Bad, bad idea

Changes to the law allow Mrs May to confiscate Britons’ passports if they plan to travel abroad to take part in terror training camps, or carry out other terror-related activities.

Mrs May said the powers could be used against people whose “actual or suspected” activities had given the security services concern.


Try people
and convict them. Allowing the politicians, any politicians, these sorts of powers is just a basic bad idea.

Oi, you, matey, you\’re a bad \’un. \’Ave some punishment.

Just doesn\’t work, does it?

54 thoughts on “Bad, bad idea”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    So still not fixed then?

    The bottom line is that the Courts interpret EU Human Rights law pretty much as they like, not as the law is actually written or as it was intended. They have vastly expanded the definition of torture for instance. They ignore specific clauses that permit deportation when it suits them. All with what looks like hostile intent – these interpretations always work to the disadvantage of mainstream Europeans. And especially British people.

    Given that the government has to try something else. This is stupid but what else is there? They should go the whole hog and try a Bill of Attainder – literally saying someone is guilty and should be punished.

    The fact is that only the Israelis have found a solution to terrorism – the Fence. Given we have let in millions of ill-educated, low-skilled people who not only hate us but are taught by the entire British education system to hate us, we have little choice. We cannot rely on a Fence to protect us. They are inside. So it is either put up with a permanent background of low-level terrorist attacks or find some other solution. This is a stupid attempt but at least it is an attempt.

    What is the alternative? Because if we do not find one, we will get the other half of the Israeli experience – the long slow death of liberal politics with the Far Right taking over.

  2. Why would politicians want to stop would-be terrorists [i]leaving[/i] the country?

    The world’s gone mad, it ‘as, ah tells ya.

  3. Surreptitious Evil

    James,

    Because having an untrained nutter jihadist in the country is bad but having a trained and experienced nutter jihadist back in the country is worse.

    Hell, if we can’t throw convicted non-Brits (note: Abu Qatada has been convicted, just not here and possibly not safely and probably contrary to ECHR jurisprudence) out, we’re hardly going to be able to keep a Brit out, are we? Even if he gets caught in whichever wannabe-7th Century hellhole he commits his atrocities in.

  4. Rather than stopping them leaving, perhaps they should stop em from coming back?

    Waiting for Richie to demand that passport confiscation be extended to those desiring to become tax exiles.

  5. Doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me, after all we can be sure that the authorities would use such powers only in the most extreme cases, and the powers would not be delegated down to run-of-the-mill jobsworths who would use them for petty retribution against those they don’t like.

    You can just see Ritchie looking at this proposal with a foaming cock in his hand, dreaming of being able to withdraw the passports of suspected tax-avoiders.

  6. Surreptitious Evil

    Rather than stopping them leaving, perhaps they should stop em from coming back?

    We can’t. They’re British. Right of abode and all that stuff.

    We might just be able to, but probably can’t, throw them in jail (lack of admissible evidence from aforementioned 7C hell-hole as opposed to not knowing that they’re evil bastards) until they do something here.

  7. Surreptitious Evil

    dreaming of being able to withdraw the passports of suspected tax-avoiders.

    And then jail them as illegal immigrants?

  8. Two days ago I said I would continue to call him Mr Qatada until he was convicted of something. Given SE’s information,above, I can stop now. And it does lead to other questions, such how did we ever let him in and why can’t we lock up undesirable, i.e convicted, non-Brits until they decide to leave of their own accord?

    Anyway, I see So Much For Subtlety @1 is exercised by UK judges interpreting the Law in ways that are not actually laid down and not intended. I will restrict myself to saying that intention of the Law, like morality, is a refuge of the Ritchie’s of the World. If he thinks I am traducing him, perhaps he could make a start on putting me right by telling what exactly is a ‘mainstream European’. Is it expressly set out in legislation or does Parliamnet intend that we’ll all know what it means? I feel I need to ask because one interpretation of his comment – not mine of course – is that he is a nasty little racist.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “We can-t. They-re British. Right of abode and all that stuff.

    Notice that neither the French nor European Courts have any problems whatsoever with the French government stripping people of their French citizenship and deporting them to Algeria. Where they would be lucky to get away with torture.

    It is not what we can and cannot do. It is not what the law does or does not allow. It is about the suicidal hatred of Britain that our elites hold.

