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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Simply, er, unexpected


    by Sunny on 8th July, 2010 at 4:41 pm    

    I am very surprised by this:

    The police’s use of controversial counterterrorism stop and search powers against individuals is to be scrapped immediately, the home secretary announced today. Under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, officers can stop and search anyone in a designated area without having to show reasonable suspicion. Interim operational guidelines to be issued to the police say that in future section 44 powers will be used only to search vehicles, and officers will have to have grounds for suspecting they are being used in connection with terrorism.

    The Guardian’s Alan Travis was right - it’s amazing the Home Secretary didn’t bother challenging this or even ignoring it, as New Labour would have done.

    The assault on our civil liberties and people’s dignities was one of New Labour’s biggest stains when in government. It’s rather unexpected when the Tories, who are meant to be more authoritarian on this issue, are now far more liberal.

    Update: Kevin Blowe points out why Labour’s response to this is disingenuous.


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    Filed in: Civil liberties






    42 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. sunny hundal

      Blog post:: Simply, er, unexpected http://bit.ly/d1SpKk


    2. blogs of the world

      Blog post:: Simply, er, unexpected http://bit.ly/d1SpKk. Richard Blogger ? on 8th July, 20… http://reduce.li/mt2b3w #simply




    1. Richard Blogger — on 8th July, 2010 at 5:06 pm  

      They talk the talk, but…

      Just wait until there is a terrorist outrage. The ultra right-wing new intake of Tory MPs will demand new laws. This is, after all, how the execrable Patriot Act was created. And don’t forget the Dangerous Dogs Act.

      What we are seeing at the moment is PR. It is the “nice” side to soften us for the nasty side to come. The problem is, when the nasty side comes appears, it will obliterate the “nice side” permanently.

    2. ukliberty — on 8th July, 2010 at 8:44 pm  

      “[Home Secretary] May’s announcement was attacked by Alan Johnson, the former Labour home secretary, who said he was amazed she had not tried to appeal against the ruling. He warned the reforms would restrict the powers of the police.”

      Um yes, that’s the point!

    3. Sunny — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:04 pm  

      And I used to think Alan Johnson would bring some sanity to the Home Office.

    4. douglas clark — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:04 pm  

      I hesitate to say this, but the combination of libertarianism and liberalism is pulling this coalition in an interesting new direction.

    5. douglas clark — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:08 pm  

      Hmm…

      It would be good if the Police gave up their war on photographers too. As Kevin Blowe seems to be suggesting….

    6. douglas clark — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:10 pm  

      Here:

      http://tinyurl.com/33wl5ws

      This is a ridiculous abuse of power, imvho…

    7. Rumbold — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:21 pm  

      It seems it was a good idea for brown people to vote Tory.

    8. douglas clark — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:30 pm  

      Rumbold,

      Point :-)

    9. Sunny — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:38 pm  

      and yet you doubted my political analysis rumbold! ;)

    10. Rumbold — on 8th July, 2010 at 9:43 pm  

      Heh. As a staunch leftie I was offended by your original post, but after I pontificated on redistribution from my million pound house I felt much better.

    11. MaidMarian — on 8th July, 2010 at 10:15 pm  

      s44 was on the way out anyway, use peaked and dropped sharply. Like the immigration cap, May has simply followed patterns that started before the election.

      Welcome, but nothing more than spinning an existing trend.

    12. boyo — on 8th July, 2010 at 11:32 pm  

      I suspect you applaud too soon. In general i think you fundamentally misunderstand the new Lib-Con mindset.

      What we are seeing is a radical cutting away of all kinds of incursive governance, from the NHS and schools to this kind of thing. You interpret it as liberalism and libertarianism, but consider this: they simply don’t care.

      They do not care about how long people wait for NHS care or die because the NHS is not held to account (indeed, I suspect they rather welcome it). They do not care about those left behind because of “free” schools, and frankly I doubt they care very much about a bit of terrorism: look how they’re about to slash police numbers. The poor, of course, are considerably more likely to suffer from crime.

      What you are witnessing is a sprint toward inequality unrivalled since 1945 (when of course the movement was in the other direction). Thatcher, Major and Heath (all of them from working of lower middle class backgrounds) would never dream of this, because this is blatantly about middle and upper class interest, prosecuted by parties led and dominated by the rich.

      And they’re cheered on as “libertarians”. Well, freedom for some.

      There’s nout so blind as will not see.

    13. douglas clark — on 8th July, 2010 at 11:58 pm  

      boyo,

      Well, yeah, but?

      I think you are speaking from a very odd perspective.

      You say:

      They do not care about how long people wait for NHS care or die because the NHS is not held to account (indeed, I suspect they rather welcome it).

      Any evidence?

      You say:

      …and frankly I doubt they care very much about a bit of terrorism: look how they’re about to slash police numbers.

      So police numbers are the answer to terrorism? How right wing is that?

      You say:

      What you are witnessing is a sprint toward inequality unrivalled since 1945 (when of course the movement was in the other direction). Thatcher, Major and Heath (all of them from working of lower middle class backgrounds) would never dream of this, because this is blatantly about middle and upper class interest, prosecuted by parties led and dominated by the rich.

