Wednesday, March 02, 2005
British citizens are to be labelled terrorists and deprived of their freedom without knowing what they have done wrong
2 March 2005
~ Mr Clarke bumbles his way to a grotesque travesty of justice Simon Jenkins in the Times
- "....The Home Secretary wants to “derogate” from human rights. He demeans the British judiciary as unsound on terror. He writes mad letters to the Opposition. He demands that the Commons pass a Bill he no longer wants as law. On every side he cries threat, danger, emergency. Everyone is in uproar. So who is controlling Mr Clarke? ..... In order to get the latest Prevention of Terrorism Bill through Parliament, Mr Clarke offered what he called a concession. It was that a judge rather than himself would countersign an intelligence file imposing house arrest without trial on a suspect. On the radio yesterday Mr Clarke trivialised the concession. It would, he said, make the Bill “no less effective”.
He is right. The concession applies only to upper-tier control orders which he has already said he will not use at .... Yet the concession duped sheep-like Labour MPs to pass what was no longer a Bill but merely a vote of confidence in Mr Clarke...
...What should the Lords do? They should reject the Bill out of hand — and have no truck with last night’s Tory desperation to appear “tough on terror” by conceding its essence. The addition of a judge to any part of the control order process merely co-opts the judiciary, indeed the High Court, as accessory to authoritarianism. ..... Terrorism’s latest triumph was the spectacle of Mr Clarke at the dispatch box on Monday night. He shook and looked miserable as he laboured against the clock to do Osama’s bidding, to dismantle British liberty from within."