Posted by: secretperson | October 19, 2008

Geoff Hoon on Civil Liberties

Is this a rare piece of honesty from a politician? Geoff Hoon said he, and presumably he spoke for the government, would be prepared to go “quite a long way” in undermining civil liberties.

Jacqui Smith tends to go for the denial approach, talking about appropriate checks and balances, about how new phonecall/text message/internet database won’t be accessible by local councils (who are using previous ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation to stop dog mess) and generally trying to deny that civil liberties are affected.

At least Hoon seems to admit that it would affect civil liberties and that he and the government just don’t care. He even came up with, “the biggest civil liberty of all is not to be killed by a terrorist”!

Now is there any act of government intervention that cannot be justified by such spurious claims? You could save me from terrorists by imprisoning everyone in the country, but I think that would be a step too far. Just as I think this is a step too far. It is typical statist thinking that redefines words like freedom and liberty to mean the opposite.

Restricting my choices, interfering in my life, monitoring my every move for my own good, in order to force me into a pre-determined outcome that you have decided is ‘more free’ is just plain stupid. I don’t believe these laws will stop terror, I believe the costs outweigh any gains. I do not trust you politicians not to take more and more power, or to abuse it, or to be competent enough to not let it fall into the wrong hands. There has been a spectacularly bad record with previous legislation of this nature and I do not want any more. Leave me alone!



  1. The news that the government now wants to track our mobile phone calls, texts, emails and internet browsing habits has got me enraged. For the past 11 years, this government has sought more and more control over its citizens, from installing 4.2m CCTV cameras, to the suggestion that we must respond to more and more intrusive questions when they complete the next census. It has simply got to stop.

    On this occasion, I have done something about it, in my own small way. I have written an article outlining what the government is seeking to do and my views. But, I have also produced a ‘draft’ letter that can be personalised and sent to local MP’s. I am urging other likeminded people to reproduce the article, to include their own comments, after all, not everyone will agree with all my comments and then publicise it. Maybe we can start a programme where people start to bombard their MP’s with a demand that they do not support the latest data communication bill. The link is here if you would are to take a look.

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