Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Unthinkable Thoughts

I may be too hacked off to write anything useful.

Here are the three posts I wrote on the terrorism bill today.
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3

The linked Independent article in number 1 is well worth reading as is the Talk Politics post linked in 2 and 3. I wrote 2 and 3 in a hurry while listening to Parliament Live so my interpretation of what the law means might need double checked. Can't see any obvious flaws but feel free to point out any I might have made.

But the long and short of it is that the government got what it wanted. A vague law will allow the government to prosecute those who they believe indirectly incite terrorism. It will enable them to be seen to do something when the tabloids start one of their periodic frenzies. It's about politics and has very little, if anything to do with national security or the prevention of terrorism. But it does provide the potential for political prosecutions of the type favoured by the likes of Karimov. And police constables are to be given powers which should clearly be the preserve of the judiciary.

The point is not that Blair is as bad as Karimov; much as a detest his politics, he clearly is not. Blair is very much the Karimov-lite (which is bad enough obviously). And if a Karimov type were to come to power in the UK, he would find that a handy set of authoritarian laws, which could be used to control the population, had already been put in place. This is why so many people believe that Blair is a danger to democracy in this country.

Twice this week, I've read people seriously arguing that the Labour party is beyond saving. Quarsan at Blairwatch says we should vote for anyone but Labour at any and all elections and MattGB at Great Britain, Not Little England calls for Tory/Lib Dem co-operation to get the gits out of office. (Tim and co. have already been there too.)

For me personally, as someone who grew up with Thatcher, the idea of voting Conservative has historically been roughly equivalent to eating babies. I know others feel differently of course and I respect that. To digress slightly, reading other people's blogs has even brought some understanding as to why people who do vote Tory are not actually nutters as I'd previously thought. The astonishing power of blogs to promote better understanding of other views should be celebrated. Anyway, the idea that I would want a Tory government is an alien concept and not something I thought I'd consider in this lifetime.

But, tonight, I sit here genuinely wondering if it might not be better for this country if the Conservatives won the next general election. I'm even seriously considering whether I would vote for them myself (I'd have to move as my constituency is a Lab/Lib Dem marginal but that's btw). It's an odd feeling.

This is politics based on the least worst option. How inspiring. I just don't understand why more people aren't interested in politics.

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