Ministers using fear of terror

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Straight from the horses mouth, and echoing only what has been said here repeatedly.

If the ex-boss of the Intelligence service is saying this, and the politicians have been fighting for a further reduction in our liberties, despite the advice of the intelligence services, then the reason for said reduction is far more about Labour wanting stasi-like powers over the British people to fulfill their communist ideals than it is about 'protecting our freedoms'.

About time we arrested the fcuking lot of them, REINSTATE capital punishment, REINSTATE the penalty for treason, then shoot them for it.

From the Beeb (and Tellingraph)

A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

Dame Stella Rimington, 73, said people in Britain felt as if they were living "under a police state" because of the fear being spread by ministers.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia and published in the Daily Telegraph, she also attacks the approach taken by the United States.

"The US has gone too far with Guantanamo and the tortures," she said.

"MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite effect - there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification."

She said the British security services were "no angels," but they did not kill people.

Dame Stella, who stood down as the director general of the security service in 1996, has previously been critical of the government's policies, including its attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and the controversial plan to introduce ID cards.

It is time to take stock and to repeal abusive laws and policies enacted in recent years

"It would be better that the government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism - that we live in fear and under a police state," she said.


Dame Stella's comments come as a study is published by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) that accuses the US and the UK of undermining the framework of international law.

'Take stock'

Former Irish president Mary Robinson, the president of the ICJ said: "Seven years after 9/11 it is time to take stock and to repeal abusive laws and policies enacted in recent years.

"Human rights and international humanitarian law provide a strong and flexible framework to address terrorist threats."

The Conservatives said the government's push to extend the detention time limit for terror suspects was the kind of measure condemned by the report.

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said: "The Conservative Party is committed to ensuring that security measures are proportionate and adhere to the rule of law."

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey said: "This is damning testament to just how much liberty has been ineffectually sacrificed in the 'war on terror'."

Dame Stella became the first female head of MI5 in 1992.
And this from part of the Telegraph article:

Her latest remarks were made as the Home Office prepares to publish plans for a significant expansion of state surveillance, with powers for the police and security services to monitor every email, as well as telephone and internet activity.

Despite considerable opposition to the plan, the document will say that the fast changing pace of communication technology means the security services will not be able to properly protect the public without the new powers.

Local councils have been criticised for using anti-terrorism laws to snoop on residents suspected of littering and dog fouling offences.

David Davis, the Tory MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “Like so many of those who have had involvement in the battle against terrorism, Stella Rimington cares deeply about our historic rights and rightly raises the alarm about a Government whose first interest appears to be to use the threat of terrorism to frighten people and undermine those rights rather than defend them.”

In a further blow to ministers, an international study by lawyers and judges accused countries such as Britain and America of “actively undermining” the law through the measures they have introduced to counter terrorism.

The report, by the International Commission of Jurists, said: “The failure of states to comply with their legal duties is creating a dangerous situation wherein terrorism, and the fear of terrorism, are undermining basic principles of international human rights law.”

The report claimed many measures introduced were illegal and counter-productive and that legal systems put in place after the Second World War were well equipped to handle current threats. Arthur Chaskelson, the chairman of the report panel, said: “In the course of this inquiry, we have been shocked by the damage done over the past seven years by excessive or abusive counter-terrorism measures in a wide range of countries around the world.

“Many governments, ignoring the lessons of history, have allowed themselves to be rushed into hasty responses to terrorism that have undermined cherished values and violated human rights.’’
 
#2
They continue to try more and more everyday to increase that fear, so we will accept a reduction in our liberty and make us more ready to accept anything from torture to DNA Testing of children. They like any government that is driven by the cult of personality rather than governance can only thrive in the conditions of totalitarianism.

Personally Biped sod the beak and the mall has plenty of lamposts...



Its the Italian in me that likes lamposts so much. =)
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
halo_jones said:
They continue to try more and more everyday to increase that fear, so we will accept a reduction in our liberty and make us more ready to accept anything from torture to DNA Testing of children. They like any government that is driven by the cult of personality rather than governance can only thrive in the conditions of totalitarianism.

