Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Anti-Terror Bill (again)

The Prevention of Terrorism Bill is being voted on in the House of Commons as I write this. It looks like Mr Blair's majority will ensure that he gets what he wants as usual. In an attempt to justify the bill Mr Blair has been widely quoted as saying "There is no greater civil liberty than to live free from terrorist attack". I have two issues with his position.

1. Why is the possibility of citizens being killed in a terrorist attack of such overwhelming importance to the government? UK citizens are sadly being killed in other indescriminate ways on a regular basis.
The Office of National Statistics website shows that "In 2002 there were a total of 3,431 deaths of road users in accidents". National Statistics
UK traffic laws are designed to reduce such deaths but still over 3,000 people a year are dying on our roads. Each one of these deaths is a tragedy which might have been avoided. Mr Blair has signalled no intention to impose control orders on potentially dangerous drivers.

2. How many terrorist attacks have been successfully carried out in the UK since the start of the "War on Terror"?

This is undoubtedly a simplification of the issues but I believe the rationale is valid all the same. Mr Blair says the terrorists threaten our way of life. This Bill appears to prove him right.

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