The Curmudgeon


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Cry God for Tony, Texas and St George

As might be expected on St George's Day, the Vicar of Downing Street has been waxing messianic on that most Anglo-American of all subjects, the curtailment of civil liberties. Tony's democratic desire to enter into debate with his subjects before imposing his will upon them has manifested itself in a "passionate public exchange of emails" with Henry Porter, one of the Observer's more sensible columnists.

Tony notes that the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats and some of the Labour party disagree with him, but sweeps aside such petty parliamentary pettifogging: "I truly believe they are out of touch with their own voters." They are not the voice of the people; Tony is the voice of the people. From which it follows naturally that "the practical effect of following the course [such people] set out is a loss of civil liberties for the majority" whom Tony, through his mystical communion with the national spirit, represents.

Tony outlines a number of new battle-fronts in the war on red tape, including a license for police to mug suspected drug dealers and "draconian new restrictions" on the movements of suspected mafiosi. Suspected persons could also be banned from associating with certain other persons, in order that Tony's crusade against human trafficking may cleanse our land more efficiently. Tony would "widen the police powers to seize the cash of suspected drug dealers, the cars they drive round in... I would impose restrictions on those suspected of being involved in organised crime. In fact I would generally harry, hassle and hound them until they give up or leave the country." Due process, right to trial, presumption of innocence; these things are so not what George would do.

This agenda is apparently to be "fleshed out in a major debate" (or, in Oldspeak, rushed through the Commons and ping-ponged past the Lords) after the local council losses in May. Tomorrow, Charles Clarke will inform the London School of Economics that "freedom is alive and kicking" and that the idea that Labour has assumed police state powers is a "myth". Well, I feel better already.


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