UK Politics

Uncivil liberties

So the next atrocity occurs and it transpires that all three perpetrators were known to the security services and had in fact been in police custody some weeks earlier, only to be released before charges could be brought. Police had indicated that insufficient time was available to collate data they were in the process of extracting from the hard disks of several computers. Incriminating documents that had recently come to light in another EU country had also yet to be delivered by the relevant authorities when the 14-day detention period expired.

The Independent newspaper devotes 12 page of copy to a system process failure that has left 50 people dead and scores of families missing a father, mother, son or daughter. The Prime Minister, a stalwart defender of civil liberties who ignored the advice of the security services and police chiefs to permit suspects to be held without trial for a maximum 90 days, even with the safety net of continuous 7-day judicial review and an annual sunset clause, is forced to resign amid opposition claims that he has “blood on his hands”.

Mrs. Johnson, newly widowed and childless after her family was wiped out en route to football match, is asked by Jon Snow of Channel 4 news about striking the right balance between preservation of civil liberties and defence of the realm and its citizens.

Except she isn’t, because such questions posed in the aftermath of yet another atrocity, directed at a grieving relatives, just sound like so much offensive, platitudinous hogwash.