Opinion: Did the LibDems pick the wrong weekend to call for curbs on anti-terror measures?

James Lyons of the Daily Mirror tweeted last night to say “Oh dear – lib dems picked wrong weekend to call for curbs on anti-terror measures”.

He referred to a Guardian story about LibDem backbenchers calling for the scrapping of control orders and the limit to detention without charge to be reduced to 14 days.

Well yes, I suppose if you have a hangover this morning and, therefore, impaired thinking faculties, it is easy to hear the news (of the discovery of the toner cartridge bombs on their way to the US) and think “silly, woolly Liberals” for raising their heads above the parapet at precisely the wrong time.

Except, surely we, as a society, have learnt the lessons of acting in a red mist of anger to put in draconian measures left, right and centre, have we not? Labour did that for thirteen years and got us into a mess.

Surely a democracy can do more than one thing at once, can it not? Can we not ensure we have tight security controls while making sure we don’t throw the baby of freedom out with the bathwater?

And can we not actually think things through? From a cursory first glance, the disocovery of the bombs in Leicester (yes, dear old Leicester!) and Dubai came about, it appears, as a result of something which has been lacking in recent years. Good old fashioned, ears to the ground in the Arab world (specifically Yemen). It is doubtful that the sort of connections which allowed MI6 to flag up this plot are going to be fostered in future by knee-jerk Jack Strawism here in the UK.

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

12 Comments

  • It should make no difference when the party calls for a curb on these laws. These laws are non-productive, draconian and unacceptable.

    If the view is taken that this is the ‘wrong’ time to change something then we are in a risk of falling into the same downward spiral that Labour did by reacting to the events rather than taking a sensible, measured and, most importantly, effective approach.

    The LD rightly campaigned on a relaxation of these authoritarian laws – similarly supported by the Tories – and should continue to campaign for them. I have always had doubts as to the Conservatives commitment to this policy (if there is a terrorist attack I do see them taking the same approach as the last Government).

    I am confident the LD will continue to push for this and this is a real ‘red line’ that cannot be compromised

  • Why would anyone take seriously a journalist from Pravda

  • TheContinentalOp 30th Oct '10 - 10:10am

    Well done to the backbenchers. Yesterdays events change nothing. It was only a bad day to raise such points if you are a reactionary idea prepared to dance to the tune of a sensationalist and agenda driven media.

    New Labour was packed with such individuals. I may be very disillusioned with Clegg et al but I don’t see such characters prominent within the LD party.

  • TheContinentalOp 30th Oct '10 - 10:11am

    idea = idiot!

  • >lib dems picked wrong weekend to call for curbs on anti-terror measures”.
    >the scrapping of control orders and the limit to detention without charge to be reduced to 14 days

    Maybe Mr Lyons could explain how either of these measures have any bearing on printer cartridges sent from Yemen.

    These events will no doubt ensure the US ignores the calls from airlines to stop forcing people to have their laptops and shoes scanned separately. Which is no more than a minor inconvenience. (I don’t get why, mind, you go through it once with British check-in at Heathrow, then you get to the departure lounge and US staff make you do it again).

    But it certainly shouldn’t stop us pushing for our civil liberties to be restored.

  • Of course it’s only Leicester, if it had been London it might mattered, hey?

  • Andrew Suffield 30th Oct '10 - 2:58pm

    If anything, those events just emphasise the point. Control orders and detention without charge did not detect or prevent whatever happened here. Scanning laptops and shoes was also unproductive, since the bomb was contained within neither of these things.

    We need an end to these arbitrary, ineffective actions.

  • Stuart Mitchell 30th Oct '10 - 3:01pm

    “Good old fashioned, ears to the ground in the Arab world (specifically Yemen).”

    That makes it all sound very quaint and cosy, but I can’t help wondering (given the furore the other week about the Birmingham spy cameras) whether the techniques used to gather this intelligence would be condemned as an affront to civil liberties if they were being used here. Reportedly, the key information came from a government with one of the worst records on civil liberties in the world – Saudi Arabia. Are you seriously suggesting that the Saudis have a better approach to this kind of thing than we do?

    “Surely a democracy can do more than one thing at once, can it not? Can we not ensure we have tight security controls while making sure we don’t throw the baby of freedom out with the bathwater?”

    I actually think all recent governments have attempted to do exactly that. The thing is, it’s much more difficult to strike the balance when in government rather than opposition, as the Lib Dems are already finding.

  • Calls for relaxation of completely useless security theatre followed by the sudden appearance of bombs in Leicester. No coincidence there, obviously.

  • Emsworthian 31st Oct '10 - 8:36am

    Many of these measures are have become the means by which polticians have gained more and more control over our daily lives. Look at the sheer number of laws targeted at individual rights and freedoms by Blair. The promotion of fear is what many of them do best like together with the myth that governments are ony protecting their citizens. We stand a greater chance of being struck by lightening than being killed by a terrorist.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTom Harney 26th Sep - 10:30am
    Totally agree with expats. To me the party is still not facing reality. I am sure that the enthusiasts think they know what Liberal Democrat...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 26th Sep - 10:19am
    Michael BG: Employers, including National and Local Government and state owned organisations, will not pay any more than they have to because that would require...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 26th Sep - 9:42am
    David Raw: Asquith believed that giving women the vote would benefit the Conservatives and he was right up until recently. In the 21 years between...
  • User Avatarexpats 26th Sep - 9:42am
    Tahir Maher............Labour, Tory Leadership Vacuum.... Yet another article on other parties without any factual vision of our own. These 'disgruntled/disenfranchised voters' have shown no sign...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 26th Sep - 9:11am
    Yes there is a Vacuum in the leadership of the Tory and Labour parties, but ours is no better. Consumed by Brexit we are asleep...
  • User Avatartheakes 26th Sep - 9:07am
    All history now and we are where we are, but if we had not gone into coalition and taken the hit in a second election...