Friday, 10 July 2009
The means of defence against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
Our societies, says Anthony Grayling, are under attack not only from the threat of terrorism, but also from our governments' attempts to fight that threat by reducing freedom in our own societies - think the 42-day detention controversy, CCTV surveillance, increasing invasion of privacy, ID Cards, not to mention Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo As Grayling says: 'There should be a special place for political irony in the catalogues of human folly. Starting a war 'to promote freedom and democracy' could in certain though rare circumstances be a justified act; but in the case of the Second Gulf War that began in 2003, which involved reacting to criminals hiding in one country (Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan) by invading another country (Iraq), one of the main fronts has, dismayingly, been the home front, where the War on Terror takes the form of a War on Civil Liberties in the spurious name of security. To defend 'freedom and democracy', Western governments attack and diminish freedom and democracy in their own country. By this logic, someone will eventually have to invade the US and UK to restore freedom and democracy to them.' In this lucid and timely book Grayling sets out what's at risk, engages with the arguments for and against examining the cases made by Isaiah Berlin and Ronald Dworkin on the one hand, and Roger Scruton and John Gray on the other, and finally proposes a different way to respond that makes defending the civil liberties on which western society is founded the cornerstone for defeating terrorism.
Read this and quake, by Professor A C Grayling, who I saw being shouted down by some BBC puppet on BBC 24 'Hard Talk '
(PS He is not a great fan of Bloggers)
Grayling is certain to be on Mandelson's list of subversives to be 'dealt' with at some stage. He has a naive belief that the State can be persuaded it has gone too far and cites Jack Straw and others rowing back by suppressing Civil Liberties. This is only because I believe that Straw and nu labour are aware that Labour has strengthened the State against the individual, and with the looming election he is about to become an individual again, and that power can be used against people like him.
With Mandelson there should be an inquiry into his methods that has so damaged this country.
Blair should be arraigned for the lies and deceit in leading us into a war.
Then they will know the power of the overweening State they have created, where political necessity outweighs Justice.
"We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force".