Not a Liberal Democracy

by craig on June 5, 2014 2:24 pm in Uncategorized

New Labour were the chief culprits in moving Britain away from a liberal democracy and into an authoritarian state.  The series of “anti-terror” laws they put through were the most draconian in British history, far outweighing anything the government of Lord Liverpool did with the Six Acts.  Yet the entire liberal establishment went along with Blair, and those of us who warned we were sliding fast away from democracy were denounced as conspiracy theorists.

You hope there will be moments which will wake people up.  I not only hoped but believed that I could myself trigger such a moment when I blew the whistle on the Blair/Straw policy of widespread complicity in torture.  I discovered to my great personal cost, and as a matter of cathartic personal disillusionment which has defined my entire life since, that the establishment were perfectly OK with torture.

I should like to believe that today’s advent of totally secret criminal trials in the UK is another moment when revulsion might set in.  But I am not holding my breath, as an 800 year right to open justice is removed.  Theresa May had already applied to have another case heard in secret in which the government is being sued for complicity in torture.

I know from eye-witness report that it was only Jack Straw’s fear of an open trial and a free jury that prevented my own prosecution under the Official Secrets Act for blowing the whistle on torture.  If I did it today I would get a secret court and no jury. Now two men stand to be imprisoned for life on the basis of “evidence” from the intelligence services which even the accused are not to be allowed to see.  Remember this is “evidence” from the same intelligence services who told you that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.  Anything they have to say against anybody must always be open to the widest public scrutiny.  The idea that people should be convicted in secret on stasi evidence ought to be truly shocking.

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45 Comments

  1. Just like to add that Britain’s administrative state which prohibited civil servants from engaging in domestic politics has gone down the tubes too.

  2. “British ministers sanctioned the use of torture against internees in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s, home secretary Merlyn Rees told Labour prime minister Jim Callaghan in 1977, it has emerged.

    “The Rees letter has been discovered in the British National Archives in Kew by RTÉ’s Investigation Unit, which last night broadcast The Torture Files, a Prime Time documentary into the treatment of some of those interned without trial.

    “The letter emerges on the back of earlier research by the Pat Finucane Centre, which suggests the Irish government and the European Court of Human Rights were deliberately misled by London about the treatment of people interned in 1971.”

    Continues
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/british-ministers-sanctioned-torture-of-ni-internees-1.1820882

  3. A secret court and no jury. And. I presume, no independent verification of the evidence. Well why bother with a court case at all, why not just stroll on to the verdict?
    I guess AB and CD will be kept permanently in solitary confinement to prevent them ever saying anything to anyone about what actually happened.

    Too true, not a liberal democracy.

  4. Ba'al Zevul (In The Bleak Midsummer)

    5 Jun, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Any ugly projections of a democratic nature will be slowly and quietly ground away in order to facilitate a global economic hegemony. And when you’ve gone you won’t miss them because you’ll be too busy with working and consuming. By the way, your tablet’s well out of date. Buy a new one NOW.

  5. Ba'al Zevul (In The Bleak Midsummer)

    5 Jun, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    “…when they’ve gone”.

  6. Craig Murray, I have said it before but I will repeat myself, what the hell. You are a product of a lifetime of indoctrination, the central theme of which is the myth that Britain and its allies are democracies. They never have been, though the myth has been extremely useful to the elite structures.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Inventing-People-Popular-Sovereignty-England/dp/0393306232/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1401975945&sr=8-1&keywords=inventing+the+people

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump, democracy is as democracy does. What Britain has done is documented very well by Mark Curtis
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-Curtis/e/B001KDVLZ4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1401976175&sr=1-2-ent
    The latest developments are in keeping, no radical departures..

  7. I did comment on it Craig (on the previous thread). One of my friends wrote to Lord Carlile who apparently defended the trial when he appeared on Radio 4 Today this morning. I could repeat the reply he received but I won’t. It would shock you.

