The Absence of Liberalism 327


The overruling of a European Court judgement to assert individual privacy, and the anti-democratic rushing of emergency legislation through parliament where no emergency exists, are the antithesis of liberalism. So of course is the jettisoning of all the Lib Dem manifesto pledges on civil liberties.

It is not news that Nick Clegg has become the poster boy for a politics utterly devoid of principle, organised purely around the desire of individual politicians for wealth and power. But even with all that background, I found Clegg’s enthusiastic ratcheting up of the fear factor over the “need” to protect us from virtually non-existent threats, utterly reprehensible.

At his press conference with Cameron, Clegg actually quoted the non-existent “liquid bomb plot to bring down multiple planes” as the reason these powers were needed. He even made a direct claim that telephone intercepts had been instrumental in “foiling” the “liquid bomb plot”. That is utterly untrue. The three men eventually convicted had indeed been under judge approved surveillance for a year. In that year, they made no reference to a plan to bring down airplanes, because there was no such plan. The only “evidence” of a plan to bring down multiple airplanes came from a Pakistani torture chamber. There never was a single liquid bomb. 90% of those arrested in the investigation were released without charge or found not guilty.

The three found guilty had done little more than boast and fantasise about being jihadis. That is not to say they were nice people. They may even have done some harm, though if Clegg were in any sense a Liberal he would not be supportive of imprisoning people in case they one day do some harm. But they had never made a liquid bomb or made a plan to bring down multiple airlines.

The point is, that while any ordinary member of the public could be forgiven for believing in the Liquid Bomb Plot, given all the lies of the mainstream media, Clegg has to be aware that he is spreading deliberate lies and propaganda to justify this “emergency legislation”.

Still more ludicrous was the failure to address the elephant in the room – Snowden’s revelation that the NSA and GCHQ indulge in vast mass surveillance, of the communications of millions of people in the UK, with absolutely no regard for the legal framework anyway.

In the last few weeks there has been a concerted effort to ratchet up the fear of the extremely remote possibility of a terrorist attack. We have seen, as first lead on the news bulletins and front page headlines, the jailing of two young men for “terrorism” for fighting in Syria, when there was no evidence of any kind that they had any intention of committing any violence in the UK. We have the absolute nonsense of the mobile phone in airports charade. We had days of the ludicrous argument that ISIS success in Iraq will cause terrorist attacks in the UK. Now we have the urgent need for this “emergency legislation”.

Why is the fear ratchet being screwed right up just now? What is this leading up to?


327 thoughts on “The Absence of Liberalism

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  • Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    ” What is this leading up to?”

    It is vital that the status quo experience no Bear markets so that commerce is uninterrupted. The window-dressers want the public to feel safe to continue shopping and traveling.

    But it’s also handy as a cattle-prod nudging us all toward the trending capitulation of our civil rights, in the event of a major attack, as we’ve seen in recent history. It works very well.

    Shoe bombs and underpant ordnance make people laugh, but this guy is quite creative and could have reached an arc of design.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_al-Asiri

    There is a lot of people who think he’s been enabled, encouraged and abetted by certain State players.

  • Dan Huil

    The answer to your last two questions: A “state of emergency” called with troops deployed at major airports and tearful explanations from Cameron and other British nationalists that only a “united” kingdom can save us from terrorist cataclysm.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I was listening to some plummy-voiced suit explaining to Radio 4 that the reason “we” (that ersatz inclusiveness again: you’ll be seeing much more of it) were experiencing a “recovery” from the towering clusterfuck the bankers and hedge funds landed us (no quotes there) in, was that our workforce had become more ” flexible”. Hands up anyone who doesn’t know what that means. Ok, Timmy, I know you sometimes have trouble with these advanced concepts. Think “desperate”.

  • Peacewisher

    I couldn’t agree more, Craig, regarding the Emergency Legislation, and I can’t understand why more people aren’t making a fuss. Do we want to be a country with a semblance of democracy or become East Germany?

    It is clear that our MPs no longer represent our interests, as one person said very articulately on Question Time last night, although his answer was cut short.

  • Peacewisher

    This could also making people think twice about coming forward as whistleblowers or victims regarding the child abuse in high places inquiry.

  • Rehmat

    Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO – could you ever post some objective source than Israeli Hasbara Wikipedia to support your claim?

  • DtP

    As a friend rightly pointed out – if it’s OK for the government to attempt to intervene in Syria on the side of the ‘rebels’ then isn’t it slightly duplicitous for private citizens not to be able to make their own minds up?

    Here’s larks – can anyone remember Cameron’s pledge to have a Great Repeal Bill? No, me neither, me neither.