  10. As they say, if it’s on the news it’s not a threat.

    You are more likely to be killed by a meteorite than by one of these jihadists. You are far more likely to be killed by a member of your own family than a meteorite.

    Meanwhile I would expect these ihadists are more likely to be killed by terrorists during their training than to succeed in murdering anyone when they return to UK.

  11. On a point of detail, does a British subject/citizen actually have a legal right to a passport? Or are they granted at discretion? One certainly has to jump through enough hoops to get one.

  12. Surreptitious Evil

    Notice that neither the French nor European Courts have any problems

    You really think we should be taking guidance on what is right and proper from the French?

  13. So Much For Subtlety

    bloke in france – “As they say, if it-s on the news it-s not a threat.”

    The Battle of Britain was on the news.

    “You are more likely to be killed by a meteorite than by one of these jihadists. You are far more likely to be killed by a member of your own family than a meteorite.”

    You see why this is a poor argument surely?

    13Surreptitious Evil – “You really think we should be taking guidance on what is right and proper from the French?”

    No but the Guardian-tendency does. And it puts paid to the claim that deporting people is somehow contrary to EU and Human Rights law. It is not. It is a unique situation in British law.

    Nor has any British person I have ever heard ever put a sensible case explaining why deporting Abu Qatada is not right and proper.

  14. @Ironman

    >I will restrict myself to saying that intention of the Law, like morality, is a refuge of the Ritchie’s of the World<

    Actually, this isn't the case. Judges have always looked at Hansard debates and other extraneous sources to try to divine what Parliament intended in a given piece of needlessly complex and incompetently (or sometimes deliberately vaguely) drafted legislation.

    Originally they did this behind the scenes, but since Pepper v Hart (ironically a tax case) they do it openly and officially.

    They also use Royal Commission reports, White Papers and just about anything else that might sensibly help them to work out what the cunts are on about.

    While the best option would be to make fewer and simpler laws, and spend more time getting them right, as it is this makes sense; between three highly bright Appeal Court judges there can easily be competing opinions as to what a given clause *means*.

  15. On the wider post, I do see where Tim is coming from and I obviously – again – recognise the dangers.

    But first, taking away someone’s passport isn’t that much of a punishment – we do it with football hooligans, too. If you reasonably suspect, based on his past behaviour or intelligence, that some thug is only going to the Chelsea vs Basle game to stove in some Swiss heads, I say ban the fucker from going.

    By all means, have a judge make the decision of course – I wouldn’t leave any of this stuff up to politicians.

    Second, I think it behoves those who criticise the plan to suggest an alternative way of dealing with what is obviously a real problem.

    There are currently many young British muslims abroad waging whatever version of the jihad they subscribe to.

    Some will never come back, some will come back never wanting to see another corpse, and some will come back better trained and raring to go.

    So is it better to stop them going in the first place, or to ramp up the entire apparatus of state surveillance at God-knows-what-cost to try (and probably fail) to keep tabs on them when they get back?

    Because I submit that you have to do one or the other.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Interested – “But first, taking away someone’s passport isn-t that much of a punishment – we do it with football hooligans, too. If you reasonably suspect, based on his past behaviour or intelligence, that some thug is only going to the Chelsea vs Basle game to stove in some Swiss heads, I say ban the fucker from going.”

    Actually it is a punishment and it is a power that the State should not really have. But your football hooligan analogy falls down because if some British thug is going to Switzerland to beat the crap out of someone else, the correct path of action is to arrest, convict and punishment after he has done so. We no longer have the courage to do that and so we are forced to turn to these absurd substitutes for actual punishment. It is a sign of our complete moral and intellectual collapse.

  17. SMFS: “It is not what we can and cannot do. It is not what the law does or does not allow. It is about the suicidal hatred of Britain that our elites hold.”

    It’s not just that they loathe the country. If only that was the only reason for this!

    The truth is, having the likes of Abu Quatada here provides employment opportunities for these people and their hangers-on.

  18. SE: “You really think we should be taking guidance on what is right and proper from the French?”

    I wish we took guidance from them on how to put down rioting urban yoofs in the inner city estates too!

