Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Why don't you people get it?

Neil Harding—bless his little cottons—wilfully misuses language again, in a bid to discredit anyone who doesn't agree with him.
One for you daily mail reading 'libertarians' out there, all voting for a Tory government to stop Tory councils spying on you and fining you for dumping your rubbish or for not picking up your dog's mess.

Why use the word "libertarians", Neil? You know damn well that the Tories are not libertarian and nor are the vast majority of Tory voters; and those who read the Daily Mail definitely aren't.

However, the story that he is highlighting is one that Bob Piper flagged up (yes, it was like hunting through 68kg of fresh dogshit and finding a small diamond).
Strangely, [David Davis's] enthusiasm for individual liberty seems to have expired on or around the date of his election campaign, so we find not one single entry on his 'Campaign For Freedom' blog site since 6th July, the Sunday before his election in Haltemprice and Howden.

The reason I was looking for David's support today was because I was sure he would be complaining long and loud about this from Dominic Grieve, his successor as Tory Shadow Home Secretary:

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, will pledge to amend the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act so that police no longer need to secure authorisation to conduct surveillance on those suspected of non-terrorist offences.

The changes would mean that the police would automatically be able to:
  • Use covert video or listening devices in premises or vehicles.

  • Watch premises to identify or arrest suspects.

  • Conduct visual surveillance of public locations.

  • Patrol, in uniform or plain clothes.

  • Use thermal imaging and X-ray technology.

  • Conduct surveillance using visible CCTV cameras.

But sadly, David seems to have not noticed this announcement yet.

Indeed not. And so it seems that we were taken in by Davis's frankly impressive speeches; alas, it appears that I, at least, had a touch of the Mulders: I wanted to believe.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Neil surpassed himself with "Daily Mail reading libertarians" as a catch-all insult for everyone who does not vote Labour. One wonders where to start...

Anyroad, DD, for all his faults, resigned his seat because he had a nervous breakdown, and in this crazy world, the only people you can trust are complete loonies. But did you honestly think that DD would suddenly come out in favour of legalising drugs or prostitution or anything? Or stop being a homophobe? Or change his mind about 28 day detention (from which he has not resiled)? Or shut his f***ing gob once and for all about The Death Penalty? (continued page 94).

John B said...

Hmm. There's a significant difference between saying daily mail reading 'libertarians' and daily mail reading libertarians - the former implies that many people who describe themselves as 'libertarians' are actually just business-as-usual Tories who couldn't give a monkey's for liberty.

Which is almost certainly true [*], although Harding isn't brilliantly placed to throw stones.

And Davis can go swivel: it was an obvious, tawdry, cheap stunt, and it's only Pa Broon's insane levels of unpopularity that allowed him to get away with such patent nonsense so easily...

[*] LPUK members excepted - but the multiple Tories and UKIPpers who purport to be libertarians very much not excepted.

Rigpig said...

The changes would mean that the police would automatically be able to:

* Use covert video or listening devices in premises or vehicles.

* Watch premises to identify or arrest suspects.

* Conduct visual surveillance of public locations.

* Patrol, in uniform or plain clothes.

* Use thermal imaging and X-ray technology.

* Conduct surveillance using visible CCTV cameras.

And currently the Police are not allowed to, without special permission, do any of those things ? So they can only sit in the stations or venture forth to catch bad guys by patrolling, in plain clothes or uniform, with the appropriate permissions as to whom they are allowed to surveille ? Does this mean currently that id I see a policeman looking about on Grey Street, for instance, I can ask him who he is specifically looking at and wether he has the appropriate authorisation ?

Or have I totally misread that paragraph and it involves something other than the Police doing their normal job ?



Anonymous said...

If you left Harding alone in a room, he would end up screaming in the mirror calling himself a "Dirty Nazi Paedo".

And strangely enough, he'd be right. For a change.

As for "Daily Mail reading libertarians"? An oxymoron, surely?

Anonymous said...

John B at least gets my point about DM reading 'libertarians'- unlike the rest of commmenters and DK.

As for me not being able to throw stones on this subject?

Yes, I support ID cards in principle, although I accept the current government scheme is not ready to implement in practice (ID cards protect people's liberties and are little inconvenience). And yes I think it fairer that everyone is on the DNA database rather than just a select few people we don't like (why should those who have so far avoided detection be allowed to continue carrying out crimes when they could be so easily detected?). And yes I do think widespread CCTV helps in the fight against crime without making one iota of difference to any law abiding person's lives. There is no practical dimunution of rights in any of these things.

