Bad boy Boris, bad boy

“I’m not particularly interested in this civil liberties stuff when it comes to these people’s emails and mobile phone conversations. If they are a threat to our society then I want them properly listened to.


Either civil
liberties, freedom itself, apply to us all or they apply to none of us at the whim of the bureaucrats.

39 thoughts on “Bad boy Boris, bad boy”

  1. I’m surprised it needs saying.

    Of course there are authoritarians on Left and Right, and we should be wary of all of them.

  2. Probing protest groups, lawyers, journalists, negotiators etc seems to be the real business here. I doubt there ever was an email saying ‘Hebdo office next Wednesday’, only terminally stupid baddies would do that unless to mislead. Which begs the question ‘what purpose do the listeners serve – apart from probing protest groups, lawyers, journalists etc’. Boris and Hastings (see Mail) seem useful fools here. Big budgets, big careers and diminishing returns?

  3. Boris is a populist, not a liberal (or libertarian.)

    He’s speaking to the mob not to us.

    The more important question is how does a liberal society allow the interference with the civil liberties of a terrorist suspect?

    It is clear that the (law enforcement*) authorities cannot be trusted with an internal approval system based on mere suspicion. But how do you then manage it? A warrant based system? Who signs the warrants? A JP, a judge or the SoS? What level of evidence is required for issue of a tapping warrant? Etc, etc …

    * I will probably be out of step with many here as I think that the previous English system, where the intelligence agencies had greater freedom to act but that their ‘take’ could not be used in court had something going for it in terms of balance of freedoms.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    Surreptitious Evil – “I will probably be out of step with many here as I think that the previous English system, where the intelligence agencies had greater freedom to act but that their ‘take’ could not be used in court had something going for it in terms of balance of freedoms.”

    I think that many people on both sides of this issue would agree with you – as long as half a dozen of the best the Parachute Regiment has to offer just happened to be walking their guns past anywhere the terrorists agreed to go.

  5. Well it depends. Are we protesting against banning the veil, phone tapping or internment without trial or what?

    Already we wink at sharia courts and live under de facto blasphemy law which prevents us from making jokes about Mo the paedo.

    Be careful; your absolutist defence of civil liberties leads to the absence of civil liberties to defend.

  6. Bif

    The Sharia court thing in the UK (as referred to by the previous beardie weirdy Archbishop of Canterbury) isnt a problem – it’s something that we acknowledge in Common Law, the right to freedom to contract – thus if two people decide to contract something and make it subject to a Sharia or Rabbinical court, this is perfectly acceptable. Where the Sharia courts impinge on criminal proceedings, this should be stamped out (and the “judges” along with anyone else involved should be sent to jail). There are issues associated with civil matters – Sharia law as applied to marriages that we probably should not regard as contracts, that are grayer.

  7. yeah i’m with bloke in france. i’m not sacrificing my safety for the sake of your civil libs woody. it’s politicos job to weigh up a bunch of pros and cons, and to ignore the shrill absolutist voices of left and right.

  8. “Boris is a populist, not a liberal (or libertarian.)”

    Boris is self-serving scum.

    The only reason that anyone should ever have voted for dear Boris is Ken Leninslime. Now that Kenny is gone it is clear that it is past time that the jogging bandana boy was removed from office preferably by abolishing the London Mare caper in its entirety.

    However–much as I despise BlowJo I still wish that rumour about him and Samcam had been true. Sweet would not be the word.

  9. tsjamesjones: Your safety fuckwit? You are going to be kept safe by the same shower of shite who have flooded the country with the people you’re scared of? You are going to be safe once the state has you by the sack (easy in your case cos its empty) are you? There are about 200 million poor sods no longer in this world who are taking dirt naps having been made “safe” for all time by your lovely govt pals.

    What is left of this nation and the people who died for the freedom to live our own lives when some dog comes on here to crawl. No I take that back–its an insult to dogs–many of whom have courage and nobility.

  10. oh poor mr ecks and he has such a nice hard feeling when he thinks about civil liberties and when he thinks about those awful blacks. and they call him a racist! but he says “waycist” and votes for nigel. but he doesn’t understand why everybody doesn’t vote for nigel. poor mr ecks, and he feels so good when he’s sitting in front of his keyboard, one hand on the keys.

  11. ken – that’s well meaning but I think you’re wrong.

    Sharia law is not (just) about providing an Islamic form of abitration for civil disputes. It’s the legal interpretation of Islam itself – an all-encompassing code for living. It’s a vehicle for imposing an Islamic moral order on Muslims and infidels alike.

    Islam is not like other religions. It cannot be safely compartmentalised. The difference between Sharia and rabbinic courts is that the latter hold no ambitions to make the goyim abide by Jewish doctrine.

    To say Where the Sharia courts impinge on criminal proceedings, this should be stamped out is easy. But that’s not the direction of travel our society is taking after allowing after allowing a competing legal, moral, and social hierarchy to settle within our borders.

    If Muslims wish to live in Islamic societies, under Islamic law – and I’m not entirely unsympathetic to them on that point, our Western fetish for lenience towards criminals and support for abortion on demand causes me some disquiet too – there is already a peaceful and equitable solution for this.

