David Cameron really is an ignorant bastard, isn’t he?

Among measures announced:

Legislation will be drawn up to give the police new statutory powers to confiscate the passports of suspect terrorists at UK borders
The UK will challenge any attempt by the courts to water down these powers
Plans to block suspected British terrorists from returning to the UK will be drawn up on a “cross-party basis”
Terrorism prevention and investigation measures (Tpims) will be extended, to include the power to relocate suspects
Terrorists will be required to undergo de-radicalisation programmes
Airlines will be forced to hand over more information about passengers travelling to and from conflict zones.

You cannot refuse to let a British citizen into the country. That’s what being a citizen means: they’ve got to let you in. That’s going to be in breach of so much human rights law it’s not even funny.

And I’m just fine with the temporary confiscation of passports. You get charged with a crime, the court asks you to surrender your passport until trial while you’re on bail. Fine with me.

But permanent confiscation of a passport merely on suspicion? Fuck off you fascist bastard.

“Relocate” suspects? We bringing back exile as a punishment now?

I’ve said for a long time now that far worse than anything any bearded jihadis might do to us is what the cunts in power might do to “protect” us from them.

We invented this human rights shit and let’s keep it going. Not dustbin the lot of it so that some Eton Wet can ponce around looking tough. Abu Hookhand, for exactly and precisely the amount of time that he carried a British passport as I do, is and was entitled to exactly the same judicial procedures that I am to be subject to. And as I don’t want some no neck to be able to confiscate my passport as I get off a flight from wherever just on suspicion nor should that happen to anyone else.

The correct process is suspicion, investigation, charge, trial, punishment. And anyone who tries to change that sequence would righteously have people taking up arms against them.

Shit, have we got to have the Civil War over the divine right of the State again?

40 comments on “David Cameron really is an ignorant bastard, isn’t he?

  1. The UK is entitled to refuse entry to citizens of the Islamic State. Obviously the burden of proof that a British citizen had taken on citizenship of the Islamic State should rest with the British state, and that’s where these proposals go wrong. Further, as Britain generally accepts multiple citizenship it should be made explicit in law that taking up citizenship of the Islamic State by bearing it allegiance automatically revokes British citizenship, and those wanting it back are entitled to waste their time and that of British bureaucrats by taking their extremely slim chances through the usual channels.

  2. Reading this announcement I was unsure whether to cry my heart out at the tyranny we’ve led ourselves into, or laugh at the classic Proggie-ism that you can solve anything by sending people on a course.

  3. Also, the Civil War was not about the divine right of “the State”. It was about whether power would rest with the Monarch, or with the Parliament. This action is the action of an unrestrained Parliament (so, Puritan rather than Cavalier) but neither side was fighting specifically to reduce the power of the State, just over who would wield it.

    I’d have fought for Charles at Naseby, FWIW.

  4. It all depends. A bloke who confines himself to combat against the horrible Assad is no threat. One who rapes and kills prisoners is. So I’d flood the ISIS battlefield with drones and use their feeds to separate sheep and goats.

  5. He *might* (only *might*, and I doubt that) have a point for those who naturalised and retain their original citizenship.

    For those British at birth, words cannot express how wrong he is.

    Although, as a friend of mine recently found out, she, as a born abroad Brit, has fewer citizenship rights than her husband who naturalised as an adult. Their kid inherits British citizenship from naturalised father only, and kid has the same status as mother. British nationality law is a complex thing….

  6. “And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man’s laws, not God’s– and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.”

  7. It won’t happen because it’s illegal.

    However, the tough-man-gets-tough headlines are in the bag, and many translate “we are looking at” into “the government has done”.

    Externally imposed HR legislation will remain a wonderful excuse. None of parties will get rid of it, but entirely for the wrong reason.

  8. I just missed being killed on 7-7. I would quite happily swap some of my freedom to stop it happening again.

  9. Frederick: Piss off. We all die. Living on your fucking knees won’t save you. I was nearly run down by a bus once. Lets ban all motor vehicles eh?.

    Jack C calls it. It is more bullshit from the Eton mess. Challenge the courts?. Monkey business,mere enfantillage or enfontillage more like.

  10. Great. I narrowly missed being killed in the Yeltsin/93 coup. And I would happily trade my continued life for those rights of Russians.

    But that ain’t the point, is it? The point being, should Russians trade their rights for my life? Should we 65 million trade our civil liberty for your life?

    That’s a much more difficult question and sorry, but I say no.

  11. As Jack C says – “It won’t happen because it’s illegal.”

    Fucking ECHR all over again as I fundamentally agree with ac1 – “Fighting for ISIS is pretty de-facto handing in British citizenship.”

    So we’ll end up doing fuckall as these inbred shits rape and murder us..

  12. “I will happily trade A for B”.

    The problems are: having given A, will you get B?

    Have you considered the consequences C, D, E, F… ?

  13. “You cannot refuse to let a British citizen into the country. ”

    There’s a weird thing going on right now (not ISIS related) where passport officials try to stop unaccompanied under 18s *with* British passports coming in. It has happened to 2 of my 3 (blond and white) nephews. One was travelling without parents (school trip), another was separated from parents in queue as he had an older, non digital passport. I have no idea what was going on.