    PS It came with this disclaimer. Would I go to the Tower if I was guilty of ‘Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying’?

    UK Parliament Disclaimer:
    This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

  8. Mary

    Nothing from Alex Carlile would shock me. A deeply unpleasant man.

  9. The BBC reviews the press.

    Efforts by the media to overturn a ruling that the trial of two men on terror charges should be held in secret are recorded by several papers.

    The Guardian leads on the case, quoting lawyers for the media groups arguing that to hold a trial behind closed doors is “inconsistent with democracy and the rule of law”. However, the government says total secrecy is required to preserve national security and the paper quotes counter-terror officers arguing that there is a “serious possibility that the trial may not be able to go ahead” if it has to be held in public.

    The Telegraph’s headline quotes civil rights campaigners describing it as an “assault” on British justice, while for the Times the move “puts open justice in jeopardy”.

    Pointing out that it was only as a result of the media’s legal challenge that judges allowed any mention of the fact a secret trial was to be held, the Daily Mail prints a front-page comment arguing: “Yes, national security is of paramount importance, but being unable to report that a trial is held in secret is surely the thin end of a deeply sinister wedge.”

    and reports

    Secret trial plan ‘serious threat to justice’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27710985

    Carlile’s view is reported within.

  10. He defended Rennard the ‘alleged’ sex pest. The testimony of those decent young women was as nothing to the LD partei.

  11. Ba'al Zevul (In The Bleak Midsummer)

    5 Jun, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    Lord Carlile acted from 2005 to 2011 as the independent reviewer of British anti-terrorist laws…

    …He is …President of the United Kingdom’s largest professional security organisation, The Security Institute, and Chairman of the Chartered Security Professionals Registration Authority.

    [Wikipedia]

    Safe pair of hands, then.

  12. The BBC report (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27704747) referred to a trial with jury, albeit in camera. But in the interests of open justice, I hope that the appeal by the media succeeds. If not, it might indicate the need for a fully written Constitution for the UK. That said, any system, however good theoretically, can’t work much better than the people who operate it.

  13. “Now two men stand to be imprisoned for life on the basis of “evidence” from the intelligence services which even the accused are not to be allowed to see.”

    Well that seems like a very clear violation of Article 6 of the ECHR. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t see how possibly any conviction survives all the legal challenges it will face.

    Not that anyone in the British establishment gives a toss any more, but still.

  14. “Not that anyone in the British establishment gives a toss any more, but still.”

    Not quite true since barristers recently walked out over the removal of legal aid. But I agree that law is becoming non-existent. No habeas corpus for Muslims with indefinite detention a possibility, open trials a thing of the past for the torturing security services, removal of legal aid for poorer people, and so on.

  15. YouKnowMyName

    5 Jun, 2014 - 4:54 pm

    more names from the murky background of the Blair/Straw times… ex-MI6 indeed!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2649035/The-discreet-affair-two-Home-Secretarys-closest-advisers-REAL-reason-bitter-split-Cabinet-colleague-Michael-Gove-Islamic-plot-schools.html

    From Sunday Times 22/4/2012

    “Farr is probably Whitehall’s most important and influential spy, the man most closely associated with “Big Brother Britain”. He was responsible for the so-called “snooping bill” that caused the government so many prob­lems earlier this month. He personally oversaw the introduction of the coalition’s rebranded regime of control orders to detain terror suspects without charge and he drove its ambitious attempts to curb the radicalisation of young Muslim men.

    A bright and driven bureaucrat, he has shaken up Whitehall’s security machine, impressing successive ministerial bosses with his vision since he was plucked from MI6 in 2007 by John Reid, the former Labour home secretary, to head the Home Office’s security and counterterrorism office. Farr won plaudits for overhauling the government’s handling of the war on terror.”

    it also mentions/alleges

    “Farr’s handling of the now infamous snooping bill seems to typify these contra­dictions. Ministers ran into a storm of criticism after The Sunday Times revealed they were planning to allow the intelligence agencies to monitor social media, Skype calls and email communications as well as logging every site visited by internet users in Britain. The plans were due to be announced in next month’s Queen’s speech, but were put on hold when they were leaked.

