David Laddie

You can’t do this:

British jihadists who fight for Isil in Syria and Iraq will be barred from returning to this country for at least two years to prevent terror attacks, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister has unveiled a raft of new anti-terror laws including powers to strip teenage jihadists of their passports and bar airlines from landing in the UK if they fail to provide passenger information.

You can indeed strip someone of their passport once they’ve been convicted of a crime, been up in front of the beak (vide football thugs). But even if you strip someone of their passport you cannot, as long as they are a British citizen, strip them of the right to enter Britain.

Because that’s what being a British citizen means: the right to enter Britain.

You will, by doing that, have rendered someone stateless. And you’re just not allowed to do that.

Political puffery again rather than valid policy.

What happens if they come back anyway?

Those that attempt to return to Britain in secret will face a five year jail term under a new criminal offence.

And you can’t make it a bloody criminal offence to enter the country that you are a citizen of.

Was there any opposition in Government to these plans?

Although Nick Clegg had initially opposed such measures, sources now say that he now supports them.

When Mr Cameron first raised the prospect of barring British jihadists from returning to the UK in August Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, said it was likely to be a “non starter”.

He pointed out that withdrawing an individual’s passport would effectively make them “stateless”, a breach of UN laws. The plans have been drawn up by the new Attorney General Jeremy Wright.

Sodding typical isn’t it? They fired the only person in the government who actually knew what the law is.

22 thoughts on “David Laddie”

  1. This is nuts. Also announced the ability to confiscate passports for 30 days without court order, then sequentially (ie indefinitely).

    Does anyone see the parallel between these and the 1960s Emergency Powers Act in South Africa? These were also ostensibly to deal with “terrorist/foreign fighters” bit ended up being a huge creator of the monstrosity that was late 20th century apartheid.

    These powers can ONLY be abused. FFS more people get killed by peanuts than terrorists.

    Terrorist? Fine. Get evidence, go to judge, accept judgement. Why on earth do we need laws to bypass the judiciary unless government is seeking permission for sanctions that they know are not legal?

  2. So far as I can tell, Tim, they can do these things. They’re the government. They rule by the implied authority of God, via the monarch. They have the guns, and an unlimited constitution. They could put all the Jews in gas chambers if they wanted to. I don’t get where this “can’t do that” supposedly originates from.

  3. A non-starter designed to give the impression of action. Best thing is to nab as many as possible when they try to come back in or scoop them up before they go, all of which requires much more of the kind of email snooping and spookery that makes people uncomfortable. However, there isn’t another way.

  4. If they would stop bending over backwards to avoid associating terrorism and RoP and made undermining the basis of Western civilization treason (freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and equality before the law all of which RoP deems haram) we could clear out the stay at home sympathisers and have something to throw at returning jihadis, preferably hanging if convicted.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    The Great Redacto – “However, there isn’t another way.”

    Yes there is. There are dozens of other ways. They could enforce the treason laws. It is not as if we need new laws. We have them, we just don’t use them. They could tell the UN to f**k off. Lots of countries don’t want their nationals back. Vietnam for instance. No one objects when they do it. The whole Middle East has stripped locals of their homes, businesses, farms, passports and nationality at one time or another. That is why there are no Greeks left in Alexandria and Gaza is full of Palestinians.

    But the main thing they could do is stop Muslim immigration. We would not be in this problem if our treasonous ruling classes hadn’t decided that a little light grooming and terrorism would enliven the British working classes.

  6. What we used to do was kill anyone who fought for a foreign army. They were subject to summary execution if caught abroad. Or they could be brought back to “Britain” by being brought onto a Royal Navy ship anywhere in the world, where the captain had the authority to hang them, and would. Or we could even go to all the trouble of bringing them back to Blighty, where we would then kill them.

    We no longer have the death penalty for treason. So instead we could tell these people we’re not letting them back in the country. Seems like a very humane alternative. Can’t imagine why anyone on the receiving end would complain.

  7. Yes they can do it. Magna Carta says nobody can be exiled other than by the law of the land. Well, if parliament does it then it is the law of the land.
    It might be contrary to certain international treaties, but they do not have binding effect as it is parliament that is sovereign, not the UN.

    And if it is only for 2 years then it’s kind of a proportionate response

  8. History shows that the government does whatever it wants.

    In this case what exactly is wrong from the point of view of anyone who accepts it’s legitimacy in excluding people who have joined the army of a hostile foreign power from the country? Sounds like exactly the sort of thing governments should be doing if they are to do anything at all. It would be irrational for the British government to extend the full entitlements of a tame British citizen to people who explicitly reject the legitimacy of the UK and wish to see it destroyed.

    Of course this power could be abused, but abusing individuals for the greater good is what governments do.

  9. And whose bright idea was it to let hoards of Muslims into this country in the first place, along with the inevitable cohort of Jihadists? Ah yes, that would be Dave Dick-Head Cameron, Clegg the Clueless and Milliband the Moron.

