Thursday, March 03, 2005

Restrict freedom to preserve liberty

John Lettice is not impressed with the Home Office's cunning plan to restrict freedom to protect liberty.

"We shouldn't allow yesterday's democratic low point to pass unremarked. Clarke's intention to amend the Bill became known as the Commons debate on it was beginning, and his intended amendments effectively made Commons discussion of the first section of the Bill redundant. Clarke's amendments however had not at that point been written, and he proposed to put them to the House of Lords once the Bill had moved there (which it did today). The Commons was therefore asked to vote not for the Bill they had in front of them, but for the one sketched out by Clarke that was to be presented to the Lords, but which did not yet exist. The Commons was therefore asked to vote for a promise - it did."

Meanwhile, says the BBC:

"UK Muslims should accept that people of Islamic appearance are more likely to be stopped and searched by police, a Home Office minister has said.

Hazel Blears said innocent Muslims would be targeted because of the search for Islamic extremists...

"The threat is most likely to come from those people associated with an extreme form of Islam, or who are falsely hiding behind Islam," the Salford MP told the Commons home affairs committee.

"It means that some of our counter-terrorism powers will be disproportionately experienced by the Muslim community."

It was a reality that should be recognised, she said."

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