If it was not so late and if I had not had such a long day, I would launch myself into a rooftop-raising rant about this. But it is late and I am weary and, besides all of that, I am beginning to wonder precisely what good a rant from me (or anybody else for that matter) would do anymore:
Home Secretary David Blunkett wants new anti-terrorism laws to make it easier to convict British terror suspects.
He has discussed lowering the standard of proof required by a court and introducing more pre-emptive action.
Possible plans, revealed on his six-day trip to India and Pakistan, also include keeping sensitive evidence from defendants and secret trials before vetted judges.
Is there any significance to the fact that David ‘Mugabe’ Blunkett elected to unveil his sinister plans on a trip to South Asia? Was he driven into delirium by the heat and the dust? Or maybe a particularly acute case of Delhi-belly left him feeling all bilious and vengeful.
But civil rights groups have condemned the proposals as shameful and an “affront to the rule of law”.
It’s not an ‘affront’, it’s a point-blank dismissal. ‘Lowering the standard of proof’? ‘Pre-emptive action’? ‘Secret trials’? ‘Vetted Judges’? What next? Trial by Ordeal, Ducking stools, Iron Maidens and The Rack?
The truly frustrating thing here is that not only is Big Blunkett unlikely to be opposed to any meaningful degree (the Conservatives are already weighing in on his side) but his ripping up of our last remaining bulwarks of civil liberty is probably going to make him more popular. That is because civil liberties are unpopular. They are merely the boring obsession of pot-smoking hippies and wishy-washy do-gooders; a shielding sanctuary behind which terrorists and child-molestors can hide from justice.
So, go ahead, Mr Blunkett, kick the crap out of them. With a bit of luck nobody will miss them until they have gone (by which time it will be too late).