Personally Biped sod the beak and the mall has plenty of lamposts...



Its the Italian in me that likes lamposts so much. =)
Wow - you're good - you can type with an Italian in you!

Back on thread - absolutely true. It goes back to some of my earlier comments about both Brown and Blair (but you can echo that across most of the Labour Party), this being that they are not here to improve the lot of the British people, they are merely here for the sake of power and nothing more. That's why so many of them are abusing it, and loading up their carts with the gold of the state before they get ousted.

It's a case of 'fill yer boots lads, and make sure we stay in charge while we're doing it'.
 
#4
Here's the classic example of that twisting of the 'law'

Don't take a photo of the police, or forces.

So lets get thes illegal wesites shut down

Police

Military

I, of course, expect a huge police operation in defence of the military pesonnel carrying out public duties. I mean there would be footage and pictures of the 'beats' of the sentries. If that's not an aid to terrorism, I don't know what is.

Civil liberties? Someone please tell me why I appear to be living in the Eastern Bloc.
 
#5
I was pleased to see this headline and see it on the Beeb today....

It is something I have been saying for a few years and receiving nothing but disbelieving looks from friends & family.

But is anyone really surprised? It's a thought that has been echoed on this site for ages, and it is a tried and trusted political tactic all the way back to Pompey* and the pirates, and before.....






* (no connection to scr name)
 
#7
I have the uneasy feeling that governments have been getting more and more authoritarian in Britain for longer than NL have been around. It's just more visible these days because there's been enough time to undermine the pillars of impartiality in our civil society.

We've not had a 'sage'* in government for quite some time.

(See signature for explanation.)
 
#9
Arguable that by declaring a war on terror you actually legitimise what the terrorists are doing.
 
#10
Nothing really new, terrorism has been a gift to various Governments in Britain for decades. It is the excuse number one for introducing more restrictions. I feel more threatened by the Government in England and also here in Germany than by the terrorists who are allegedly going to or have been trying to kill me, for the past almost 40 years. The repeated warnings about possible terrorist attacks are strongly reminiscent of the tale about the little boy who kept on shouting "wolf".
 
#11
I wonder what she'd say if she was still in charge of MI5 and therefore had access to information on which all these laws & measures are based? If it was a Conservative government in power, would things really be that different? Maybe that's the price to pay for allowing Londonistan etc to happen?
 
#12
Biped said:
Straight from the horses mouth, and echoing only what has been said here repeatedly.

If the ex-boss of the Intelligence service is saying this, and the politicians have been fighting for a further reduction in our liberties, despite the advice of the intelligence services, then the reason for said reduction is far more about Labour wanting stasi-like powers over the British people to fulfill their communist ideals than it is about 'protecting our freedoms'.

About time we arrested the fcuking lot of them, REINSTATE capital punishment, REINSTATE the penalty for treason, then shoot them for it.

From the Beeb (and Tellingraph)

A former head of MI5 has accused the government of exploiting the fear of terrorism to restrict civil liberties.

Dame Stella Rimington, 73, said people in Britain felt as if they were living "under a police state" because of the fear being spread by ministers.

In an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia and published in the Daily Telegraph, she also attacks the approach taken by the United States.

"The US has gone too far with Guantanamo and the tortures," she said.

"MI5 does not do that. Furthermore it has achieved the opposite effect - there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification."

She said the British security services were "no angels," but they did not kill people.

Dame Stella, who stood down as the director general of the security service in 1996, has previously been critical of the government's policies, including its attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and the controversial plan to introduce ID cards.

It is time to take stock and to repeal abusive laws and policies enacted in recent years

"It would be better that the government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, precisely one of the objects of terrorism - that we live in fear and under a police state," she said.


Dame Stella's comments come as a study is published by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) that accuses the US and the UK of undermining the framework of international law.

'Take stock'

Former Irish president Mary Robinson, the president of the ICJ said: "Seven years after 9/11 it is time to take stock and to repeal abusive laws and policies enacted in recent years.