    It is no secret in Whitehall that the grandiosely titled communications capabili­ties development programme was Farr’s “policy baby”. In fact, it was a rehash of an earlier attempt by Farr in 2009 to persuade the then Labour home secretary to build a giant database where the government could hold details of all emails and telephone calls. It obviously needed sensitive handling, but its delivery was bungled by Farr’s office and it was dumped by Labour after an uproar. When a new government was elected he tried to resurrect the plan — with similar results.”

    It seems that everything Farr wanted was actually implemented, if we believe Snowden and Merkel et al.

  16. IAN CAMERON

    5 Jun, 2014 - 6:52 pm

    Secret Courts hmmm. There’s a historical tome about a bloke who had a 19th Century penchant for intruding on Queen Victoria’s pad – over and over. Loadsa media about his antics during that era with with whacky portraits of course. Anyway suddenly he vanished for good. Hmmm? A modern historian wrote up the phenomena and revealed that a totally secret UK Court dealt with him and got him secretly shipped of to Oz/ Botany Bay. So its not entirely the first of such capers and the current debacle is a disgrace. I dont know why Secret cases are not located inside a big red fully zipped up red holdall.

  17. Ian,

    Any queen can do that. See the Treason Felony Act of 1848

  18. Ukraine crisis: Russia must engage with Kiev, says G7
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27719728

    ‘Later in Paris Mr Cameron met Russian President Vladimir Putin, giving him a “very clear and firm set of messages”. The two leaders met in a customs area of the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle airport. This was Mr Putin’s first face-to-face meeting with a Western leader since the Ukraine crisis began. “The status quo, the situation today, is not acceptable and it needs to change,” Mr Cameron said.’

    I am sure President Putin is quaking in his boots.

    PS What a strange place for their meet.

  19. Lord Palmerston

    5 Jun, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    “Not a Liberal Democracy” indeed. That is because you can have
    Liberty or you can have Democracy but you cannot, for any length of
    time, have both.

    The mass of the voters don’t care about Liberty. The authorities
    didn’t back down over mass surveillance, nor over the Miranda arrest.
    They have judged, correctly, that these cost them no votes. They are
    pressing on with their programme, including now secret trials.

    This is what happens when the common man, who cares for liberalism as
    much as did Genghis Khan, has the right to vote. It will not go into
    reverse and it will not stop before Democracy itself comes to an end.

  20. Reading several articles on the proposed secret Trial in the Guardian, none allow comments. On one of the articles by Owen Jones a footer says “Comments on this article will remain closed for legal reasons” to clarify, they were never open.

    I can only assume some D-Notice/If you like your hard drives intact, type warning has been issues in order to suppress dissent.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/05/britain-first-secret-trial-rights

    I think Labour are allowing themselves to grumble only because they and the powers that be, know they cant stop it.
    If they were in power, they would no doubt tow the line or face consequences.
    Jack Straw hired to commentate on the BBC Queens Speech program disgusts me.
    For what it’s worth, it all disgusts me to think ‘this is Britain’ now.

    I think the public are distracted by either their south east ‘we’re all right jack’ mood or we are too austerty’d to death. They also seem much dumber than they used to be?

    That and the fact that they think it wont ever be them that faces secret charges that no-one will know about, with witnesses and evidence they cant see or challenge.

    I’m trying to think of a pariah regime to compare that to but it is hard to come up with. The US and UK will presumably be held up as examples of the extreme standard in lost human rights and justice in centuries to come.

    Write to your MP, talk to your neighbours, scream at them in the Telegraph and elsewhere, tactical vote them out next year,(Do UKIP have a unintended function there?) whatever, It’s unacceptable!

