British Prime Minister Theresa May has declared that she is prepared to dispense with human rights laws if they hinder her efforts to fight terrorism. The statement is a chilling example of how politicians are willing to take a hatchet to civil liberties and privacy in response to attacks. The more chilling fact is that many citizens will willingly part with their freedoms based on such promises of greater security. May has already pledged to curtail free speech on the Internet to fight extremists.
May is pledging to dispense with the niceties of human rights in a speech that seems lifted from Rodrigo Duterte:
“But I can tell you a few of the things I mean by that: I mean longer prison sentences for people convicted of terrorist offences. I mean making it easier for the authorities to deport foreign terror suspects to their own countries.
“And I mean doing more to restrict the freedom and the movements of terrorist suspects when we have enough evidence to know they present a threat, but not enough evidence to prosecute them in full in court.
“And if human rights laws stop us from doing it, we will change those laws so we can do it.”
The proposed measures would impose curfews, longer periods without trial for suspects, travel limitations, limits on communication devices and expansions of intelligence powers.
The pledge to set aside human rights laws should be a disqualifying factor for a Western leader. However, many will rally to the notion of restricting their own freedoms. If the English would entertain the advice of a former colonist, they would be wise to consider Benjamin Franklin’s warning that “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
82 thoughts on “Prime Minister May Pledges To Curtail Human Rights If Necessary To Combat Extremists”
Imperialist Murdoch Losing His Mojo?
“Then, as now, The Sun is the most widely-read daily newspaper in Britain. I wonder what executives at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid are thinking about their place in the world this morning. Throughout the campaign, the paper has been vicious in its depiction of Jeremy Corbyn as an unelectable idiot, and this week has been peddling the trope that Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser.
“ ‘Jezza’s Jihadi Comrades.’ ‘Terrorist’s friend.’ ‘A rabble-rouser for Islamic extremists.’ In the midst of a terrorist onslaught, this is how The Sun has been portraying the Labour leader.
“And what happened? Corbyn increased the Labour vote by more than 10 points!”
It was a hard May’s night.
May not be PM much longer…
issacbasonkavich, June 8, 2017 at 6:57 am
“The so called (sic) attacks on human rights has (sic) to get a lot more severe before it (sic) merits the BS on this blog. It is a case of fine tuning. If some suspected trouble maker (sic) has its (sic) rights compromised momentarily, well????”
Yes, the key to successful abrogation of natural human rights by a government, especially a “democratic” one, is to effect the abrogation incrementally, just as one would very gradually boil a frog, so as not to alarm it.
And, yes, if there’s one thing no civilized society on earth can tolerate without risking its own demise, it’s a “suspected trouble maker.”
@ Joseph Jones, June 8, 2017 at 12:57 am
“In one breath May decries Islamists for not assimilating western liberal freedom and democracy, then she solves her ‘problem’ by cancelling those freedoms.”
This is the self-contradiction at the heart of all authoritarian “solutions” to political problems, including, of course, those created by the authoritarians themselves, such as by Britain’s foreign policy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
LePen was another Trump gal that bit the dust.
And yet the only gal that really matters is the one that bit the dust last November.
American exceptionalist.. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Looks like Trump bud May is not faring so well tonight. Maybe the orange one will get his trip cancelled after all.
@Justice Holmes, June 8, 2017 at 8:34 am
“Martial law is rarely temporary. That kind of power is hard to put down.”
@mespo727272, June 8, 2017 at 8:39 am
“Agreed but it works in practice. Lincoln used it successfully in 1863 and the Romans had a 90 day dictatorship to defend the city with Cincinnati s (sic) at the helm. Like all government it depends in large measure on the good will of the folks in charge.”
The Soviet gulag system “worked in practice,” but that hardly justifies emulating it, martial law, or any other governmental repression of natural human rights.
Depending on the “good will of the folks in charge,” rather than on the rule of government-restraining, civil-liberties-protecting law requires a naive underestimation of the human propensity for seeking power over others and also ignoring the history of governmental violence against the people “governed” without legal restraint.
