BBC News on anti-terrorism law and human rights
19 January 2015
I took part in a debate on the BBC World News today on some of the anti-terrorism law proposals and the impact on human rights. We only covered one aspect of the raft of anti-terrorism laws which are currently making their way through Parliament – see Angela Patrick’s detailed post from last week, which is highly recommended.
You can watch the five-minute debate below.
In this article on Spiked I give my 5 top tips on how you can do your bit in the fight against terrorism and moreover stay on the right side of the law in light of the Government’s proposed legal duty to prevent terrorism:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers? – Juvenal
Pray tell, who has not transgressed Your civilised laws?
Pray tell, the purpose of a sinless, principled and patriotic life?
If with Evil You punish evil that, I have done,
Pray tell, what is the difference between You and me ?
Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam, Poet, Sage, Peacemaker, Astronomer.
When so-called “intelligence” agencies across the world are spending billions – if not trillions – of dollars, pounds, euros or whatever on enhanced internet scrutiny of jihadist web sites that are radicalising and recruiting impressionable young people to throw their lives away in pursuit of goals that do the individuals involved no good at all, how is it possible to believe that those web sites cannot be taken down by those self-same “intelligence” agencies?
The fact is that it suits the “powers-that-be” for these web sites to remain in place, does it not?
To make sense of all this, people need to study the Yinon Plan. It all then makes sense.
In a recent case soon to be heard by the Supreme Court under the banner of Freedom of Speech an injunction was granted that a performing artist from publishing his memoir on the grounds that its contents would be distressing for his son to read. The artist’s ex-wife had argued that his book’s descriptions of the sexual abuse that he suffered as a child were so disturbing that their son would suffer catastrophic psychological distress if he were to read it
The supreme court is examining the way in which the appeal court ruled that publication of the book could amount to a civil wrong, established by a piece of Victorian case law known as Wilkinson v Downton. In this case, a man who played a practical joke on an east London pub landlady in 1897 was found to be liable for “intentional infliction of mental distress’. Matthew Nicklin QC, for the boy, said that in attempting to publish the book, the artist was reneging on an agreement made around the time of the divorce “to use his ‘best endeavours to protect the child from any information concerning [his] past previous history … which would have a detrimental affect on the child’s wellbeing’.”
He also argues that the right to free expression, as guaranteed by the European convention, is a qualified right, which must be balanced against the well being of others. This is precisley the point made eloquently by Justice O W Holmes that, ‘ freedom of speech does not protect a man who shouts fire across a crowded theatre’ less blasphemy committed in the full glare by men of little knowledge mocking our most revered and sacred phophet whether or not we are of faith. To that extent it can be charged and ‘J’ Accuse’ the french authroties of a failure in tackling provocators for it seems ‘power without responsibility is the prerogative order of the harlot running throughout the ages’.
Violence of all forms is unacceptable in a civilised society of equals, but we must not lament on failure to address the very provocators of extremism for the sword of truth is mightier than a sadistic pencil used to incite hatred of the worse from- we are not amused. A society that imposes criminal sanctions against free persons for wearing the veil seen as a threat to civility is a society confused, fragile and fragmented. There is no such thing as a monolithic society of unequal’s but of rich multicultural citizens of equals, less we forget our history and lesson from Mr Hitler. Laws must be there to protect all citizens against attack of all forms not simply violence but abuse of the worse kind; the responsibility of that scared protection falls on all of us- ‘J’ Accuse’.
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