Sunday, 27 May 2007

Government Considers Increasing Police Powers Under the Pretense Of "National Security"

The Government's newest proposal in their campaign against freedom is to give the police the power to stop and question at random without reason. Big Brother is becoming so prevalent in our country we should issue the following disclaimer to anyone entering:

WELCOME TO THE UK. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMER. "Welcome to the fastest growing Police State in the World. You WILL be caught on CCTV hundreds of times a day and you may see spy planes flying above. Do not be alarmed if a CCTV Camera yells at your child for littering. Please be advised that the police may stop and question you for any reason. No probable cause is required. Finally please be aware that you may be profiled as a potential criminal if you have a too many drinks at the pub."

In the past weeks this Government seems to have been on a mission to take away the small amount of freedom we have left under the guise of "National Security" and "Anti- Terror" laws.
According to the Home Office, the government is now considering giving police officers across the UK the power to "stop and question" individuals without probable cause under new anti-terror laws. Police elsewhere have to have "reasonable suspicion" a crime has been committed before they can stop people. According to the Sunday Times anyone who refuses to co-operate, even if they were doing nothing wrong, could be charged with obstructing the police and fined up to £5,000. Greater powers to remove vehicles and paperwork for inspection are also believed to be part of the measures.

After it emerged Thursday that three men suspected of wanting to kill UK troops had disappeared, Mr Reid criticised his political opponents and judges for stopping the use of tougher measures against terror suspects and promised new anti-terror measures within weeks. It has been suggested that the new laws were to be rushed through before Tony Blair steps down as prime minister on 27 June, however The Home Office refused to comment on this. Campaign group Liberty Director, Shami Chakrabarti, reiterated this suggestion when she said, "This looks like political machismo, a legacy moment."
Blair has said the disappearance of the three suspects under control orders was a symptom of a society which put civil liberties before fighting terror. " The prime minister described this as "misguided and wrong" and said prioritising a terror suspect's right to traditional civil liberties was "a dangerous misjudgement".

The solution is not to penalise the whole of the British people for the error made by the courts. One of the three terror suspects who went missing while on control orders was granted bail by a senior district judge on at least two occasions. On both dates, prosecutors asked for him to be jailed, but were refused. If there is sufficient evidence to show suspects pose a serious threat they should not be allowed bail or more closely monitored if they are. Rather than take away the civil liberties of society as a whole penalise those who are reasonably suspected of planning or committing crimes. Why should our freedom suffer because of the legal system's incompetence.

Our "civil liberties" in the UK are being disregarded on a daily basis. We live in a true surveillance society that is very quickly becoming more and more of a police state. There are at least 4.2 million CCTV cameras some of which talk, spy planes are being introduced, the government is considering profiling possible criminals, biometric id cards will be introduced if Labour wins the next election and now they are considering giving police the power the stop and question at random without cause. I would not call that a country that puts civil liberties before fighting terror. I can not think of any other "democratic" country that has the same amount of government intrusion and lack of civil liberties that the UK does.

Since Blair has announced the date he will stand down, it seems the government is attempting to push one measure after another through under the pretense of National Security. Is this Blair creating a legacy, or is the Labour Party conveniently pushing unpopular measures in their agenda through in Blair's last weeks so Brown does not receive the public backlash?
At least we can sleep a little easier knowing that this particular plan will not come to fruition in the weeks before Blair leaves as the House of Lords will put a stop to it.

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