LA News Release, "Any Excuse for a Police State: Blunkett Secret Trial Plans as Bad as Foreign Conquest" (February 2004)
NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International
London, Tuesday 3rd February 2004
Contact Details: Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Any Excuse for a Police State: Blunkett Secret Trial Plans as Bad as Foreign Conquest", Says Free Market and Civil Liberties Think Tank
Home Secretary David Blunkett wants to bring in laws allowing pre-emptive arrest of suspects, secret trials without juries, with state-chosen defence lawyers, on undisclosed evidence provided by the security services, and a lower burden of proof. He says this is to protect the country from "terrorism".
"Nonsense", says Dr Sean Gabb, Director of Communications for the Libertarian Alliance. "We did none of this in the second world war, when the enemy was poised to invade from across the Channel, and killing 60,000 British civilians in bombing raids. We did none of this when Irish terrorists were killing thousands of state and civilian victims within the United Kingdom.
"The truth is, this government wants a police state and will use any excuse to get one. We are told these new laws will only apply in terrorism cases. That is a lie. We were once told that confiscation orders would only be used for drug dealing cases, and after normal conviction: now we have a Confiscation Agency trying to seize assets from suspected criminals without the need for criminal charges. This legislation would soon become the normal mode of trial of all offences.
"Do you want a criminal justice system where you can be tried in secret by another Lord Hutton, on the basis of secret evidence supplied by the same security services that did such a good job at proving Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction? I don't. The Nazis would have done this to us had they won the War. I wonder if all those who fought to prevent that ever suspected our own government would behave like an army of occupation?"
Sean Gabb is available for media comment on 07956 472 199