  19. @SMFS >Actually it is a punishment and it is a power that the State should not really have. But your football hooligan analogy falls down because if some British thug is going to Switzerland to beat the crap out of someone else, the correct path of action is to arrest, convict and punishment after he has done so. We no longer have the courage to do that and so we are forced to turn to these absurd substitutes for actual punishment. It is a sign of our complete moral and intellectual collapse.<

    Yes, but.

    It is a punishment, just not one I'd characterise as being too harsh. House arrest in an entire country – it's not exactly barbaric.

    The football holligan analogy only falls down if you are happy to say to some Swiss mum, Yes, we thought he'd do that, but don't worry we've got him now…
    or,
    Yes, we thought some of our lot might do that but the CCTV is a bit grainy so…

    I do not accept at all that law and order is all about arrest, conviction and punishment after the fact. Surely to goodness it's better to prevent? I'd rather MI5 had prevented 7/11 than caught the perpetrators afterwards.

    I do agree we don't punish proper nasty people hard enough, and we do waste time and money punishing people who are no real threat, though.

  20. The other point that Ti m and you (I think) miss is that acts preparatory to committing crime are offences in and of themselves.

    Just yesterday, some guys were jailed for close to 10 years for planning terrorist acts. They didn’t actually do anything other than talk about it. (And I bet they’re now wishing their passports had been pinched and they’d never gone to Pakistan!)

  21. The idea of any politician having arbitrary powers to ruin the lives of the “wrong-thinking”, as defined by a secret service, is deeply disturbing.

  22. [email protected]

    Yes, there are established rules to aid interpretation of Statute, one of which is examination of Hansard if Statute’s meaning remains unclear. However, further interpretation of Statute beyond the meaning of it’s written provision is a different matter entirely. So Much for Subtlety wrote “The bottom line is that the Courts interpret EU Human Rights law pretty much as they like, not as the law is actually written OR AS IT WAS INTENDED” (my capitals). If it wasn’t written, it wasn’t intended!

    Oh, and I am still waiting for a definition, statutory or otherwise, of “mainstream Europeans”.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “I will restrict myself to saying that intention of the Law, like morality, is a refuge of the Ritchie-s of the World.”

    That may be true. In the sense that gravity is also a refuge of the Ritchies of the world. But Courts cannot rely on just the letter of the law and have to consider the intent. Alas. The problem is not that they do so, but that they do so without limit or common sense – and they do so at the expense of the actual letter of the law in many cases.

    “I feel I need to ask because one interpretation of his comment – not mine of course – is that he is a nasty little racist.”

    By all means, interpret that any way you like. Your desire to see racism in my words does not make me wrong. And have some balls boyo. If you think it is racist – and I fail to see how it is – have the courage of your convictions and say so. Don-t be so gutless.

    Ironman – “Yes, there are established rules to aid interpretation of Statute, one of which is examination of Hansard if Statute-s meaning remains unclear.”

    So we are all in agreement, the Courts, and not just the Ritchies of the world, look at the original intent. Or at least they are supposed to. Big freaking deal.

    “However, further interpretation of Statute beyond the meaning of it-s written provision is a different matter entirely.”

    It is also a routine occurance.

    “If it wasn-t written, it wasn-t intended!”

    Sorry but not. Britain is awash with poorly written, expressed and conceived law. The purpose of looking at Hansard is to see what the intent was in cases where the written version is not obvious.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    JuliaM – “I wish we took guidance from them on how to put down rioting urban yoofs in the inner city estates too!”

    Given French police do not enter some areas except in numbers and with body armour I am not sure they are doing better than we are. Our car burning levels seem lower.

    20Interested – “It is a punishment, just not one I-d characterise as being too harsh. House arrest in an entire country – it’s not exactly barbaric.”

    But a punishment in what sense? And for what? For some jobsworthy thinking you might beat up some Swiss guy? And that is the problem. If someone commits a crime we should punish them. If they do not commit a crime we should not. We should not inconvenience someone in a free country because they might commit a crime. That neither punishes or deters.

    “The football holligan analogy only falls down if you are happy to say to some Swiss mum, Yes, we thought he-d do that, but don-t worry we-ve got him now…”

    Well yes. I am. That is the point really. Although perhaps we could talk to the Swiss and suggest they grab him going armed before he gets to beat anyone up.

    “I do not accept at all that law and order is all about arrest, conviction and punishment after the fact. Surely to goodness it’s better to prevent? I’d rather MI5 had prevented 7/11 than caught the perpetrators afterwards.”

