The law protects those who seek to do us harm

Well, no, not really, despite the Telegraph leader telling us so.

The law protects those we accuse but cannot prove of seeking to do us harm.

If we can prove it then we can bang them up: there\’s no problem with jailing someone convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorist offences. Either in law or morality.

The law does though, rightly, protect those we think are dodgy, bad \’uns, but who haven\’t actually done anything to break any of the myriad laws we have determining what actions we may or may not take.

And this rightly is because we\’re all guilty, in the eyes of one or other of our fellow countrymen, dodgy bad \’uns who deserve to be dealt with. I can think of one retired accountant who regularly accuses me of all sorts of horrors for my support of personal and economic freedom for example.

Sure, there\’re many scumbags out there who arguably shouldn\’t be wandering the streets unfettered. But unless we can prove that they\’re to be left at liberty to do so: for in the words of the Great Larry Flynt, if the law will protect a scumbag like me you can be sure it will protect you.

20 comments on “The law protects those who seek to do us harm

  1. I agree with all you say above. However, substitute ‘law’ for ‘courts’ in the Telegraph headline and we get the real problem.

    The reason we have the illiberal control orders is that the courts refuse to allow to be deported foreigners who have been plotting to cause us harm (where revealing the source of the intelligence in open court would compromise the ability to gather more and possibly even the safety of the gatherer), on the grounds that they might be spoken to a bit harshly in their own countries.

    ‘We’ (ie the Home Secretary in practice) should be able to withdraw the privilege of a foreigner to remain in this country for any good reason (thinking he’s a wrong ‘un is a good enough reason, IMHO), and expect that foreigner to be escorted from Belmarsh to Heathrow and told to pick a plane. And not come back.

  2. Part of this, of course, is the understandable reluctance of the authorities to submit such ‘proof’ as they have to the courts – hence the deliberate inadmissibility of intercept evidence. There is elaborate protection available for humint sources, or ‘CHIS’ in RIPA-speak.

    However, dealing with the various protections of different technical intelligence sources is a pain even within a reasonably-closed security-vetted community. Allowing it to be disclosed (and all of the associated irrelevant collection) would be a nightmare.

  3. “If we can prove it then we can bang them up”

    Oddly this doesn’t seem to be the issue. There are a number of people, Abu Hamza, this latest “kill the police” chap, etc., where there is a clear case of incitement to violence, (or the modern statutory equivalent), but nothing is done about it.

    The question is; why are certain people left alone despite what appears to be a clear breach of the law when others would be pounced on immediately?

    Tim adds: But Abu Hookhand is in prison…..and has been tried and convicted of conspiracy to cause, umm, what was it, murder? Racial hatred? Something like that.

  4. I agree with you. However why do we have to let foreign scum here? Can’t we turn away fascists (and Islamism is a form of fascism).

    Also some Islamists have called for payment of Jizya by the UK Government. If you read the Koran this is calling for money with menances and should be illegal.

  5. However why do we have to let foreign scum here?

    Absolutely. What’s wrong with good old British chavs and neds? We’ve got a perfectly good violent underclass of our own and we should use them before importing any of these damn foreigners. What should the slogan be for our new movement?

    Ah, yes – “British scum for British bigotry!”

  6. “Surreptitious Evil // Apr 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

    “However why do we have to let foreign scum here? ”

    Absolutely. What’s wrong with good old British chavs and neds? ”
    You obviously (wilfully?) misunderstood my post.
    I was not saying that all foreigners are scum.
    There are two types of scum – British our problem, foreign – doesn’t have to be.
    Letting in foreign undesirables is not a clever idea – especially when we have so many chavs.
    Personally I am in favour of controlled immigration but no criminals, chavs or fascists.

  7. Eric, yes, I deliberately satirised your post. It wasn’t that difficult to spot, really, was it?

    Rob, no – but I oppose the characterisation of people as “undesirables” on the basis of their completely legal political and social views. Whether that is Islamism, BNP, communism or, and I understand I’m stretching the point here, membership of the “Tax Justice Network”. And I understand why we have the rule of law and, all too well, the issues around sensitivity of information sources.

  8. @ Tim – yes, eventually. He was however left alone for a considerable period, one that I rather doubt would have given to anyone making statements that called for the same actions to be applied to Muslims.