"Human rights and international humanitarian law provide a strong and flexible framework to address terrorist threats."

The Conservatives said the government's push to extend the detention time limit for terror suspects was the kind of measure condemned by the report.

Shadow security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said: "The Conservative Party is committed to ensuring that security measures are proportionate and adhere to the rule of law."

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Ed Davey said: "This is damning testament to just how much liberty has been ineffectually sacrificed in the 'war on terror'."

Dame Stella became the first female head of MI5 in 1992.
And this from part of the Telegraph article:

Her latest remarks were made as the Home Office prepares to publish plans for a significant expansion of state surveillance, with powers for the police and security services to monitor every email, as well as telephone and internet activity.

Despite considerable opposition to the plan, the document will say that the fast changing pace of communication technology means the security services will not be able to properly protect the public without the new powers.

Local councils have been criticised for using anti-terrorism laws to snoop on residents suspected of littering and dog fouling offences.

David Davis, the Tory MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “Like so many of those who have had involvement in the battle against terrorism, Stella Rimington cares deeply about our historic rights and rightly raises the alarm about a Government whose first interest appears to be to use the threat of terrorism to frighten people and undermine those rights rather than defend them.”

In a further blow to ministers, an international study by lawyers and judges accused countries such as Britain and America of “actively undermining” the law through the measures they have introduced to counter terrorism.

The report, by the International Commission of Jurists, said: “The failure of states to comply with their legal duties is creating a dangerous situation wherein terrorism, and the fear of terrorism, are undermining basic principles of international human rights law.”

The report claimed many measures introduced were illegal and counter-productive and that legal systems put in place after the Second World War were well equipped to handle current threats. Arthur Chaskelson, the chairman of the report panel, said: “In the course of this inquiry, we have been shocked by the damage done over the past seven years by excessive or abusive counter-terrorism measures in a wide range of countries around the world.

“Many governments, ignoring the lessons of history, have allowed themselves to be rushed into hasty responses to terrorism that have undermined cherished values and violated human rights.’’
Biped,I nearly agree with you 100%.

The slight disagreement I have is that shooting is far too good for any of our political corrupt scum and a short drop televised would provide better entertainment for the taxpayers who have had to pay to keep these parasites in the luxuary they have been so accustumed to.
 
#13
smartascarrots said:
I have the uneasy feeling that governments have been getting more and more authoritarian in Britain for longer than NL have been around. It's just more visible these days because there's been enough time to undermine the pillars of impartiality in our civil society.

We've not had a 'sage'* in government for quite some time.

(See signature for explanation.)
Dead right.I live overseas,and every time I return to Britain,I notice the latest restrictions since I was last here.

IMHO,if Labour somehow win the next election(ballot rigging cannot be ruled out),that will be the last free election.Some terrorist outrage or scare will result in Labour suspending the elective process indefinatly.
 
#14
"Necessity is the justification for every infringement of human liberty. It is the plea of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves".

As right in 1782 as it is today. Our Government have pleaded necessity in order to justify the massive expansion of the State's ability to control its own people.

There has been an abject failure on the part of Government to stop things getting out of hand. There has been a craven failure of Parliament to stand up for civil rights (stand fast 42 days). And worst of all, there has been an abject, craven failure of the British people to realise that this was wrong. As long as we had Sky TV and credit cards the Government could do whatever it wanted. We let them get away with it, and we have to take our share of the blame.

[/rant]
 
#15
It's simply being used as a vote getter. Both sides are shouting they're tough on / going to be tougher on terrorism.

Just what is the threat? I believe, contrary to 'Government ' opinion , that it can be quantified. What exactly is the scale of the threat?

We hear an awful lot about disgruntled young men of the Islamic persuasion looking to bring themselves and others closer to the Sherbert and Virgins, but where are the ASU's and CoC's in the UK? Where are the dedicated bombmakers , the planners , the propagandists? Where is the cohesive para-military structure a la PIRA?

