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        « Remembering the dead | Main | When you go home, tell them of us and say: for your tomorrow, we gave our today »

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        Comments

        Peter

        Michael Portillo has written in his Sunday Times columns on questions of civil liberties, keenly hoping to provoke some sort of reaction from people worried about their rights. Instead, he's found that all the mail he normally gets from readers dries up when he chooses civil liberties as the topic. He's reluctantly concluded that there's no interest from voters - or political capital - in civil liberties whatsoever.

        comstock

        Is this code for "the Tories are going to cave in and support ID cards"???

        If they'd held firm and voted with the Lib-Dems against the war in Iraq, we wouldn't be in this mess.

        Graeme Archer

        I very much hope that we're not going to cave in and support ID cards! I think the grown up response of the government though was a good sign (Charles Clarke admitting they would have made no difference). Incidentally I found myself for about the second time in my life agreeing with the PM - what a ridiculous suggestion from the party, to call, now, for a public enquiry.

        I'm not quite sure I understand the comment about Iraq, I presume it's from the George Galloway school of thought, that somehow we brought this on ourselves by ridding the world of Saddam. It's an argument I'm incapable of following. Surely the point is this: if there are people within this country who are prepared to blow up tube trains because of their perceptions of our foreign policy, then they would act at some point regardless of what we (the UK) do abroad, because sooner or later the state will act externally in a manner which doesn't meet with their approval. I'm not willing to live in such a country.

        EU Serf

        Graeme makes a very important point.

        ....because sooner or later the state will act externally in a manner which doesn't meet with their approval...

        At which point we normal citizens vote for another one.

        Those who planted the bombs will always find a reason. We can hardly let them have any say in our policies, foriegn or otherwise.

        Paul Marks

        The demand for restrictions on civil liberties is a classic example of the "do something" theory of law.

        Terrible thing X has happened, therefore we must do something - pass a new law or laws.

        Hence the "Dangerious Dogs Act" and all the rest of the rubbish.

        Where are the statesmen who will resist such stuff and stand up for the tradition of civil society?

        All the Police State stuff in the world will not stop terrorism. For example, it carries on in Mr Putin's Russia.

        Being a Conservative is about having a more realistic view of what government can achieve.

        James Hellyer


        It also strikes me that defending our way of life by voluntarily ending that way of life, is a staggeringly stupid thing to do.

        Burberry Jon

        Graeme

        I'm not a Galloway supporter or lefty, nor do I think the London Bombings were caused by Iraq.

        But invading Iraq was still a mistake. It achieved nothing, there were no WMDs, Iraq was not threat to us, has not reduced terrorism, in fact acts as a recruiting serjeant for terrorism, ties up military forces so Iran and North Korea know they are free to do what they wish, killed British soldiers and civilians, replaced stable oppression with violent chaos for iraqis, diverted attantion from Bin Laden, boosted the chances of the LibDems and stopped the Tory party from benefiting from Blair's unpopularity.

        Rick

        Just reading that Manningham-Buller was the name of Macmillan's Attorney-General; and seemingly the name of the new head of MI5. Looks a bit of an inside track really.

        Now it is all well and good to grant powers to these guardians of liberty but in the old phrase "Quis Custodes Ipsos Custodient ?" Or Who Guards The Guards ?

        That is all we are asking. Sadly most people in authority are mediocre and like all mediocrities they have pliable ethical standards. This regime has changed the rules to allow the Secretary of State to transfer NHS records to anyone he chooses; Government computers will henceforth interface and also be accessible to Europol. Who controls Europol ?

        Look at this http://www.statewatch.org/

        Frankly, I have no problem with executing terrorists, or even bulldozing their homes and arresting their families; but I only trust myself to do it properly. I have no faith in the others, and have always considered I would be much better entrusted with absolute authority than any other person.........but those who propose these draconian steps propose themselves to be in control and I suspect vested interests............I feel I am a better choice because I am not an insider covering up the tracks of the mediocre as with the case of Crichel Down

        ken

        I am worried about this; the fact that people do feel that it may sometimes be necessary” to restrict the civil liberties of suspected terrorists who have not yet done anything but the intelligence agencies believe may be planning an act of terrorism.

        Is not a general acceptance by the people that we must all have our liberties curtailed or that we would be happy to accept an extension of the state power over the individual.

        Those were not the questions asked, we may well support our government’s attempts to control terrorist activities but it is wrong to extrapolate from this that liberty is not important to the British people.

        JEROGatch

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