    It’s called “different countries”.

  12. Does France have laws against possession of Kalashnikovs and rocket propelled grenades? I presume so, that law worked well. I see no reason why Government surveillance of everybody’s private communication won’t be equally effective.

    We can put “Police Scotland” in charge of surveillance. They are up for it and haven’t much else to do. They may not catch any terrorist cells but by God if you jokingly call your Spurs-supporting mate a “Yid” they’ll fucking nail you.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    Like it or not sometimes the State has to do things we don’t like when it comes to security. As well as the issue over who signs off on search warrants and warrants to bug people its more important that we have independent people, well as independent as possible within the need for secrecy, providing oversight.

    I listened to an interview with Intelligence Services Commissioner, Sir Mark Wallace, recently and was quite impressed by him.

    I’m well aware that the role may be compromised by the party in office but that’s a risk in all democracies, we just have to trust that our institutions like the police, armed forces, 4th estate etc are robust enough to provide that protection.

  14. AFAIK, no civil liberties campaigner objects to targeted surveillance (with a warrant) – the objection is to surveillance without warrants and blanket surveillance of everyone’s electronic communications and transactions. Politicians and securocrats consistently conflate these but there are important differences.

    Perhaps worth pointing out that France has mass surveillance with no warrant required (and ID cards and lots of armed police) and the two brothers were known to the authorities before they murdered those people last week. Nevertheless, we must have more surveillance here apparently, because Something Must Be Done (and this is something, therefore it must be done).

  15. Spyblog has quite a lot of info about the toothless nature of the information commissioner who is supposed to keep the intelligence men (where are Morecambe and Wise when you need them?) in check. You know, keep them focused on the bombers etc. The fact that the state has had to create more rules to rein in local council hacks from abusing RIPA (only to be used against terrorists so they said) reveals what abolishing civil liberties are all about. The state fears the populace–they always have. They don’t care about criminals (in the sense of those who prey on their fellow humans–hell by that definition the politicals ARE criminals) because, even tho’ they don’t obey the law, no crims have ever overthrown a state. The people have. Govts are not that bothered about terror attacks as long as they and theirs are not victims themselves. Such attacks provide the ideal excuse for snooping and oppressive measures. They want info about us to help control us. If they really wanted to stop terrorists–stop importing potential candidates would be a good start. No–they much prefer spying on us.

  16. bloke (not) in spain

    Think MrX has about the measure of it.
    But can’t help remarking, on another thread we’re discussing their inability to cope with a few kids being naughty on cheap booze.
    Maybe if they showed the teeniest of abilities IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST we might be feeling a bit different.

  17. It is a disaster for the country that Boris, who seems to know who all the terrorists are so only their communications need surveillance, went and got himself elected as Mayor of Londonistan, a non-job in comparison.

    We could license him to foreign governments, for a fee – he must know who all their terrorists are too.

  18. Steve, well said.
    I’d go further: a British government that places our women and children at the mercy of Sharia Law courts cannot be trusted to defend us from Islamism.
    And despite govt claims of having stopped multiple terror attacks, no perps has been brought before a court. The tossers are just playing catch and release.

  19. And despite govt claims of having stopped multiple terror attacks, no perps has been brought before a court.

    What on earth are you talking about? Many people have been charged with terrorism-related offences in the UK. There were some only last month!

  20. to rein in local council hacks from abusing RIPA (only to be used against terrorists so they said)

    No. RIPA was passed because ECHR case law meant that the UK common law around intrusions in to privacy was not “in accordance with the law” as required by Art 8 (2). All intrusions by the state, including informants and local council Trading Standards and other checks.

    Whether by terrorists or otherwise law abiding citizens.

    But don’t let that stop you being very angry on the Internet.

  21. We’d all like more freedom. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and other physically impossible things.

    But the eclipse of Leviathan would not be more liberty. It would be clannism at best and bloody tyranny at most probable.

  22. RIPA was pushed through the HOC on the backs of claims about terrorism, big league crime and the inevitable paedo mania. All the other charmers were not listed as part of the justification. When it is not being used to try and uncover journalistic sources it has been roundly abused. Nearly half of its users are local councils snooping. Are local councils charged with stopping terrorism? Had the act been put forward on the basis of “lets empower state snoopers in general” perhaps it might have not been nodded into law so easily.

