Coffee House

The current political climate rewards authoritarians, not civil libertarians

1 September 2014

The talks between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives on the anti-terror measures that David Cameron will unveil this afternoon have finally finished. There are a few more details to be thrashed out – crossing of Ts and dotting of Is rather than major policy decisions – but the two parties are basically there.

That the talks have only broken up with just over an hour to go until the statement shows how contentious these measures have been in the Coalition. David Cameron’s press conference, in which he set out the heightened threat, was partly a softening-up exercise to push the Lib Dems into accepting what the security and intelligence services had told him: that they needed to plug the ‘gaps in Britain’s armoury’. How successful that and the ensuing negotiations have been will become clear when the Prime Minister sets out his stall in the Chamber this afternoon.

If the Lib Dems have managed to block what the Tories felt was necessary, then they will need to work out a way of making the case for guarding privacy above security. As the furious leading article in the Sun today makes clear, this will be difficult when the current climate rewards authoritarians, not civil libertarians. It is significant that Labour is now trying to argue that it is tougher on terror (i.e. more authoritarian) than the Tories, when back in the day the Tories made hay with quite how authoritarian the Labour government was. Times have changed, but the Lib Dems may well have stayed the same.

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  • ManOfKent

    It is the most wonderful demonstration of the narcissistic elitist arrogance of the media to read articles which claim to have knowledge of the views of the public that are predicated on an opinion piece in a neo-fascist authoritarian newspaper (and occasional propaganda mouthpiece for the government when it suits it) run by a discredited and disgraced family of media oligarchs

    The absurdity of course is that the dead tree press is in rampant decline and papers such as the Sun have been so kind to imprison themselves behind their paywall’s (seriously what idiots would waste their money on such a tawdry rag) so their rants are largely now superfluous and irrelevant and we the general public are thankfully largely protected from them these days..

    The reality is that the political media being cocooned in the Westminster Freakshow are as out of touch and prone to insular cloned groupthink as the politicians (a sort of Stockholm Syndrome on steroids)

    You see it is bad enough that one of the primary cheerleaders for the revolution that created this new threat was our very own Prime Minister and by being that cheerleader he subliminally sent an unintentional message that it was acceptable for British citizens to get involved (unintended consequences and all that). It would be wholly unacceptable if as a result of his poor judgement (and his actions over Syria were extremely poor judgement) that the British people generally should have their lives unnecessarily interfered with by the state . Cameron needs to tread very carefully

    Putting aside the very valid consideration that current legislation may provide adequate protection and that it is the inadequacy of the security services that really is the question at hand, the reality (and not the trumped up propaganda of a dangerous sub-intellectual rag) is that the British people expect to be protected but if Mrs and Mrs Smith or Mr And Mrs Singh find their lives unjustly interfered with by an excessive overbearing and unwanted state, politicians will lose their careers. Sadly the same fate will not befall the Hanoi Hannah’s and Lord Ha-Ha’s in the British media

    Now can we dispense with this tedious propaganda and have an article of substance?

    PS Incidentally has Dave made up his mind as to whether he did ride Rebekkah’s horse or not yet?.

  • Nigel Tipple

    Just out of interest, why did anyone regret the removal of Dominic Grieve from his post as Attorney General?
    His contribution to the debate yesterday very clearly demonstrated why he had no place in government. Rarely have I heard a politician prove just how far out of touch he is with public opinion. Utterly clueless! Time for him to toddle off back to High Table at Lincolns Inn.

  • thomasaikenhead

    Those that live in the bubble that is Westminster village may well be excited about a statement by David Cameron but those in the real world are just not interested.

    The REAL threat to British people has nothing to do with returning jihadists but is the gangs of Muslim men of Pakistani origin who abused 1,400 girls in Rotherham as the report by Professor Alexis Jay revealed.