  14. The Russian analogy is simply silly.

    So what is the trade Tim ?

    1) A few hundred hate-filled anti-British fighters returning from Iraq/Syria who have been pre-identified as such are refused entry to the UK and must go back to their beloved caliphate.

    or

    2) A few hundred Brits get killed in bombs.

    Personally I prefer (1). Sure you can argue the slippery slope. But here I think the slope is not so slippery.

  15. PS During the troubles lots of “suspects” from Northern Ireland were turned back at the docks and airports. Nothing new really.

  16. Pursuing this through the courts rather than some extra-judicial auto da fe is obviously the principled thing to do, but there is a problem of scale. Was it right to intern all citizens of enemy countries at the start of WW2? No, but it was wholly understandable. The problem seems to be that a substantial minority of a non-trivial minority of British citizens is opposed to the British State as currently constituted, whether actively or tacitly. How many? 2% of the population (i.e. 40% of 5%)? It’s not out of the question. The feasibility of a wholly legalistic approach to a problem goes down as the number involved goes up. Very few people were involved in the Poll Tax riots, but they still overturned the law and probably got Maggie the sack into the bargain. The number of rioters that were prosecuted was minuscule.

    Note what I am, and am not, saying here: I am not saying that confiscation of passports, revocation of citizenship etc. are the right way to go. But I am unconvinced that charge/trial/sentence are feasible at the level we are talking about. And we can’t just throw our hands up in the air and ignore the problem.

    I’d also ask what punishment would have a useful impact on the problem. Traditionally, the penalty for raising arms against the Crown has been a bit more severe than being sent on a training course.

  17. @Bloke in CR
    You’re right there can be a problem of scale, but I don’t think it applies here. The court system has the capacity to deal with 500 returning jihadists.

    Your analogy with interning enemy citizens during WW2 is not quite appropriate: they could easily be identified by their passports so they were “guilty” beyond reasonable doubt (the question mark over the internment was whether being an enemy alien should have been a “crime” at all). But you can’t just take away the civil rights of people because they have a beard and are arriving on a flight from Turkey. There has to be reasonable suspicion of a crime having been committed before their movement can be restricted, and guilt beyond reasonable doubt before they can be punished.

    Also, is it, or should it be, a crime to be “opposed to the British state”? Even if you are a Brit citizen? Even being committed to overthrowing the state by violent means, but not even having attempted to do so, or helped anybody – is that a crime? Is just thinking the thought a crime? Hmmm…

  18. I can see how Lynton Crosby pitched this one:

    1. There are sufficient numbers to take the thought for the deed, so even if this never gets off the ground…
    2. There are sufficient numbers who think it might work…
    3. There are lots of people prepared to sacrifice their freedom for security…

    Look at this Venn diagram which shows the overlapping populations, so we can pick up extra votes in marginal constituencies by doing either bugger all or promising to do something that doesn’t work or having underpants inspectors in bus stations.

    You can see why some Muslims are a bit contemptuous of democracy.

  19. Require them to apply for a new passport at the appropriate embassy – e.g. in Bagdhad – although the local authorities may want to have words first 🙂

  20. ‘Eton wet’ and elsewhere ‘Eton mess’ are terms of disapprobation which do little to shed light on the discussion and reflect poorly on those who have recourse to this kind of disparagement.

    If David Cameron is inept or unfit to be prime minister, why not give him full credit for his ineptitude and unsuitabilty rather then declare him a class enemy?

  21. ‘Eton wet’ and elsewhere ‘Eton mess’ are terms of disapprobation which do little to shed light on the discussion and reflect poorly on those who have recourse to this kind of disparagement.

    If David Cameron is inept or unfit to be prime minister, why not give him full credit for his ineptitude and unsuitabilty rather then reach for a simplistic shorthand for the class enemy?

  22. agn,

    “But you can’t just take away the civil rights of people because they have a beard and are arriving on a flight from Turkey.”

    Well, that’s the thing. You can, because there aren’t many of them. Most of the UK population is going to shrug thinking that there’s no chance they’re going to get caught up in this.

    Ironic, really. In a week when the police and social services have been discovered turning a blind eye to child rape because of inflaming “community” tensions, the parties in government announce they’re going to do something that will do that, for no other reason than to look tough.

  23. Pursuing this through the courts rather than some extra-judicial auto da fe is obviously the principled thing to do, but there is a problem of scale. Was it right to intern all citizens of enemy countries at the start of WW2? No, but it was wholly understandable. The problem seems to be that a substantial minority of a non-trivial minority of British citizens is opposed to the British State as currently constituted, whether actively or tacitly. How many? 2% of the population (i.e. 40% of 5%)? It’s not out of the question. The feasibility of a wholly legalistic approach to a problem goes down as the number involved goes up. Very few people were involved in the Poll Tax riots, but they still overturned the law and probably got Maggie the sack into the bargain. The number of rioters that were prosecuted was minuscule.

