Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tony Blair's Speech

As many regular visitors will know, I am strongly biased against the authoritarian right politics of Tony Blair. Something he mentioned in his speech yesterday, caught my ear. Here is the segment to which I refer:

"The whole of our system starts from the proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being wrongly convicted.

Don't misunderstand me. That must be the duty of any criminal justice system.

But surely our primary duty should be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety.
It means a complete change of thinking. It doesn't mean abandoning human rights. It means deciding whose come first"

I apologise for quoting him (it's like using the black tongue of Mordor in the Shire). What he said didn't sit right with me. Those of you who read your bible will know that if you read a version with complex words that you don't understand, it is fairly easy to misinterpret what the Bible is saying. I think Blair's speech was written deliberately to have the same effect.

If you broke down this paragraph in to basic English (especially the emboldened words), you could argue that Blair is sanctioning the imprisonment of the innocent, to ensure the safety of the masses. He seems to be saying "if the Government believes somebody is dangerous... regardless of background, we should put them in jail without evidence or proper trial; in the interests of national security". If that were true, it would be authorising political imprisonment, which is abhorrent.

I'd like your thoughts on that particular segment of his speech, please let me know what you think he is saying.

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