Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 13 June 2008

Police State Britain - the fightback begins!

David Davis is not my favourite Conservative politician, largely because of his long-standing rigid views on social matters (judging by his voting record in the House of Commons on equality issues affecting the gay community) and his championing of the Conservative policy to repeal the Human Rights Act if elected, deliberately conflating this as a creation of the EU, when its origin is the ECHR, which pre-dates the EU/EEC several years and was largely drawn up by British lawyers in the aftermath of World War II.

However in resigning as an MP to force a by-election on the issue of the growth of the 'police state' and 'surveillance society' largely created by the Labour government since it came into power in 1997, I suspect he may have found the issue he was always destined for and I applaud wholeheartedly his principled stand on this vital issue, even if I am under no illusion that his views on social matters are likely to have changed much; indeed this issue is addressed squarely here. His resignation announcement yesterday was certainly a powerful indictment of Labour and its attemtps to push through increasingly authoritarian measures of which the latest is the attempt to legislate for 42-day detention without charge:

This would be an extension the already far too long 28-day period which, worryingly and perplexingly, Mr Davis seems to have supported. I think he has to clarify why he thinks that the 3-day detention period, which had existed for a long time, was no longer good enough, considering that we have had two major wars in the 20th century and more recently considerable domestic terrorist activity over the status of Northern Ireland. From what I understand there are adequate emergency powers available to government to cater for dramatic situations, without the need to legislate to lock people up for increasingly long periods (3 to 14days, 14 to 28 days, a failed attmept to go from 28 to 90 days, now from 28 to 42 days). Having said all this, David Davis's desire to widen this to cover the whole issue of increasing State surveillance of citizens certainly strikes a chord with me; I have been writing about the dangers of Police State Britain for some years. It is good to see him joining the battle to oppose this in such a personal and courageous way. Nevertheless I hope someone will ask him detailed questions about his current view on the Human Rights Act; perhaps it requires modification, but certain basic protections it enshrines in law must not be jeopardised, such as those which proect the LGBT community.

Finally no-one should be fooled by Labour attempts to portray David Davis as 'unhinged' or that the Conservative Party is in 'disarray'; unlike the quasi-Stalinist outfit that Labour is, the Conservatives accept people may have different views on detailed policy issues, but I doubt very much that this present situation constitutes 'disarray' for them. Labour's propaganda spin should be seen for what it is - a government that has run out of ideas and is lashing out in its death-throws. I do believe that much of the British media and 'political class' have fallen for Labour's ridiculous posturing; I think the greater perspective of some of the foreign press, at least, is much more balanced.

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