Monday, February 28, 2005

Don't you know there's a war on?

It seems we need imprisonment without trial. Not for us, obviously; for them! For the bad guys! We've had it in Northern Ireland in the past and it failed magnificently, partly because the state's intelligence was not as good as we thought it was. Now that it's the 21st century, we're going to have another go.

The enemy is still terrorism. Islamic this time. Fundamentalist. Sneaky. The plan is simple - we'll slap them with a new "control order", and put them under house arrest, or stop them from doing bad stuff or talking to bad people (the news stories are vague about exactly what we'll stop them from doing, but presumably there's a big list, and presumably the government can add new stuff by "statutory orders" as they think of it).

How will we tell who are the terrorists? Well, that'll be the Home Secretary's job, using his new improved intelligence. It's better than the old sort, fortunately. And he'll only target the really bad terrorists that we can't deal with using existing law.

Is there any alternative? What else might you do with terrorists? Well, you could try surveillance: follow them, tap their phones, and see what they are planning - and then arrest them!

Unfortunately you couldn't actually charge them, since using phone tap evidence would violate their civil liberties. At least that's what the Home Secretary says. So he'll detain them (in their own homes this time) without trial. That's clearly much less of a civil liberties violation than using phone taps. Not only that - it'll save the police the bother of watching them, since they'll be completely unable to harm anyone, thanks to the control order. Best of all, it'll save on prison costs, which means lower taxes for the rest of us!

Dead clever, these politicians!

Whatever will they think of next? Democracy? Due Process? The Rule of Law? Freedom? You know - all those things the terrorists are determined to eradicate?

You have to admit, if we ever had a less principled, less honest, less democratic, less saintly government, the power to put someone under house arrest without actual evidence would be rather handy. And the authorities in China or Pakistan or Northern Nigeria would be able to legally lock up those pesky Christians that go around stirring up trouble.

Come to think of it, didn't Jesus hang around with people with terrorist connections? That Simon the Zealot guy? And wasn't Jesus a bit of a threat to the authorities. Maybe he should have been under house arrest?

1 comment:

Flaming Firegeni said...

Amazing isnt it how these things work!

When other countries do it - its a violation of human rights, its gross injustice. "Hey world look at that little country there detaining people and doing all these things".

When we do it - well *thats* just us being protective of our nation (well and ourselves ofcourse). for Jesus hanging around with terrorists of the Zealot ilk...he did get arrested for it in the end. *And* killed.

Its a case of seeing Orwell's "1984" come alive in the 21st century me says. Watch out for BIG brother (and thats not the "watch-them-sleep-and -eat-and..." on TV I am referrring to).