Fight terror with Freedom?

There's seems to be a predicament, a dichotomy between preserving our civil liberties in the face of terrorist attacks and bringing in measures intended to stifle terrorism. If we pride ourselves on being a free society where our freedoms are sacred and make up the 'fabric' of our society. Can we afford to cash them in for the sake of legislation which should aid in tackling terrorism but also be open to abuse?

When we have groups like 'Liberty' and Shami Chakrabarti lecturing us about the loss of civil liberties, the irredeemable trade in of our freedoms, do they have a point?

Do we just halt any reactionary legislation and repeal all other anti-terror legislation for the sake of appeasing and pandering such groups? Does being a free society entail us not to bring in any kind of 'restrictive' legislation no matter how extreme/dangerous the threat?

Me personally I am in favour of bringing in measures to tackle terrorism. Something has to be done to help combat terrorism although clearly creating new acts of parliament doesn't soothe the problem alone. Clearly resources such as intelligence play a vital part here too. People may look on the causes of terrorism, as Blair said "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime". Although how can you reconcile with complete nutjobs who think they'll be greeted by tens of hula hopping girls because they torched themselves? Having said that I do understand the arguments against bringing in more freedom bashing legislation as we are meant to be a 'free' society with certain principles (Habeas Corpus et al).

A Moral conundrum indeed..
I can't see how we can fight terrorism with our hands tied behind our back (the human rights laws, etc), but at the same time Britain needs to show the world that we are the civilised people and they, the terrorists, are scumbags. If we behave like them, we lose the moral footing. Ok, rambling now but we definitely need to throw the human rights act out right now (it is there to protect us, but yet it stifles us and only benefits certain groups).

I think the media is a huge hinderance to us all as well. The BBC seems to spend too much time with folks like Shami Chakrabarti, the LIBERTY 'celebrity', which is an unelected lobby group. Even today the BBC referred to the two men arrested in Glasgow as 'Asian gentlemen' I don't see any gentlemen qualities about them, to say the least.

If I could be in charge, I would cut the benefits off those who preach or advocate radical islam and 'gently' persuade them to seek generous benefits elsewhere in this large world of ours (i.e. fcuk off!)
I also think that this government spends to much time creating new laws when we have laws that deal with most of this but enforcement is not used proper, or it is filled with loopholes that conflict with european human rights laws.
rockape34 said:
T_T methinks if you could put your own view/argument succinctly and pose a question on those views, others may be able to respond.
To whom are you referring to here? I feel I met your 'requirements' - just.

I'd appreciate it if you contributed your own view on liberty vs security. Do we sacrifice liberties for 'security? Does being a 'free' society mean we must repeal all anti-terror legislation? At what point does it go too far? I'm sure there are other questions I could be asking but it's rather late for my brain to be fully switched on :wink:
Measures must include.

Stripping of citizenship of all blood relatives who didn't inform the security services. They can be exported to Somalia/Pakistan as part of an aid package - using the education/skills they have picked up in the UK to assist their new home.

EU Human rights act? Fcuk it.

As I live in China I often ponder 'what would the Public Security Bureau do' if faced with what's going on in blighty, my guess would be not pretty but highly effective.
I agree with the premise of this thread. We will only prevail by retaining the moral high ground. This may seem counter-intuitive but crackdowns will create more terrorist supporters than they will prevent. Besides, we have a history of liberty, tolerance, respect, humanity and steadfastness in the face of danger. Well, most of the time anyway!
Which bit of the Human Rights Act do we get rid of? Some of the Articles have been used to defend the most vulnerable in society - The elderly, people with learning disabilities etc.
Technocratic_Turbine said:
...A Moral conundrum indeed..
Nothing complex here.

The issue is simple we either bow down in fear to some incompetent eigits who so far have demonstrated nothing like the ability of PIRA to harm us and legislate away freedoms that previous generations have died to protect or we say stuff them and do our damnedest to continue business as usual.

Some will die, life is dangerous, situation normal. It's generally how Belfast folk responded to The Troubles and we ran higher risks than are evident today.

I remember the unwise panic fueled legislative disaster of Internment with some bitterness. At the stroke of a pen it produced PIRA's 'Long War'. That resulted in a couple of thousand unnecessary dead and countless more maimed.

Our little unpleasantness started Britain's cowardly descent towards the nannyish Surveillance Society of today. We are still on that slippery slope towards Staisiland.

