2015 General Election

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by halfwise on Thu May 14, 2015 12:47 am

What counts as 'opposition'- could you arrest Russel Brand for making public youtube videos advocating political anarchy and that people shouldn't vote?

I think that's an important test. What would happen if a muslim, wearing traditional garb, said exactly the same things Russell Brand says? If they both get the same treatment, the law passes the Brand test. If they don't, it's a dangerously constructed law.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 2:00 pm

The BBC article makes some good points for me. How can one claim to be defending values and ideals by eroding just those values and beliefs. How do you defend democracy by cracking down on alternative views? Does limiting the freedom of speech aid freedom of speech?  And why are people so ready to give up hard fought basic rights and liberties to solve short term issues? Do they really think politicians will be as willing and ready to hand them back?

This is a situation where it's really good that you have international standards of human rights and institutions to make sure the government doesn't go to far with this sort of legislation, but you're repealing that...

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by David H on Thu May 14, 2015 4:31 pm

What concerned me in the USA during the Bush administration and the whole Patriot Act discussions was not a fear that Bush himself was a fascist, but that he was clearly building a fascist tool kit.  

20th century fascism developed some very efficient tools for controlling dissent, and every government since then has looked at the fascist tool catalog longingly, saying "We won't actually use it. And if we do, it'll be only on the bad guys," they say.  ( It's the same argument as for homeowners owning military weapons for self defense "just in case....")  

But the trouble is that once the tool kit is in place, it's there for everyone who follows, and History has shown that sooner or later there'll be a power-hungry madman who comes along and says "Oh! Look!!!".... Evil or Very Mad

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 14, 2015 4:36 pm

this is counter terrorism, note the word terrorism. unless the SNP start sending over exploding haggis I don't think you need to worry.

flipping heck! the Evil Empire is at it again. Rolling Eyes


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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by David H on Thu May 14, 2015 4:56 pm

The Evil Empire Never Sleeps!


Last edited by David H on Thu May 14, 2015 4:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 4:58 pm

this is counter terrorism, note the word terrorism.- Figg

I am noting it, in your post, sadly not in what the government is saying. There criteriea for what constituets a danger is not being limited to terrorism in this. No matter how often they publicly try to say it is, the proof is in the wording of what they are proposing.
The governments own wording defines extremism as 'a threat to democracy, the rule of law and undermining British values.'
Which could mean just about whetver they want it too.

This is where I very much find myself agreeing with David here, its not necesarily that I think this government will use the powers this way (though I dont trust them not to either), but they are setting in place everything any future government might need if they wanted too.

But with this governmetn its all the individual pieces taken together that worries me.

Defining extremism in the way they have.

Giving the implimentation of the laws, and the protection of those charged under them, and the appointment of the judges who will issue them, and the availabitliy of information on them all to the same Ministry. With the sinister sounding name of Ministry of Justice.

Appointing Gove to head the Ministry of Justice, a man best defined by the words 'total bastard'.

Reviving the 'snoopers charter' ditched in the last Parliament becuase the Tories couldnt get the suport to get it passed as anyone with a senible view of it can clearly see it goes way to far in gathering private information on people and keeping it. And no not just 'terrorists' all of us.

And then on top of that we have the imminent abolition of the European human rights act, our only legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.

Although I honestly dont see how they can remove the Human rights act in Scotland and in NI, as both the Scottish Parliament and the Good Friday Agreement incorporated the European human rights act into their law at their inception. I dont see how you can seperate them without both pulling down the Good Friday agreement and Scottish devolution. Either of which would be disasterous.

Its not necessarily the individual parts (though I think those bad enough) its the shape the picture starts to make when you put all these parts together is worrying me.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 14, 2015 5:07 pm

David Cameron wrote:"For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens 'as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone'," he will say.

How silly of anyone to have expected that just because they obey the law they can expect the government to not harass them. Rolling Eyes
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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 5:10 pm

Yeah its stuff like that which is the cause for concern- apparently just obeying the law is no longer enough to ensure you dont get punished by the law if the government doesn't like what you are saying.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 5:21 pm

That line in itself. Yikes. Shocked

So, opinions must now be sanctioned by the state?

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 5:22 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And then on top of that we have the imminent abolition of the European human rights act, our only legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.

Although I honestly dont see how they can remove the Human rights act in Scotland and in NI, as both the Scottish Parliament and the Good Friday Agreement incorporated the European human rights act into their law at their inception. I dont see how you can seperate them without both pulling down the Good Friday agreement and Scottish devolution. Either of which would be disasterous.

