The Government's new anti–terrorism measures
Here's the text of a letter I'm sending to my MP. I'll post the response up on my blog if/when it arrives.
Dear Mr. Cunningham,
I am writing to express my concerns about the government’s new proposals to allow people to be placed under house arrest in terrorist cases. Whilst it is a welcome development that the government will no longer pursue internment without trial under the Anti-Terrorism, Crime, and Security Act 2001, to replace this with what amounts to the same measure but with the place of imprisonment changed and the pool of potential victims widened still constitutes an appalling breach of the civil liberties of those involved.
I would, in addition, point out that we currently have a fully functioning legal system in this country (the leading members of which ruled very strongly against the measure these new proposals replace) and using this is the appropriate way to deal with those suspected of terrorist activities (against which we already had very stringent laws even before the passing of the original Act). The government’s reluctance to present evidence to a court, or even to let those accused of terrorist offences see it, suggests an appalling contempt for civil liberties which is indicative of the all-pervading authoritarianism of this government. Concepts such as habeas corpus exist for a very good reason and it ill behoves a government which purports to be a progressive one to return to arbitrary detention (whatever the location).
Further to this, it seems that for the government to claim that they should be allowed to impose what amounts to summary imprisonment on the basis of intelligence presumably gathered (and plagiarised from the internet) in the same way as that presented prior to the Iraq War is also incredibly dangerous. Why should the public have any confidence in the evidence the government will not show us when previous evidence from the same source has proved to be so abysmally flawed?