You know what's most annoying about libs ? Everything. But if I had to choose one thing, it's would be their constant insistence that holding liberal principles in modern Britain is exactly like being a dissident in Soviet Russia. Please - telling Jew jokes at the Hamas Annual Dinner takes more courage.
The latest example of liberals lauding each other for heroically yapping the party line is the Indie's hagiographic profile
of terrorist groupie Shami Chakrabarti. It's great to see that she's finally found an issue on the right scale for her world view - of which, more later - but as for the rest....mearrrrgh!
Shami Chakrabarti is squirming as we end our interview. "I feel as if I just shopped a friend," she says. That this champion of individual rights over the might of the state would ever turn into a rat, a stoolie, a blower or a grass seems preposterous.
Yep, Little Miss Not-Anti-Police takes the same position on helping the police as is recommended by gansta rappers.
Since she joined the civil rights group Liberty in 2001, on the day before 9/11, this tiny, determined, second-generation immigrant has been one of the biggest irritants for New Labour's authoritarians this side of Afghanistan's Tora Bora caves.
Yowser! She really is stuck in September 10.
It's not that she's spouting fiery rhetoric of the sort heard during peace protests, climate change camps or anti-globalisation riots.
No, she just enables the lunatic fringe.
I get no sense that an army of activists is ready to follow her on to the streets, chanting slogans such as "Give us liberty or give us death".
I guess that's the closest we'll ever get to an acknowledgement that there is, to a rough approximation, no public support whatsoever for Liberty's vile, pro-terrorist drivel. Fortunately, Liberty - the touchy-feely, human rights group - doesn't need to soil itself dealing with actual members of the public. Nope, they take the direct route:
Chakrabarti, 38, is very much part of the establishment, a former Home Office lawyer and member of the board of governors of the British Film Institute who was made a CBE in the Queen's birthday honours this year.
Yep, final proof of the kabuki theatre nature of the government's anti-terrorism policy, based as it is on headline-grabbing initiatives which, gosh darn it, keep getting blocked by non-adversarial lawsuits from lunatic fringe groups like Liberty.
Indeed, she likes to stress the things that she's not against. "I'm not anti-American," she says, twice, perhaps mistaking my Canadian accent.
Like I keep saying, conservatives should try that - we should claim we're not 'anti-lawyer', we just think you should be allowed to kill them with impunity.
Then a while later: "I'm not anti-police; I'm anti-police state."
Further proof that liberal ideology is driven by bumper stickers. What exactly does it mean to say that you're 'anti-police state' ? Who isn't ? If nothing else, could these people at least stop yapping about how nuanced they are ?
She's not even anti-killing, pointing out that it's allowed, in tightly constrained circumstances, under the global human rights framework that emerged after the Second World War.
You know, if a conservative based his legal philosophy on a document produced in the 1940s, he'd be accused of wanting to bring back the days of 'no Irish, no blacks, no dogs'. I guess traditional values aren't so bad after all.
Of course, libs need to argue by quoting hoary, old bits of post-war nonsense - once they get pinned down to the specifics of what they really believe, their support tends to drop off, so it's either pillaging the History Channel, or outright lying - as exemplified next:
But what isn't allowed, ever, is torture, she says. "It's unforgivable."Really ?
Hence the latest friction between Liberty and the Government. Britain intervened last month in a case before the European Court of Human Rights which, if it goes Whitehall's way, would make torture at least excusable if not forgivable. "The British Government is trying to persuade the court that, in the context of deportation, the absolute prohibition on torture shouldn't be so absolute."
Are we actually talking about 'torture', or are we talking about the vague possibility of torture at some unspecified future time and place ? To endorse Liberty's position is to believe that the burden of proof is on Britain to prove there is no possibility of terrorists being tortured - a logical, let alone legal, absurdity.
That's without considering other issues. Consider that the underlying assumption of Liberty's position is an essentially Victorian one, namely that anywhere that doesn't fly the Union Flag is a barbaric hellhole. Ditto, surely the right of countries to control their own borders is pretty basic ? Or, to put it another way, if the 'human rights framework' really meant countries were obliged to offer sanctuary to dangerous criminals, it wouldn't have taken fifty years for anyone to find that out.
The Government might yet succeed; by the time Liberty and other civil rights groups found out about the hearing, it was too late to get permission to put their arguments to the court.
Yep, these are the guys we want running our counter-terrorism policies.
The case, being heard before 17 justices in the Strasbourg court's Grand Chamber, was brought by Nassim Saadi, 23, a Tunisian legally resident in Italy. Rome, armed with a promise from the government in Tunis that Saadi won't be hurt, has been trying to deport him since his conviction on charges of criminal conspiracy and fraud, which he is appealing.
