Archive for the ‘The War on Stupid’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 20, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

Charles Clarke makes his case via Rupert Murdoch’s Times newspaper…

Blair Times – ID cards defend the ultimate civil liberty: I believe that some critics of our proposals are guilty of liberal woolly thinking and spreading false fears when they wrongly claim that ID cards will erode our civil liberties, will revisit 1984, usher in the “Big Brother” society, or establish some kind of totalitarian police state.

Damn it, when will us naive peaceniks and naysayers just try to see things their way? As The Sun points out today; The Government is rightly pressing ahead with the scheme which will cut crime, fight terrorism and curb illegal immigration.

This must be done for our own protection (freedom is slavery) and only weak-minded fools ask questions about it (ignorance is strength). I do wish people would cut it out with Orwellian references, which quite obviously have no bearing here.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 20, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

Please excuse the shameless link-dump….

Independent – Severely disabled, mentally ill: the truth about Broadmoor ‘terrorist’ emerges: He is known to the outside world only as “P”. Nearly two years ago, he was arrested without charge and imprisoned as an alleged foreign terrorist – an al-Qa’ida sympathiser who threatens Britain’s national security. But P is now in a mental ward in Broadmoor secure hospital, one of four men arrested as suspect terrorists since September 11 who have suffered a severe mental collapse. And he is an alleged terrorist who has no arms.

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 17, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

“The greatest danger of bombs is in the explosion of stupidity that they provoke.” – Octave Mirbeau

Independent – Law lords condemn Blunkett’s terror measures: Controversial anti-terror laws championed by David Blunkett in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks were dealt a devastating blow yesterday in a historic judgment by the House of Lords. Just hours after he resigned as Home Secretary, Mr Blunkett had to suffer the fresh humiliation of seeing one of his flagship policies being dismantled by the law lords.
They ruled that Mr Blunkett’s determination to suspend the Human Rights Act and imprison foreign terror suspects without charge or trial was the “real threat to the life of the nation”. The law lords’ opinion, delivered by an eight-to-one majority, leaves the Government little option but to rethink its key policy on terrorism.

The key quote from Lord Hoffmann had me cheering at my television yesterday. Here it is in full:

“The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these.” – Lord Hoffmann

The response from the government is that the law has been legitimised by lower courts, but this ruling by the Lords is irrelevant because – in the end – it is for parliament to decide. How joyful it is, then, that parliament is not weighted in favour of the man driving this hayride to hell and that MPs are free to decide and not prone to pressure from the whips. Or constituents whipped up into a fearful frenzy by the press.

Speak of the devil… here’s the response from Rupert Murdoch. And by that I mean the unofficial response from Downing St. Please note that it yet again casts anybody who opposes Blair’s policies as being crazy…

The Sun – Loony Lords: Day One of his new job and Home Secretary Charles Clarke finds out exactly what he’s up against. Eight Law Lords make a ludicrous ruling that the anti-terrorism law passed after 9/11 is wrong. Lord Bingham declares that the law contravenes human rights because it discriminates against foreigners. It has clearly escaped his notice that al-Qaeda is largely made up of Saudis, Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians and Afghans, not people born in Bolton, Bedford or Bournemouth. He then declares that holding terrorist suspects without trial is “disproportionate to the threat it is meant to counter”. Is he potty? How could it be disproportionate to the destruction of London with a dirty bomb, or a chemical or biological attack that might kill thousands? Lord Hoffman makes the disgraceful claim that the real threat is not terrorism “but laws like these”. Our new Home Secretary knows better than to listen to this piffle from the Lords.

Yes. I’m in total agreement. And when I grow up, I’m going to Bovine University.

Note the ever-present invocation of 11/9 (and please note correct formatting of date). Note that the threats they claim make draconian measures such as detention without trial totally proportionate have themselves been blown out of proportion by this government and by newspapers under the control of Rupert Murdoch.

But… but.. but.. have we forgotten that these men can go home at any time?

Go home to what? The threat of persecution, torture or perhaps death?

Sure. They deserve it. They’re terrorists.

Oh, really? And where’s your proof?

Guardian – Who are held, and why?

Here I should point out that you should not fall into the trap of saying things like; “I suppose the intelligence that condemns these men is as reliable as the intelligence that told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction”… as the real issue over said intelligence in that case was that it was not the intelligence at fault, but the US and UK governments corrupting, shaping, interpreting and cherry-picking intelligence to come up with the ‘evidence’ they required.

