We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Excuses, excuses

Reproduced below is the text of yesterday’s press release from the Libertarian Alliance:

“Any Excuse for a Police State: Blunkett Secret Trial Plans as Bad as Foreign Conquest”, Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Think Tank

Home Secretary David Blunkett wants to bring in laws allowing pre-emptive arrest of suspects, secret trials without juries, with state-chosen defence lawyers, on undisclosed evidence provided by the security services, and a lower burden of proof. He says this is to protect the country from “terrorism”.

“Nonsense”, says Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance. “We did none of this in the second world war, when the enemy was poised to invade from across the Channel, and killing 60,000 British civilians in bombing raids. We did none of this when Irish terrorists were killing thousands of state and civilian victims within the United Kingdom.

“The truth is, this government wants a police state and will use any excuse to get one. We are told these new laws will only apply in terrorism cases. That is a lie. We were once told that confiscation orders would only be used for drug dealing cases, and after normal conviction: now we have a Confiscation Agency trying to seize assets from suspected criminals without the need for criminal charges. This legislation would soon become the normal mode of trial of all offences.

“Do you want a criminal justice system where you can be tried in secret by another Lord Hutton, on the basis of secret evidence supplied by the same security services that did such a good job at proving Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction? I don’t. Looking at these proposals, anyone who fell asleep in 1940 and woke today might almost think the Germans had won the war. I wonder if all those who fought to prevent that ever suspected our own government would behave like an army of occupation?”

Perhaps that is now how they think of themselves.

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