Thursday, July 14, 2005

Now is the time to defend our liberty, not diminish it - Sunday Times - Times Online

"The concern I have about the law is that a minister takes the decision to detain a person without charge. The judges have a role but it excludes any consideration of the evidence. In the days ahead politicians may be under pressure to show that they are doing something. For that very reason they should not have the authority to imprison or confine. Political expediency is the enemy of justice.

In truth, the events of Thursday have changed none of the arguments. Everyone who debated the bill in the spring knew that an attack was on the cards. There is no suggestion that the perpetrators are terrorists who escaped the authorities’ control due to the lack of a sufficient power to detain.

Blair has consistently demonstrated that his instincts are authoritarian. If he is as shocked as he seemed by events that the rest of us have long grimly anticipated, he may be tempted to re-open the issue of control orders. He may hope that a new parliament in new circumstances will be more malleable than the last.

I hope not. I wish he would reflect on this. We expect terrorists to attack our way of life. Our government must not." Michael Portillo

I am very worried that we are now falling fast into a police state.

Portillo notes Blair's authotritarianism. He hopes we will keep our way of life.

In spite of brave statements and an apparent consensus among politicians about carrying on as usual, I suspect that the social world we have known for the last 50 years is about to fall apart.

As mandelson is quoted as saying the era of representative democracy is coming to an end.

I met Ghandi's personal assistant this morning and sat on a wall in the village sunshine debating the fate of the planet.

Ben Kingsley lives locally, when he is around. He needs a PA because he is not arounfd much.

Luke is an American who has hopes that England can stoically resist the fascist dictatorship that he thinks is now ruling in America.

The story will be different here. But I do not share his optimism.

Post the London bombs there are plans to police the internet.

How much longer will I be allowed to publish Blairy England?