Not really the only protection. As I assume Britain will stay part of the UN Convention of Civil and Political Rights. But with the ECHR (the convention) goes the ECHR (the court), and the ability for individuals to bring human rights breaches for a court with the ability to make binding decisions for the signatory states. The ICCPR has a much more softhanded approach, where the countries report the national situation and the Human Rights Council controls of the country is living up to their human rights obligations and make reports pointing out what they see as human rights breaches. They in no way carry the same weight.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 5:31 pm

I am not sure if I change what I wrote from 'our only legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.' to 'our only effective legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.' that I feel any better about it.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 14, 2015 5:39 pm

What will the government need to do in order to withdraw from the ECHR treaties?  Will a majority vote in the House of Commons be sufficient?  I know there's already been pushback in Northern Ireland because the Good Friday Agreement apparently makes references to the ECHR.  And would the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales have a say, especially Scotland, which has a semi-separate legal system?
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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 5:43 pm

I dont know how Cameron thinks he is going to go about it.
The Scottish Parliament, like the Good Friday Agreement, enshrines the European Court and Eurpean human rights into the very fabric of our law.
Scottish law was made entirely compatible with European laws. I just dont see how you can pull the two apart again without bringing the whole thing down.
For a PM insiting we are 'One Nation' he is setting up a huge disagrement and fight between the devolved parts of the UK and Westminister and England.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 5:46 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I am not sure if I change what I wrote from 'our only legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.' to 'our only effective legal protection above UK courts against the actions of our own government.' that I feel any better about it.

I'd say that's a lot closer to the truth, though perhaps still a little pessimistic.

The ICCPR does have problems with non compliance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights#Non-compliance

They do have an optonal protocole for individual complaints that Britain hasn't ratified.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Optional_Protocol_to_the_International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights

But at least your stuck with it. Wink

On 23 August 1997 the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) drafted a notification of withdrawal from the Covenant. On 23 September the Secretary-General forwarded an aide-mémoire to the government of the DPRK and the other signatories stating that, since the covenant did not contain a mechanism for withdrawal it would not be possible for the DPRK to leave the covenant except with the agreement of all other state parties.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights#Withdrawal

But it does set a binding standard internationally, even if it isn't applicable ofr individuals Britain has an obligation to keep to the treaty with the international community. And I expect Britain would suffer a fair bit of international scorn if it chooses a rute of non compliance.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 5:54 pm

Interesting article that shows that overzealous acts by government in these areas might breach international law.

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/10/martin_scheinin_u_s_u_k_surveillance_programs_violate_iccpr.html

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Bluebottle on Thu May 14, 2015 6:14 pm

Eldorion wrote:What will the government need to do in order to withdraw from the ECHR treaties?  Will a majority vote in the House of Commons be sufficient?  I know there's already been pushback in Northern Ireland because the Good Friday Agreement apparently makes references to the ECHR.  And would the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales have a say, especially Scotland, which has a semi-separate legal system?

I'll not make any comment with regard the the interanl national legal issues, as I wouldn't know. (Although Petty raises an important issue. A prominent argument against possible withdrawal from both the ECHR and the EU is that the rules of the convention and Union respectively are now such an intricately included and internalized part of national law that somehow removing or excluding it's rules and influence is nigh on impossible.)  But a withdrawal from the ECHR is possible under the conventions article 58, as opposed to the ICCPR. It requires a six months notice to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and any ongoing or decided cases until that 6 month notice has elapsed must be adhered to. It still has some problems as with regards to membership Council of Europe, but withdrawal is possible.

ARTICLE 58
Denunciation
1.
A High Contracting Party may denounce the present
Convention only after the expiry of five years from the date on
which it became a party to it and after six months’ notice contained
in a notification addressed to the Secretary General of the Council
of Europe, who shall inform the other High Contracting Parties.
2.
Such a denunciation shall not have the effect of releasing
the High Contracting Party concerned from its obligations under
this Convention in respect of any act which, being capable
of constituting a violation of such obligations, may have been
30
31
performed by it before the date at which the denunciation became
effective.
3.
Any High Contracting Party which shall cease to be a
member of the Council of Europe shall cease to be a Party to this
Convention under the same conditions.
4.
The Convention may be denounced in accordance with
the provisions of the preceding paragraphs in respect of any
territory to which it has been declared to extend under the terms
of  Article
56

http://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 14, 2015 8:20 pm

Prince Charles wrote some pushy letters to Blair, some people got their knickers in a twist calling it undemocratic. The slightest whiff of anything untoward and people flag it up including the press. If anti terrorist laws were abused I have no doubt the British public would hammer the gvt. I think the gvt has been pussy footing it around extremists in their midst for too long, giving them airtime, letting them run schools, setting up networks of groomers, the list is endless. these recent laws are as a direct result of pressure FROM the public, not because Dave and his chums in the Death Star want to go on a covert mission to steal democracy.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 14, 2015 8:38 pm

David H wrote:What concerned me in the USA during the Bush administration and the whole Patriot Act discussions was not a fear that Bush himself was a fascist, but that he was clearly building a fascist tool kit.  

