of a friend who knows someone in the Met’ rumours and we have a whole mass of people basically just making shit up. As an aside, how on earth do they keep getting away with references to the completely fictitious ‘ricin plot’.

Meanwhile Safety says, “We have to hope expect the threat of terrorism to be with us for many years.”

At times it’s hard to think of a fate suitable for mendacious little creeps like these. Lying has just become a way of life for them – they’ve got away with it for so long, and they don’t seem to see a problem, because they believe they are lying in a good cause. So they continue to lie, invent and exaggerate because it’s all for our own good. I was brought up to believe (and have generally found) that honesty is the best policy. Obviously NuLab believe in saving the best till last.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”
C. S. Lewis

Bad Behavior has blocked 8 access attempts in the last 7 days.