Sunday, 15 March 2009

Police state on track

So many of Labour’s pet schemes are crumbling. The economy is in ruins, Iraq is such a disaster that all the government can do is keep quiet about it, and hope that no one remembers they promised a full, independent inquiry once British troops have been removed.

So it’s good to be able to report that one major project is on track, if not, knowing Labour, on budget – turning Britain into a police state. I blogged on Labour’s new “snap a policeman, go to gaol” law on Feburary 17. One Labour minister, a Mr Vernon Coaker, has been busily assuring the National Union of Journalists that Labour only wants to ban us from taking photographs in “special circumstances”.

It might be “on the grounds of national security, or there may be situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations or inflame an already tense situation....Additionally, the police may require a person to move on in order to prevent a breach of the peace or to avoid a public order situation or for the person’s own safety and welfare or for the safety and welfare of others.” Are you sure you’ve drawn that broadly enough, Vernon?

It might not, for example, include the case of a Manchester man who was taking pictures of sewer grates - really. But at least he was imprisoned for two days as a suspected terrorist, had his home and computer ransacked, and his DNA taken and kept on file.

Now one brave former senior police officer has spoken out against Labour’s decision to allow the police to arrest and handcuff anyone suspected of any offence however minor. David Gilbertson says police have used their new power against people not wearing a seatbelt, dropping litter, climbing a tree,or building a snowman. You can sign his petition against this extraordinary attack on our civil liberties at

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