    Of course, as recent court cases have made clear, the events in Rotherham are no isolated incident confined to a single town but part of a pattern of abuse that has lasted decades across a whole series of British towns and cities as young, white Christian girls were abused on an industrial scale.

    It is the activities of such young Muslim men in the Pakistani communities that are the real threat to life in the UK, not the return of young men who have been in conflict zones.

    Of course, Cameron and Clegg have nothing to say about the failure of the police, social services, councillors, medical profession and teachers who remained oblivious to the plight of these victims and failed to act to use existing laws to prosecute the perpetrators.

    Their silence and contempt for the victims and their families damns them in the eyes of the electorate as the performance of Ukip in the forthcoming Clacton by-election will make very clear.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    When you say, “Pakistani child rapists”, what you actually mean is “male Pakistani child rapists”. The wives of these “Pakistani child rapists” must be extremely miffed that their husbands are spending the housekeeping money in this way, and risking sexually transmitted infections.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Problem Reaction, Solution, which of course involves further curtailment of civil right and civil liberties. “Exchange security for liberty and you fetch up with neither.” Remind me, who said that?

  • Mrs Josephine Hyde-Hartley

    But how could any policy that seems to set privacy against national/public security be truly and correctly ” family friendly” ? The idea of ” deradicalisation” in terms of employing workers to ” deradicalise” ordinary people/terrorists really does smack of the old mantra ” education, education, education”..

    Personally i really don’t think it will work.

    Surely only family friendly policies ie that respect all members of some family,will do. But how could family friendly policy be discrete enough to properly respect certain family members who may simply not want to get involved with government/public service works and duties, one wonders…

    If government and/or its agents and workers want a cat in hell’s chance of affecting a real change of the hearts and minds of certain members of certain families, i should imagine their policy must give proper regard to privacy of individuals, first.

  • dado_trunking

    Where are all the Punchinello pensioned-off clapping their hands in glee as to the loss of yet more civil liberties? Out on a collective day pass, apparently.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …and as we know, you Levesonista fascists are ecstatic over this, of course.

      How’s the goat, lad?

      • dado_trunking

        You never fail to disappoint laddie. How’s the islamopalestinian, all well? Spike prepared for head, like all islamopalestinians are?

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

  • Jacques Strap

    Vote labour get Rotherham. Vote Lib Dems get Rotherham.

    Vote Tory get Lib Dem.

    Thanks to the left, the victim has less rights than the criminal.

    What use are civil liberties when people starting getting blown up?

  • CortUK

    If you prioritise security over freedom you deserve neither.

    Ben Franklin

  • henryGrattan1800

    No wonder Dave wants out of the Human Rights Act, look forward to the return of the Star Chamber …

  • Suzy61

    The clue is in the word ‘temporarily’. Why bother at all, I wonder? Nothing to see here folks….move along, please.

  • David Ganz

    Is it not now clear that Cameron has neither understanding nor respect for the rule of law? We know that if Washington wants anyone deemed a terrorist, they will get that person, but for a Uk Prime Minister to play quite so fast and loose with the law of the land, instead of trying to grasp what it actually is, makes it clear that most of wht we thought the Conservative party stood for can be rewritten overnight. The Hon T. Blair and the lovely Ms Brooks and her wellpaid lawyers must be happy as pigs in a blanket.

  • The Masked Marvel

    We’re meant to rely on the LibDems for defending our civil liberties? What planet are you on? Cast Iron Dave has now said that adhering to British values is a “duty”. A rather clumsy statement which leaves him open to all sorts of charges, and the backlash will serve him right.

    There are two rather simple (in the sense of not being complex, rather than easy) methods of preventing more domestic Islamic terrorist incidents. Neither of these methods require putting any pressure on our civil liberties. Many people will not like one, but may prefer the other.

    Method 1: Bomb the living daylights out of the entire region where ISIS is currently active. No holding back, no whining about bombing “wedding parties”, or listening to a single word uttered by a celebrity, journalist, artist, or edgy comedian. Terminate the lot of them with extreme prejudice (oh, dear), and the energy sustaining the enterprise will dwindle rapidly.