    Cheers Craig

  • Peacewisher

    @Rehmat: Perhaps like me you grew up in the UK at a time when we didn’t have an “existential threat”. I thought the anti-Irish legislation in the mid-1970s was over the top, for something that only affected the tiniest minority, and as I remember it, that was “only” 24 hours detention without charge. How things have changed since then!

  • glenn_uk

    You have to hand it to them… a 7-Day online shopping outfit just advised me, via email, to buy their “Emergency Powerbank Chargers – avoid your electronics being confiscated!”

  • Peacewisher

    @Glenn: Just think how well surveillance cameras manufacturers have done out of this in the last 10 years.

  • Keith Crosby

    It’s not the absence of liberalism, it’s the essence. When liberalism, the ideology of the boss class, ceases to protect their privileges, it mutates into Stalinism and fascism, the bastard C20th and C21st children of John Stuart Mill (“… of his own free will, paid for by millions of dead Africans, Asians and Irish….”)

  • Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    “could you ever post some objective source than Israeli Hasbara Wikipedia to support your claim?”

    I’m using the link for general info on the man. What information do you object to, or is it just the source? It had nothing to do with my ‘claim’.

  • Peacewisher

    I’ve just been informed via tannoy that anything I leave unattended could be destroyed by the security services. And we’ve been putting up with this for years now. Is it going to be worse than East Germany?

  • MJ

    “What is this leading up to?”

    I guess we’ll find out soon enough. The legislation expires in 2016.

    If it’s as reasonable as is being made out by all main parties then there#s no good reason for railroading the legislation through without proper scrutiny and debate. That’s precisely what happened with the Patriot Act in the US.

    There may be some small, innocuously-worded provision in there that is actually very nasty and we’re not allowed to know what it is until it has become law.

  • Porkfright

    Very early after this was announced I posted a comment that occurred to me. To the effect that this happened just after the paedos in parliament ordure began to hit the fan. I still think this is a key part of it. Dan Huil 4.00 p.m. is very interesting indeed.

  • Phil

    A dissapointing politician? How surprising.

    Clegg’s recent betrayals are nothing new and but peanuts compared to others before. One hundred years ago the party was split as grass root members denounced Asquith and Churchill for embracing WW1. We all know how that turned out.

    Of course Craig’s latest favourite party, the Green Party, is just another compromise and corruption machine.

    The party system is fundamentally flawed to be hijacked by those pursuing wealth and power. Rare individuals who resist temptation are marginalised or compromised. Maybe you’ve noticed.

    No more endless disappointment! No more Groundhog Day Lala Land! Social democrats, abandon your faith, embrace the revolutionary bubbling underneath! Radical decentralisation now!

  • OldMark

    If Craig, and a few others, think this is the sort of thing that won’t happen in an independent Scotland, Kenny MaCaskill’s words on the matter bear repeating-

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/wider-political-news/snp-attacks-lack-of-consultation-on-emergency-data-retention-law.24727624?utm_source=www.heraldscotland.com&utm_medium=RSS%20Feed&utm_campaign=Scottish%20Political%20News

    A rough translation –
    1. Why did youse feckers not keep me in in the loop on this ?
    2. No matter, when we’re running our own show we’ll legislate for something very similar.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the SNP, and the other ‘minor parties’, vote on this at Westminster. Caroline Lucas from the Greens will almost certainly vote against, but will the others ?

  • Mary

    Weekend Edition July 11-13, 2014

    The Return of George Orwell and Big Brother’s War
    On Israel, Ukraine and Truth
    by JOHN PILGER

    The other night, I saw George Orwells’s 1984 performed on the London stage. Although crying out for a contemporary interpretation, Orwell’s warning about the future was presented as a period piece: remote, unthreatening, almost reassuring. It was as if Edward Snowden had revealed nothing, Big Brother was not now a digital eavesdropper and Orwell himself had never said, “To be corrupted by totalitarianism, one does not have to live in a totalitarian country.”

    /..
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/11/on-israel-ukraine-and-truth/

  • John Goss

    “Still more ludicrous was the failure to address the elephant in the room – Snowden’s revelation that the NSA and GCHQ indulge in vast mass surveillance, of the communications of millions of people in the UK, with absolutely no regard for the legal framework anyway.”

    This is what it’s really about. Our special relationship with the power that, via the UK and other country members of the 5 eyes, are spying on everybody including their own citizens. Germany, the leading power in Europe, wants out of this having discovered that it is one of the main targets, and is acrrying other countries with it (excepting the UK). And following NATO’s sponsored war in Ukraine which is not all that far from Germany, coupled with what everybody has seen NATO do in the Middle East, there are justified fears that the US intentions are to create a world of failed states because of its own wanked-out economy. Wake up world!