Living in a predominantly Islamic area as I do , discussions with locals are enlightening. The Gulf between recent immigrants and those established is large. There is bitterness and divisiveness in the Islamic Community very evident hereabouts.

Gulf Arabs and Iranians don't like Pakistanis , Established Pakistanis don't like their countrymen from the poorer , more religiously devout areas , and all groups hate Somalis.

Young men don't attend Mosque as much as their parents would like, which is divided into groups who think Islam needs to get into the 21st century then they'll attend , groups who wholeheartedly immerse themselves in the message , and those who don't attend, because it gets in the way of cruising and selling smack.

Then there is the sub-culture who really want to get into the fight against us, and will travel to do it. They'll attend a religious school in Pakistan telling their families they intend to further their studies, then end up on a hillside shooting at us. Then having had their bash at Jihad, will return to the UK and rejoin the community.

Some of them feel very very strongly that the West is attacking Islam. But for every angry young man that feels like that, there are many others, especially amongst the Iranian , Iraqi and affluent Pakistani diaspora who will tell them to get a life and an education.

A real shock recently to me, was sitting in a cafe hereabouts, listening to young Pakistanis discussing with enthusiasm something they'd seen on TV. They were talking about firefights and Afghanistan, and it was wicked etc etc.

It wasn't until one said "That Ross Kemp bloke is brave" that I realised what they were discussing. The discussion then evolved into the rights and wrongs of Afghanistan , but a telling remark from one individual gave me pause for thought. "They're not fighting US because they want to, it's because they been told to by the Government innit"

It was the use of "US" that really made me think.

Maybe we really need to have serious think about how the war in Afghanistan is portrayed. We think of it as a struggle to reduce the threat of terrorism, while chunks of the Islamic youth community think of it as a idealogical struggle. We need to change the message.

The message so far, is aimed at the majority of the British population, the White, Christian majority if you will. I don't believe Hearts and Minds should begin and end in Afghanistan, but should extend all the way back here. Show positive messages of what is being done of specific interest to the Islamic community , counter the leafleters , cafe and street corner preachers by showing positive and verifiable imagery of the good we are doing for their fellows.

There is no doubt in my mind that the majority of the community have their reservations about what Afghanistan is really about , and there is some hostility as a result. Whether that hostility transforms itself into a quantitative and constant threat is another question.

That said, the funeral of Jabron Hashimi was very well attended here, with deep respect in the community for what he had died doing.

We seriously need to get the message out there. There will be some who will never believe and will always be opposed , but there are many others who just want to get on with their lives, and they are crying out for positive, nationally accepted role models of British Islam as Jabron was.
 
#16
Strange that there seems to be no coverage of that story in The Guardian. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

However, you do find this by Lord Bingham

Judges possess the weapon to challenge surveillance

The British are the most spied upon people in the democratic world, but only the judiciary can restrain parliament

"Perhaps the British are content to be the most spied upon people in the democratic world. But this would be surprising given their traditional resistance to official intrusion and their traditional belief that the state should mind its own business, not theirs. The qualified right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence, embodied in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, is not an ideal weapon to counter the growth of a surveillance society; but failing parliamentary restraint and adequate regulatory oversight, it may be the best weapon there is.

In reversing a House of Lords decision that permitted the police to retain DNA samples given by people who had been acquitted or never charged, the European Court of Human Rights has given a nudge in the right direction. There has been a surprising paucity of legal challenges in this area, but the number of challenges may grow in the years to come, as the public appreciate the extent of the surveillance to which they are subject. But the judges are not, in any ordinary sense, legislators: they cannot rule on claims that litigants do not choose to bring before them."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/feb/17/surveillance-civil-liberties
 
#17
Le_addeur_noir said:
smartascarrots said:
I have the uneasy feeling that governments have been getting more and more authoritarian in Britain for longer than NL have been around. It's just more visible these days because there's been enough time to undermine the pillars of impartiality in our civil society.

We've not had a 'sage'* in government for quite some time.

(See signature for explanation.)
Dead right.I live overseas,and every time I return to Britain,I notice the latest restrictions since I was last here.

