Friday, August 12, 2005

Blair concedes: terrorists win

It appears Governor Blair is taking another page from Washington. It occurs to me when the (British) Human Rights Act, the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and Magna Carta are all documents of paper, it may be unwise to let boys like Tony play with scissors and matches.
Ordinarily I don't directly comment on these pieces, but some of the points here provoke me. My comments in red.

"Should legal obstacles arise, we will legislate further, including, if necessary amending the Human Rights Act, in respect of the interpretation of the ECHR. In any event, we will consult on legislating specifically for a non-suspensive appeal process in respect of deportations. One other point on deportations. Once the new grounds take effect, there will be a list drawn up of specific extremist websites, bookshops, centres, networks and particular organisations of concern. Active engagement with any of these will be a trigger for the home secretary to consider the deportation of any foreign national. As has been stated already, there will be new anti-terrorism legislation in the autumn. This will include an offence of condoning or glorifying terrorism. The sort of remarks made in recent days should be covered by such laws. But this will also be applied to justifying or glorifying terrorism anywhere, not just in the UK."

Glorifying terrorism? Tony, you do this in your each and every appearance at the microphone. It'll never happen, but I can't help wondering what account you would give of yourself when you stand in the dock at Nuremburg. What can you possibly say? You weren't even following orders, you were issuing them. And they were bullshit. And you knew it. And we know it. What would you say, Tony, as the ghosts of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children, none of whom represented the slightest threat to any British citizen, stare down at you in mute accusation? Turn Catholic, Tony. Purgatory's your only hope of escaping hell.

"Parliament must be supreme. Aggressive judicial activism will not only undermine the public's confidence in the impartiality of our judiciary. It could also put our security at risk - and with it the freedoms the judges seek to defend. That would be a price we cannot be expected to pay."

In a way, I'm glad your conscience is a guilty as it must be for you to propose banning criticisms of your actions... and let's be honest; that's all this really is. But you do really suppose you can hide your guilt by forcing it off the streets to be whispered under the stairs and in dark alleys? And so while the man in the street who says, "We attacked Iraq, what did they think will happen?" might not actually go to jail, he could still be arrested, and endure defending himself at great expense. Moreover, at this late date in history, you're tempted to resurrect the great British tradition of gutlessly suspending habeas corpus whenever the going gets tough for the government of the day. You put the lie to fighting for democracy, Tony, when it dies on your own sword at home. So, at least, let's hear no more about how the war is being fought to "defend our values" and "our way of life" when you're the only one with a hope of destroying them, and indeed seem content to.

And you're wrong, Tony, when you say "Parliament must be supreme". The law must be supreme. Not even the institution that makes it is above it. It should not be permissible, or at least very easy, for a legislature to, for the sake of its own expediency, break the constitutional limits that restrain its fiats. Governments come and go. Regimes pass with time and are replaced. Even nations, languages, and cultures rise and fall and fade from memory. The only constant is humanity, and the inherent dignity and regard owed every one of us. Even the Iraqis who die at your whim, whose great crime is living too close to oil.

Read the article here.

5 comments:

L-girl said...

Great post, LP.

In some ways, Blair is scarier than Bush. Bush is a moron, and a puppet - granted, a puppet controlled by incredibly powerful and ruthless men - but a doofus himself. Blair is intelligent, articulate, seemingly humane. Where Bush inspires ridicule, Blair commands respect. People admire him. They are thralled by his golden tongue.

But he's fascist.

James said...

And the saddest thing about Blair is he's Labour -- he's supposed to be leading the left-wing party.

Though, I guess after Thatcher, he still qualifies.

As for NAFTA, maybe it's time for Canada to adopt the Euro...

Lone Primate said...

As for NAFTA, maybe it's time for Canada to adopt the Euro...

I'd love to get economically closer to the EU. I don't know about officially adopting the euro; what can I say? I've always championed maintaining our own dollar as opposed to giving ourselves a lobotomy and adopting George, Tom, Ben, et al., for cultural and economic reason (we can set our own interest rates that accord to the state of our own economy). There are some scale issues that suggest to me that, sooner or later, we may want to be part of a currency union with others, but I'm not sure quite yet. Europe is still a long way from here, and the US dollar is, I truly believe, currently falling from its perch to a basket with the rest of us... witness China and Malaysia's recent depegging of their currencies from the US dollar to a group of currencies, also including our own.

But for all the crowing neo-cons do about how inefficient Europe is, it's in the black. Its people enjoy long vacations and better benefits, while admittedly at the cost of a lower standard of living, on average. But how many SUVs do you need? How many DVDs can you eat? I think Europe's struck the right balance. It is again the future and vanguard of Western civilization. North America dropped the ball. We need to follow someone else's lead for a while.

Lone Primate said...

And the saddest thing about Blair is he's Labour

Yeah, that's what I couldn't get over when he suddenly jumped up and said, "Oh, jolly good, us too!" I was amazed. I would have expected this of the Conservatives, but not the Labour Party, the lefties who were for decades the darling of the British peace movement. Ironically, Douglas Hurd, a notable Tory cabinet minister of the Thatcher years, has always impressed me as the person who ought to be running the British Labour Party and the British government.

L-girl said...

Blair is Labour like Clinton is a Democrat. They've redefined their parties to the supposed center.