    Prevent in what sense? The Philippines used to operate death squads. People in NGOs and the UN did not like this. So the Army used to call people in and suggest that they might like to stop doing whatever it was they were doing or they would end up headless on a garbage dump. I am sure that deterred. But I am not sure they should have done it. We could also ask girls to wear the head scarf to prevent them being raped. Not all prevention is worthwhile.

    21Interested – “The other point that Ti m and you (I think) miss is that acts preparatory to committing crime are offences in and of themselves.”

    If going to a football match in order to beat the crap out of someone is a crime, and I think that perhaps it should be, then punish the crime. Too much effort is put into destroying Britain’s civil liberties in order to prevent anyone getting close to committing a crime. This is wrong. The police should not be lecturing us on security bars. They should be arresting villains and making sure they never walk the streets again.

  25. @Paddy

    >The idea of any politician having arbitrary powers to ruin the lives of the wrong thinking, as defined by a secret service, is deeply disturbing.Well yes. I am. That is the point really. Although perhaps we could talk to the Swiss and suggest they grab him going armed before he gets to beat anyone up.<

    It's not that easy, and you don't need to go armed to beat someone up. Plus, our police do talk to the Swiss as well. (Would you argue that surveilling someone, which is the logical outcome of that, is also wrong?)

    You only become the subject of a football banning order through the courts – ie it's not the government or 'some jobsworth' arbitrarily making this choice.

    They have to hear evidence usually put by the police via the CPS. It's no different to a criminal conviction in that sense: the courts can and do refuse them.

    In practical terms, there's little difference between making the carrying of knives in a public place (generally) a criminal offence.

    The guy with the knife hasn't hurt anyone, so why nick him?

    And yet, there's a case in London ongoing at the moment where a gang of 30 kids chased a lad through the streets and hacked him to death.

    That's why we make carrying knives an offence – because it would be mad to wait until the leader of the gang yelled Charge!

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    I once had a fascinating time with Richard Murphy asking whether he personally was accusing a group of tax avoidance. He spent the better part of a day referring to any other source he could other than state his opinion directly. You bring him to mind so much right now.

    So, I ask again, what and who exactly do you mean by “mainstream Europeans”? Who is and who isn’t? Do you mean white Europeans? Do you mean northern Europeans? Do you mean Europeans born in Europe? Who do you mean?

    And please don’t try to deflect by inviting me to interpret it any way I like or referring to my apparent desire to see racism. Yes, I have inferred nasty bigotry, but you can deal with it simply by answering the question in unambiguous terms and putting me right. If you don’t do that, then I will also infer moral cowardice.

  27. Every morning I get down on my knees and thank the Lord that we got rid of that nasty Labour government with their authoritarianism and arbitrary wielding of power.

  28. Two days ago I said I would continue to call him Mr Qatada until he was convicted of something.

    Just out of interest, why? As I understand it (open to correction) ‘Abu’ is the arabic for ‘Father’ and is used as an honorific. It’s not his name (which I believe is Omar).

  29. Politeness. Possibly bred from genuine ignorance, but an attempt at politeness nonetheless.

    I am also ignorant about “mainstream Europeans” and am still waiting to be enlightened on the term.

  30. Oh right.

    Well if that’s what it is, let’s work with that.

    I can re-write SMFS’s opening comment as
    “All with what looks like hostile intent – these interpretations always work to the disadvantage of white natives. And especially British people.”

    So the law is not blind any more, so not fair, but is now prejudiced against white people and is conspiring with non-white immigrants to destroy the fabric of our nation.

    What utter bollocks. No wonder SMFS didn’t want to say that directly.

  31. So the law is not blind any more, so not fair, but is now prejudiced against white people and is conspiring with non-white immigrants to destroy the fabric of our nation.

    Knowing what we know about the ideology of the New Left/PC, it is really not unreasonable to at least consider this as a valid interpretation. The very basis of the ideology it the presumption of a natural bias against non-whites, which is corrected by an institutional bias in the other direction to balance the scales.

    Hence, if we consider that a law is an articulation of this ideology, it is a foregone conclusion that the intention of that law is a counterbalancing prejudice against hegemonic classes (e.g. whites, men, straights, etc).

