Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tory Vs Conservative: The Litmus Test

When you hear that a terrorist attack may kill thousands of your fellow citizens, is your first thought ‘Oh no! That could really hurt civil liberties!’ ? Find out the answer to that question and you can pretty much guess which side of the great divide someone’s on.

In the red corner, we have the formerly sensible Iain Dale. Mass slaughter’s one thing, but Sir Ian Blair's ‘authoritarian stance’ ? Man, that really worries him. Hey, if the system can’t prevent thousands of people being killed, maybe it needs reforming. Or, to put it another way, just how many casualties would it take for these people to say ‘You know, I think the system is dysfunctional, after all’ ?

Incidentally, this sort of thing sinks the excuse that the Cameroonatics come out with this stuff as the price of power. If anything, the public is far to the right of the Tories on this issue. They’re not coming out with this stuff because they think there’re votes in it, they really do believe a Tory government should outsource national defence to the twelve law loonies and the rest of the insane clown posse (by the way, anyone know if Lord Hoffman’s decided if terrorism is a real threat yet ?).

Come to think of it, nothing threatens civil liberties in the long-term more than this kind of prissy contempt for the defence of the realm. Look how well our current system is performing. Not only did the terrorists score 100% on July 7, but two weeks later they were able to reach 100% of their targets again, albeit mass slaughter was prevented by their appalling grasp of chemistry. Why exactly should the public buy what the terrorist enablers in Liberty and the like are selling ? We’re going to end up with new laws one way or another. Sooner or later the policy of waging war using the legal system, and a legal system that evolved to deal with peasants robbing turnips at that, is going to lead to disaster. At that point everything will be up for grabs.

Tory genuinely interested in preserving civil liberties would be best advised to get on board now, and help create a structure to deal with terrorism separate from the 'dealing with turnip-swiping' setup. It’s either that or face an ever-increasing casualty list until the dyke breaks and an enraged public sweeps away all manner of babies with the bathwater.

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