For some enlightening statistics regarding the lengths to which unrestrained governments have gone to secure themselves against their internal enemies, see political scientist R.J. Rummel’s work on “democide”:
So she does persist, because the only other option is national suicide were it to accede to its enemies’ demands (and acceding to United Nations’ demands would simply slow-walk its enemies’ demands). It is in the interests of the United States and all civilized nations to support her, help her find a way to peace, and above all stop attacking the only thing in the Middle East that can improve life there.
The state of Israel has been fighting the same enemy for 50 years that western nations have ignorantly invited in to their own homelands. It is absolute irrelevant to consider how western imperialism has contributed to the rise of Islamic extremism beyond learning from it. You don’t allow Godzilla to rampage at will just because your nuclear tests created him.
Wasn’t Europe rather snobbish towards Trump, concerned he would become an egomaniacal dictator? And didn’t many in the EU frown upon Trump’s concern about Muslim refugees and immigrants from regions infamous for human rights violations, terrorism breeding grounds, anti-semitism, etc? He was racist, etc.
And yet, mere weeks later, May is threatening to curtail human rights and step up deportations to combat Muslim extremism.
The very concerns expressed have been that terrorists will be able to commit mayhem before they are identified and either stopped, incarcerated, or deported. How many attacks have they had in Europe now over the past 2 years? Because my phone seems to ping daily with a new update on a terrorist rampage. Are the Liberals of Europe beginning to see the wisdom behind these concerns? Perhaps everyone is not a racist who expresses a sincere worry.
Olly – I wish I could ask Liberals how could Western Imperialism have contributed to the rise of Islamic Extremism when the Muslim Expansion was the first attempt at a Global Caliphate. First the Middle East and then Europe fell to the sword of extremists, many non-Muslims were enslaved, and it was only the Crusades that put a stop to it. Even then, they had to repeat the Crusades many times before the Muslims sullenly confined themselves to the Middle East, which used to be a Judeo-Christian stronghold before it was forcibly converted to Islam. No amount of pandering, blasphemy laws, or gifts will stop a moment whose goal is a global caliphate. They’ll eventually go after Samoa if they defeat everywhere closer. And Boko Haram’s whole issue is that Westernization, including the education of girls, is haram. So do Liberals want to cease the education of girls in Muslim nations to try to prevent making Muslim extremists mad? Because the education of girls is the “cause” of Boko Haram’s terrorism.
Liberals blame Western Imperialism. And yet, they do want intervention at times in Syria, Ukraine, etc and they wished we would have intervened in Rwanda and Tieneman Square. So which do they want? For us to ignore the strife of the world and how it can affect us, and stay within our bubble or intervene and be dubbed “imperialists”?
I’m probably not going to communicate my thoughts properly so my apologies in advance.
First of all I do believe nation-states have a sovereign right to defend themselves. Just like the individual has a natural right to secure their life, liberty and property; so goes a nation. Of course while the principles this nation was founded on were believed to be self-evident for all of humanity, I don’t believe we have a lawful argument to infringe upon the rights of other nations if those nations are not infringing upon ours. It would certainly be prudent to extend the defense of our country out to where we are legally justified. And of course morally we will necessarily argue it is our duty to protect those around the world that suffer from regimes that believe differently than we do. So what is right? Should we have a utilitarian foreign policy and a constitutional domestic policy?
I believe what our nation has chosen to do with regard to both foreign and domestic policy, is to abandon the means of a constitutionally-limited government to satisfy the utilitarian ends of the political class. I won’t argue who might be pulling the strings of the political class; the point is every action taken that exceeds our governments constitutional purpose is unjust, regardless of the desired ends.
Are we obligated to reap what was sewn? It would seem the Left would say the answer to that is a resounding yes. That is a suicidal mindset and one that Islamic extremists would be more than happy to oblige.
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