Apparently, the threat of torture is so serious, he's prepared to do anything to avoid deportation - except stop committing loads of criminal offences.
His lawyers contend that the Tunisian promise is unenforceable, and that torture is a matter of daily routine in the North African state, where Saadi, the brother of a suicide bomber, has been convicted, in absentia, of terrorism.
The left's new position: you can't trust the wogs.
"It would reopen the Chahal problem," says Chakrabarti, referring to a 1996 ruling by the court that the possibility of torture could never be balanced against other issues, such as the threat to national security that a prisoner might pose.
Or, to put it another way, no amount of innocent deaths can justify a known terrorist being inconvenienced.
You can understand why these people feel the need to lie about what they believe.
Karamjit Singh Chahal, a suspected Sikh separatist, feared he would be tortured if Britain returned him to India. The court agreed. "This is the seminal judgement on deportation to a place of torture," she says.
'Separatist' ? Is that in the sense of separating people's limbs from their bodies ? Victimhood poker strikes again. Libs in general, and the BBC in particular, slobber over the Subcontinent, but when it comes to protecting explosively-minded psychos, suddenly the world's largest democracy is 'a place of torture'.
The 1996 ruling has had far-reaching consequences. "It led, in a way, to the Belmarsh policy." Unable, because of the Chahal ruling, to deport people it thought were potential terrorists, the Government instead locked them up, indefinitely, under the legal fiction that they might someday be deported under immigration law.
'Potential' in the sense of 'convicted', but only by dirty wog courts.
"Then they went to the House of Lords and that lovely man Lord Goldsmith said this is a three-walled prison, because they are free to leave at any time."
If you're free to leave at any time, you're not locked up, are you ? The only place these terrorists could not go was Britain. Again, it's a basic duty of government to protect the citizenry from foreign invaders.
Chahal is also at the heart of the row over "extraordinary rendition" or, as Chakrabarti insists with a call-a-spade-a-spade bluntness, "kidnapping and torture".
This must be 'call-a-spade-a-spade bluntness' in the sense of 'lying'.
Chahal established that it wasn't enough to say "I'm not torturing anyone". The state has an obligation to make sure that no one else does it either.
So, they're still coming up dry on actual proof that the government is involved in torture, but some other folks might be, so that means the British government is still guilty, but we're still not allowed to menton how Liberty helps enable terrorism. No obligation on them not to help blow people up.
Britain's role in extraordinary rendition – the "turning of a blind eye" to US flights carrying detainees to countries that practise torture, – still hasn't been properly investigated, she complains.
Conservatives should do this too - claim that our opponents are involved in bestiality, only we don't have any actual evidence because it hasn't been 'properly investigated'.
"It leaves a bitter taste. If we don't acknowledge what happened, how do we prevent it happening again?"
So the lack of evidence is actually proof of guilt. Maybe we ought to apply that principle to suspected terrorists ?
The ruling may be the biggest legal weapon in her arsenal, but it is also the cause of her discomfort this morning. It is the last day of her summer holiday but she's already busy responding to journalists about the fate of Learco Chindamo, the murderer of headmaster Philip Lawrence. And she's taken time away from her husband and five-year-old son to talk to me. Wearing a moss-green velvet jacket, she sits beneath a bust of Plato in the library of County Hall, the former home of the Greater London Council, now a Marriott hotel.
See, that's what 95% of liberal intellectualism boils down to: pointless name dropping. She's sitting under Plato, so we know she's smart
- and never mind whether or not an allusion to the author of 'The Republic' really meshes with a supposed interest in civil liberties.
So far, so ludicrous. But what's coming up next is too perfect for parody:
Behind her are oak bookcases stuffed with statute books and encyclopaedias dating back to the 19th century. But it's the books on the table, between the latte glasses, that are making her feel a turncoat.
"I'm probably the biggest Harry Potter fan over the age of 12," she says as I pass her one of J K Rowling's heavier volumes. "Yes," she says finally, biting out the words with disappointment. "Yes, Harry Potter has tortured someone. That was a war crime."
You know, I'm thinking that if Sir Andrew Green at Migration Watch gave an interview in which he cited 'Lord of the Rings' as an example of the dangers of open borders, you wouldn't need to wait for a fat blogger to tell you about it. Instead, we get paragraphs on the vital issues raised by wizardry, with the sole compensation of a too-perfect-for-Shakespeare insight into the liberal worldview:
".....There is a strong moral tale running through the books," says Chakrabarti. "But they're not Bible stories; Harry has all sorts of flaws." Still, she thinks, the final book should not have breezed over this central ethical issue so lightly. "There could have been more reflection. We want to see more anguish. Even just a passage of guilt, his reflections about using the Unforgivable Curses, would have been a good thing to include.
