Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Home Secretary and inappropriate sex with goats

As a liberal with libertarian instincts, the first question around any legislation is whether it further impedes the rights of the citizen.  If the answer is that it does, then only then can a secondary question be asked, as to whether its introduction will improve the safety, security and rights of others.  If there is a reasonable case that it does, then the final key determinant of the quality of legislation is whether it is sufficiently tightly-defined, incapable of perversion and open to challenge and scrutiny not merely during its enactment but during its period of life.

This is why the current proposals on the British state's increased ability to intrude into its citizens' private activities are so suspect.  There are already wide-ranging and illiberal powers, nodded through on Blair's watch, that allow virtually unlimited access for the self-appointed guardians of morality, in the guise of preventing criminal acts.  There is already an assumption that private data will be harvested for commercial and controlling ends, and that the porosity of security systems, as evidenced by the recent TalkTalk fiasco, will be exploited.

Nobody is denying the possibility of crime or the ability of legal agencies to act to intervene to prevent it.  Indeed, from a libertarian perspective that meets the utilitarian test, and it would be a strange breed of irresponsible anarchist who denied the need for at least some power to protect the life and liberty of others.  However, what Theresa May and her client groups within the police and secret state want to secure is the ability to intrude in a real-time, but also archived, framework, into both the public and private realm - undermining the very liberties that they claim to be protecting.

As the current administration appears to be both stupid and confused in its attitude to human rights (hardly surprising given the warped definition of a democratic mandate currently in use) there is no check and balance mechanism in place that should provide assurance to the citizen that he or she is able to fight back if victimised by the state.  In this climate, opposing the extension of state power becomes axiomatic, not out of any anti-patriotic bias but out of a desire to protect the civil realm from encroachment.

Whenever one hears the representatives of the state claiming that those who obey the law have nothing to fear, then you have to wonder what dark motivations lie beneath.  The law is mutable, liberty is not.  The same approach is used by totalitarians of all hues and depths of evil, enforcing conformity at pain of ejection from the community and the protection of the polity.  Given the cretinism of most tabloid cheerleaders, the savage irony of promoting "British freedom" while systematically undermining the liberty of the citizen is likely to be overlooked more often than not.

I do not hold a brief for zoophilia, nor do I hold the view that every Tory is necessarily interested in non-mainstream sexualities - but it would be my liberty to use internet search facilities to prove or disprove my hypothesis.  In May's brave new world, this would probably excite the attention (at least) of the security agencies.  This is where syllogism and false reasoning make bad laws - and the Tories, far from defending the freedom of the individual from the state are both being disingenuous and paving the way for more encroachment in the years to come.  This is why libertarians should join with liberals in being angry and active in fighting back.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.