      Evidence, please?

    14. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 6:43 am  

      The evidence is in what they are doing Douglas, and what they did. Although I can see why you may support them - if there’s one lot likely to drive the UK toward further division it is this.

      Er… I don’t think it’s “right wing” to believe the police help tackle crime. Bloggers haven’t been arresting terrorists. More relevantly, I suspect they care less about terrorism because they are unlikely to be blamed for it, even if their impoverishment of the police makes it more likely, and in any case it strengthens their anti-immigration hand, albeit that most terrorists are home grown: the Daily Mail will see no difference.

    15. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 6:45 am  

      What I find deeply offensive however, is how two parties are driving through the most (literally) neo-liberal agenda ever without any legitimacy: the people did not vote Tory and most thought by voting Liberal they were choosing a left-of-centre alternative. What we have got is the most right wing government ever.

    16. Rumbold — on 9th July, 2010 at 8:32 am  

      Boyo:

      So civil liberties are now right wing? Some people are motivated by the belief that the state can have too much power, and that the state should prove why it needs certain powers.

      As Douglas says, where is your evidence?

    17. MaidMarian — on 9th July, 2010 at 9:53 am  

      Boyo - I have some sympathy with you, but I’m afraid this

      ‘most thought by voting Liberal they were choosing a left-of-centre alternative.’

      is simply wrong.

      Since the Orange Book (which it would seem the Guardian didn’t know about) the Lib Dems have firmly nailed their colours to the hard tory mast. There was no doubt of any sort.

      The voters have no excuse if they thought that they were voting for a left-wing party when they voted Lib Dem because they plainly were not.

      Indeed, anyone who had lived with a Lib Dem council would certainly have known.

    18. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 9:56 am  

      I disagree MM - whatever the facts may be, the polls said otherwise.

    19. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 10:06 am  

      The evidence is before your eyes Rumbold - you are welcome to view it as increasing “freedoms” as they say, but quite how removing obligations for the NHS to provide services or schools to consider all children equally will improve the well-being of the most vulnerable I do not know.

      As for the issue of stop and search, whatever its merits, my point is it is naive to view this in the Libertarian spirit.

      There is a clear dividing line however between the right, which views “liberty” and the small state as desirable (because it makes the rich richer) and the left which acknowledges that true liberty means equality and not spurious “freedoms”.

    20. ukliberty — on 9th July, 2010 at 10:55 am  

      boyo,

      true liberty means equality and not spurious “freedoms”.

      Let me know which politicians want members of the public to be able to search a police officer, perhaps because he’s “in possession of curly black hair and thick lips”.

    21. ukliberty — on 9th July, 2010 at 11:00 am  

      Sunny,

      It’s rather unexpected when the Tories, who are meant to be more authoritarian on this issue, are now far more liberal.

      With respect I think you’re conflating two facets of the CJS here. The first is due process, the rule of law and suchlike, something Labour have consistently been against since ’97. The second is what happens after due process - punishment. Now, until the other week I would have been happy to agree that Tories would generally like criminals to rot in jail, but I would strongly disagree that any Tory frontbencher (at least) has in the past 13 years demonstrated opposition to due process.

      This relates to that nasty streak in Labour I talked about on LC.

    22. Rumbold — on 9th July, 2010 at 11:12 am  

      Boyo:

      Freedoms are not spurious.

    23. MaidMarian — on 9th July, 2010 at 11:30 am  

      ukliberty - Yes, but the tories were hardly massively opposed. In all sincerity, do you think that had William Hague been PM in 2001 things would have been greatly different? A moot point perhaps.

      It’s like I said earlier - s44 was on the way out anyway and this is just May following existing trends and spinning.

      A far more interesting case will be Gary McKinnon - now I regard him as someone who clearly should be sent to the US and who (with his professional media operation) has stitched the left up like kippers. It is strange that May has kept very quiet on that case.

    24. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 1:27 pm  

      Rumbold, you can see the difference though - I would for example happily forbid private education. For you it would presumably be a blow against freedom, for me it would be a blow for freedom because it would free the poor to better compete with the rich. I would do the same with faith schools - for you presumably a blow against the freedom of religious education, for me a blow for freedom for children to make their own minds up.

    25. Rumbold — on 9th July, 2010 at 1:49 pm  

      Boyo:

      I suppose it is just a different way of thinking. I see the state as necessary in certain areas, but in general I need a good reason for it to interfere. You see it as inherantly good and a tool for social engineering.

    26. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 3:43 pm  

      That’s about right, although I don’t see the state as inherently good so much as necessary to regulate humanity’s inherent power struggle - without it, someone will always be trying to clamber on top of someone else, be it rich over poor, man over woman, white over black.

      As much as I love them, people are like that ;-)

      Power is what drives us. The state can shape and direct that force for good, or for bad. So within this context you could say I see state intervention in the cause of Socialism a good thing.

    27. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 3:50 pm  

      And I would add, that “no state intervention” is of couse a conscious act by the state in itself. Where a state exists, so does responsibility for its action or otherwise.