  21. re Intp1 above … no it is quite right that public comments should be curtailed when articles are reporting on going court proceedings. Imagine if it were otherwise with a bog roll news media such as the DAILY MAIL. No there should be and usually are restrictions re ongoing Court proceedings reports.

  22. John above many thanks for that .. will follow up. I assume that you do mean that it can all be done in absolute total secrecy. Anyway thanks.

  23. USA Pledge allegiance salute ca. 1942
    h/t zerohedge

    I recall the American salute to our flag. Here is photo abt 1942 in the
    classroom, before it was changed to holding right hand over heart, which all you
    young folks think was always this way.
    Pledge allegiance 1942
    http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-10-2014-they-snuck-in-eurobonds-through-the-backdoor/

  24. At the time the law was passing, Rifkind and Clarke argued that secret trials were actually aiding transparency. Not kidding, btw, they wrote this in The Guardian. Their ‘argument’ appears to be that secret trials allow more evidence from the security services, thus making securitat more transparent. I really don’t know what to say to this kind of logic. It’s authoritarian logic, and nothing I can say can pierce the barrier of the authoritarian mindset. I can merely point out that it’s bullshit, which it is.

    As to the lack up uproar, it’s like we are being trained to accept such things. CCTV is my personal bug bear, but there is also anti-terror laws, internet surveillance, all of which have gradually encroached on our liberties, so we have become used to them. This particular law is a big step, but in context seems relatively minor, perhaps. I’d still expect more from the legal bodies, but they seem to have been corrupted, too.

    I feel like an animal in a zoo sometimes. Being stared at. An unwitting contestant on Big Brother. I’m a private sort of fellow, so maybe it all bothers me more than many, but the 24\7 surveillance of basically everybody is extremely weird indeed, almost voyeuristic. But as ever, expect nothing from any of the neoliberal parties, they appear too scared to intercede.

  25. @IAN CAMERON
    5 Jun, 2014 – 11:00 pm
    Imagine how it would be?
    Imagine a trial that was public! in which the PUBLIC were allowed in and then (not allowed to open their mouths to each other?)

    How do you know there is an ongoing trial?

    You could be censored about anything at all with the excuse that there is a related ongoing trial, since no-one is allowed to know otherwise.

    You are munching clover next door to the slaughterhouse.

  26. The pain of TB* so great they tied his 10 year old sister to the bed with rope…as a moving accompaniment to Craig’s essay on the state of Britain today, see Harry’s Last Stand in yesterday’s Guardian. It is an intensely moving and saddening account by a man who saw the most dreadful poverty, two world wars and the creation of the NHS, and now despairs for what is happening in the country. The guy comes across as a deeply admirable man, and can’t half write.

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/04/coalition-attacks-nhs-return-britain-age-workhouse

    Read and weep

    * Tuberculosis, not Tony Blair.

  27. There is no irony as the slippery arms salesman we have as Prime Minister strides around the Normandy beachheads speaking of what those brave men did for our freedom, all the while taking away our freedoms (this secret trial is one example) and destroying our beloved social institutions (like the NHS for example) set up after WWII.

    I will not be watching any of the stuff coming over the airwaves today as these war criminals and gangsters posture in Normandy.

    ‘David Cameron has written an article for the French newspaper Ouest-France to mark the D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations.

    As we gather on the beaches of Normandy to remember the extraordinary sacrifices made for peace, there has never been a more important time to underline our belief in collective defence.

    Through the searing experiences of moments like D-Day, we learnt how much more we could achieve by working together as allies than by fighting alone. The NATO Alliance was born out of this commitment to increase our collective security and to ensure that the common cause we found through shared hardship would prevent conflict on this scale threatening our world again.

    Just as British and French soldiers fought for victory against a common enemy on the beaches of Normandy, today France and the UK stand shoulder to shoulder against the threats of the modern world. We remain united against international terrorism and extremism – and in recent times our armed forces have served together in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali and elsewhere around the world.

