UK Liberty

She didn’t mean it

Posted in law and order, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on October 15, 2008

Jacqui Smith:

I do not believe, as some hon. Members clearly do, that it is enough simply to cross our fingers and hope for the best.

Some may take the security of Britain lightly. I do not.

I deeply regret that some have been prepared to ignore the terrorist threat for fear of taking a tough but necessary decision.

Let no one kid themselves that this issue can be made to go away.

These are hard questions and tough questions, but however much Opposition Members may wish to duck them, Britain still needs to be protected; Britain still needs to be prepared to deal with the worst.

Lord West:

My Lords, I am absolutely certain that my right honourable friend in the other place did not mean those statements in the way in which they are being taken.

Of course not!  When Jacqui said, “some Members clearly feel it is enough to simply cross our fingers and hope for the best”, she didn’t mean it.  When she said that “some take the security of Britain lightly”, she didn’t mean it.  When she said “some have been prepared to ignore the terrorist threat”, she didn’t mean it.

It was very good of Lord West to confirm that she, at best, was being disingenuous.

The impact of the House of Lords

Posted in politicians on liberty by ukliberty on October 15, 2008

Lord Norton:

I see that in response to Lord Taylor’s recent post, Alex has commented:

“there is no point to the house of lords – they are unelected and just use up our taxes. their only power is to delay bills by one year”.

That completely misunderstands the House of Lords.  The cost to the public purse of a member of the House in the 2006-07 session was less than one-sixth the cost of an MP.  The House is extremely efficient and delivers significant outputs at relatively little cost.

The impact of the House is seen in different ways. …

And he illustrates a number of them.

I have an addition – the Commons, it seems to me in recent years, is like the whim of the people, and the Lords are our conscience (or the former is our id, and the latter our ego and super-ego).  Our conscience cannot completely override our whim, but it can make us think again.  And without a conscience we would be a sociopathic nation, bound by what the Government understands to be our whim: detention without charge, intense surveillance on the grounds that one day it might be used to save the life of just one child, and so on.

A timely post on what is left in the Counter Terrorism Bill

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on October 15, 2008

David Mery has reminded us that there remain concerns even though 42 days and secret inquests have been dropped from this particular Bill, and further points out that some powers in the Bill are not solely for use in countering terrorism.

You’ll be sorry

Posted in detention without charge, politicians on liberty by ukliberty on October 15, 2008

Lord West says, shaking his fist.

Lord West reckless, say Lords.