    Method 2: Ban anyone who went there on a British passport from entering the country, permanently. Unless they’re journalists or something, obviously (although if a few BBC hacks aren’t let back, no tears ought to be shed). Not for a year or five: permanently. If our brain-dead establishment can ban Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer because other people might get violent against them, surely this won’t be a stretch for them. Install some sort of petition process if you must, but only if it’s expensive and requires extensive documentation of some other reason for being over there.

    It’s ugly business indeed. Now we must decide just how much we really do value human life, and what to do about those who have decided ours are valued less.

    • Mike

      We need both as its perverse Geert Wilders, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer can be banned from the UK and yet we allow hate mongers like Anjem Chowdary free rein.

  • chouenlai

    Three doses of Blair and one of Dave, aided and abetted by Clegg and what have we got? A bloody PC nightmare where the nations safety is way behind furthering multicultural disneyland. Why is every decision at risk from left wing lawyers, many of whom are of Muslim backgrounds themselves. Unless a miracle occurs and Dave grows a pair, I fear the worst.

  • Donafugata

    One more nail in the Lib Dum coffin, what’s not to like?

    • Kitty MLB

      Oh what was ever liberal or democratic about the yoghurt
      knitting smiling face of socialism.The Lib Dums will soon
      be on the political compost heap.

  • Blindsideflanker

    As a Conservative MP said on World at One, and as we have debated here, the problem is not about creating more laws, its about applying the laws we have .

    So far the British establishment have been completely negligent in upholding our laws, if they did we would be much more secure than we are, and not need more laws that intrude into our civil liberties.

  • English Majority

    Nationalism is the only way now.

    We Nationalists have ALL the answers to every problem we have.

    • Kaine

      The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

      • English Majority

        Those with the passionate intensity are so because we/they KNOW exactly what’s happening, and how to stop it.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Many of our problems can be tracked back to our loss of sovereignty.

    • Livia

      Calm yourself, Adolf.

  • Katabasis

    Really to frame this as authoritarian vs civil libertarian is to miss the most important point.

    We wouldn’t even be here if the laws already on the statute book had been enforced without fear or favour.

    New legislation is just wheel spinning, being seen to “do something”. Our institutions are rotten from top to bottom and giving them extra powers isn’t going to fix that.

    • Span Ows

      We wouldn’t even be here if the laws already on the statute book had been enforced without fear or favour.

      Exactly! Well said. This is the WHOLE issue in one sentence.

      • The Masked Marvel

        And now we must address why the laws were not enforced. Although existing laws are also what allowed the deluge to happen in the first place. We know Straw and Blunkett and others wanted the cultural transformation to happen for their own sickening ideological reasons. What’s left unsaid by our punditry, including the contributors to this publication, is that police and council mandarins apparently allowed the abuses to continue (or at least worked to suppress those who would have stopped it far sooner) because they didn’t want to give succor to those who opposed Labour’s inhuman ideology.

        One realizes that this does not explain why it took the Cameroons so long to deal with it, nor why Theresa May banned the wrong people from entering the country, or why Gove was removed on the heels of noticing a related problem.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    If we can get a EAW for some bloke who asks too many questions of his son’s doctor, can’t we deal with itinerant jihadists? Using the laws we have? Maybe by bringing charges accompanied by proof?

    • Frank

      If we can use an European Arrest Warrant on parents who have not even broken English law, can our useless coppers stop child abuse in Rochdale / Rotherham / etc?
      As for Dave’s “greatest terrorist threat Britain has ever faced” given that the Home Office says that it knows of no specific threat, one might assume that the (useless) lib-dems will have told Dave to stop emoting and to get a grip.
      If our police force actually enforced the law when it comes to child abuse, and if our courts could be persuaded to lock people up for a change, there might be fewer nutters to arrest with enhanced anti-terror laws!