    UK gov estimates 500 Britons have gone to fight for ISIS. Over 3000 people were prosecuted for their part in the 2011 riots in England and Wales.

  24. Frederick
    September 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I just missed being killed on 7-7. I would quite happily swap some of my freedom to stop it happening again.

    As others have pointed out, you have the right to give up your own freedoms, but not ours.

    If you really are worried about being caught in a terrorist attack on London do what someone I know did, move away and don’t visit. He chose another country but you should be safe in some village in Norfolk, Suffolk, North Yorks or any number of remote places.

  25. How on earth is the passport controller supposed to recognise an IS fighter anyway? Was that bearded man’s broken leg caused by a sailing accident in Turkey or a mortar bomb in Iraq? Impossible to say.

  26. > Surely we could just make membership of ISIS a crime

    Well, exactly. I thought membership of a terrorist organisation already was a crime, so have been slightly baffled by all the talk about punishing people for something they haven’t done, as if not having fought in Iraq yet equals no crime committed. From Northern Ireland, this whole debate looks a bit silly, frankly.

    > But you can’t just take away the civil rights of people because they have a beard and are arriving on a flight from Turkey.

    Which is not being suggested. What is being suggested is that people are punished on the basis of intelligence from GCHQ, which is never admitted in British courts in order to keep their sources secret — so it might well be that all the evidence the public end up seeing is that someone has a beard and arrived from Turkey, but that doesn’t mean that’s all the evidence the authorities have.

    The British intelligence services are fairly effective. They were perfectly capable of telling the difference between an Irishman and an IRA member. I reckon they can probably tell the difference between a Muslim and an ISIS member.

    Tim,

    You cannot refuse to let a British citizen into the country. That’s what being a citizen means: they’ve got to let you in. … But permanent confiscation of a passport merely on suspicion? Fuck off you fascist bastard.

    I’m not sure which country’s laws you’re referring to here, but it ain’t Britain. It states clearly in your passport that it’s not your property, it’s the Government’s, and it may be withdrawn at any time. You might well oppose that state of affairs, but it’s not something just invented by David Cameron.

  27. In terms of delusionary assumption of mythical powers, this is right up there with, “British jobs for British workers”.

  28. They were perfectly capable of telling the difference between an Irishman and an IRA member.

    Birmingham 6? They may have gotten it right eventually, but for a long time it was “innocent until proven Irish”.

  29. For persons who are British citizens as of legal right the suggestion that their British citizenship could be revoked is obscene as is the notion that they could somehow be prevented from returning to the UK if abroad.

    However, Squander Two is right that the granting of a passport and the power to seize it is at the discretion of the Crown (subject, no doubt, to potential judicial legislation under the Human Rights Act).

    At the margin though, we grant UK citizenship to foreigners too easily in my view and many of the people who are granted citizenship clearly do not qualify as their allegiances are incompatible with British values and the oath they swear at citizenship ceremonies. The oath is key – it is not a drunken sailor’s ditty. It ought to be regarded as a serious covenant by the swearer, given individually rather than on a group basis, it would have to be demonstrably understood in English by the swearer and any serious subsequent breaches punished by stripping citizenship.

    We ought to grant a conditional and revocable citizenship that is provisional for, say, 10-15 years meaning any serious acts, crimes, etc will deny that citizenship. And say fvck off to any human rights challenges to this.

  30. “have we got to have the Civil War over the divine right of the State again?”

    Well based on what’s happened to the King family, it starts to like yes, we have.

  31. Tim N,

    > Birmingham 6?

    Are you saying they didn’t bomb Birmingham or they weren’t members of the IRA?

    > They may have gotten it right eventually, but for a long time it was “innocent until proven Irish”.

    Not really. For all the hype about that, plenty of Irish and Northern-Irish people lived in and moved through Britain throughout the Troubles without being arrested. Yes, they got more scrutiny at borders and from the police in general, which seems sensible enough. Only two weeks ago, I got pulled over for a “random” security check at the Chunnel, as I always do, having an NI number plate. It’s not the same thing as being punished.

    The notion that the police used to round up all the known Irish people in an area is not true. They used to round up all the known Irish people with known IRA sympathies or associations or membership, while not even bothering to investigate the other Irish people around. Which is why the Birmingham 6 were not the Birmingham 600.

  32. @ Frederick

    I would quite happily swap some of my freedom to stop it happening again.

    Ignoring whatever may have affected you personally, Frederick, and of course none of us ever know how we’ll individually react to such an event – be it something like that or a car accident (2,000 deaths a year in the UK quite often in a sudden wreckage of “twisted metal, mangled limbs and lots of red stuff”, and many, many more injuries of a similar nature) – have you ever read Bruce Schneier (or others) on “security theatre”, and how man responds to risks and threats he thinks he understands versus those he doesn’t?

    It provides an good explanation of how our wonderful leaders get away with continually increasing the power of the state and dismantling liberty.

  33. @ john miller

    All this, because of Carswell…

    I think it was Tim Stanley in last Friday’s DT who nailed it when he joked that Cameron, in reaction to the Carswell incident, had immediately raised the threat level to purple!

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