Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Do opponents of civil liberties (such as ACPO's Ken Jones) have the guts to debate David Davis?

Did you see the press conference by Association of Civil-Illiberal (sorry - Chief!) Police Officers (ACPO)'s Ken Jones broadcast 'live' on Sky News? What a weak defence for CCTV, DNA etc by an opponent of our civil liberties - is this the best the Government can line up against David Davis?

David has just posted a response to Ken Jones; here's an excerpt:

Mr Jones must explain why 80% of CCTV cannot be used for operational purposes, after half a billion of public funds invested. And if he makes the case for the DNA database, he needs to explain why 1 million innocent citizens have been swabbed since 2001, with absolutely no improvement in the 0.4% rate of crimes detected using DNA.

Best of all, David challenges Jones to a debate:

If Ken Jones really wants a serious and balanced debate - without misrepresentation of either side - I invite him to debate me in Haltemprice and Howden on any date of his choosing.

Does Jones have the courage of his convictions to take on David in a debate? Time will tell! Whatever the outcome of this challenge, it is clear that the opponents of civil liberties have weak arguments (Government policy on the hoof is often based on little evidence), and are absolutely terrified of having to debate the subject with someone who has solid evidence against the authoritarian policies of the Government.


downwithbroon said...

I read an article by Chris Marsden[27 June] an excerpt is given below.


'...the government had sought and secured emergency measures under the 2004 Civil Defence and Emergency Powers Act.

Framed partly in response to earlier fuel protests, this enables government to impose a virtual dictatorship, using the police and armed forces as strikebreakers and to suspend or amend the law at will—including habeas corpus and the Bill of Rights 1689. It also allows a parliamentary term to exceed five years without forcing an election.

' The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree entitled, “For the Protection of the People and the State.” Justified as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties:

Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.
....... On March 23, 1933, what has gone down in German history as the “Enabling Act” made Hitler dictator of Germany, freed of all legislative and constitutional constraints.


Man in a Shed said...

The problem with Labour is that they just don't accept that intentions may change. They say - we wouldn't use those powers like that. But we know they have.

There is another underlying problem here that our institutions as a nation should be strong enough to refuse and government of the day the power to put powers like 42 day detention without trial on the statute books - except in times of national emergency. ( I know that's a loop hole - but there are some circumstances that do require these powers. I believe the government can rule through orders in council for example in times like nuclear war or the preparation for it ).

Since these powers in limited form ( not the blanket form Labour are trying to pass ) need to exist we need institutions strong enough to resist tyrants and dictators - or governments with large commons majorities. Unfortunately its becoming clear that we don't have them.

Man in a Shed said...

On this subject the following entry in Wikipedia is interesting on the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 ( Ican verify its accuracy ):

Part 2: Emergency Powers

The second part of the Act provides that temporary emergency regulations are normally made by the Queen through Order-in-Council or by a Minister of the Crown if arranging for an Order-in-Council would not be possible without serious delay. Such regulations are limited in duration to 30 days, unless Parliament votes to extend this period before it expires. The only Act of Parliament which may not be amended by emergency regulations is the Human Rights Act 1998. There was an attempt by Conservative and Liberal Democrat peers to add a number of other key constitutional laws to the exemption list during the Bill stage, but this was unsuccessful. The laws they tried to protect from emergency regulation were:

* Habeas Corpus Act 1679
* Bill of Rights 1689
* The clause in the Parliament Act 1911 which limits the duration of a Parliament to five years, which was in itself a partial reversal of the term's increase provided in the Septennial Act 1715 from three to seven years
* Act of Settlement 1700
* House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975
* Life Peerages Act 1958
* House of Lords Act 1999 1

The introduction of the Act comes with increased funding for emergency planning in the United Kingdom to help organisations comply with the Act and brings emergency planning funding more on par with European levels.