    As to the dissenters who said that to hold a referendum in Eastern Ukraine in weeks, are pretty quiet over this undemocratic porcess in our own country. Last night Hazel Blears was on Channel 4 News defending this rushed-through law. Of course she supported the war in Iraq too. It demonstrates that we have no main party in parliament that represents civil libertiies any more. The state of my country has become a disgrace.

  • Ben-LA PACQUTE LO ES TODO

    ” One of my aims in doing so was to ensure that there was a radical left faction in the party constantly pushing it in a progressive direction ”

    I sense that ‘progressives’ over there are similar to those here, Phil.

    They are jacked-in to the veracity of the system and want to change the direction mainly for voter reform and ethnocentric issues without a perspective on global issues. Maybe I should say they are less focused on World matters because the local issues seem more controllable. Am I giving them too much credit?

  • Fedup

    The court ruling was delivered that the EU directive for snooping on its citizens is invalid/illegal/prohibited in April. However the emergency “measures” are now being enacted and as Tom Watson put it; “its a stitch up”, further elaborating “all three parties have in secret come to an agreement to pass these emergency laws”.

    The draconian snooping and monitoring is now made legal to allay the fears of the Internet/Telecom service providers that are keeping every transaction record of every customer and handing it over to the SIS.

    The legal powers to snoop circumvent any probable or penitential law suit brought against these snooping corporates. Fact that the number of snooper corporations are around 784 (included the privatised Post Office) is the reason for such a bums rush to pass the emergency laws.

    The fear and loathing volumetric have been turned up a few notches in the due course and all the air passengers are to be frisked, groped, Xrayed, and their phone and laptops confiscated (there is a down turn in iwotsit market and there is a need for better sales figures) as well as the latest capture and charging of an arch tayrrorist Abdul Rahman Benhammedi

    … appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court accused of possession of an article for a purpose connected with terrorism.

    The charge relates to a USB memory stick containing sniper training manuals, the court heard.

    Although for some reason the medjia has been pretty much staying away, and the story does not seem to get much traction.

  • guano

    Craig, the government’s spokesfolk waffled last night about controls being put in place with regard to government spying.

    I do not know if the mosque does its own spying on the non=you/apne Muslims or whether they get their spydata from the police/local intelligence network, but in either case what I say to my wife in private in my own house is somehow relayed to them.

    I can understand how as newcomers to a society whose ancestors persecuted them it must give them a bit of adrenolin to be able to watch the shortcomings of us new Muslims either through the UK intelligence network or through their own IT knowledge.

    Fact is, there is no restraint on anyone who does not fear Allah, who has made spying Haram, or a worldly power that will physically restrain them. Am I saying that the Muslims only understand force? Yes, but they want to be on the side of force, not the receiving end.

    The punishment mentioned in the Qur’an for those who have the knowledge of the truth of Islam, but who do not follow the good example of Islam, nor do they teach those who have never seen Islam that good example is Double Punishment.

    And it is also mentioned in the Qur’an that those who will be in the worst situation on the Day of Judgement is those knowledgeable people who thought they were on guidance, but who oppressed the people secretly and openly, thinking that they were immune from observation by Allah and from His punishment.

    If the Muslims are doing it, and the Corporate business are definitely doing it, I am convinced that all rungs of government are definitiely utilising the information gathered from spying to nefarious and illegal ends.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig,

    You are rising in my expectations. I just wish you would “come out” about 9/11. I do realise the risks to you if you did, and why so few people have. Whilst “Liberalism” may be dead so far as The Psychopaths who think they are in control of us are concerned, whilst they bomb themselves…or rather bomb millions of innocent people around the world in our name…in every way conceivable…the concept of liberalism and basic human “Christian Charity” for want of a better word…as strange as that may seem…is alive and well, and demonstrably so at the personal level. The vast majority of people do their best to completely ignore these horrible people in power. I can understand why. Apologies etc…

    I wish you well.

    Tony

  • guano

    The apparatus of government spying is available to all schools and all major employers and employment agencies, to any of those custodes who have no custodes over them. Those who utilise spying have no faith, because it is forbidden, so it follows that they have no faith to prevent them from the temptations of abusing the power of spying. People of faith do not indulge in this particularly dirty sin.

  • Court Jouster

    ”What is this leading up to?” Why at this moment?

    It can only mean one thing, the “YES” vote is winning, they have to find a way to void the September date with a view to keeping it in permanent deep freeze.

    But how? CMs court jesters from the false flag fraternity are keeping their heads well below the parapet, no clue there then?

  • Clark

    Any sign of tighter or more heavy-handed “security” on Scotland – rest-of-UK flights in particular?

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