Friday, November 16, 2007

What should have happened

''Look, you've just appointed me as an incredibly well-qualified expert to carry out a review of the current necessary security measures. I'm not convinced we need more than 28 days detention without charge. Got a problem with that? So sack me.''

What actually happened.

Meanwhile, this all becomes madly political. And it shouldn't be: the Magna Carta and what it has meant to British people for a thousand years is bigger than any individual politician, be he ne'er so grand, though he have waited e'er so long for power.

A sense of history is needed. God damn it.

''The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison
without formulating any charge known to the law, and
particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers,
is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation
of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."


β€œIn this country amidst the clash of arms the laws are not silent... It has always
been one of the pillars of freedom, one of the principles of liberty for which on recent authority
we are fighting, that the judges are no respecters of persons and stand between the subject
and any attempted encroachments on his liberty by the executive, alert to see that any
coercive action is justified in law.”

I will let you know who said what next week.

Unless you get their first, google-fans. Til then, stay happy and ... erm, free.

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Blogger Henry North London said...

Googlers! Adverb...!

Winston Churchill in a cable to Herbert Morrison the then Home secretary on his release of Sir Oswald Moseley and his wife Diana in November 1943

Lord Atkins dissenting speech in Liversidge v. Anderson [1942]

Lord Atkin continued:....
β€œ I know of only one authority, which might justify the suggested method of construction. 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less'. 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be the master, that's all.' After all this long discussion, the question is whether the words 'If a man has' can mean 'If a man thinks he has'. I have an opinion that they cannot and the case should be decided accordingly."

Very astute Rachel... Well done.

November 16, 2007 10:47 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Well done Henry


November 17, 2007 12:13 am  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

Out into God's sweet air we went,
But not in wonted way,
For this man's face was white with fear,
And that man's face was grey,
And I never saw sad men who looked
So wistfully at the day.

I never saw sad men who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
We prisoners called the sky,
And at every careless cloud that passed
In happy freedom by.

Any country that locks up the likes of Oscar Wilde is capable of anything.

November 17, 2007 1:33 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oscar Wilde was in fact guilty of some pretty nasty things. These days he would have got 10+ years for them.

Aside from that he launched a libel action, intended to extort a very large sum of money from his lover's father - for telling the truth. The guy was a scumbag, though.

He got sent to prison for lying under oath in that case.

Adm. West is known as a "Political" officer. His reputation is of a man who will always be a "steady pair of hands".... that's why he was appointed.

November 18, 2007 12:40 pm  
Blogger Leighton Cooke said...

Wilde was in fact convicted of gross indecency, an offence that would, under today's circumstances, be impossible to prosecute and rightly so. Religion, sexual orientation and ethnic origin should not be grounds for putting someone in prison. The risk of detention without trial is that it will inevitably be used unfairly against minorities and those who do not conform.

November 18, 2007 11:43 pm  

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