UK Politics

Liberty, if it means anything…

From The Economist:

The government says it will use the new powers it plans to acquire with restraint. Trust us, it implies: only nasty Muslims will be targeted. Everybody else can relax. But even if a government could be trusted to keep such a promise, which none can be, it should not be accepted. Laws are not created in order that undesirables may be put away. That is a side effect. Their real purpose is to set down clear guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not.

Mr Blair is right that things are changing. People are scared, and are therefore more inclined to trust government than they normally would. That’s dangerous. The sooner Britons’ healthy wariness of government returns, the better.

From The Times: Hawks agree with liberals – Blair’s laws are too much

James Carafano, a homeland security expert at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, said yesterday: “I’m worried that Tony Blair is making a knee-jerk response. Criminalising free speech is not the best strategy. Britain may well have tolerated some of these Islamic extremists for too long — but the way to deal with it has to be in the war of ideas.”