Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Big Charles has been talking tough today. He's announced the list of unacceptable behaviours we've been expecting. These include:
  • Fomenting, justifying or glorifying terrorist violence
  • Seeking to provoke terrorist acts
  • Fomenting other serious criminal activity
  • Fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence
The first question which springs to mind is to ask just how terrorism is defined in these proposals? As regular readers will know, it's a surprisingly difficult task. As I understand it, the government just hasn't bothered.

This means that the plans will be dogged by grey areas of interpretation and politics. I wonder if the new rules only apply to Muslims? Any chance, for example, that this lunatic christian bigot will be denied the right to come to the UK? What about Sinn Fein? What about Ian Paisley? What about those who support the opposition to Mugabe in Zimbabwe (the opposition is relatively peaceful at the moment but this may not last). If a guerilla war breaks out in Zimbabwe, will we send them back too?

Can I have control orders imposed on the supporters of the invasion of Iraq? I, and many others, believe they are guilty of "fomenting other serious criminal activity". It's even possible to argue that, by calling for the invasion, they were "seeking to provoke terrorist acts". The provoking of terrorist acts has certainly been an indisputable result of the invasion.

I'm afraid these new plans are a sham, yet another poorly considered kneejerk reaction from this government. I don't have the energy at the moment for a detailed analysis of all the problems contained in the plans. I'm afraid I find it all rather dispiriting.

Talk Politics has a bit more, and expresses a similar despondancy.

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