27 May 2007

Blair Sorry?

In his attempt to justify his latest piece of legislation, "wartime" stop and question powers for the police, Mr Blair claims in The Sunday Times, "We have chosen as a society to put the civil liberties of the suspect, even if a foreign national, first. I happen to believe this is misguided and wrong...a dangerous misjudgment."

With the Home Secretary, John Reid, suggesting that the Government might opt out of the European Convention on Human Rights, is the retreating Prime Minister apologising for incorporating the European Convention into British law through the Human Rights Act 1998 — for striking the wrong "balance between protecting the safety of the public and the rights of the individual suspected of being involved with terrorism"?

2 comments:

Rudi said...

I can’t say I really understand Tony Blair's point here. My own civil liberties are not a pressing personal concern at this point in time, but were I to be a suspect in a criminal enquiry, that would be the exact moment when my civil liberties would be vitally important. Those that say that innocent law-abiding citizens have nothing to worry about seem to be misguided into thinking that the innocent are never suspected. Such a reversal of basic legal norms, innocent until proven guilty, is very worrying. Are we really moving towards a situation where the legitimate end of security will sanction any means?

MikeC said...

Totally agree with Rudi. Ends do not always justify the means, and frankly I believe that part of my civil liberties are that I can walk the streets of England, minding my own business, without risking the local police force stopping and searching me because of an unfounded suspicion.

Mr Blair may believe that this should make us all feel better, and probably believes that we should all stop protesting about this and other nonsensical security (fear) issues, and trust him that it's all okay. Well, it makes me feel worse.