I think things might be quite bad when the former head of Britain’s domestic spooks/secret police says the UK is a police state, in an interview published outside the country in another language!-
Dame Stella Rimington, the former head of MI5, has accused the Government of exploiting people’s fear of terrorism to restrict civil rights.
Ministers risked handing a victory to terrorists who want people to “live in fear and under a police state”, said the former spy, who retired as Director General of the Security Service in 1996.
Dame Stella, 73, has been a harsh critic of the Government’s policies, including attempts to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects to 42 days and its controversial ID cards plan.
“Since I have retired I feel more at liberty to be against certain decisions of the Government, especially the attempt to pass laws which interfere with people’s privacy,” said Dame Stella, in an interview with the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.
“It would be better that the Government recognised that there are risks, rather than frightening people in order to be able to pass laws which restrict civil liberties, which is precisely one of the objects of terrorism: that we live in fear and under a police state.”
Dame Stella said that America was even more to blame and had acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists, through harsh anti-terror measures that have been accused of breaching human rights law.
“The US has gone too far with Guantanamo and the tortures. MI5 does not do that,” she said. [erm, yes it does, nice try Stella]
“Furthermore, it has achieved the opposite effect: there are more and more suicide terrorists finding a greater justification.”
A report by a panel of leading judges and lawyers, published yesterday, appeared to confirm Dame Stella’s view, warning that measures to tackle terrorism have undermined international human rights laws.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) found that “many states have fallen into a trap set by terrorists”, by introducing anti-terrorism measures which undermined the very values they sought to protect. Many such measures were imposed on a temporary basis but ended up becoming permanent features of law and practice, it said. It condemned the use of torture, disappearances, and arbitrary and secret detention.
The criminalisation of photography is becoming total and coverage of police misdeeds might become impossible, ACPO is a private company outside of public scrutiny and …well look the things is with the crisis of neoliberalism destroying jobs people have a hard enough time just keeping a roof over their heads let alone be active in political protest against a police state so…the crisis is the vehicle for pushing through these measures because even fewer people are able to resist them for purely financial reasons. If however it gets so bad people have nothing to lose the battle against state security forces will be even harder now we have so many laws that police can always find a way of detaining you if they are so ordered or inclined to do so. They are now allowed to hack into your computer without a warrant, not to mention lethal weapons/mobile electrical torture devices called Tasers are now being issued to most police under the veil of them being ‘non-lethal’, the order boosting Taser Inc’s stock price. So there’s some good news eh?