Little Red Blogger

This blog looks at radical politics(with a libertarian socialist slant), music and culture. Marx to Mises, Girls Aloud to Steve Reich...

Location: Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Government Tries to Ban Anything with the Word 'Terrorist' in it(Well not

Much has been written over the past few weeks about the governments new anti-terror legislation, the rationale behind it and the civil liberties that the legislation will inevitably curtail. An interesting political aside from this is how the legislation is how it has exposed the political tension between the Home Office and the PM over the legislation.

However this is beside the point when it comes to legislation itself there is one very dubious idea out of a slew of other extremely dubious ideas that stands out. The securocrats and spook groupies have hit upon the idea of outlawing 'incitement and glorification' of terrorist acts. Now despite me not being a lawyer this does seem an extremely broad thing to try to outlaw, and also seems open to abuse...the governnment has tried to limit this glorification clause to 20 years(A sop to the IRA methinks) which is another puzzling inconcistency with the legislation for surely terrorism is terrorism is terrorism? This does perhaps expose the real target of the legislation: so called Islamic 'extremism' and Jihadist ideologies. This also ties in with attempts to crack down on bookshops and distributer of the associated literature. The government seems hellbent on making illegal an ideology. to outlaw a way of thinking even.

There are three reasons why this a bad idea. One : it simply won't work given that it is impossible(I hope) to police and legislate the contents of people's heads. Two: it completely tramples over people's right to free speech and thus contravenes both common law and convention in this country and the more recent human rights convention that we signed up to. Thirdly to give any government these kind of restrictive powers is a hostage to fortune and places far too much faith in human nature not to abuse it. To adapt an old cliche power corrupts and this legislation would corrupt completely.

So why does 'New' Labour want this legislation? I think there are a number of reasons for this. Firstly 'New' Labour's DNA is woven from the blood of ex-Trots, ex-stalinists and hard-left leninist types. One suspects that they've retained their suspiscion of 'liberal' reformist ideologies and retro-fitted it to the reigning ideology. Boiling it down it means many 'New' Labour types have no natural sympathy for liberal or libertarian ideas and this means that their natural reflex is to command and control. to democraticaly centralise is the natural impulse. The recent anti-terror legislation is an example of this. This also dovetails in with 'New' Labour's and Blair's obession with controlling and massaging the message.