    It then comes down to whether or not the intended bias is working or not, and thus to the disadvantage of, for instance, indigenous whites or not. Considering such statistics as, for instance, that Britain’s capital city is now majority non-indigenous, we may at least reasonably suspect that that is the case.

    I don’t know whether SMFS wanted to imply that or not, but I’m happy to say it. Being a racist, and all.

  32. @Edward Lud

    That’s one of the few things I think Blair was right about, as long as what you’re working on is serious enough.

    It’s not the perfect corollary, but it’s fair to say that what doesn’t work doesn’t matter that much.

  33. Let’s assume an entirely plausible case where A is recorded telling B that he has arranged for 10 men to travel to Pakistan for ‘terror training’.

    A is spooked and has to be arrested at the airport before more evidence can be gathered.

    Played the recording, he decides to become a martyr and admits his plan, says he is a believer in the global jihad and death to the infidel, and is jailed.

    Of the 10 men, a number have convictions for breach of the peace and threats at the regimental march when the lads last came back from Afghanistan; they’ve all evidenced tacit support for terrorists, and follow firebrand mullahs, but are not members of any terrorist groups.

    They all admit they do have trips lined up, paid for by a kind uncle, but deny they’re going for terror training; they say it’s for weddings, to study, look after family property etc.

    The evidence of a conspiracy is limited to A’s word (he refuses to give evidence and is presently on hunger strike), and in the circumstances the CPS believe that it falls just below the required test of likelihood of conviction for prosecution.

    After a case conference, they reluctantly decline to run it (given the cost of a decent ten-hander at Crown Court running into many thousands of pounds, maybe this is sensible.)

    Do you

    a) let them go and hope you can keep up with them when they come back, either with confetti in their hair or a working knowledge of how to explode fertiliser bombs full of shit-smeared ball bearings and nails using the innards from radio controlled cars?

    b) ask a judge or the Home Secretary to rule that their passports are confiscated for a period?

  34. Suppose agents point the finger at Interested for whatever reason (maybe someone is pretending to be him and talking about planning terrorism) and Interested suddenly finds himself absent passport because the Home Secretary says he’s a very naughty boy.

    Would Interested be OK with that, because liberty is the price we must pay for eternal security?

  35. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “You only become the subject of a football banning order through the courts [] ie it’s not the government or some jobsworth’ arbitrarily making this choice.”

    The British government does not seem to think so:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/37/section/21B

    F121B Summary measures: reference to a court.
    (1)A constable in uniform may exercise the power in subsection (2) below if authorised to do so by an officer of at least the rank of inspector.
    (2)The constable may give the person a notice in writing requiring him

  36. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “You only become the subject of a football banning order through the courts [] ie it’s not the government or some jobsworth’ arbitrarily making this choice.”

    The British government does not seem to think so:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/37/section/21B

    F121B Summary measures: reference to a court.
    (1)A constable in uniform may exercise the power in subsection (2) below if authorised to do so by an officer of at least the rank of inspector.
    (2)The constable may give the person a notice in writing requiring him[]
    (a)to appear before a magistrates court at a time, or between the times, specified in the notice,
    (b)not to leave England and Wales before that time (or the later of those times), and
    (c)if the control period relates to a regulated football match outside the United Kingdom or to an external tournament which includes such matches, to surrender his passport to the constable,

    The hooligan will get his day in court, but it is just the local constable that imposes the order.

    “The guy with the knife hasn-t hurt anyone, so why nick him?”

    Indeed. Carrying a knife should not be an offense at all.

    That-s why we make carrying knives an offence [] because it would be mad to wait until the leader of the gang yelled Charge!

    No it would not be. Notice that 30 thugs chasing a boy through the streets is a little more serious than carrying a knife. Attempted murder by the looks of it. We make carrying knives illegal because the police do not have the powers to do a damn thing and even when they arrest people, they rarely go to jail. So in order to be seen to be doing something, Blair passed a few laws. That will not be enforced.

    29 Ironman – “You bring him to mind so much right now.”

    Really? You look like a boring troll to me, but let us not leap to judgement.

    “So, I ask again, what and who exactly do you mean by [mainstream Europeans]?”

    Ask away. It is irrelevant to my point. You are just wasting my time.

    “Do you mean white Europeans? Do you mean northern Europeans? Do you mean Europeans born in Europe? Who do you mean?”

