Warning: This post was published more than 11 years ago.
I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!
But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:
- My views might have changed in the 11 years since I wrote this post.
- This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
- Factual information might be outdated.
- Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.
Many thanks for your understanding.
Charles Clarke’s new terror plans scare me. Let’s look at just one of the new powers:
Home secretary automatically to consider deporting any foreigner involved in listed extremist bookshops, centres, organisations and websites
The Government wants to have the power to deport any foreigner who it considers ‘extreme’. I can’t begin to beleive that any government would even suggest such measures – how can anyone seriously think that a government has the right to deport those who, essentially, it disagrees with? And, just to clarify, Mr Blair has already made it quite plain that we’re not solely talking about bombers and murderers:
We are dealing not with an isolated criminal act but with an extreme and evil ideology
This government wants to legislate against an ideology, not just the crimes which might stem from that ideology. Not only that, but we’re now allowing our politicians to use judgement laden words like ‘evil’ to describe sets of people – that’s just wrong, and further alienates the sizeable Muslim minority with sympathetic views. In fact, it doesn’t just indirectly alienate them, it actively does it:
Make justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere an offence
If I sit here and try and understand the rationale behind terrorist attacks, and try to draw conclusions about how it is justified in the minds of the terrorists, I’m breaking the law. We’re being asked to continue an ill-defined ‘war’ against an enemy we’re forbidden to try and understand. Surely that kind of thing shouldn’t happen in a healthy democratic society? And whatever happened to free speech?
I’ve previously said that we’re bordering on the political situaition of Germany circa 1933, and the semantics are getting ever close: Hitler branded large groups of people (most noticeably the leaders of Czechoslovakia) as evil terrorists.
Besides which, in the age of global communication, does it really matter if the people attempting to incite terrorism are in a different country? The suspected nineleven hijackers were allegedly indoctrinated in Afghanistan, and that didn’t seem to harm the scale of their attack.
This is bad, dangerous, and unnecessary legislation which restricts our freedoms – including our freedom of thought – even more than ever before, and should be strongly opposed.