Thursday, June 05, 2008

The step from surveillance state to police state is a short one

I've not made any comments about it so far, but with a substantial amount of coercion coupled with a considerable amount of fear from the possibility of losing their seat at the next election it seems most Labour "rebels" will fall into line and vote in Gordon Brown's 42 day detention without charge plan.

I actually find this very worrying as it goes against all natural British instincts - probably because it contravenes our inherited rights and values handed down since Magna Carta. I've heard some very sensible arguments FOR it - not from anyone in government mind - and some very sensible arguments against it, but at the end of the day, as an Englishman, I have to side against any lengthy detention without charge.

One of the reasons I am opposed to it is that I do not trust the government when they say it will be heavily monitored and used with discretion - because that is what they said about RIPA. But the Daily Mail reports today that middle ranking officials in local councils are using RIPA for the most trivial of things.

For all the claims of judicial oversight and careful use of a power, if an authority has a power then there is a very strong likelihood they will use it - whatever the purpose. And let's be frank about this - this government does not have a good record of being honest.

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