Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Terror NuEuLieBoreNazi Police know where you live

I'm bowled over by the bravery of some writers. I mean, Olly shares Henry Porter's grave concerns about the terror police. At times like these, dissident writers must live in fear of the nightly knock at the door. The foot on the stair. Being dragged off to face god knows what grisly fate.

And when you want appeasment and spin, you always turn to ZaNuLab apologist Will Rubbish who offers a pathetic alternative definition of the term 'police state' - here.

I don't know if I've ever linked to this piece by Conor Gearty before, have I? The memory is a bit flaky since I had my head caved in by rozzers during that Poll Tax demonstration back in the day. At least they didn't ask anyone in Trafalgar Square that day about 'grooming'!

Police states ain't wot they used to be, gawd bless 'em.


stephen said...

In find myself siding with you on this particular issue. Although a number of things don't add up, such as whether the police got political cover and the extent of the involvement of the CPS, at the moment the indignation seems like party political froth rather than a point of principle.

There is a fundamental distinction between acting as an honest broker for information passed by a civil servant and overtly soliciting information from that civil servant. I am not yet convinced that that is what Green did but the investigation into whether he did is legitimate

At present my biggest problem is with the use of PACE to circumvent the need to get a warrant to search Green's offices and seize his papers. But then I have always had major issues with parts of PACE and was sounding off against it over 20 years ago for weakening our protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Contrary to Labour blogger insinuations, most of us civil libertarians were attacking the Tories long before New Labour was a menu item at Granita.

Paulie said...

I think the PACE thing illustrates the wider issue very well though Stephen. Our liberties aren't being dragged from us in a one way process.

PACE was a significant step up in promoting defendants rights in some ways, and was done in a dialectic with the rozzers who looked at the process and wondered if they would ever be able to convict anyone for *anything* ever again.

There are all sorts of ways that we gain new liberties and that we are liberated from holds that the state previously had on us. We are living in an age of unprecedented change in this respect - the abilty to move and process information brings huge efficiencies and savings as well as threats.

I think that a lot of the hysteria around these issues will look very different in a few years - and with Parliament as it's mediator, Mrs Carter will be seen to have not died in vain.

stephen said...

There are some good things about PACE. There are some very bad things as well. I am afraid that I don't share your whig view of history that we are constantly improving.