  10. > TGR

    “all of which requires much more of the kind of email snooping and spookery that makes people uncomfortable.”

    There’s a crucial difference between “targeted” and “mass” spookery (& surveillance) etc.. Good intelligence is targeted. And which in this case shouldn’t be that complicated.

    On the same theme:

    > Doc Bud

    “Much neater if dirty ops eradicates the problem prior to them attempting to return.”

    Isn’t that how it always used to work?

    > RM

    “And whose bright idea was it to let hoards of Muslims into this country in the first place, along with the inevitable cohort of Jihadists? Ah yes, that would be Dave Dick-Head Cameron, Clegg the Clueless and Milliband the Moron.”

    Wasn’t it Tony? Gerrymandering for more Labour votes?

  11. “And whose bright idea was it to let hoards of Muslims into this country in the first place, along with the inevitable cohort of Jihadists? Ah yes, that would be Dave Dick-Head Cameron, Clegg the Clueless and Milliband the Moron.”

    Hey dont forget Blair the wanker….

  12. Why do people insist on treating these people as criminals, subject to criminal law? This is a war, and they are soldiers (of a kind). They should be regarded has having joined the army of the enemy, and should be shot on sight as traitors, for that is exactly what they are. Sadly I don’t think Britain does such things anymore, but it’s what a moral and civilised nation would do. Perhaps one day Britain will remember its roots.

  13. What we used to do was kill anyone who fought for a foreign army.

    I don’t think that’s true, British have fought for other countries before as have the citizens of other countries without a problem. What is illegal in most countries is to fight for a foreign army *against the home country* which is a big distinction. Otherwise you’d not have Canadians or Fijiians in the British army. And I’m not sure if ISIS are fighting against Britain, or have been named a terrorist group by us yet.

  14. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “I don’t think that’s true, British have fought for other countries before as have the citizens of other countries without a problem.”

    Those Victorian stories about running off to join the Foreign Legion would have a very different outcome if they were executed when they got home. Like most of Latin America Chile became independent because of British fighters.

    “And I’m not sure if ISIS are fighting against Britain, or have been named a terrorist group by us yet.”

    They have said they are fighting against us, they have beheaded British hostages, the RAF is bombing them. How much more has to happen before we all agree we are at war with them?

  15. To be “at war” we must recognise them as a state. And since that’s the very thing we don’t want to do then we cannot declare that we are at war with them. So all of these things that we can do to people who have been our citizens and have then fought for a foreign army against us don’t apply.

  16. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Worstall –

    To be “at war” we must recognise them as a state. And since that’s the very thing we don’t want to do then we cannot declare that we are at war with them.

    Well the West has been at war with a whole series of abstract nouns in the recent past. The War on Poverty. On drugs. On Cancer. But your point is taken. Which makes things so much easier. They are unlawful combatants.

    The Geneva Conventions do not recognize any lawful status for combatants in conflicts not involving two or more nation states. A state in such a conflict is legally bound only to observe Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and may ignore all the other Articles. But each one of them is completely free to apply all or part of the remaining Articles of the Convention

    So all of these things that we can do to people who have been our citizens and have then fought for a foreign army against us don’t apply.

    True but they are mostly limits on what we can do. We can convene a military court and have them all shot for instance. Precisely because they are not combatants.

    I suggest we copy the precedent of slavery. We declared slavers to be the equivalent of pirates. And hanged them after a short trial. What is more we hanged people who were not proven to be slaving, but were behaving in a suspicious manner that suggested they were slaving.

  17. “To be “at war” we must recognise them as a state. And since that’s the very thing we don’t want to do then we cannot declare that we are at war with them.”

    If the west keeps thinking in this way then we will have a problem in current and future wars against Islam. Islam does not recognise a world of states.

    Surely renouncing loyalty to the UK is enough to have a passport removed?

  18. Tim,

    > To be “at war” we must recognise them as a state.

    I’m distressed to say I’m with SMFS again here. This is what I call the Paperwork Theory of War. Dubya was obviously right when he declared 9/11 an act of war, and those (such as Clare Short) who claimed that it couldn’t be because the people who’d declared the war didn’t have the right credentials and hadn’t signed the proper documents were obviously wrong.

    War was happening long before we invented nation-states. It was arguably happening before we were modern humans. Modern civilised states have invented rules of war, which are great, and which are designed to limit the danger to civilians. Official war paperwork is part of those rules. Our use of rules when fighting other people who recognise the rules should not be allowed to undermine our ability to fight those who don’t.

    Here’s a list of paperwork wars. I hope we can all agree they’re bollocks. Any politician who says that we’re not at war with ISIS but, say, Costa Rica is at war with Germany is a fuckwit.

    Tim N,

    > What is illegal in most countries is to fight for a foreign army *against the home country*

    My apologies for the crappy wording. That was what I meant.

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