    But it is not just our military ties that have deepened over these past 70 years. We have also worked together to ramp up diplomatic pressure in advancing our shared values, most recently in the push for humanitarian assistance in Syria and in our support for the Ukrainian government. Alongside NATO, the European Union has also helped us to develop a peaceful continent which is more connected than we could ever have imagined and which has opened up unprecedented opportunities for trade and growth.

    So as we look forward to the future I believe we should take strength from the shared hardship of our experience during World War II. It has forged our unique relationship and created a shared determination to work together for a safer, more prosperous future for us all. That future is why so many of our service men gave their lives – and protecting the peace they fought for is the greatest way we can honour those who fell.’

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/d-day-70th-anniversary-david-camerons-article

    What a smooth tongued bastard.

  28. I agree. Three points:

    1. It is only courtesy of judiciary that we even know that the trial is taking place. If the government and prosecution had had its way, even that information would have remained secret. Can we be sure that there haven’t been secret trials in the recent past for which a reporting order, banning publication of the existence of the trial, has remained in force?

    2. On the question of practicalities, I can see how secret evidence can be presented to a closed trial, but I can’t see how the defendants can remain anonymous. Their friends and families must know who they are. Unless they are held incommunicado for ever, fellow inmates will know their identity. British law may constrain people in Britain communicating on the internet, but it does not bind or intimidate the whole world. (And if family, friends, and prison inmates know or will know, what is the national security issue in extending the information to the British public?)

    3. The mere fact that someone can be secretly arrested, charged and convicted on secret evidence with it being unlawful even to publicise the person’s name means that Britain has ceased to be a liberal democracy. It doesn’t have to happen to everybody; the fact that it happens to one person is enough.

  29. I’m surprised there aren’t more comments here.

    I have direct experience with the courts in private family law. I dont think that experience is entirely unrelated to this. My first encounter I was optimistic and naive, thinking that it would take one hearing because things were so simple to resolve, and the solution was so obvious.

    I have seen how evidence was fabricated, how judges knew ths was going on and turned their eyes, and how they allowed the case to drag out, searching for every possible thing to prevent me from having a relationship with my children. Bob geldof has written about this, as have thousands of others less famous.

    I also now know, after several years of experience, that so called judicial independence from state and corporate interests is nonexistent in this country, in spite of what is claimed. The family courts are also secret, because if they were not there would be lots of outrage. Also, parents are not allowed to discuss their cases with anyone, let alone the media.

    Children are treated like commodities in this country, or at best pawns, though the industry that capitalises on their management and trafficking claims that child welfare is paramount. Ha!

    These two journalists will not get a fair trial, and even if they do, the damage will already be done, because the bullying will have already deterred lots of otherwise decent people from reporting the facts.

  30. Ba'al Zevul (Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I do)

    6 Jun, 2014 - 10:42 am

    I’m surprised there aren’t more comments here.

    Not a lot to be said, is there? It’s straightforward enough. On the one hand, open trials, jury of peers, fair and undiscriminating process: liberal democracy, promoting its enlightened values to the benighted savages of insert oil-rich country here from a morally unassailable position.

    On the other, all the other stuff. And by a bitter irony and failure of perception, the legitimising of our undemocratic process was our response to the activities of aforementioned benighted savages. We have been successfully subverted.

    Terrorism 1: democracy 0

    Just a thought: it would be possible to introduce some transparency if participants in such trials – including jurors – were made to sign the OSA if and when secret material were introduced. Exclusion of the press and public from only the sensitive parts of the proceedings has plenty of precedents…even in council meetings…and would be legitimate.

    Justice MUST be seen to be done – we can argue about the quality of the view, but there must be some kind of view.

