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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

security v freedom « Previous | |Next »
March 1, 2005

The Terrorism Prevention Bill is currently going through the British Parliament. Before being amended it granted ministers powers to detain suspects within the UK without judicial approval.

CartoonRowson5.jpg
Martin Rowson

This is Tony Blair's justification for security overriding freedom. Blair said that the police and intelligence services were saying:

"You have got to give us powers in between mere surveillance of these people--there are several hundred of them in this country who we believe are engaged in plotting or trying to commit terrorist acts--- and being able, being sure enough of the proof, to prosecute them beyond reasonable doubt...And these will be restrictions on their liberty that we will use only in the most limited circumstances. But we genuinely believe that they are necessary in order to protect the country."
Members of the Labor Party were prepared to cross the floor.

We don't, nor would we expect to see, that kind of rebellion within the ranks of the Howard Government. They would be more willing to sacrifice freedom for security. You can just hear them saying that security is the necessary justification for the breach of a fundamental principle that underpin our liberal democratic system--freedom from arbitrary detention.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:05 PM | | Comments (0)
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