Who needs stinking civil liberties?
It won’t be long now before England’s worst prime minister ever drops into the dustbin of history (unless Bush rescues him and gives him a cushy job -- which has been hinted at).
As he did in his term of office Mr. Blair is doing in the last days of his odious rule -- he is doing his level best to strip Englishmen of more of their civil liberties. Blair has made it clear that civil liberties hinder government, which is precisely what they are meant to do mein Führer said some as they were blackbagged and carted off. (Of course Cheney said much the same thing recently to the cadets at West Point, basically urging them to ignore Constitutional protections when it comes to those deemed “terrorists”.)
Throughout his carrier Blair has introduced measure after measure expanding the police powers of the state. One could argue he has committed treason agains the English tradition of freedom. And as he is being shown the door he’s still working to expand police powers. Peter Hain, Blair’s own Northern Ireland Seccretary attacked the measures as the “domestic equivalent fof Guantanamo Bay.” Perhaps a bit of hyperbole but where his degree of worry is wrong his direction is not.
The idea is to give police the right to stop and question anyone they wish, anytime they wish, for any reason they wish. Failure to answer them could result in a fine of up to $10,000.
The previous Blair measure in this area is the Terrorism Act 2000, an act that truly is terrorism. It gives the government the right stop and search anyone traveling in public whether there is a reason to suspect them of anything or not. Except it is limited to areas designated by a chief constable. Still pretty lose when it comes to reigning in that terrorist organization known as government.
In that law not only did a chief constable have to delineate the area covered he had to set a time limit. Police could arrest people merely on suspicion but if the person didn’t cooperate by answering their questions there was no additional penalty. Blair finds that too restrictive. No doubt Cheney is whispering to Blair and suggesting that perhaps he should consider torture as well.
Under the new legislation individual police officers could interrogate people randomly without any restrictions as to the area or with time limits imposed. It removes the slight restriction of having the area designated by a chief constable. Now any would be “Terrorist Buster” on the force could begin questioning anyone found in public. And if someone found it a violation of their rights and refused to answer they could be fined heavily.
Blair, in perhaps his most disgusting comment in public life, defended these new police powers saying that society is wrong to protect civil liberties. “We have choosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this misguided and wrong.”
Of course the police state/surveillance state that Blair has created doesn’t come cheaply. The most recent analysis of the tax burden on individuals alone, not on business, shows the every single taxpayers pays about $13 in taxes for every hour they work. Just last year alone the tax burden on individuals increased by $50 billion. And these figures don’t include local taxes. Under Blair’s police state taxation has doubled since 1997.
A police state isn’t cheap. The wives of Henry VIII got better treatment than Blair deserves.