  31. The lead up explained.

    Everything you need to know about the secret trials coming to a courtroom near you – Angela Patrick
    March 3, 2013
    http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2013/03/03/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-secret-trials-coming-to-a-courtroom-near-you-angela-patrick/

    The author

    Angela Patrick – Director of Human Rights Policy

    ‘Angela Patrick is a qualified barrister, educated at Durham and Cambridge Universities.

    Before joining JUSTICE, from 2006 – 2011, she was assistant legal adviser to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights. In this role, she was responsible for advising on a broad range of human rights issues, from the compatibility of the treatment of detainees by UK armed forces with the UN Convention against Torture to respecting the right to privacy in the operation of the national DNA database.

    Following pupillage at Matrix, Angela practised at Hailsham Chambers. She has held academic posts as a visiting fellow at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and as a part-time lecturer at University College London. She acts as an expert trainer for the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, training parliamentarians and parliamentary staff in emerging democracies on parliamentary engagement with international human rights standards and the rule of law.

    Angela has published and lectured widely and is a contributing author to Sweet and Maxwell’s Human Rights Practice.’
    http://www.justice.org.uk/pages/angela-patrick-director-of-human-rights-policy.html

  32. Sorry for OT comments, but the NHS is wheeled into the knackers yard it seems. mental health care patients are being shifted into London and Yorkshire for treatment as NHS Norfolk and their mental health calamitists fail to serve clients, but manage to hang on to their jobs.

    http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/health/graphic_mental_health_patients_sent_to_yorkshire_london_and_north_east_after_trust_misses_target_to_end_bed_placements_outside_of_norfolk_1_3630448

    The NNUH, so I have heard this monring, has no been able to take any appointments for the last 14 days, you can’t get any appointments with them.
    The NNUH is full all year round it had problems with its A&E admissions camping out and the leader of Broasdland DC Andrew proctor assured me that the new NDR bypass will not have any space allocated or saved for a future new hospital to the east of Norwich.

    My friends father age 85, after being referred to the NNUH, has tried in vain and for two days to get him an appointment. She overheard the woman she was speaking to making the following comment to somebodcy else in the office.
    ‘Its about time we are doing something about this’

  33. It’s you that has changed, not the state.
    The state was perfectly OK with torturing the Mau Mau in Kenya, the rebels in Malaya and even the Nazis during WW2.
    Whilst Blair did a lot to move the ball down the field of authoritarian government, Mrs T got it rolling with the SUSS laws, the summary justice of on-the-spot fines and the seizing of the proceeds of crime.
    We tell ourselves these fairy tales about being a liberal democracy but that is only superficial. The government is getting worse at hiding its illiberalism as it surrenders ever more power to markets and monied interests.
    All we are experiencing is a loss of innocence, though if we didn’t believe the fairy tale, then nobody would ever kick up a stink.

  34. Is Britain being influenced by the U.S. example? If the U.S. were not setting this precedent would Britain be less likely to adopt secret trials?

  35. Ba'al Zevul (Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I do)

    6 Jun, 2014 - 2:46 pm

    Peripherally – here’s some accurate fire:

    http://www.jamesgray.org/weekly-column/war-hero-and-tony-blair

    One law for him. Indeed.

  36. Ba'al Zevul (Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I do)

    6 Jun, 2014 - 3:01 pm

    Simon Jenkins gets it right -

    Whatever their warped motivation, terrorists commit common crimes and should be subject to common justice. They should not be accorded warrior status and the reward of a suspension of the rule of law. If open justice sometimes means a criminal going free, or even a bomb going off, that is the price of liberty. Pretending such justice might infringe the security of the state is beyond scaremongering. It is an abuse of language, unpatriotic, untrue.

    Whenever I argue this, somebody retorts that I would not like it if someone I loved were killed by a terrorist. I am sure I would not, but then I also grieve death in an accident or at the hand of a madman. I hope only to have the courage to accept such a tragedy as the price of living in a free society. Rowing back on the rule of law is not security. It is cowardice.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/05/secret-justice-right-for-putin-russia-not-peacetime-britain

    Note also – four police permanently guarding Blair’s town house. And what of the 7 other Blair properties?