    Everyone must be equal before the law and the way the law is applied forms part of that process. The wheels of justice have been infinitely slow but rather lumpy of late.

  9. I agree with G Orwell

    As a nation we have the moral right to decide what kind of people set up home in the UK. The law rightly protects Her Majesty’s loyal subjects, but need not stop us deporting foreign born undesirables elsewhere.

    And whilst on the subject, getting British Citizenship should be only possible for those of reasonably good character. The fact that one of the London bombers was given a British Passport despite a lengthy criminal record, shows that we screwed that up as well.

  10. The reason we have the illiberal control orders is that the courts refuse to allow to be deported foreigners who have been plotting to cause us harm (where revealing the source of the intelligence in open court would compromise the ability to gather more and possibly even the safety of the gatherer), on the grounds that they might be spoken to a bit harshly in their own countries.

    We don’t deport them because the law says we can’t deport them if they face a real risk of torture.

    We have deported people who have not been able to persuade the courts that they face a real risk of torture.

  11. “Rob, no – but I oppose the characterisation of people as “undesirables” on the basis of their completely legal political and social views. Whether that is Islamism, BNP, communism or, and I understand I’m stretching the point here, membership of the “Tax Justice Network”. And I understand why we have the rule of law and, all too well, the issues around sensitivity of information sources.”
    Obviously Islamism is legal – criminalising faith would be wrong. However it is not desirable to have more Islamists here.
    The fact that we and Spain have had fatal Islamist bomb attacks but Poland has not shows that letting them can result in fatal attacks.
    Immigrating to the UK is not a human right – otherwise we would have to leave everyone in the world move here so it does not seem unreasonable to have some criteria. The main criteria should be – is this person beneficial to the UK. Islamists are not.

  12. “We have deported people who have not been able to persuade the courts that they face a real risk of torture.”

    We have agreements with some desert theocracies to not torture the undesirables we send back home. Similar agreements are fine with the French courts but not for ours, even though they are applying human rights laws from the same basis.

  13. We have agreements with some desert theocracies to not torture the undesirables we send back home. Similar agreements are fine with the French courts but not for ours, even though they are applying human rights laws from the same basis.

    If you mean we have never deported people despite the UK having diplomatic assurances from those countries, you are incorrect. If you mean we sometimes don’t deport people despite diplomatic assurances you are correct.

    The question facing the court in such cases is this: do the assurances provide a sufficient guarantee against the risk of treatment contrary to Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights? Sometimes the court is persuaded that they do, other times the court is persuaded that they don’t.

    Paras 239-241 of this judgement may be of interest.

  14. “The question facing the court in such cases is this: do the assurances provide a sufficient guarantee against the risk of treatment contrary to Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights? Sometimes the court is persuaded that they do, other times the court is persuaded that they don’t.”

    Thinking about it, that’s not very precise.

    Paras 3-6 of this judgement may be of interest.

  15. We don’t deport them because the law says we can’t deport them if they face a real risk of torture.

    The purpose of deporting someone is not that they return to their home country but rather that they do not remain in this country. We should simply require them to leave. Where they go to is their problem, not ours. Concerns about the treatment they may or may not receive in their home country are therefore irrelevant.

  16. Ed @16,

    ISTM important to distinguish between (1) how one believes the process should operate and (2) how the process appears to operate.

    385. A person against whom a deportation order has been made will normally be removed from the United Kingdom. The power is to be exercised so as to secure the person’s return to the country of which he is a national, or which has most recently provided him with a travel document, unless he can show that another country will receive him. In considering any departure from the normal arrangements, regard will be had to the public interest generally, and to any additional expense that may fall on public funds.UK immigration rules part 13 deportation

  17. ukliberty,

    Yes, I was speaking about how I believe the process should operate. Apologies for any confusion.

  18. We can do what we like, because we, the British people, make our own laws. If we voted for the right people, we could make whatever laws we so desired. If you don’t like what all the usual suspects do when in power, vote for someone else.

    If you voted for any of the 3 main parties you have nothing to moan about. They never promised to change the law to allow suspected terrorists to be deported so why would you think they would be?

  19. “If you voted for any of the 3 main parties you have nothing to moan about. They never promised to change the law to allow suspected terrorists to be deported so why would you think they would be?”
    Very true – that is why I voted UKIP.

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