As David Miliband paraphrasing Alastair Campbell might have put it “we don’t do torture”. Campbell’s comment “we don’t do God” might have referred to himself, but turned out not to be true of TB who if he didn’t certainly does now. He turned up in his Holier-than-Thou role to the prayer breakfast at the White House with Obama.
When Obama announced change we thought he meant it, but the continued denial of right to trial for terror suspects makes it harder to spot the difference in New America. Now we learn – no surprise I’m sorry to say – that British agents have been complicit in torture of British subjects in Pakistan. The murky role played relating to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay is also emerging slowly through the mist with ever increasing efforts of governments, regrettably including Obama, to keep the lid on.
On the grounds that we are being protected from all kinds of evil New Labour has repeatedly driven coach and horses through age old rights which were hard won. The extent of that is the subject of an article in the Independent.
“The full extent of state powers to detain people without charge, cover up Government errors, hold the DNA of the innocent and share personal data between public bodies has been revealed in a devastating analysis of the erosion of civil liberties in Britain over the past decade.
Almost 60 new powers contained in more than 25 Acts of Parliament have whittled away at freedoms and broken pledges set out in the Human Rights Act and Magna Carta, according to a new audit of laws introduced since Labour came to power in 1997.” Source The Independent 20/2/2009.
Locking up suspects without trial or charge was tested this week in the European Court of Human Rights when the Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, won damages for wrongful imprisonment at Belmarsh.
It is not the idea of “terrorism” that frightens me as much as the fact my liberty can be taken away by the state on the basis that I am believed to be a threat, but without recourse to any law. Just how have we come to this?