Not Saussure

October 18, 2006

None of this would have happened if we’d all got ID cards….

Filed under: Blogroll, civil liberties, hubris, ID cards, War on Terror — notsaussure @ 11:23 pm

There’s little to add to what’s been said so well by many others about the débâcle over the two chaps who’ve done a runner from their control orders. Tim Worstall, for example, neatly summarises Tom McNulty’s initial response:

So, the two men are so dangerous to the public, so likely to commit terrorist acts, that they must be locked up (which is what a control order effectively is) without trial, but when we lose them, they’re not a danger to the public nor likely to commit a terrorist offense.

In which case, McNulty, my dozy little vote stealer of a total moron, what was your justification for locking them up in the first place?

Of Blair’s response, that if the government had had their way over control orders in the first place, none of this would have happened, Mr Eugenides comments,

“I mean, look, guys, checks and balances are so 19th Century, y’know? Montesquieu never had to deal with the threat we face…”, blah blah blah. Go and play in traffic, you gurning ponce.

We don’t choose the rule of law and the rights of the citizen because we think it’s more ‘effective’ than building a British Gitmo on Rockall and locking all our undesirables away, out of sight and out of mind, but because we live in a society which values freedom and individual rights. We tell you when, and in what circumstances, you can lock someone up. We do this because you work for us, fucko, not the other way round. Your job – the job we have assigned you to do, for as long as you retain the confidence of the people we have elected to represent us – is to make sure it happens. You’ve failed; not the Tories, not the courts. It’s not Lord Hoffman that let the guy climb out the fucking window.

Garry, in A Big Stick and A Small Carrot, continues in similar vein;

in Blair’s Britain, an independent judiciary sworn to protect the fundamental principles of our society is an unwelcome hindrance to executive power. The notion that such a hindrance is vital in order to guard against the unchecked power of an elected dictatorship is just soooo Twentieth Century. Those who are concerned that the government is destroying our society in order to save it (to borrow a phrase) are relics from the past; they just don’t get it. Today, we live in a brave new world. The rules of the game have changed.

and continues by pointing out

The second thing McNulty made clear was that the government intends to use this episode of their own incompetence to make the case that they need even greater powers. Where would you even start to critique that? I think the one sentence says it so here it is again. The government intends to use this episode of their own incompetence to make the case that they need even greater powers. I’d say this was unbelievable but for the fact that it’s par for the course for this lot.

The were only fifteen people subject to these control orders in the whole country. That the government has lost two is actually in some way a comfort. After all, if they were competent power hungry, self-serving authoritarians, that’d be an even greater worry.

Then, just to put the cherry on top of the cake and in case any lingering worries remained about the government’s competence, it transpires that one of the men isn’t actually subject to any control order, because no one ever got round to serving it on him:

the foreign national has not been seen since August. Police failed to physically hand him the control order, as required by law. That means he is legally not subject to any restrictions, officials admitted last night.

And, furthermore, Spyblog reveals that

Section 14 of the Act provides that, every 3 months, the Secretary of State must

(a) prepare a report about his exercise of the control order powers during that period; and

(b) lay a copy of that report before Parliament.

Such a report was made by Tony McNulty, the Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety on the 11th September 2006 i.e. when the Home Office must have known that one of the, supposedly most dangerous people, in the UK was missing.

Surely Tony McNulty should resign for misleading Parliament if he did know, or for utter incompetence if he did not ?

And what’s John Reid’s response?

The opposition in parliament is led by the Conservatives and the Liberals. They are the first to complain when things go wrong and the first to run away when very difficult decisions are made in parliament.

“If they want to prove their credentials, why don’t they vote in parliament for every single stronger measure that we bring to combat crime?”

Mr Reid said a litmus test would be how the opposition parties decide to vote on forthcoming ID card legislation, which the home secretary said would be crucial in fighting terrorism.

Well, you bletherskite, people are hardly likely to want to hand further powers to a government that screws up with the powers its got and which puts them in the hands of someone whose predecessor was signing warrants when he was woken up in the middle of the night while on the edge of a nervous breakdown, and even when he was in rather more rational frame of mind was apparently perfectly capable of having hysterics and screaming down the phone demanding that the Army machine-gun prison rioters. And whose colleagues apparently either didn’t notice or didn’t care that the Home Secretary was chewing the carpet half the time (they probably blamed the chewed furniture on Blunkett’s dog, Sadie), or, when they did notice, seem to have — at least in his estimation — let him treat his job as a form of occupational therapy.

Not to worry, though, folks; soon we’ll have the Abolition of Parliament Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill through; then Dr Reid will be able to wake up in the middle of the night and sign into law all sorts of necessary measures without having to bother Parliament about it.

Won’t that be nice?

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