20th century fascism developed some very efficient tools for controlling dissent, and every government since then has looked at the fascist tool catalog longingly, saying "We won't actually use it. And if we do, it'll be only on the bad guys," they say.  ( It's the same argument as for homeowners owning military weapons for self defense "just in case....")  

But the trouble is that once the tool kit is in place, it's there for everyone who follows, and History has shown that sooner or later there'll be a power-hungry madman who comes along and says "Oh! Look!!!".... Evil or Very Mad

Isnt that coming from a place of paranoia though? some people build bunkers because they think the gvt is out to get them. its paranoia not reality. likewise the kneejerk reaction against new laws meant to protect its population against those who want to destroy it.

(((((ie Petty and his kneejerk reaction, probably brought on by having knees on public display)))))

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by David H on Thu May 14, 2015 8:56 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:
David H wrote:What concerned me in the USA during the Bush administration and the whole Patriot Act discussions was not a fear that Bush himself was a fascist, but that he was clearly building a fascist tool kit.  

20th century fascism developed some very efficient tools for controlling dissent, and every government since then has looked at the fascist tool catalog longingly, saying "We won't actually use it. And if we do, it'll be only on the bad guys," they say.  ( It's the same argument as for homeowners owning military weapons for self defense "just in case....")  

But the trouble is that once the tool kit is in place, it's there for everyone who follows, and History has shown that sooner or later there'll be a power-hungry madman who comes along and says "Oh! Look!!!".... Evil or Very Mad

Isnt that coming from a place of paranoia though? some people build bunkers because they think the gvt is out to get them. its paranoia not reality. likewise the kneejerk reaction against new laws meant to protect its population against those who want to destroy it.

I think paranoia is too strong a word. There's a sense of unease in times of change, and there are a lot of military veterans (especially combat vets) who feel more comfortable with the weapons they're most familiar with close at hand. I understand it, but it's the potential for mistakes and abuse that worry me.  

Likewise when our government decides it would be useful to record everybody's internet use and phone conversations. I understand why it would make their jobs easier, but it's the possibility of mistakes and abuse that worries me.

Remember that this NSA program was sold to us, it was presented as only monitoring potential terrorists. It wasn't until Edward Snowdon's revelations that we realized that, in the governments eyes, we are ALL potential terrorists.....

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by David H on Thu May 14, 2015 9:01 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:Dave and his chums in the Death Star want to go on a covert mission to steal democracy.



Is that a problem for you?

:carrot: :carrot: :carrot:  :carrot: :carrot:  :carrot: :carrot: :carrot:

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 9:53 pm

If I am being paranoid Figg then I am not alone, seems qwuite a few of your fellow northern english folk agree-

'Thousands of people in the North of England have been using the hashtag "take us with you Scotland" to express their upset about the result of last week's general election, and the Scottish nationalists are welcoming this English minority with open arms.
Since last Thursday's general election in Britain the phrase "take us with you Scotland" has been used more than 24,000 times.
the hashtag really took off when users start to mobilise around a year old petition on change.org, which is titled "allow the north of England to secede from the UK & join Scotland".
Dent told BBC Trending that he was surprised at how popular his petition had become. "In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have been," he said. "There is a huge frustration in parts of the UK about the things that have happened since 2010."
"I think people need a place to go where they can say 'not in my name! This is not the England I want'," he added.
More than 12,000 people from Scotland and Northern England have signed the petition.'- BBC news

One of the most popular tweets so far-

#TakeUsWithYouScotland is amazing not for the English wanting to be in Scotland but the Scots replying en masse with "come, you're welcome!"



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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu May 14, 2015 10:52 pm

so that's a few disgruntled Labout supporters then. hardly ground shaking. and its not going to happen. Manchester is getting devolved powers. Northern powerhouse thing.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 14, 2015 11:47 pm

If they do they will have Scots to thank for it- becuase there is not a snowballs chance in hell all this devolution would be happening if it werent for us kicking up the shit. Nod

Ive said before and will again- if we cant get out the Union then we will change the damn thing into something better and fairer.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri May 15, 2015 3:39 pm

its already better and fairer than 90% of other countries. your complaints ring hollow.

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Re: 2015 General Election

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Fri May 15, 2015 4:27 pm

No good argument ever started with the words "At least its not as bad as...."

Its not the point TH film isn't as bad as having your intestines unwound on a stick before your own eyes, but that doesnt make TH film any good.

There is much good about the UK, but there is loads wrong too we have a pedophiles rings in our government, we have police corruption, institutional racism, a massive arms industry selling death globally, we treat our poor badly (for proof of that just google the list of all the people so far who have committed suicide since the Tories began their reforms), we have an ineffectual Parliament system, with an unfair voting system backing it up. We have taken part in illegal renditions and the torture opf prisoners. And thats the very short list of shit thats not right about the UK.

There should never, ever, be a time when we say, 'thats good enough'. Its nowhere need good enough and we should continually strive to improve the fairness and representation of the people, and to scrutinise those who lead in our name.

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