The Two Britains

June 18, 2008 11:31 AM

Yesterday the country looked on aghast as Abu Qatada was released from prison despite being Osama Bin Laden’s “right hand man in Europe”.  I blogged a few weeks ago on how the government had its priorities wrong regarding prison sentences and justice policy.  Yesterday’s justice-blackout epitomised the government’s approach to law and order as a shambolic abrogation of the responsibility to keep us safe.


Serious criminals hide behind ‘human rights’ legislation to evade punishment.  You would think, given the case, the government would repeal the Human Rights Act to see that these dangerous terrorists are put behind bars and met with the swiftest of justice.  That, however, would mean rearranging Britain’s relationship with the great safe haven for the political class, the EU.  So don’t expect a repeal of the law anytime soon.


Whereas our own government treats serious criminals like vulnerable children, it uses the legal sledgehammer to silence any sort of domestic dissent.  Council Tax protestors are jailed for refusing to pay part of their Council Tax.  Dragged through the courts at huge expense, these often elderly political protesters are clearly dangerous enough to warrant a 28-day prison sentence.  If you leave your bin out a day early, don’t shut the lid or put one – just one – piece of rubbish in the wrong bin, you’re done for. 


Town Hall 007’s routinely use anti-terrorist legislation against us to survey any everyday activity they can make a ‘criminal’ offence.  You could be walking your dog or taking your children to school but the Council could be, or are, watching.  What they do with the data is anyone’s guess, but it’s surely not a good idea for anyone to have access to details of when you’ll be out of your house on a regular basis.


Even though government-speak has turned British taxpayers into ‘customers’, we’re hardly ever being served.  Councils charge us for bins, for services we think we’re paying through-the-nose for in Council Tax.  It’s more like we’re in the servitude of our political masters, bankrolling their expenses, jollies and lavish salaries. 


With all the talk about preserving British liberties, from the debate over 42 days detention to David Davis’s forced by-election, we have witnessed a stark contrast, the two Britains of today.  The law abiding face a lifetime of surveillance from a state that distrusts them, even so much as to have a say on the EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty, and turns normal behaviour into criminal activity.  Those who pose a deeper, larger threat to the public and nation, however, are set free, given police protection and allowed to keep any state ‘benefits’ they may have been on beforehand.  It’s a sharp contrast that should leave a bitter taste in the mouths of British taxpayers up and down the country.  How did it all come to this?

Yesterday the country looked on aghast as Abu Qatada was released from prison despite being Osama Bin Laden’s “right hand man in Europe”.  I blogged a few weeks ago on how the government had its priorities wrong regarding prison sentences and justice policy.  Yesterday’s justice-blackout epitomised the government’s approach to law and order as a shambolic abrogation of the responsibility to keep us safe.


Serious criminals hide behind ‘human rights’ legislation to evade punishment.  You would think, given the case, the government would repeal the Human Rights Act to see that these dangerous terrorists are put behind bars and met with the swiftest of justice.  That, however, would mean rearranging Britain’s relationship with the great safe haven for the political class, the EU.  So don’t expect a repeal of the law anytime soon.


Whereas our own government treats serious criminals like vulnerable children, it uses the legal sledgehammer to silence any sort of domestic dissent.  Council Tax protestors are jailed for refusing to pay part of their Council Tax.  Dragged through the courts at huge expense, these often elderly political protesters are clearly dangerous enough to warrant a 28-day prison sentence.  If you leave your bin out a day early, don’t shut the lid or put one – just one – piece of rubbish in the wrong bin, you’re done for. 


Town Hall 007’s routinely use anti-terrorist legislation against us to survey any everyday activity they can make a ‘criminal’ offence.  You could be walking your dog or taking your children to school but the Council could be, or are, watching.  What they do with the data is anyone’s guess, but it’s surely not a good idea for anyone to have access to details of when you’ll be out of your house on a regular basis.


Even though government-speak has turned British taxpayers into ‘customers’, we’re hardly ever being served.  Councils charge us for bins, for services we think we’re paying through-the-nose for in Council Tax.  It’s more like we’re in the servitude of our political masters, bankrolling their expenses, jollies and lavish salaries. 


With all the talk about preserving British liberties, from the debate over 42 days detention to David Davis’s forced by-election, we have witnessed a stark contrast, the two Britains of today.  The law abiding face a lifetime of surveillance from a state that distrusts them, even so much as to have a say on the EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty, and turns normal behaviour into criminal activity.  Those who pose a deeper, larger threat to the public and nation, however, are set free, given police protection and allowed to keep any state ‘benefits’ they may have been on beforehand.  It’s a sharp contrast that should leave a bitter taste in the mouths of British taxpayers up and down the country.  How did it all come to this?

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