      • the viceroy’s gin

        That’s what this is all about… the Rotherham child s e x slavery disaster. Dave knows that will backlash on him, and he needs to provide a bit of distraction, and this is it.

        • Tim Reed

          I would tend to agree. It’s very easy to be overly cynical obout such matters, but I think one has to be, given recent history.

          The timing of all of this is most instructive – coming straight after a major scandal, an incredibly damaging political defection, and before a rapidly approaching general election.

          All of this helps to make a troubled Prime Minister look all the more Prime Ministerial, and deflects from some deeply politically awkward truths about the most piously promoted consensus in modern politics (multi-culturalism).

          Is that too cynical of me?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            No, it isn’t. This Camerluvvie crew is all about the news cycle and spin. Nobody else is freaking out domestically right now, it is only the Camerloons in the UK. There is a reason for that, and it obviously isn’t the one Dave’s bleating.

        • John Dalton

          It SHOULD backlash on ALL of them – thousands of our young girls have had their lives ruined by the mass importation of an ideology that hates us – while we were all told to shut up and take it. Imagine these hypocrites all competing in outrage if it were thousands of m*slim girls raped by white men!

          • the viceroy’s gin

            There are also young boys being made into child s e x slaves, we should remember.

            And we should remember that this child s e x slavery is ongoing, as the report mentions. It is not over, in Rotherham and wherever else it’s underway.

    • Colonel Mustard

      The “explanation” of the PCC Simon Hayes was depressing to listen to. Not least the realisation that as someone who should be holding the police to account on behalf of his community he was busy justifying their actions and trying to protect them. A plethora of weasel words too.

      • The Masked Marvel

        One eagerly awaits the arrest of parents who’ve sent their daughters for genital mutilation. No? What’s the difference? Will the BBC investigate?

        • The Elderking

          The FGM farce is just another facet of the “Rotherham Syndrome”.

          The authorities could easily give all schoolgirls in the “at risk” group a medical examination and then jail the parents and any others involved.

          All NHS doctors/nurses could report all suspected cases in older women.

          Where girls/women are hospitalised due to complications following FGM or require corrective surgery – they can be reported.

          So why don’t they?

          Once again – fear of offending Muslims and fear of losing their votes.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I wouldn’t be in favor of mandatory medical examinations of children, but any child found to be a victim of FGM should call for a follow-up by the authorities, at least as thorough as the one put on that mother and father and their son in Spain this week.

            The problem is that the barbarians who practice this mutilation won’t take the children in to the doctor, if it’s known they’ll be investigated, thus the children will suffer.

            • The Masked Marvel

              Yes, that’s the saddest part of all. A safer route, a non-invasive anti-FGM education programme, wouldn’t be allowed by NHS mandarins. Presumably, any NHS staff who spoke up have been sent to re-education camp.

              Although, one can at least tut-tut at the hypocrisy of these neo-Marxists who have no problem taking children from parents or arresting the parents themselves in far less dangerous circumstances. One other obstacle to cracking down on FGM is that most on the Left would first want to ban Jews from circumcising their sons. In the interests of equality, naturally.

          • The Masked Marvel

            It seems that it’s not just fear of losing votes. Recall the reasons Straw, Blunkett, and the BBC have given for the policies which gave birth to this environment. It’s fear of creating a story that will get public attention, and thus lend fodder to ideological opponents like Tories and the hated UKIP. Once again, innocent little girls are pawns for the Left’s ideological and cultural war against ordinary, decent folk. Human rights? Rubbish.

  • swatnan

    It should be a resigning issue for Clegg; and let Cameron carry on in a Minority Govt.

    • chouenlai

      Right on swat baby.

    • crackenthorp

      then he can continue to muck things up on his own

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Heh. As if the authoritarian Clegg actually believes in civil liberties. Right.

      • colchar

        He does, but only when it suits him.

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