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April 23, 2006

Henry Porter and Tony Blair

Henry Porter scores something of a coup by actually getting Tony Blair to respond to emails about the destruction of civil liberties. From the Maximum Tone:

And yes, I would go further. I would widen the police powers to seize the cash of suspected drug dealers, the cars they drive round in, and require them to prove they came by them, lawfully.

Abolition of the presumption of innocence, punishment before conviction.

I would impose restrictions on those suspected of being involved in organised crime. In fact, I would generally harry, hassle and hound them until they give up or leave the country.

Persecution of the innocent.

But again, the reason we are acting is not a desire to be dictatorial but a genuine desire to protect our way of life from those who would destroy it.

As are we. It’s you, Dear Leader, doing the destroying.

I agree with you on one other thing. The politics of this cross left/right lines. Interestingly, in British politics today many Tories, the Lib Dems and a part of Labour (but really only a small part) would agree with you.

Pity you’re on the wrong side then eh, Tone?

April 23, 2006 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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I would seize the cash of suspected drug dealers, the cars they drive round in, and require them to prove they came by them, lawfully.

Sounds like our moronic RICO Act in the US. Maybe you guys can get the lefties het up against this bullshit by telling them it's American? Worth a shot.

Posted by: P. Froward | Apr 23, 2006 11:40:12 AM

Out-chuffing-rageous! Expletives fail me. Tim, you may be interested to see what one labour insider had to say to me t'other day, you may wish to prepare a stiff drink before you do.

Posted by: Fluffy Economist | Apr 23, 2006 7:56:21 PM

"actually getting Tony Blair to respond to emails about the destruction of civil liberties" -- well, yes, in the strictly technical sense that Tony sent emails addressed to Porter allegedly on that subject (or, more properly, had one of his minions do so -- I don't think the Dear Leader can type, let alone use Outlook, but happily the taxpayer pays for secretarial support). But Tony appears as a man wholly incapable of giving a straight answer to even fairly simple questions, and, as Charlie Whitaker points out, just doesn't know -- or is prepared to lie outright about -- what's in the legislation his Ministers are ramming through Parliament.

There are basically three possibilities here: (a) he's thick; (b) he suffers from some medical condition which renders him unable to distinguish truth from falsehood; or (c) he's lying outright because he knows he can get away with it -- only a tiny percentage of the public look at what's in the legislation that's the government is proposing, and all of them are either in the departments responsible, or are already opposed to it.

Posted by: Chris Lightfoot | Apr 24, 2006 1:07:34 AM

Let's be charitable about this. Ted Honderich's assessment in The Guardian last year of Blair's personal err .. 'problem' was quite explicit:

"Honderich is also a consequentialist, which partly explains his hatred towards Tony Blair. 'He is always asking to be judged by the morality of his intentions,' he spits. 'He doesn't understand that no one cares about his fucking morality. We judge him by the consequences of his actions. In any case, his morality is so muddy and ill-considered. I'm increasingly coming to the opinion that Blair's main problem is that he's not very bright.'"

For those unfamilar with the territory of philosophy, Ted Honderich is Grote professor emeritus of the philosophy of mind and logic, University College London.

Posted by: Bob B | Apr 24, 2006 9:19:28 AM