IMHO,if Labour somehow win the next election(ballot rigging cannot be ruled out),that will be the last free election.Some terrorist outrage or scare will result in Labour suspending the elective process indefinatly.
I know that that is meant to be some kid of joke as nobody with even half a brain could seriously believe it. Nevertheless, it is a fact that the police etc never give up a power, they just come back and ask for more. The Official Secrets Act was a temporary measure when introduced. Special Branch was set up just to infiltrate Fenians. And so on. I've no doubt that ACPO is already adding other things onto its list.

Freedoms vs Security is always going to be difficult to get right. As governments of whatever hue have found out over the years.
 
#18
New definition of 'extremist' leaked.

"According to a draft of the strategy, Contest 2 as it is known in Whitehall, people would be considered as extremists if:

• They advocate a caliphate, a pan-Islamic state encompassing many countries.

• They promote Sharia law.

• They believe in jihad, or armed resistance, anywhere in the world. This would include armed resistance by Palestinians against the Israeli military.

• They argue that Islam bans homosexuality and that it is a sin against Allah.

• They fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan"

That'll put the cat among the pigeons alright.
 
#19
I completely agree with the Dame.

The loss of liberties is entirely counterproductive as all these measures – extended detention, banning free speech near Parliament, high-profile police presence, the shoot-to-kill policy – increase radicalisation and dissuade the wider population from co-operation.

It’s not just blanket authoritarianism – the government has twisted the agenda to its own purposes, from twisting some intelligence reports (WMD) to ignoring others (increased domestic terrorist threat following Iraq) and investigating some parliamentarians (Damian Green, David Davis) whilst ignoring others (naked corruption in the Lords).

We live in very dangerous times. You can be locked up without charge for longer than in Zimbabwe. Hundreds of different agents of the State can enter your home without a warrant. You can be arrested and convicted for reading out the names of war dead at the Cenotaph. Police cars drive around with “Vote Labour” posters in the window. CCTV cameras are everywhere, but the imagery is often inadmissible in court. We are to be compelled to furnish the State with nearly 50 items of personal data for a super-database and ID card. Nothing to hide means nothing to fear unless you are an MP milking the system.

I think we are at a tipping point. The arrest of Damian Green, for discharging his Parliamentary office and holding the government to account, was a red line. It is possible that the government may suspend the ballot citing some sort of emergency (even an economic crisis) and invoking the Civil Contingencies Act. I think it’s unlikely but I am convinced they have thought of it.

We need to fight back and stand together.

- Support No 2 ID and refuse to have an ID card. The pilots at the first tranche of airports are refusing ID cards and are willing to walk out over the issue. If 10,000 of us refuse an ID card then the system will be wrecked.

- Don’t be intimidated by State officials or the police. Know your rights. A “Metric Martyr” was harassed by a council official in London, but responded by pointing out the official didn’t have a high-visibility vest or ID as required by regulations. The official legged it.

- Use freedom of speech. Use the internet, use blogs, use the media, use the letters pages. Get your views out there.

- Consider further avoidance or non co-operation. Encryption of email accounts. Giving false data whenever you fill in a form, to create multiple records and make trawling more difficult. Stand your ground when a shop asks you to fill in a form when you buy a TV.

- I agree with the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” message in one way only – I have no fear of this government and I will not hide my dissent.
 
#20
Bert_Preast said:
New definition of 'extremist' leaked.

"According to a draft of the strategy, Contest 2 as it is known in Whitehall, people would be considered as extremists if:

• They advocate a caliphate, a pan-Islamic state encompassing many countries.

• They promote Sharia law.

• They believe in jihad, or armed resistance, anywhere in the world. This would include armed resistance by Palestinians against the Israeli military.

• They argue that Islam bans homosexuality and that it is a sin against Allah.

• They fail to condemn the killing of British soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan"

That'll put the cat among the pigeons alright.
What about Brits who fought in with the International Brigade the Spanish Civil War? There was an arms embargo at the time. Or was that a "correct" act of resistance, and my copy of Homage to Catalonia won't get me banged up!
 

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