  23. BiF: Some thing has to be done about killers. Sure. We would however,be fools to trust the British state. They have an agenda of more power for themselves–as do all govts. The UK is a part of a worldwide trend to tyranny. Possibly the power-seeking pukes sense that this is their last hurrah. Go for a super-technotyranny now or lose power for all time in the face of a new world . Life extension, augmented intelligence, limitless power, even migration into space. The next 100 years will bring this. How could you lord it over a world where everybody has a (machine-assisted?) IQ off the scale compared to now?.So if the powermen are to hold power they have to make their move very soon to stop all these developments and keep the human livestock down on the farm and producing for them.They have set up most of the problems we now face. Now they want evermore power and control. Freedom is not one on a list of options. If we lose it we lose everything. Prosperity, the peaceful enjoyment of our lives–the lot. Even if we don’t eclipse Leviathan–sooner or later it will eclipse itself. A world of tyranny will starve as China and North Korea starved. The world was too complex long ago to be run by fiat. We have gone far beyond that point in modern society. You can’t trade freedom for safety in anything but the short-term. In the longer term you are trading it for death. Perhaps TPTB really do believe in Agenda 21– that they can stave off a bright future for all by getting rid of most and the rest to be reduced to techno-peasantry while the elite remain elite. I hope they are neither that stupid or that wicked. But if they are they will still be disappointed–trying to roll back the progress we have so far made will engulf everyone in Mad Max world not a poison statist Distopia. We cannot go backwards–only forwards and without freedom we have nowhere to go. In my opinion literally–not just nowhere worth going but nowhere to go other than ruin and/or extinction.

  24. Just as a note for those who aren’t as polarised in their views as Mr Ecks, the Minister responsible (Charles Clarke) mentioned the Medical Devices Agency and the Sea Fisheries Inspectorate and the Home Secretary mentioned “UK v Halford” which, despite being a police case, definitely was not major crime and, in fact, was why the LBPR was introduced to regulate, under RIPA, employer monitoring.

  25. Have skimmed thro the Hansard page. For free?–are you a lawyer?.. Lots of talk about “national security … preventing or detecting serious crime … safeguarding the economic well-being of the United Kingdom.”. Doesn’t mention empowering local authorities to snoop on parents anywhere that I can see. Even if they meant well– I doubt that– and the bad consequences were unintended–the result was this :

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2008/apr/11/localgovernment.ukcrime

    Note this :”The authority said it had used such “physical surveillance” on six occasions under RIPA, which allows councils to carry out surveillance only if they suspect serious crimes, including terrorism. ” Councils should be investigating nobody. Esp for something not even a crime.

    Also:

    http://www.hrcr.org/safrica/privacy/Halford.html

    The court judged that the calls monitored on the policewoman’s office phone should have been covered as part of her “private life” but didn’t breach Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights. I presume what you are trying to say is that RIPA would stop her fellow coppers spying on her nowadays. But then councils aren’t empowered to spy for “trivial” matters but they do. So as usual laws extend state power (don’t say RIPA doesn’t–encryption keys on pain of jail) but the so-called protections can always be got around.

  26. @ukliberty
    Do try to keep up.
    Friday 09 January 2015: Britain has faced four major terrorist plots in the past year, three of them in the past few months alone, the head of MI5 has disclosed as he warned that the lethal threat from Islamist extremists, including those home-grown, has continued to grow at an unprecedented rate.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/charlie-hebdo-attack-britain-faced-four-major-terror-plots-in-past-year-reveals-head-of-mi5-9966385.html
    Four big-time trials that never happened.

  27. “Government snooping is okay if they find something.”

    No.

    “We can violate everyone’s rights if it is for everyone’s good.”

    No.

  28. JeremyT,

    Four big-time trials that never happened

    Can take some time to go from arrest to trial…

    Do try to keep up…

    You know the article you cite says, “Terrorist-related arrests are up 35 per cent in the past four years, with more than 140 people convicted”? But you say, “no perps has been brought before a court.”

    Some charges in the past month:
    Newquay man to face terror charges – Western Morning News , 9/1/2015
    Crumpsall charity worker appears in court charged with terror offences – Manchester Evening News, 24/12/2014
    Man from High Wycombe appears in court on terror charge – BBC, 19/12/2014
    Two [more] men charged over dissident republican terror [To date, eight men have appeared in court since November] – BBC, 17/12/2014
    Six men charged with terror and fraud offences in London – PA, 15/12/2014

  29. @UKliberty
    Get real. The MI5 chief was citing ‘major terrorist threats’ to support further erosion of our liberties. Major terrorist threats would be repeats of 9/11, 7/7, and the Islamist killings of French cops, soldiers, Jews and journalists.

    Your examples are chickenshit offences – some Syria-bound wannabe Jihadis and the IRA, a government-tolerated terror group.

  30. JeremyT,

    Get real. The MI5 chief was citing ‘major terrorist threats’ to support further erosion of our liberties.

    1. You and I do not know – because the MI5 chief was not reported to have mentioned names – who has has been prosecuted or convicted (if anyone) or any forthcoming trials (if any) in connection with those “major terrorist threats”. Of the three threats “in the past few months alone”, I wouldn’t have expected any trials in the past few months; it seems to me rather more likely they would be scheduled for this year.

    2. There was a “major” terror trial last year, according to the newspapers; the one that was held partially in camera . Whether it was “major”, YMMV. But, as I said, without names how would we know which cases the MI5 chief was talking about?

  31. Of the three threats “in the past few months alone”, I wouldn’t have expected any trials in the past few months; it seems to me rather more likely they would be scheduled for this year.

    Further to that, iirc the maximum custody time limit pre-trial is 182 days. So it could well be the case that the suspects in the three “major” terrorism cases of the past few months won’t have been tried yet.

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