The Yanks would blow a gasket at the level of unrestrained State power that exist in the UK today. Ask one. You'll find they are serious about their Constitutional Freedoms. They are wise to be.
Alib says

The issue is simple we either bow down in fear to some incompetent eigits who so far have demonstrated nothing like the ability of PIRA to harm us

I disagree, 52 people were killed and 700 injured on July 07/05, by these so called eigits. This is as real and frightning threat as PIRA. Remember its still early days, the Provos took years to perfect there way of fighting.
As for human rights etc? People need to wakeup, how do you deal with someone who is willing to smash a 4x4 into a building, pour petrol over himself, and carry on fighting, not to mention the suicidebelt.
These people have no rights in my book.
Im sure in Muslim communitys they have a good idea who is extreme who isnt, why not work along side with the law, and hammer these extremists into the ground.
The facts are the Muslims will feel the heat from any new legislation, just like the Irish did during the troubles.
36thulster said:
Im sure in Muslim communitys they have a good idea who is extreme who isnt,
You're right, but the muslim community IS NOT passing this information on to the security services.

There are many moderate muslims but by not doing anything positive against the murdering extremists they are aiding them, any solution to this muslim extremist threat MUST in part come from the decent muslims., they MUST do their bit.
The loss of civil liberties to help combat terrorism has unqualified support according to recent surveys. This unqualified support is now questionable in light of the inappropriate application of this legislation.

A bond of trust is needed between politicians and the electorate, and an understanding that the legislation is fundamentally beneficial in order for it to pass as a new bill.

I applaud the rationale behind the legislation, but vociferously object to its implementation. That bond of trust is being broken on a daily basis and the legislation is being inappropriately used.

The case of Walter Wolfgang was well documented and the physical ejection of the frail octogenarian for having the temerity to shout “rubbish” was condemned, but 425 other people were also stopped under this same terrorism act.

This, like all such acts, was intended to be used in cases of a serious threat. Instead, the act was used against people making legitimate political protests.

An 80-year-old peace protester was searched and invited to accept a police caution because he was wearing a T-shirt accusing Bush and Blair of war crimes. A man organising a petition against ID cards was searched and filmed by five police officers, and told that the record of this encounter would be permanently kept. The electorate was being targeted not for terrorism, but for political dissent.

Is the loss of civil liberties a price worth paying for greater security? I would categorically state NO, and it causes me great ire to hear politicians crow how we are imposing our form of democracy on nations as the political ideal. We are fast moving away from a democracy due to the sunset/sleeper clauses contained within well meaning legislation. This is by no means an oversight, when you consider that a large proportion of the Commons and Lords are solicitors or barristers.

Whilst being a complex subject, Islamic extremism has defined goals and objectives and wishes to impose an authoritarian theocracy on the masses as a political ideology. The Government has been naive in the extreme to move this shift closer by the erosion of the democratic process to an authoritarian government. The terrorists have achieved a goal by redefining the way we live, and changing the relationship between the Government and the people.

Just after the World Trade Centre atrocity, an American judge wrote a warning.

Andrew Napolitano said: "In a democracy, personal liberties are rarely diminished overnight. Rather, they are lost gradually, by acts of well-meaning people, with good intentions, amid public approval. But the subtle loss of freedom is never recognised until the crisis is over and we look back in horror. And then it is too late."
"Immigrant groups feel themselves part of America, and our success is that we have made them feel that they have a role in the nation's destiny. Tougher surveillance, profiling or efforts that risk alienation might give us a sense that we are doing something, but the long-term legacy of such efforts could well prove self-destructive. Investing in those communities and asking for their assistance in the fight against terrorism is a smarter strategy."
A Washington Post article
This is a quote from the article Armchair Jihad has linked from his sig.
Interesting perspective on the process.
The Americans do make immigrants "want" to be American
jimbojetset said:
Which bit of the Human Rights Act do we get rid of? Some of the Articles have been used to defend the most vulnerable in society - The elderly, people with learning disabilities etc.
You really are a numpty, i hardly think we are going to detain the elderly and those with learning difficultys for 90 days. Unless of coarse they belong to some extremist organisation, but statistics so far have left them out! The biggest percentage of people getting on with there lives should have nothing to fear from any legislation to prevent terrorism.
I grew up under the Northern Ireland emergency powers act, it never affected me our my family.
36thulster said:
You really are a numpty, i hardly think we are going to detain the elderly and those with learning difficultys for 90 days.
I don't know about that. We executed rather a lot of intellectually-challenged folks when we still had capital punishment.
Here's a question....would all pervasive and intrusive state interference be worthwhile if it prevented a mushroom cloud over Piccadily?
"I am being victimized because I appear to be of the profiled group"??

Well forgive me but that is what profiling does. If you appear to be of interest to the Security Services, then you will be investigated but if you turn out not to be a black-hat, then you will be free and clear. Unless of course your tin-foil hat has been compromised in which case you will of course be fitted up, punished unjustly and wrongfully accused and unfairly convicted...

I am all for less regulation and freedoms but sometimes, in the case of a "Critical" security threat for example, we have to accept certain small inconveniences. If you want to live in the UK, feel free to carry out any practice you wish to but be aware that this may cause some incomvenience if your chosen practice is tainted by associations. Get over it.

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