Well, quite. It's gets better:
"And, it wasn't even the ticking-bomb scenario," she says. "That's the big question that is supposed to wobble people like me: 'But look, it's a nuclear bomb and Paul is sitting there and he's gloating that he knows where it is and it's going to go off in an hour but only if you don't get the information out of him.'"
I'm still deciding how I feel about being cast as a nuclear terrorist when she makes a surprising admission. "The honest answer to that question – what would you do – is 'I don't know'. The subsidiary answer is: I might well try to slap him around a bit but I would know I was doing something unforgivable and I would expect the consequences."
Saving tens of thousands of innocent lives is 'something unforgivable' deserving of consequences ? And these people want to be taken seriously when they talk about counter-terrorism ?
The ticking nuclear bomb situation has never arisen in real life, but it's often trotted out as an excuse for torture, and has been cited, in milder forms, by US soldiers surveyed in Iraq.
If libs accepted the same level of evidence for involvement in terrorism that they do for supposed US atrocities in Iraq, Cat Stevens, George Galloway and the whole of the MCB would have been jailed for life years ago.
There are other defences, too, all of them earning Chakrabarti's contempt. One proposed by the White House is that it's not really torture unless it causes organ failure. The upshot is that, in the real world as in fiction, torture can be condoned if it is used by the good guys. The problem with that reasoning, says Chakrabarti, is that members of al-Qa'ida see themselves as being on the side of righteousness, too.
It's a conundrum alright. Who are we to say that sawing someone's head off is a 'bad' thing ?
Apparently, torture is always wrong, even when its not actually torture and it saves thousands of lives, but flying airliners into buildings ? It's all a matter of perspective.
You might think that the threat of terror is the great weakness for a civil libertarian. But Chakrabarti is giving no ground. "They're cheapening everything we're supposedly promoting in the world.
You cheapen a cause by fighting for it ? I guess the only way to really defend freedom is to join Liberty and the rest of the nihilistic trash explaining why 'freedom' and 'slavery' are just words.
You cannot torture people in democracy's name," she says, adding: "They are recruiting the extremists and terrorists.
See, it's all our fault, after all. The multiple murders, rapes and, yes, even torture committed by Murdering Mo' - that's just a side-issue, unrelated to the criminality of his followers.
We are the people capable of having the argument with the angry hothead who says, 'Look at these pictures of how my Muslim brothers are being treated in Guantanamo and Chechnya.'
Hey, when you call the terrorists in Gitmo 'my brothers', you've pretty much lost the right to call yourself a moderate.
Still, I'm thinking that if the libs really had pictures of torture being carried out at Gitmo, you'd need to be living on the moon to avoid having them rammed down your throat.
But let's - for the sake of this ludicrous argument - run with the idea that there are millions of peace-loving Muslims being driven to terrorism by reports of supposed atrocities. Then let's see how Libety's claims check out:
Torture at Gitmo: Lie!
CIA Torture Flights: Lie!
Imprisonment at Belmarsh: Lie!
Hmmm..... I'm seeing a pattern here. In other words, following Chakrabarti's own logic, Liberty's bogus atrocity stories help create terrorists. True, the case may not be watertight, but if we apply the same logic to Liberty that they want to apply to the government on torture, clearly it's down to them to prove that they don't encourage terrorism.
"Like lots of British lawyers, I'm firmly of the view you're better sticking to the crime model than the war model," just as Britain did when faced with republican terrorism in Ireland, says Chakrabarti.
....because that worked so well, right ?
"The hawks should object to [the war model] as well, because it allows criminals to call themselves soldiers."
Unless the right doesn't really care what they call themselves, just as long as we can call them 'the deceased'.
See, that's kind of the big difference between left and right. For Liberty and the rest of the PoMO wasters, the war has no reality, it's all about fashionable posturing and preachy sermonising. Hence why we get this:
She remains optimistic that support for civil liberties will rise again. But her view of the future of political violence is bleak. "Terrorism will never be vanquished completely," she says, "The 'war on terror' goes on for ever."
Yes, that's the difference. The right objects to the slaughter of innocents, but to the left the problem with terrorism is that it makes it hard for libs to whine about made-up garbage like civil liberties.
Liberals intrinsic idiocy is a pest and a menace at the best of times, but in war it's positively life-threatening. Still, at least we've got one of them on record now, with the left's real position. Conservatives want to win the war, libs meanwhile have their own objective: 'more anguish'.