  37. Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    6 Jun, 2014 - 4:49 pm

    ” I have said it before but I will repeat myself, what the hell. You are a product of a lifetime of indoctrination, the central theme of which is the myth that Britain and its allies are democracies.”

    In craigs defense I must say that he feels the current methodology of democracies is the best bad idea we have. I disagree with that but will defend to the death, his right to say it. Personally I don’t think you can make a palatable apple pie from fruit that has rotted from the inside.

  38. Secret trials are not new. But still, as good a reason as any to be shocked yet again and to crow bar another mention of the Great Heroic Moment ™ into a death knell to that which never actually existed.

  39. “In craigs defense I must say that he feels the current methodology of democracies is the best bad idea we have.”

    I thought Craig had become a “political revolutionary”?

  40. Anyway, why hasn’t anyone slapped up some details of this trial on an overseas server?

    The internet is captured! Leg it!

  41. Obviously this “trial” is required to establish the new laws and amendments in fact. Particularly to establish the “last resort” criteria.
    Once in place how long will it be before the “security services” win the argument that the physical civil justice court is unsafe to allow a hearing and that it should be moved to a safer, more remote, location. The Judges would of course need specialist knowledge in order to understand the intricacies of the trial material and therefore would need separate and secret appointments.
    It doesn’t take too much effort to extrapolate to the extreme, applying NWO and Bush doctrines, to see that “last resort” becomes “first step” and the “in” is removed “infrequent application”. Not forgetting the loosening interpretation of terrorism to mean dissent.

    We have already ended up with mass surveillance no doubt with Big Business having access to the data for its own use.

    Will we see another Ed Snowden type event? Or indeed any political revolutionary movement?

    Never mind, the Fita Wurld Cup is about to start best to sit back in the sofa and crack a tinnie or two. Not much will happen over the Summer will it?

  42. Erm, heard of Thatcher?

  43. Chris,
    I’m sorry but I don’t understand your comment. From its construct it appears it is a negative reference to either Prime Minister Thatcher, the Thatcher governments or perhaps what has rather the Thatcher doctrine from 30 years ago.
    As an outsider looking in I am not sure how the politics from this era is relevant to the modern digital age.
    What I am trying to understand is when and how the surveillance state moved from being a wet dream of Western security services to a viable and political aim. This must have happened only by agreement with the USA and UK (and others) who must have looked at East Germany and eastern Europe pre-1989 with awe. In the 1990s it must have appeared on the agenda as a possibility. USA probably saying “We can do this.” and Britain saying “We can’t afford this.”
    I was wondering when the notion of a total surveillance state took root and moved onto the agenda of Governments. What were the triggers? 1960s civil unrest in the USA, French riots? Was there ever true civil unrest in the UK in 1970s and 1980s or was there an acceptance that “things had to be done” which opened the door for creeping legislation to legislation to prepare for a panopticon state. This was my jibe about football and sofas. I could equally have referred to cups of tea, or bright shiny baubles I guess.

    As I say I am just trying to understand. Here in Germany we see the UK as having thrown its lot in with the USA in terms of the digital future. The German government are encouraging an alternative more private digital future be created; all the while, I suspect, agreeing to deep levels of cooperation with Five Eyes (a club I am sure it would like to join).

    So Chris, please elucidate.

  44. A little leeway, a sop to the British public, from the judiciary on the ‘secret trial’ which starts at the Old Bailey shortly.

    We now know the names of the defendants and some of the trial will be heard in public. Big deal.

    12 June 2014 Last updated at 11:28
    Fully secret terror trial blocked by Court of Appeal
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27806814

    ‘Terror trial’. What a leading headline there.

  45. From 11 Sept 2001 to date Fuddle.

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