Reid is talking liberty but is planning repression

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HOME Secretary Reid yesterday spoke about the importance of liberty – a new subject for a Home Secretary who preaches the ‘war against terror’, and OKs police state raids.

He said today’s world was one of unrelenting change and that this ‘can enable liberty to flourish and prosper. For all its uncertainties our future has to be about advancing liberty and security not liberty or security.’

Reid is the man who supports the police holding people for 90 days without having to charge them, supports indefinite house arrest for suspects, supports non-jury trials, supports a ‘shoot to kill’ police force, and supports Acts of Parliament that have illegalised demonstrations even by individuals outside the Houses of Parliament, and allows policemen to arrest people on suspicion that they could be about to commit a crime.

The great libertarian continued: ‘In other words, scaring people does not produce security; nor does fear create healthy markets for security or any other business. Rather, we are led to security through what our liberties enable us to do for our common good.’ A novel theory. The freer we are the more repression we need, or that the liberty of the subject leads to Guantanamo Bay!

Just who was Reid trying to kid as he spoke about splitting the Home Office into a Ministry of Justice responsible for prisons, the law courts and the judiciary, and a much reorganised Home Office responsible for counter-terrorism.

In fact, in trying to remove the contradiction between freedom and repressions he was trying to entice the liberal human rights organisations to support his latest schemes for police state Britain, and he has had some success.

Rallying to his call to advance liberty yesterday was the Bar Council. It said that it ‘welcomed the establishment of a new Ministry of Justice, pulling together government policies across a range of former departments, but it has called for safeguards in the new department’s operations.’

Chairman Geoffrey Vos QC said: ‘I personally support the stronger focus on a coordinated approach to the justice system that this new department will bring.’

He added: ‘There will need to be a statutory guarantee of the independence of the judiciary and of the availability of resources sufficient to run a court system which delivers justice to all court users be they victims and witnesses, prosecution and defence, families, consumers or businesses.’

The Liberty organisation also spoke up to support the splitting of the Home Office into two ministries.

The judiciary however in the person of Lord Justice Woolf was unable to go along with Reid’s plans.

He stated to MPs earlier this week: ‘My concern in relation to this new Ministry of Justice is that it might, if it is absorbing what was previously the bulk of matters that the Home Office dealt with, be unable to have the sort of relationship we hitherto have had with the lord chancellor. . .

‘This arises from what is now history, but is still an important influence – the fact that the lord chancellor was head of the judiciary – so it is natural that the judiciary should listen to what he has to say and talk to him in confidence about their concerns.

‘If the lord chancellor is watered down as to his traditional roles because of these new responsibilities he is being given, that would be worrying from this regard.’

He added: ‘We have no written constitution which is entrenched and our constitution works through checks and balances and it is very important that if we are starting to alter the framework of checks and balances, that the matter is looked at carefully.’

He warned: ‘Our constitution protects our individual liberties – and these are not matters of concern of a financial nature, they are concerns about our liberty.’

That deals with the Ministry of Justice.

Reid yesterday made it clear just what the business of the new Home Office would be.

He said: ‘It is vital that in the 21st century we have a department concentrating on personal, community and national security through neighbourhood policing, managed migration, borders security and counter-terrorism.

‘This is my vision of global and local security given the seamless challenge we face.

‘The integrated and comprehensive approach to security we need will come from adding capacity to and through the new strategic centre. We need to concentrate our energies on developing and constantly evolving plans that anticipate our adversaries’ next moves.

‘The new Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) will play a pivotal role in this.’

Reid is planning a massive engine of repression, which will impose security measures and move ‘seamlessly’ from personal security in the community to counter-insurgency and global security. It is to be a 21st century version of the Tsarist Okrana.

The only way to deal with this state is through a socialist revolution.