But…

This same corruption of intelligence can now lead to us receiving intelligence that appears direct, undiluted and reliable… but may very well have originated from the attachment of a car battery to a man’s carefully oiled genitals.

Don’t forget that evidence obtained under torture is admissible in our courts. Should these men ever get anything approaching the appearance of a trial.

Blair bleats constantly about the only justification he has left for the illegal invasion of Iraq… the importance of bringing democracy (and therefore stability) to the Middle-East. Presumably via the process of proximal osmosis.

Meanwhile, at home, civil liberties, justice and democracy are subverted for the greater good. But only to a point. Tony Blair knows this is a slippery slope he’s on, but he’s confident that he can control matters.

And I’m sure we’ll all sleep better knowing that.

SIDEBAR – You may have read through all of this and agreed with it, but still held the notion that at least Britain doesn’t torture people. You may need to abandon that notion one day.

UPDATE – Lotsa discussion on this over at Europhobia and a charming follow-up outburst here.

UPDATE 2 – BBC – Anti-terror ruling: Your reaction (be prepared to weep in places).

UPDATE 3 – Independent – Belmarsh: a new affront to justice: The Government’s refusal to withdraw its anti-terror laws has left Britain on the brink of a constitutional crisis that threatens centuries of hard-won civil liberties, it was claimed last night. Ministers were warned that their unprecedented defiance in the face of a clear ruling by the country’s highest court has set the executive on a collision course with the judiciary.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 16, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

Independent – Australia to impose 1,000-mile ‘terror exclusion zone’: In a controversial and possibly illegal step, Australia plans to intercept and board ships on the high seas if it believes them to be a terrorist threat.

What a clever idea. It’s bound to ensure the safety of Australians and foster goodwill with neighbouring countries. That’s why Johnny is George W. Bush’s faaaaaaaaaayvrit deputy.








Posted by Tim Ireland at December 14, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

When in doubt; deny everything. When you’re seriously up shit creek; Ctrl+A Delete.








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 23, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

Honest John Prescott was dragged out of bed to address the small problem of Radio 4 this morning (as he always is when the government is presenting something that’s total bollocks).

Prescott insisted that the new ‘security’ measures were nothing to be afraid of, as they would be open to public debate. Also, he insisted that the threat of global terror was not something that could be ignored (cross-reference with Blunkett’s recent soundbite: “…we will have to take whatever steps are necessary, particularly in terms of security and intelligence, because it’s no good picking up the pieces – literally – afterward”).

But, when the presenter quite rightly brought up the issue of Iraq (which was supposed to make us more secure, but did just the opposite) Prescott dismissed these concerns by claiming the presenter and the programme had an “obsession” with the subject. He also said – when pressed for details of the ‘benefits’ we were expecting from the invasion of Iraq – that we should “wait and see”.

1. Public debate, yes. But let’s not bother with any meaningless subjects. Like Iraq.
2. The threat of terror cannot be ignored. Action must be taken. But on the action in Iraq, which has done so much to promote global terrorism and continues to do so to this day, we should just hang around and see what happens.

Now, let’s get to the bit where you’re at risk of getting blowed up…

(more…)








Posted by Tim Ireland at November 15, 2004

Category: The War on Stupid

Independent – Blair places ‘war on terror’ at heart of election campaign: Tony Blair has decided to confront opponents of the Iraq war head on by placing the “war on terror” at the heart of Labour’s campaign in the coming general election. The Prime Minister has privately admitted that attempts to “move on” from Iraq are doomed to failure. He has ordered a new “twin-track” strategy for the election, expected this spring, based on the themes of “opportunity and security”.

Puppies, flowers, sugar, spice and look out – terrorists!

I’ve maintained all along that Blair couldn’t hope to separate his mismanagement/exploitation of the War on Terror (highlighted so markedly by the diversion into Iraq) from domestic affairs – now he’s admitted that to himself, but appears to be reshaping the argument along the (very familiar) lines of:

We’ve made you safer. We’re making you safer. Additionally, the War on Terror keeps your council taxes low, reduces hospital waiting lists, prevents small post offices from closing, etc. etc. etc.

It also makes for a great excuse for the tighter regulation of immigration. Murdoch will love that.

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