The wonders of commenters

As always, after reading an inflammatory post somewhere like the BBC or the Times, reading through the comments is even more entertaining, if equally infuriating. It shows that while there are significant number of people who realise the implications of the policies (i.e. they agree with me, that’s all I ask … 😀 ), there are a lot live up to the life rather than liberty mantra. As always the tried and tested “If it keeps us safe it is good” routines are brought out with sickening regularity.

Take this little chestnut from “Don Roberts, London” for example:

We live in world full of people who are determined to destroy our way of life and impose their own set of values, prejudices and beliefs on us not to mention kill as many of us as possible. I just wonder how those who freely oppose tough legislation would like to live under such people. Any law abiding citizen of this country should have nothing to fear from such legislation. If the price of our freedom is a little inconvenience, that has to be preferable to mass murder on our streets.

Where do I start with this… The first sentence is just a statement of the (apparently) obvious and bears little or no relation to what comes next. If this is true, it is true with or without the proposed legislation. The next sentence is funny. It is saying the poster wonders how those who oppose draconian, authoritarian states would like to live under a draconian, authoritarian state. Madness.

The best sentence reads: “Any law abiding citizen of this country should have nothing to fear from such legislation.” I just love that. It is a pure appeal to fear – basically saying what are you trying to hide. Criminals have nothing to fear from legislation like this because it does not target people about whom there is evidence of guilt. People who are subjected to this detention are innocent and law abiding people – until proven otherwise. The authoritarian nutters love sentences like this because (for them) it allows no retort. Sadly, it is massively flawed.

The last sentence is an appeal to fear and a false dilemma. The choice is not this law or mass murder. This man is an idiot.

Another, confused, person is “Jim Reddish” who writes:

People in England are very wierd! One day they’re out calling for a lynch mob to protect their children, the next they’re saying protective anti terror and anti crime measures are wrong and infringe on liberties / rights?
Personally I want to be free of fear of crime and terror.

First off, the nonsense reactions by the “mob” does not justify stupid legislation so the apparent contradiction at the start is flawed. These “protective” anti-terror laws do infringe on civil liberties. I can not see how any one can disagree with this – surely the argument is how acceptable this infringement is? Sadly, Jim will never be free of his fear of terror and crime until he eventually dies. New laws do not reduce the fear of things, especially when the fears are largely unfounded (how many people in the UK died of terrorist related activity in the last four years, compared with the number who died in road accidents or domestic accidents or from industrial accidents etc).

“Downingstreet Mole” (from Leominster, apparently) brings in the predictable BNP-style response:

Anti terrorism starts with a severe limitation on who comes into this country, and a close watch being kept on those already here who match a possible terrorist profile – i.e. member or supporter of a known terrorist organisation or group with terrorist sympathies.
They do it in the USA and if we want to keep the UK safe we have to adopt similar policies.Terrorists dont play the game according to the queensbury rules as practised by the Home and Foreign Office so why do we?

Now this is scaremongering nonsense at its best. Members of known terrorist organisations are actually prevented from entering the UK legally. The “Close Watch” brings to mind even more examples of the security agencies of the UK spending their time following anyone who is even slightly suspected of speaking to a suspected terrorist – just how many people do MI5 employ? Even more worryingly, the idea of “group with terrorist sympathies” is dangerously broad. Going back to the days of the IRA troubles, would that include all Catholics?

The last sentence is another appeal to fear. Criminals break the law but law enforcement agencies must stay within the law to uphold it. How can any other way work.

Finally on the subject this wonderful comment from Ally in Edinburgh:

About time! What we need is unelected officials locking people up on a whim. I think due proccess, and our highly evolved legal procedures requiring actual evidence, is just a throwback from the 1960s hippy movements.

Fair trials are overrated, and cost the taxpayer money. If Gord Brown ‘s pals think someone is guilty, he probably is. If he is not – he probably is not very nice, so win-win when you think about it. I like Gordon Brown, I think he is swell.

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Bring on the revolution.

[tags]Anti Terror, civil liberties, culture, Enforcement, Gordon Brown, human rights, intolerance, Islam, law, liberty, northern ireland, Rights, Society, Stupidity,Terrorism[/tags]

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