    If you like, feel free to pick any of those. It does not matter either way.

    “And please don-t try to deflect by inviting me to interpret it any way I like or referring to my apparent desire to see racism. Yes, I have inferred nasty bigotry, but you can deal with it simply by answering the question in unambiguous terms and putting me right.”

    Why would I give a sh!t if you see bigotry or not? You have no basis whatsoever to infer bigotry but I still do not mind if you do. It remains irrelevant. You are not dealing with what I said, you are just intent on finding a Thought Crime so you can feel self righteous. By all means, find one.

    “If you don-t do that, then I will also infer moral cowardice.”

    Yeah. Sad little man aren-t you?

    35 Ironman – “What utter bollocks. No wonder SMFS didn-t want to say that directly.”

    I did not say it indirectly either. But nonetheless there is a strong core of truth to most of those claims. In fact it would be hard to deny it.

    38 Interested – “a) let them go and hope you can keep up with them when they come back, either with confetti in their hair or a working knowledge of how to explode fertiliser bombs full of shit-smeared ball bearings and nails using the innards from radio controlled cars?”

    Is this not what happened with at least some British yoof – the Tipton Three for instance?

    We have laws that deal with this – Treason for instance. We choose not to enforce them. Instead of wasting time with silly illiberal efforts perhaps we should.

  37. @IanB
    >They havent been convicted of anything. Thats it, Interested.<

    Lots of people who are not *convicted of anything* are subject to other government interventions – arrest on suspicion of having committed a crimninal offence, for instance, or surveillance. Do you object to these as well?

    @UKL
    Of course I'd be happy with it. (Happy meaning I would accept it.) It's unlikely to happen because I'm never going to do anything remotely like the circumstances outlined above, or indeed anything to kill or hurt anyone.

    (What is it about the security services that you don't trust? You trust other professionals like pilots and doctors, who could easily kill you, and have killed people – why not professional spooks?)

    @SMFS

    I'm starting to think you're a bit thick. The British government *does* seem to think so, if you read the relevant section of the Act for banning orders, which is s14:

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/37/part/II/crossheading/banning-orders

    Banning orders are issued by the courts following a conviction for a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force. For an order to be issued, it must be proved that the accused person has caused or contributed to football-related violence or disorder and that an order will prevent them from misbehaving further. There is a right of appeal to the Crown Court.

    I note that no-one has answered the basic question, which is:

    a) let them go and hope you can keep up with them when they come back, either with confetti in their hair or a working knowledge of how to explode fertiliser bombs full of shit-smeared ball bearings and nails using the innards from radio controlled cars?

    b) ask a judge or the Home Secretary to rule that their passports are confiscated for a period?

    I guess you all imply the answer is a). It seems clear to me that this approach would lead to death if these guys do go postal, surveillance of them in either event, and vast cost across the piece.

  38. Ah, the old “the government already violates rights, so some more won’t hurt” argument. Which is why some of us were arguing that the imposition of arbitrary sanctions on football hooligans was the thin end of a wedge. Which it was.

    In general:

    The problem with the kind of counterfactuals you use Interested is that they imply certainty when the real world is uncertain. That is why liberal democracies restrain the State, or at least used to. Because you, as author of your scenario, are God in that world; you know for certain the natures of your imaginary characters, like an author who knows Whodunnit, because they wrote the book. But the real world isn’t like that. You need policies that recognise the uncertainties inherent in suspicions that somebody will, or may, commit an offence.

    It’s no use saying, “the butler did it, would you arrest the butler?”. You’ve decided in advance that the butler did it. Real police and judicial systems do not have that certainty to them. Your scenario is not as useful as you think it is.

  39. Interested,

    Of course I’d be happy with it. (Happy meaning I would accept it.) It’s unlikely to happen because I’m never going to do anything remotely like the circumstances outlined above, or indeed anything to kill or hurt anyone.

    What is it about the security services that you don’t trust? You trust other professionals like pilots and doctors, who could easily kill you, and have killed people

  40. Interested,

    Of course I’d be happy with it. (Happy meaning I would accept it.) It’s unlikely to happen because I’m never going to do anything remotely like the circumstances outlined above, or indeed anything to kill or hurt anyone.