    28. boyo — on 9th July, 2010 at 8:30 pm  

      I’d like to add to the “don’t care” thesis with this news story -

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jul/09/obr-public-sector-job-losses

      They don’t care that their projections are complete rubbish, because they’re all bleeding millionaires!

    29. Bill — on 9th July, 2010 at 9:32 pm  

      I would for example happily forbid private education. For you it would presumably be a blow against freedom, for me it would be a blow for freedom because it would free the poor to better compete with the rich.

      And exactly how would forcing “rich” children to go to the same crappy schools the wonderful state provides help raise the education standards within them? You seem to imagine that an overall lowering of education standards will help poor children.

    30. Don — on 9th July, 2010 at 10:31 pm  

      And exactly how would forcing “rich” children to go to the same crappy schools the wonderful state provides help raise the education standards within them?

      Because if their kids were there they would raise funds, push for better provision, become governors and use their access to the system to get the best possible deal for the school. Which is what they do for the private schools. They would not be able to shrug off the problems.

      I think it would be a great help in raising standards in state schools.

    31. persephone — on 9th July, 2010 at 11:58 pm  

      ” the Tories, who are meant to be more authoritarian on this issue, are now far more liberal.”

      They are on a huge cost cutting exercise. Stop & search requires manpower and allied resources. This is more about their ‘cutting’ waste approach than being liberal

    32. boyo — on 10th July, 2010 at 7:26 am  

      Bill, what Don said.

      It seems daily there’s another example of double-edge-swordism.

      Today they’re scrapping the census! Another blow for the cause of privacy, or is it, as J

      “regrettable” since some sort of count had been carried out by the monarch or government for almost 1,000 years.

      “Future historians will be less able to interpret Britain in the Cameron/Clegg era as a result of this decision — maybe that is the reason for it,” he said.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7882774/National-census-to-be-axed-after-200-years.html

      Meanwhile Cleggoron is hailing “the most liberal parliament”.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jul/09/nick-clegg-interview

      God I hate that fucking smile.

    33. boyo — on 10th July, 2010 at 7:26 am  

      Jeffrey Robinson, that is. Shame editing facility has gone.

    34. douglas clark — on 10th July, 2010 at 10:53 pm  

      boyo,

      I don’t know what your beef is about the census. It seems to me to be an attempt to categorise us according to a set of criteria.

      I am quite happy to see that fade away.

      I am not so cheered to see it being replaced by a commercially driven ersatz census.

      We don’t need them at all. Censi are the evil that the state tries to apply to it’s citizens, who are, pretty obviously just data points to them.

      It is an intrusive government that thinks it needs to know.

      I’d have been happier if they didn’t bother at all.

      And neither did we.

    35. Terry Woggle — on 11th July, 2010 at 12:43 am  

      Douglas Clark: Living proof that one’s brain need not be engaged in order to make comments on blogs.

    36. douglas clark — on 11th July, 2010 at 9:01 am  

      Terry Woggle,

      (A woggle, if I recall correctly, was a constricting piece of leather used to control a scarf)

      Anyways, why do you need to know? The census always says that this is a christian country when it is clearly nothing of the sort. It is ammunition for christians to maintain their block of peers in the House of Lords. It is self reporting bullshit filtered through the prejudices of ‘serious’ civil servants.

      Although, to be fair they did hand out a press release whose strap line was “390,000 Jedis there are”.

      Politicians assume too much.

      “In June 2005, Jamie Reed, newly-elected Labour Member of Parliament for Copeland in Cumbria, declared himself to be the first Jedi Member of Parliament during his maiden speech.[18] The statement, made in the context of an ongoing debate regarding the Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill, was confirmed by Reed’s office to be a joke instead of a serious statement of faith. Nevertheless, during a subsequent Committee debate on the Bill, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Beaconsfield, Dominic Grieve, sought to exclude Jedi Knights explicitly from the protection of the proposed Act.[19] Similarly, in April 2006, Edward Leigh, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Gainsborough, asked whether he would be allowed to set up a Jedi knights faith school during a Committee debate on the Education and Inspections Bill”

      Both quotes from the ever reliable Wikipedia.

      Dominic Grieve is a po faced idiot, as are you…

    37. Terry Woggle — on 11th July, 2010 at 11:44 am  

      And you are a Scotsman…

    38. douglas clark — on 11th July, 2010 at 11:51 am  

      Terry,

      Did you check with the census office to establish that ;-)

    39. persephone — on 11th July, 2010 at 9:27 pm  

      Heh Douglas @38

    40. Sherlock — on 12th July, 2010 at 6:19 pm  

      The right wing has always been the bastion of civil liberties whilst the left wing has consistently erroded them believing the individual to be unable to make choices, so they must be guided by the state.

      And you think banning private schools would improve the state sector? Think logically for a second. Parents who educate their children privately still pay tax and fund state schools. By privately educating their children, that leaves more money for the state school sector (which in areas can be awful). So ban provate schools, and all of a sudden you have a huge influx of students in the state sector, but exactly the same amount of money. Well thought out..

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