As the Brown government steamrollers its way to continue its destruction of civil liberties, we are now in the situation of actors, writers, international intellectuals and human rights leaders all clamouring publicly for this to stop. Yet Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary who has still not given Mehdi Kazemi leave to remain in the UK, and who insists that advising gay Iranian asylum seekers just to be ‘discreet’ in order to avoid persecution is ‘accurate’ and ‘objective’, is ploughing on regardless. Even the ACLU has spoken out against it, fearful of the British government’s passing of 42 days justifying an even further retreat from civil liberties in the US, but the droning excuse keeps coming back: ‘security from terror’. But former Chief Constable Geoffrey Dear counters this, citing judicial oversight and other tools such as post-charge questioning as far more effective tools, which would not give the propaganda victory guaranteed with 42 days.
Even the Equality and Human Rights Commission, led by the ever-inconsistent Trevor Phillips, has said that if Parliament passes 42 days it will launch a legal challenge under the Race Relations Act and Human Rights Act. So much for Brown’s government looking for consensus like it promised then. These people are really the lowest of the low, and are again prepared to act against the most vulnerable in order to safeguard the majority (I won’t bore you with the Franklin’s old favourite about trading freedom for security…). Surely if they really wanted to improve security they’d get their arses out of Iraq, but I guess geopolitical strategy is more important than innocent people’s lives. Jacqui Smith had better lose, and lose her job with it – every policy she abuses brings more worldwide shame to this country.