    (What is it about the security services that you don’t trust? You trust other professionals like pilots and doctors, who could easily kill you, and have killed people

  41. Interested, I don’t distrust the authorities (note I have a choice about flying or having an operation, I don’t have a choice about being investigated). But the fact is that they do make mistakes. Sometimes people are even detained for months (Lotfi Raissi) or shot (Jean Charles de Menezes) because of those mistakes. And the authorities don’t tend to be forthcoming about about their mistakes let alone compensate the victims (or surviving relatives).

  42. So Much For Subtlety

    Interested – “It-s unlikely to happen because I-m never going to do anything remotely like the circumstances outlined above, or indeed anything to kill or hurt anyone.”

    First they came for the Jews ….. This is one of the silliest arguments I have seen for some time.

    “I-m starting to think you-re a bit thick.”

    And yet I am right.

    “The British government *does* seem to think so, if you read the relevant section of the Act for banning orders, which is s14:”

    One section of the law. Which applies specifically to people convicted of an offense who are brought before a judge. The part I quoted is also part of the law and it also can be used. You have shown nothing except a refusal to read.

    “Banning orders are issued by the courts following a conviction for a football-related offence, or after a complaint by the Crown Prosecution Service or a local police force.”

    Banning orders in that subsection are so granted. But as I pointed out, any PC Plod can issue one if his line managers think he should.

    “I note that no-one has answered the basic question, which is:”

    I think I have. We have treason laws. We should use them. The second we find someone is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the Crown – and that means Eric Hobsbawm too – we ought to hang draw and quarter them.

    But as it is, we do not have the spine for that so we are going to have to opt for a. The Left civil liberties lobby does not care if Brown people do horrible things to each other or to White people (in fact they often seem to welcome it which is presumably why the Guardian followed up 9-11 by publishing everyone in favour they could find) and so will work hard to make sure we cannot do a damn thing to stop such people.

  43. @IanB

    No, I’m saying this is not an implausible set of circumstances, and we need to know how to deal with them. People do travel abroad for terrorist training, we can either stop them or surveil them. That much really is black and white. I’m still waiting for another option.

    @UKL

    Yes, they make mistakes, we all do. I don’t know any way around that, but the likelihood of mistakes being made which cost many lives might be lessened if we stopped radical eejits from travelling abroad to learn how to make bombs, which we then expect the mistake-making security services to find.

    @SMFS

    No – banning orders are in S14. We were talking about banning orders specifically. Treason laws work really well when you’re dealing with, er, Jordanians.

    I don’t agree with hanging, drawing and quartering people – call me a liberal.

    ‘The Left civil liberties lobby does not care if Brown people do horrible things to each other or to White people’

    You’re not thick – you’re nuts.

  44. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “People do travel abroad for terrorist training, we can either stop them or surveil them. That much really is black and white.”

    Actually I am not sure either of those is true. Look we have been here. The Tipton Three. The Government did not even know they were in Afghanistan. It failed utterly to keep them under observation. It could not even punish them once they were back. In fact we all had to pay them compensation I seem to remember.

    “No – banning orders are in S14. We were talking about banning orders specifically.”

    And as I point out, any constable can deem you a risk and take your passport without so much as a glimpse of a court.

    “Treason laws work really well when you-re dealing with, er, Jordanians.”

    That is a good reason not to let Jordanians into the country. No more.

    “I don-t agree with hanging, drawing and quartering people – call me a liberal.”

    25 to life then.

    “You-re not thick – you-re nuts.”

    I am also right. It is the only thing that explains the single minded concentration on South Africa or Israel or any colonial regime. To the complete indifference of suffering elsewhere. I will have a bet with you – that the ANC either came close to torturing and executing as many members of the ANC as the South African government did, or actually surpassed them. When did you last hear anyone on the left complaining about that?

  45. The Tipton Three traveled to Pakistan and from there went into Afghanistan. What are the UK authorities supposed to do, keep tabs on everyone who visits a country adjacent to Afghanistan, or indeed any country where terrorism training is available, just in case? Some 270,000 British nationals and god knows how many others visit Pakistan every year.

    As for compensation, I think the Tipton Three sought it but I don’t think they won any.

    As for punishment, well they each did over two years (without trial) in Gitmo and they probably went through some horrible shit.

    Incidentally, I remember the Americans accused them of meeting bin Laden at such and such a date and MI5 proved they were all in the UK at the time.

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