Completely unsurprisingly our joke of a Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, is supporting calls by the police to be able to hold terror suspects for upto three months without charge, far less trial; currently the limit is two weeks. The proposals include:
- Outlawing "glorification" of terrorism;
- Offence of acts preparatory to terrorism;
- Law against giving or receiving terror training;
- New offence against indirect incitement of terrorism;
- Powers to tackle bookshops selling extremist material;
- Using phone-tap evidence in courts being considered;
- Pre-charge detentions powers extended from two weeks to three months.
Using phone-tap evidence is one of the 'more reasonable' ideas, I suppose, but holding people for upto three months without charge is an horrific expansion of state control over the individual. It frightens me.
Also, just how do you define "acts preparatory to terrorism" or "indirect incitement of terrorism"? How do we know that this, or a future government, will not interpret this to mean people, like me, who occasionally write pieces pretty critical of what the government is doing? After all it is only a few months since the right of assembly in the immediate vicinity (a 1 kilometre radius, I believe) of the Palace of Westminster was severely curtailed as a way of trying to halt the activities of one individual who had been positioned across the road and protesting loudly for a couple of years about the activities of some of the 'nice people' who run our lives from that location - even if the incompetent shower who govern us in fact drew up their dictatorial legislation in a way that will prevent everyone else from protesting, but not the person at whom the legislation was aimed!
Read what Spy Blog has to say about this here. And for Spy Blog's pertinent remarks about the Home Office's sinister incompetence, read about its plans for yet more legislation to control the uses made of the internet, despite the fact that pretty draconian catch-all legislation already exists.