But unlike David Davis (and all you who gave him unconditional support) I do not support 28 days detention - I think even 1 day is too long. This is something that DOES affect the average law abiding person since ANYONE could be picked up and locked up without evidence. I also do not support the death penalty, section 28 or any other of Davis's illiberal ideas.

Letters From A Tory said...

The public's reception for this kind of policy depends on whether these powers are used on people that a judge has been convinced need to be watched versus spying on completely innocent individuals to catch them out and penalise them.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I think all drugs should be legalised (as most sensible police, politicians, criminologists etc all privately accept). Now there is a libertarian policy for you. I bet there are more Labour MPs than Tories who support that position? (Both privately and publicly)

Devil's Kitchen said...


"Oh, and I think all drugs should be legalised"

Good for you. I keep on going on about it, but legalising drugs -- just that one policy -- would reduce the sum total of human misery by a massive amount.

"I bet there are more Labour MPs than Tories who support that position?"

I have no idea, really, but I don't think that there is anything inherent in Labour supporters or MPs that makes them more likely to legalise than Tories.

And if so many Labour MPs do believe in legalising drugs, what a pity that they could not find the courage of their convictions and say so. Or, of course, even better, actually do something about it...


Anonymous said...

So liberatarians are just tools for the tories.

Anonymous said...

Neil Harding doesn't understand ID cards. If he did, he'd tell us all about the audit trail in the NIR.

Neil Harding doesn't understand CCTV. If he did, he'd tell us about the proposals to link the cameras with automatic face recognition and the construction of a database recording where and when we have all been.

Neil Harding doesn't understand the DNA database or else he'd tell us about the Raymond Easton case.

Neil Harding is not just thick, but much worse: ignorant. He takes Government propaganda at face value and reaches his opinions from Home Office soundbites. He is not even a useful idiot, since he does such a poor job of apologising for the Party.

Bill Haydon said...

(why should those who have so far avoided detection be allowed to continue carrying out crimes when they could be so easily detected?).

Exactly. Everyone who has not committed a crime is to be treated as a criminal-in-waiting, or one who is merely yet to be punished. There is no line between innocence and guilt, and no treatment of an individual as a citizen, only as a suspect. Same for ID cards. You are burdened with the duty to prove who you are whenever you are asked, for reasons which will of course evolve through time, because you accept that you live under more or less permanent suspicion. Meanwhile people who wish to commit crime will still do so.

The first duty is that of the individual to the state, nothing else.

Patrick said...


The trouble is that most crime happens as a direct result of govt... Not all of course... Take the use of ASBO, an order that can be placed on anyone even with 'hearsay' evidence and if broken can lead to 5 years imprisonment...

Now ASBO's were developed to deal with these insane families that live on various council estates up and down the country... However much of the crime and nuisance that comes from these individuals is out of sheer boredom... They are housed, fed, clothed and schooled entirely by the state via welfare and such like...

If these itinerants had jobs to do or even look for due to hunger and meeting the rent, you can be sure their nuisance would diminish significantly… Of course there will always be idiots, even in a libertarian world… But at least in that world they would be paying for it from a distinct lack of cash and severe social ostracism… A far better idea than deciding to lock someone up for crossing the wrong road and breaking their ASBO agreement… Not to mention of course, that the use of ASBO is now being extended for all manner of people that it was never originally intended for…

In a free world (ie Libertarian one) I would have no problem with an ID card scheme etc. My real objection to all these schemes has more to do with my government misusing my information in a way that is detrimental to that of my life or my families. In a free world we wouldn’t have the arbitrary nature of an all-powerful dictator (govt). We would be able to protect ourselves against fraud and such like because that would be the main reason for having the scheme. There would also be excellent competition to make sure such an ID scheme improved and became safer as it went along, because the scheme would only work as far as it was VOLUNTARY and was actually seen to be actually protecting its consumers.

Roger Thornhill said...

I believe that the issuing of a warrant is a keystone in our system of checks and balances and to remove said is a fencepost.

p.s. If Neil used the quotes around "libertarians" in that instance then he was correct and good for him.

The fact is though, the hijacking of the term by Tories suits both the Tories AND New Labour ends. The Tories want to hijack, water it down and dupe people while New Labour want to discredit the term entirely so wish to feed the Tory deceit (in standard newspeak agenda mode).

Anonymous said...

Mark W

In a partial defence of David Davis, I remember him saying that he has never actually given a speech or written a paper on the subject of the death penalty, so it's harsh to tell him to shut his gob on the subject.

There is an important test for Davis here though - is he going to stand up and speak out against Greive? I have this awful feeling that he isn't.

Anonymous said...

Dirty Euro said: "So liberatarians are just tools for the tories."

Whereas Dirty Euro is just a tool.

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