Terrorism Laws take us to the 17th Century

Our alleged war on terror has taken our law back to England’s 17th century. Laws were suspended by James I and courts allowed evidence and confessions taken under torture. As the historians note, who wrote of that era, individuals admitted to anything, and concocted any stories they thought might please their interrogators and stop the pain. Are we any different today? Do we tell our interrogators’ what they want to hear?

Do I hear someone saying but that’s the laws for terrorists, not for others? If you think green groups are terrorists you’ll be pleased to learn that UK coppers arrested green protesters under the terrorism laws and kept them incognito while questioning them.Of course this wasn’t supposed to happen but if the new terrorists laws make no exception for other groups, on the grounds that any disturbance is effecting national security. This incident at Heathrow airport means the terrorism laws apply to everyone. And yes, no one is allowed to speak of their incarceration, under pain of imprisonment. Gone are the days of transparent arresting procedures (and many innocent people have been arrested, charged and verballed), so if your relatives are missing for several weeks your local police will not begin searching for them until that period of mandatory arrest has past (your regular copper is not allowed to know about these sinister arrests). Gives you confidence in the democracies of the world: they are now police states. We must remember – you economists – that police states throughout history have never, finally, prospered. Entrepreneurs are too frightened to promote their ideas in case some individual in security becomes envious.

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