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There's a great article in the Independent today: Blair laid bare: the article that may get you arrested.

"In the guise of fighting terrorism and maintaining public order, Tony Blair's Government has quietly and systematically taken power from Parliament and the British people. The author charts a nine-year assault on civil liberties that reveals the danger of trading freedom for security - and must have Churchill spinning in his grave"
By Henry Porter

'The right to a jury trial is removed in complicated fraud cases and where there is a fear of jury tampering. The right not to be tried twice for the same offence - the law of double jeopardy - no longer exists. The presumption of innocence is compromised, especially in antisocial behaviour legislation, which also makes hearsay admissible as evidence. The right not to be punished unless a court decides that the law has been broken is removed in the system of control orders by which a terrorist suspect is prevented from moving about freely and using the phone and internet, without at any stage being allowed to hear the evidence against him - house arrest in all but name.

Freedom of speech is attacked by Section Five of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, which preceded Blair's Government, but which is now being used to patrol opinion. In Oxford last year a 21-year-old graduate of Balliol College named Sam Brown drunkenly shouted in the direction of two mounted police officers, "Mate, you know your horse is gay. I hope you don't have a problem with that." He was given one of the new, on-the-spot fines - £80 - which he refused to pay, with the result that he was taken to court. Some 10 months later the Crown Prosecution Service dropped its case that he had made homophobic remarks likely to cause disorder.'

Honestly, everyone should read this. Especially if you don't really see the problem with ID cards, or support locking suspected terrorists up indefinitely, or don't feel more worried by the current government than you ever were by the Tories.

The Indy also, however, manages to have this column about why women don't write blogs, or how if they do, then they're about childcare and gynaecology. Which made me check to see if I'd grown a penis recently (no, thankfully), and I'm quite worried about some of you, too...


( 10 comments — Comment )
Jun. 29th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, but you see, blogs written about things men are interested in are the only ones that count as blogs, especially if you're a journalist runnning close to deadline. For the truly informed and perspicacious observer, little factoids like over 67% of livejournal users being female are simply irrelevant and confusing.
Jun. 29th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Yes but most of those 67% are pink and talk about Hollyoaks/American equivalent therein.
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC)
Nah, over 67% over LiveJournal users report their gender as female. BIG difference.
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
No penises here.
Jun. 29th, 2006 05:28 pm (UTC)
The right to a jury trial is removed in complicated fraud cases. Yes, that would be because the level of financial detail is considered too complex and too boring for most juries to listen to and understand. There are ways of getting around this, but that would mean a shorter trial concentrating on evidence that the defendants had prior knowledge and responsibility for the crime, rather than on the forensic accounting.
Jun. 29th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
There was a bill brought in under the Tories that infringed on right to peaceful demonstration, but I can't remember its name.
It's not just Blair, and I'm not sure the Tories would have been better in the same set of circumstances. But that is no excuse at all. I was saying to the radio this morning that it's house arrest by another name.

Penis here, but I know I'm outnumbered. They probably meant only the high-profile blog-ish blogs.
Jun. 29th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
any woman who writes blogs that aren't about childcare or gynaecology are clearly gay.

you're not fooling anyone, you know ;P

Jun. 30th, 2006 06:37 am (UTC)
Childcare? Gynaecology?

Jun. 30th, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)
Hm, remembering what I learned studied it a bit last year for Sociolinguistics, the m/f blogging thing is a little more complicated than that, but far too hard to discuss without hand gestures and humming and hawing. There are some things I just don't feel able to express in text. And I wonder why I fail at Academia.
Jun. 30th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
ps: article of the day. Nearly cried. As usual.
( 10 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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