Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Lack of Principle

It may have started before Tony Blair took office in 1997, but New Labour sure has made the disengagement of the electorate from their elected representatives almost an art form. Sleazy financing, friendships with war criminals, launching illegal wars, privatising almost everything that moves, and of course trashing civil liberties. Gordon Brown came to power saying he'd listen, and that his would be a new government. Don't you believe it, it's more of the same bilge. Without any change in circumstances since his predecessor tried to raise the potential period of detention without charge to 90 days, Brown is now trying to raise it from 28 (already too high) to 42 days. What's deplorable is that out of what used to be a left-wing party there were only 'rebels', and now even many of them are being successfully bought off, ostensibly to shore up Brown's crumbled authority and to recast him as a strong, decisive Prime Minister, even though he's anything but.

Mohammad Sarwar, Labour MP for Glasgow Govan, has also decided to back the government after he was given an undertaking that anyone locked up for as long as 42 days and then released without charge would receive compensation on a day-by-day basis.

I'm sorry but this is dreadful. The very basis of doing this is wrong, as former Prime Minister Sir John Major quite rightly pointed out. But it also shows no understanding of why it's wrong. Financial compensation couldn't hope to repair the damage of the destruction of someone's life without definite proof. And it's naive beyond words to think that these powers wouldn't be used abusively - even local councils now regularly abuse the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). And they're all like this - principle used to be the guide at least to most of the Labour Party, but no longer. They're more interested in voting tactically to shore the worst Prime Minister in generations up in the futile hope they'll keep their jobs in 2010. It's no wonder people aren't voting in general elections anymore

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