On the Guardian website today (29 August 2014) is a top-of-the-page headline: “New powers to seize terror suspects’ passports”. Now maybe that seems fine to you – can’t have terrorists suicide-bombing their way around the world on British passports, can we? But that is not the intent of prime minister Cameron’s plan, and by wording their headline as they have, the Guardian (and, I expect, other newspapers) are deliberately misrepresenting what the government are up to.
The current law already allows for the confiscation of terror suspects’ passports – “terror suspects” meaning people who are suspected of engaging in terrorism. This new law is rather an extension of the old, much-criticized “control orders”, which allowed the authorities to keep people under virtual house arrest because the police think the individual might engage in terrorism. The law allowed for control orders to be imposed on individuals without telling the “suspect” what evidence existed. If you’re put under a control order as a result of evidence that you and your legal representatives aren’t allowed to see, how are you supposed to effectively defend himself? What if the evidence is faulty? How can you appeal, when you don’t know what lies the authorities are using to impose the control order?
And now the thought crime is going one step further. “Oh look, there’s a British Muslim trying to leave the country. He’s got a return ticket to Paris on the Eurostar, but maybe he isn’t really planning to return. Maybe he’s going to travel on to Syria or Iraq and behead people. After all, that’s what Muslims do, isn’t it? Look on Youtube, you’ll see a video of an American journalist being beheaded by a British Muslim. Bloody British Muslims, all the bloody same. Better take away is passport.”
Secret evidence, secret courts, all makes me think “secret police”, and “police state”. Maybe you don’t care because you’re not a Muslim? Well, who do you expect to come rescue you when the authorities decide that people like you might be a threat? Pull your head out of your butt; and don’t give me any of that “Can’t happen here” crap, because it is happening here, now.
Incidentally, the UK terror threat was raised from substantial to severe for the first time since 2010. This means that an attack is deemed to be “highly likely” – although not necessarily imminent. Who decided that? Them. And you must never question what they say or do…
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