Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Downing Street Says...: "Terror"

Worth checking out: Downing Street Says...: Terror. Watch (ok, read) the PM squirm over the definition of "terrorists" and "700". "...there were distinctions to be made between different kinds of threat and the threat different people posed" - a grey scale then? I think you'll find that such distinctions may prove harder to implement legally in practice. Enjoy such gems as:

"...what the Prime Minister was most concerned about, as always, was that people should focus on the substance and not interpretation or speculation. The substance, as we had said consistently since 9/11, was that this country did face a threat. That threat varied but it was serious."

So that's a definite probability in continuous variability, then. And how about:

"We were concerned about [suspects] because, potentially, they were planning or considering potential terrorist action. Put to him that the Prime Minister had implied that these people were actively engaged, not merely considering terrorist action, the PMOS said that if someone was in any way suspected of being part of a potential terrorist action, no matter how small that part may be, that was the correct phraseology."

"suspected of being part of a potential ... no matter how small"? If we use this as a definition, then I'm getting MI5 to blag my postman, who probably buys illegal DVDs with the probable knowledge that this may fund something-or-other.

Also spot the avoidance of answering the question relating to what parties would be considered "terrorist".

Meanwhile, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its latest progress report, including a recap of its take on the ID Cards Bill and the SOCA Bill. Nothing new though - see "Human Rights? What they?" I do note, though, that the HO have published their response in handy, easy-to-read scanned-in-fax format. Espect to go crazy after page 4.

I'll try to post a better breakdown, but so far there's a lot of speculation as to how address-collection will work. The phrase "In a small minority of cases there may be a need to..." makes me laugh - surely the whole Bill is designed to "catch" the small "minority of cases" that make such schemes necessary in the first place? Or are they saying that actually, the majority of the population are scheming little toe-rags?

No comments: