Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Was David Davis Right?

Last night David Davis caused a minor storm in the House of Commons when he used parliamentary privilege to accuse MI5 of indulging in what he called 'passive rendition'. He alleged that they had allowed a terrorist suspect, Rangzieb Ahmed, to travel to Pakistan, and then encouraged the Pakistani authorities to arrest him and then, while questioning him, they tortured him. He believes MI5 to be complicit in that torture. Ahmed was returned to this country, where he was arrested, tried and convicted. Here's an extract of his speech from Hansard...
In the last year, there have been at least 15 cases of British citizens or British residents claiming to be tortured by foreign intelligence agencies with the knowledge, complicity and, in some cases, presence of British intelligence officers. One case—that of Binyam Mohammed—has been referred to the police by the Attorney-General, which implies that there is at least a prima facie case to answer. The most salient others include Moazzamm Begg, Tariq Mahmoud, Salahuddin Amin and Rashid Rauf, all in Pakistan, Jamil Rahman in Bangladesh, Alam Ghafoor in United Arab Emirates, and Azhar Khan and others in Egypt.

For each case, the Government have denied complicity, but at the same time fiercely defended the secrecy of their actions, making it impossible to put the full facts in the public domain, despite the clear public interest in doing so. Although the combined circumstantial evidence of complicity in all these cases is overwhelming, it has not so far been possible—because of the Government’s improper use of state secrecy to cover up the evidence—to establish absolutely clear sequences of cause and effect.

In 2005-06, Rangzieb Ahmed was a suspected terrorist who was kept under surveillance for about a year before leaving the country to go first to Dubai and on a subsequent trip to Pakistan. During that time, evidence was collected against him, on the basis of which he was later convicted. Let me repeat that point, as it is very important to my subsequent argument—during that time, evidence was collected, on the basis of which he was subsequently convicted.

Despite the authorities having that evidence, he was—astonishingly—not arrested but instead allowed to leave the country. To understand how odd this decision was, we should remember that this was only a year after the tragedy of 7/7, after which agencies were criticised for allowing terrorist suspects to leave the country to go to Pakistan. Since they knew he was leaving, since they knew where he was going, and since they had more than enough evidence to arrest him, allowing him to leave was clearly deliberate. That the authorities knew his itinerary is demonstrated by the fact that he was kept under surveillance when he was in Dubai. He later went on to Pakistan, where the Pakistani authorities were warned of his arrival by the British Government. The British intelligence agencies wrote to their opposite numbers in Pakistan—the members of the directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence—suggesting that they arrest him. I use the word “suggest” rather than “request” or “recommend” because of the peculiar language of the ISI’s communication No doubt the Minister can confirm that for himself by asking to see the record.

We also know that the intelligence officer who wrote to the Pakistanis did so in full knowledge of the normal methods used by the ISI against terrorist suspects that it holds. That is unsurprising, as it is common public knowledge in Pakistan. The officer would therefore be aware that “suggesting” arrest was equivalent to “suggesting” torture.

Rangzieb Ahmed was arrested by the ISI on 20 August 2006. Once he was taken into custody in Pakistan by the ISI, the Manchester police and MI5 together created a list of questions to be put to him. MI5 arranged for those questions to be given to the ISI.

Rangzieb Ahmed was viciously tortured by the ISI. He says, among other things, that he was beaten with wooden staves the size of cricket stumps and whipped with a 3 ft length of tyre rubber nailed to a wooden handle, and that three fingernails were removed from his left hand. There is a dispute between Ahmed and British intelligence officers about exactly when his fingernails were removed, but an independent pathologist employed by the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it happened during the period when he was in Pakistani custody.

Rangzieb was asked questions, under torture, about the UK by ISI officers. He claims that he saw “UK/Pakistan Secret” on the question list used by the ISI. That was presumably the list put together by the Manchester police and MI5. After about 13 days, he was visited by an officer from MI5 and another from MI6. He claims to have told them, during questioning, that he had been tortured. They deny that, but it is significant that they did not return for further interviews. By that stage, MI5 policy was not to return after any interview in which the subject claimed that he had been tortured. The British agents did not return, but Rangzieb was subsequently questioned by Americans.

Is it also an extraordinary, if sinister, coincidence that the Manchester police accessed Rangzieb Ahmed’s medical records within days of the MI5/MI6 interview? Why would they do that if he was in perfect health?

The authorities know full well that this story is an evidential showcase for the policy of complicity in torture, should that evidence ever come out. One way in which the in camera veil of secrecy might be lifted would be a civil case by Mr. Ahmed against the Government for their complicity in torture. Part of that process would involve challenging the in camera rulings and revealing the details of agency involvement. Just such a case was being considered by Mr. Ahmed, and on 20 April this year he was visited in prison by his solicitor and a specialist legal adviser to discuss it.

Mr. Ahmed tells us that a week later he was visited by an officer from MI5 and a policeman. That is the story told today on the front pages of the Daily Mail and The Guardian. During the course of their visit they said that they would like him to help in the fight against terror with information about extremism. This is perfectly proper.

However, the sinister part of this visit was an alleged request to drop his allegations of torture: if he did that, they could get his sentence cut and possibly give him some money. If this request to drop the torture case is true, it is frankly monstrous. It would at the very least be a criminal misuse of the powers and funds under the Government's Contest strategy, and at worst a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

I would normally be disinclined to believe the word of a convicted terrorist. However, when he initially told his lawyer about it, he did not want to pursue the matter. Also, in common with many other criminals, after the scandal of the taping of the current Minister of State, Department for Transport, the right hon. Member for Tooting (Mr. Khan), on a prison visit, he believes all these meetings are taped and he says this will back him up...

Let me conclude by saying that our handling of the subject of torture has, in my view, been completely wrong. The Americans have made a clean breast of their complicity, while explicitly not prosecuting the junior officers who were acting under instruction at a time of enormous duress and perceived threat after 9/11. We have done the opposite.

The battle against terrorism is not just a fight for life; it is a battle of ideas and ideals. It is a battle between good and evil, between civilisation and barbarism. In that fight, we should never allow our standards to drop to those of our enemies. We cannot defend our civilisation by giving up the values of that civilisation.

If you want to read the full speech, you can do so HERE. It is quite something to accuse your own government and its authorities of being complicit in torture. The Minister who replied, Ivan Lewis, made a valiant effort of denying the accusations, and I dare say he believed the case he was given to read out. But even if only a few of Davis's allegations are true, what does it say about the way MI5 is operating? Is there really any political control exerted?

I am sure that there will be many readers of this blog who will take the view that Ahmed got what was coming to him. He was convicted of terrorist offences, so why should we care about a bit of fingernail pulling? That's a very dangerous path to travel and it goes against the very freedoms we are surely seeking to protect.

So what do you think? Should David Davis have used parliamentary privilege to make these accusations? Is this further evidence of a security service which is out of control? Or is this just a natural by product of a war on terror?

106 comments:

TrueBlueBlood said...

David Davis was right to raise this matter under Parliamentary priviledge.

The very freedoms we cherish have to be underpinned by a common decency. Allowing terrorists, however much we feel the need for revenge, to be tortured with our encouragement, makes us no more decent than them.

Values Iain. The bedrock of society. We must all have them

Martin said...

Sure Iain. Just don't complain the next time a prat with explosives blows himself up on a tube train. Just pray it's not you or a member of your family.

I guarantee that the culprit will be a member of that great religion of peace.

What do you suggest? Perhaps we could simply play George Galloway's speeches to them over and over and over to get them to confess?

Or sit down and have a cosy chat?

Perhaps when you have to identify a loved one from a few body parts you might wake up and smell the coffee. We're at war.

When we invaded France in 1944 we didn't land 50,000 human rights lawyers, we landed soldiers who killed every German they could find. Perhaps you think that was wrong as well? We shot spies out of hand. Oh dear how terrible.

Anonymous said...

Who really cares?

Oldrightie said...

Iain, according to a post on my blog I am persona non grata on your blog. Is that really you? If so, I see tolerance only works one way these days.

Iain Dale said...

OldRightie, no idea what you are talking about!

Norton Folgate said...

Why is so much creedance given to what these terrorists bent on our destruction have to say?

Why is what they say taken at face value and always the last word on the matter?

Human rights lawyers have wised up to our "values" and are playing the torture card at every opertunity because it works.

That ethiopian islamist caught hopping the border from Afganistan to pakistan is a prime example, caught bang to rights he squeals torture and BINGO instead of being sent home he ends up here sucking up the taxes.

Bardirect said...

What did he say which wasn't in the public domain already? Who did he name as the cuprits?
Can't see anything he couldn't have said outside so how is he relying on Parliamentary privilege?

Catosays said...

Sorry dear boy but in these dark, dank days we fight fire with fire. It may not be cricket but it's survival and if we don't believe that then we might as well surrender to Bin Laden and his cohorts right now.

Jimbo said...

I personally no issue with sending a convicted terrorist back to his home country to be tortured - it is his culture and he should be tried by it.

On the other hand, I do object to trying to hide it and pretend we are are somehow better than other countries. Either we should have the courage to deal properly with this problem, or the honesty to say we can't but are happy for others to do so on our behalf.

Oldrightie said...

At July 08, 2009 6:40 PM , Iain Dale said...
OldRightie, no idea what you are talking about!

Thank you, Iain. Makes a lot more sense that you don't!

Unsworth said...

'War on Terror' - WTF is that? It's merely a catch-all to allow nefarious, illegal activity by this (and the American) government. To declare 'War' you must first identify the 'Enemy' and also have scrutinisable evidence of this Enemy's intents.

Davis was/is absolutely right to raise the matter in Parliament. There is a direct contradiction between the Government's stated and actual positions.

If the Government actually believes it's OK to torture by proxy it should say so quite clearly. If not, it should condemn such actions outright - and take action against the perpetrators and their enablers. What the Government cannot do is have it both ways.

http://moralorder.mediumisthemess.com/blog said...

David Davis will one day be seen as a great historical figure who played a major role in defending our ancient rights and liberties.
Everyone who reads this blog should long to have the courage of the man

tapestry said...

War is war. Never been pleasant so far as I know. David Davis is right that British Intelligence is involved in passive torture, but is he right to say that that is wrong in all circumstances?

Pakistan is on the brink, and is exporting terror around the globe. If david davis knows a nice clean way that can all be sorted out, please will he let us know.

As for Davis' career, he would do better to expose the loss of freedom of British citizens at home, and the collpase of the willingness to employ. All politics is local.

Jabba the Cat said...

Shame the terrorist did not fall out of a 12th story window and save everyone a lot of grief and expense...

Devshirme said...

Well, I certainly don't agree with complicity in torture, assuming there is more to this than the routine accusations of Islamists.

But I'd say we were already so deeply complicit in such things that it scarcely signifies. We have diplomatic relations with nations that execute, chop bits off, or imprison people for crimes that for us would be minor, or not crimes at all. We are complicit with the UN electing serial human rights abusers to its human rights council. We haven't withdrawn from *that* in protest. We do deals with, fight alongside, and defend in the press people who are *far* from being respectful of our liberal values.

Another nation uses torture, and we let them, and somehow it is *us* that is being the most heavily criticised here? Let us hear some louder criticism of the foreign cultures that actually *do* this. Let us do everything in our power to stop them, to end their misrule.

But of course, making them *all* our enemies would stymie all our efforts to fix the problem. We need the slightly less nasty to help us destroy the truly nasty. We need to negotiate, to persuade, to lead them step by step from the abyss. So we hold our noses, make nice to dictators and warlords, and compromise our principles in the name of expediency.

If you're going to have principles, then have them. Don't deal with Pakistan or the ISI at all. And if it results in more British people dying in blood and flame on the London tube, or Afghan girls' schools closing again under Taliban brutality, that is the accepted price of our principles. Of *your* principles. So have the courage to stand by their consequences.

Churchill dealt with Stalin, and knew *very well* what sort of man he was. *Those* are the British values we fought for.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Yes, David Davis was right to use Parliamentary privilege in this way. If even half these allegations are true, this is a shocking indictment on police methods in Britain.

At 6:18pm "Martin" says,

Just don't complain the next time a prat with explosives blows himself up on a tube train. Just pray it's not you or a member of your family.

This implies that torturing terrorist suspects will prevent this. It won't. Islamic terrorists will happily blow themselves up to achieve their ends. Why would the threat of fingernail extraction put them off?

John McCain, by no means a wussy liberal, is against torture on the grounds that suspects often give false information to their interrogators to get them to stop inflicting pain on them. He should know: he was held in a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam for several years.

"Martin" and others like him are just plain wrong.

alistair said...

David Davis was right. He should be supported by the front bench. It`s the duty of elected members to bring things like this to Parliament. Every time we give up some of our freedoms to fight a terrorist we lose both the freedom and any right to lecture other country's.

Peter Thomas said...

I just wish David Davis and the rest of Parliament would show as much concern for the well-being of our servicemen and women as they do for our enemies. He, they and you should get off your high horses and come into the real World. If you and all these holier-than-thou commentators were all in the firing line you might just have a more sensible and practical approach to such matters.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Davis on this point in the sense that he has the right to ask such questions under our system of government (incidentally no mention on your blog of the Lords discussion on the so called parliamentary reform - instead you prattle very potter-isly about some catchment area in god knows where - oh don't tell me its Norfolk and this is an important area of the UK because you have been there!).

The liberties of the English (if not British) people have been fought for since at least the magna carta.

If however this guy is a terrorist (what is he doing in terror- Stan anyway?) I firmly believe we should go French and give them the guolliten, which is more humane than the old traitors death of hung, drawn and quatered.

I think that is fair and evenhanded.

Weygand said...

David Davis was, of course, right to do this.

I hope that I am wrong but one fears that it will have only added to the bad odour in which he is held by DC; which would say much about both of them.

Anonymous said...

why is it only people whose ethnic desent is from pakistan/india/afghanistan who are ever arrested? Does this not tell you something ? Perhaps the liberal elite have beem too tolerant and we are not going to win this war because of this liberal nonsense?

Davis should join the lib dems if he wants to spout such shit !

keith Elliott said...

I find it astonishing that some of the bloggers on here seem content with the security services doing whatever the hell they like to whoever they like.

This individual may indeed be odious but he is entitled to 'due process.' Isn't that partly what we fought WW2 for?

As for fighting 'fire with fire' it doesn't work! You fight fire with water.

thespecialone said...

I bet David Davis is not in a privileged position of knowing all the facts behind the investigation into Ahmed.

I am sorry but how can we control what the Pakistanis do when they hold suspected or proven terrorists. It is like trying to tell the Saudis not to chop off the hands of thieves in their country. So what if MI5 give ISI questions to ask? We surely need as much information as possible to build the case.

I agree with Peter Thomas at 7.42. How about Davis defending British troops instead of defending terrorists who wish to cause us harm?

I would have liked to have seen Davis become leader of the Tory party. Im afraid that now I am not so sure.

http://moralorder.mediumisthemess.com/blog said...

Frankly it does not matter whether Davis is seen as a conservative or a liberal or a libertarian...
There is something astonishingly British (yes, that old chestnut) about his stand.
Britain has an outstanding record when it comes to individuals who have stood up for hard won rights and freedoms.
We must not behave like our enemies, or else we will have no identity of our own to defend. During the Second World War, we did not behave like the Nazis just because they could have wiped us out.
Why should it be different now? Our hero should still be Churchill and we should wonder whether he would have supported Davis... or someone else...

Anonymous said...

Firstly, is Rangzieb Ahmed a British (born) citizen?

Of course, all terrorists tell the truth all the time don't they?

Part of their formal training, is upon arrest to make frequent & repeated accusations of torture.

Daniel1979 said...

I fall on the side of the line that says that torture is wrong and should not be used. I can accept that there are very extreme cases* where a greater wrong can be averted through an isolated use; but I do not think this is the point David Davis was raising.

The examples I read in Iain's post point to implicit and regular involvement by the UK government in arraigning torture; these would appear to be examples of the UK outsourcing our dirty work to a foreign agency. I fail to see how we can claim not to torture with this level of involvement. In fact, I think it is hypocritical that we ask others to do it whilst preaching about democracy and human rights.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may well be where the battle against terrorism is won or lost in the future - if our Government is preaching from home to the world about the need for democracy and Human Rights, but then whispering and pleading softly about the need to them to hurt people for information, they will not take us, or calls for pluralism and human rights seriously. In fact it clearly is a hindrance to the pursuit of noble aims.

David Davis answers Iain's question in the quoted text "The battle against terrorism is not just a fight for life; it is a battle of ideas and ideals. It is a battle between good and evil, between civilisation and barbarism. In that fight, we should never allow our standards to drop to those of our enemies. We cannot defend our civilisation by giving up the values of that civilisation." - So yes I think this it is absolutely right that David Davis as an MP raise such important matter under Parliamentary Privilege.



[* I accept that the weakness here is how to define what an extreme case would be, I am thinking along the lines on 30 seconds on the clock and many lives on the line - but would need to be imminent and threaten many lives]

Michael said...

@ Martin

Pulling out one individual Muslim's toenails will not stop another individual Muslim from blowing himself up on the train. Not only will torture not stop terrorist attacks but we will have degraded ourselves into the bargain. And as much as you may wish it this is not 1944.

My own point of view is that DD was without doubt correct to criticise MI5. Liberty of the person is one area where Tories should allow themselves to be sinfully idealistic.

Scary Mary said...

Nobody made him go there. Nuff said.

Paleo said...

There has been a minimal number of terrorist acts in this country by Muslims compared to the long Irish war.

We didn't introduce a torturing police state when fighting the Irish, so I hardly think we need to now.

We are civilised, they are barbarians, we follow the rules they break them; and we will win and they will not.

Colin said...

I hope David Davis will still feel the same way if he ever makes it into government.

In the age of full coverage of the business of the house of commons, the concept of parliamentary privilege is an anachronism and open to abuse.

If he feels strongly about this issue, he should have foregone the protection that parliamentary privilege affords to the assorted poseurs, chancers and wannabee's that routinely abuse this outdated system and say what he had to say outside the house.

Sorry, but he comes across as an attention seeker.

Mr Angry said...

The "values" that David Davis mistakenly thinks he is protecting in this matter are a liberal luxury that we cannot afford when confronting Islamic extremists whose stock in trade is murderous violence. They themselves regard those sort of attitudes as nothing more than weakness which is there to be exploited. And they are right.

The war on terror, just like every other existential war before it, cannot be won whilst at the same time we are obsessed with how Amnesty will regard our actions.

The unpalatable truth for the left, and those who seem to think that there are some kind of middle clas polenta eating standards that must be maintained, is that we have never won a serious conflict by playing to the Toynbee/BBC rules and we cannot win this one that way either.

Anonymous said...

Paleo said:-

"We are civilised, they are barbarians, we follow the rules they break them; and we will win and they will not."

Did you mean "we" being joe public, and "they" our politicians?

I certainly agree with that!

Council House Tory said...

If an MP can't talk about spies without retribution, we enter a distinctly disturbing situation.

Spies are protected from much scrutiny for good reasons. For that very reason they can't be protected from all scrutiny.

Catosays said...

I merely repeat my comments: you only defeat fire with fire. I'm sad if it comes to hurting people but they would hurt us first and that is something I'm not prepared to tolerate.

If you're prepared to put up with 7/7 then do so..I'm not.

Brian E. said...

Time will tell whether what David Davis did was right. I would argue that there is a case for torture, particularly when fighting a enemy that is happy to commit suicide.
Consider the following scenario:
Your wife (partner/mistress, whatever) whom you love dearly has been kidnapped. Your neighbour informs you that he has arranged it because of something that happened between the two of you in the past. He tells you that she's tied up in a remote location where she will slowly starve to death. No amount of talk will persuade him to reveal where your loved one is hidden, no amount of money is demanded, he just wants to watch you get more and more desperate as the days go on. He denies everything when interviewed by the police and they are unable to take any action.
You are far bigger than your neighbour, and you have a few big mates who would be happy to lend you a hand. Is there anyone who wouldn't beat the living daylights out of him if they thought that there was even a small chance of finding the whereabouts of the missing person?
Thus both M15 and the Americans have my support, maybe reluctantly, but in the limit I believe they have to take any measures at their disposal to protect the people of our countries.

David said...

Is the real question not what happens next? If we accept the bland assurances of Government this is no more than posturing. If it is really followed up and makes MI5 appreciate that they do not operate beyond the law then it serves a purpose. It is too easy to accept Government bodies operating outwith the law. The consequences are not good.

wonderfulforhisage said...

Means never justify ends. DD was absolutely right to raise this. Pity Cameron hasn't the backbone of DD.

Matt said...

Iain

Most of these comments are very depressing reading with many openly advocating torture in the belief that what is done out of sight is not a reflection on their lack of moral character and judgement.

DD is right to talk out in support of the implementation of our laws; if the security services believe that they have a right to not follow our laws then why should the police, or we, the public bother to obey the law either. In addition we have signed a number of international treaties against torture; if we cannot hold to these principles, it is unlikely that any of the countries we wish to influence, towards our way of life, will listen to us.

Finally, how many people blogging here have ever served in the miltary; DD served in 21 SAS. As such I suspect he has a better appreciation of the needs and issues of the army than most of the armchair generals posting here.

If people want to allow torture then bring it into law, abrogate those treaties and create the police state to keep everyone in line.

If so can I book a flight out of this country pronto.

Iain; what are your views on the comments here?

Anonymous said...

Terrorist shown no mercy, they should be given none.

I wonder what the liberal luvvies here would say if it transpired that his torture yielded information that helped stop another atrocity. I really don't know why a man as intelligent as Mr Davis is even giving these claim airtime.

The man he campaigns for would kill him as soon as look at him in the real world.

Paul Pinfield said...

Iain, my respect for David Davis increases day by day.

I don't know whether he has a death wish for his ministerial career, but the strength of his conviction is impressive. If only there were more like him, parliament would function as it was intended.

I do not recall him being embroiled in the expenses criminality. Perhaps the two are connected?

PS, could anyone image Brown, Mandy or Straw behaving with such conviction? No, thought not...

Unsworth said...

@ Cato

Who are 'they'? Exactly who are these enemies?

Apparently people are being tortured - but there's no certainty that these people are complicit or guilty. So, what is the real justification? Or is it OK to torture because these people 'may' have some involvement with enemies of Britain?

Further, do we condone torture of those who may be enemies of America - but not Britain? Maybe it's OK to torture indiscriminately then?

Paul Pinfield said...

Anonymous said...

"The man he campaigns for would kill him as soon as look at him in the real world." There is no evidence to support this drivel...

I think it is pretty clear that David Davis is campaigning for what is right, not what is popular.

If we descend to the level of those who may want to harm us, we become as degraded as they are.

Jon Forest said...

I admire Mr Davis for his sincerity but personally feel that, if he is right, it shows unexpected but welcome ingenuity on behalf of our security services.
I am unconcerned about making martyrs of terrorists or "making ourselves as bad as them" (which is rubbish).
If the Provos' claims of security force involvement in the murder of IRA terrorists by their loyalist equivalents were correct, then I would be wholly glad.
The death rate certainly reduced the glamour of being an IRA man and encouraged the Provos to enter the peace process.
Nothing attracts new recruits to a terrorist organisation like a perception that it is being successful. Nothing puts off recruitment like the likelihood of capture or death.

Anonymous said...

This country survived six years of war against the most merciless state ever to contaminate Europe's face and we didn't resort to torture.

Have we, as a culture and nation, really degenerated so badly over the past sixty years that a handful of loonies with homemade bombs can make us piss our pants to the point where we torture?

If we torture, we admit that we are weak, we are cowardly and our culture is based on hypocrisy. We are either a liberal democracy committed to certain core beliefs or we're hypocritical pricks whose values are flushed down the toilet the first time things get tough.

Stop watching reruns of 24 and make a simple decision: do you want to live in a country that tortures or do you not? And before you piss your pants and start wailing with terror of dusky-skinned Mohammedans bent on jihad, just remember that if we can torture them, we can torture you.

And, Martin, grow up and grow a pair, you pathetic weak cowardly little man.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:06

You're honestly calling David Davis a liberal? Are you retarded? Are you twelve years old? Have you just overdosed on Jack Bauer? I'd really love to know.

Isn't it amazing how it's all these big tough manly types who yell about the need to torture....and why? Because the big tough manly types are pissing their pants with fear of every brown person they see.

You're pathetic. You're a disgrace to this country. You're contemptible. You're the kind of scum who created the Third Reich, the kind of rotten little curtain twitchers who rushed to be informers. You make me sick. I'm ashamed to be the same species as you, never mind the same nationality.

I'm British. Britain doesn't torture.

Nigel said...

Davis is absolutely right to rise this.

On a practical level, those who think that terrorism can be prevented by condoning torture are deluded.

On a moral level, they are degraded.

Lola said...

If true it's a by product of the utter contempt for the rule of law demonstrated by New Labour since 1997. The leadership sets the tone for the organisation it leads. As New Labour is entirely deceitful, mendacious and cares not a fig for our ancient liberties why are we surprised that the various departments of government have gone the same way?

Jimmy said...

"We didn't introduce a torturing police state when fighting the Irish,"

Strasbourg of course took a different view.

Fair play to Davis if he means it.

John said...

I'd torture a hundred of these lunatics if it meant that one British soldier's live was saved. They put no value on human life and if this is the only way we can fight this ungodly threat, then so be it.

Anonymous said...

If it were a guy called john smith i would understand , but surpirse suprise it is an "Ahmed " who claims victimisation. Hell, why not get his PC lawyer to issue a claim of racial harrsment ???

SorenK said...

A distraction from the important business at hand - GETTING LABOUR OUT. No votes in it. Pointless.

Paul Halsall said...

Of course Davis was right.

Torture is wrong.

Meanwhile, on the issue of wiretaps, etc, it was not good to read this in the Guardian:

"*nservative leader David Cameron's director of communications, Andy Coulson, who was deputy editor and then editor of the News of the World when, the suppressed evidence shows, journalists for whom he was responsible were engaging in hundreds of apparently illegal acts"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jul/08/murdoch-papers-phone-hacking

Oliver Drew said...

Torture is wrong, no matter on who the torture is applied. Simple as that.

If they torture and we torture, then who is better than whom? We cannot seriously take any kind of moral high ground if we are just as bad as the people we are purporting as evil and wrong.

If David Davis thinks that this needs saying in Parliament then he absolutely should say it, it is after all,what he is there for.

Jim Baxter said...

David Davis was absolutely right. Raising this kind of issue is what Parlimentary Privelege is for.

Our soldiers are fighting to preserve a way of life that is based on the rule of law. Some of the comments so far seem to overlook this.

We have had our own problems in this country over the years with preserving the rule of law. Our police and armed forces have sometimes acted as if they were laws unto themselves. There are bound to be incidences of that. We have to work against them. If that sounds pompous to certain armchair warriors who have posted and postured on this thread so far then I say f*** you. Keep expressing your twisted opinions. It is your right. It's just something else that our forces fight for. As is my right to say, 'F*** you'.

Anonymous said...

Craig Murray showed some time ago that our intelligence services use information obtained by torture as a matter of policy.

The news, therefore, is nothing new.

Anonymous said...

I'd torture a hundred of these lunatics if it meant that one British soldier's live was saved.

Bully for you, you disgusting little fascist. I would, though, like to know how you'd be sure you were torturing the right person.

What you *really* mean, you armchair torturer, is that you masturbate to fantasies of torturing people who may be perfectly innocent until they confess to whatever you want them to confess to.

Jack Bauer is just pretend. The bad guys do not all wear black hats. Innocent people are wrongly accused or mistakenly identified. Sometimes when "they" deny their guilt, it's because they're not guilty, you sick sadistic little fucktard.

I'd say that you deserve to live in a society that tortures except that, being familiar with your kind, it's clear that you'd be the one doing the torturing, never the one being tortured. Vermin like you with your specious fantasies of saving the Reich through torture prospered in Nazi Germany. It must eat you up that they lost the war.

Anonymous said...

For all the armchair torturers who're so fucking eager to re-enact Marathon Man, you might care to note that David Davis was a career soldier who served with the Special Air Service.

That's right, my little Mitties. David Davis actually did what you only fantasise about: he wore the uniform; he fought; he killed. If he says that we don't need to torture, maybe we should pay more attention to him than you Jack Bauer/Colonel Blimp crossbreeds.

Of course, you can't really give up your attempts to justify torture, can you? The cry of "National Security!" is the way you justify your sordid little S&M fantasies regarded bondaged dark-skinned young men.

Sandy Jamieson said...

Almost exactly 50 years ago Enoch Powell made a contentious speech in Parliament (27th July 1959) about the fact that some 11 ex Mau Mau Prisoners had been beaten to death at Hola Camp in Kenya. He believed that this injustice was a dent to Britain's good name. It is regarded as one the great parliamentary speeches of the 20th Century.
Powell like Dave Davis was criticised by some Conservatives for not being tough on terrorism.

I would have thought by now that most people realise that information obtained from torture is not worth anything- all the prisoner will do is tell his questioner what he wants to know.

Its clear to me that we haven't moved on in fifty years

Rob said...

"I am sure that there will be many readers of this blog who will take the view that Ahmed got what was coming to him. He was convicted of terrorist offences, so why should we care about a bit of fingernail pulling? That's a very dangerous path to travel and it goes against the very freedoms we are surely seeking to protect."

Iain, with respect, you're a well meaning fool. Do pardon my crudity but we should kick these people in the balls before they do it to us.

I am not interested in earnest liberal hand-wringing about how 'we' are so much more civilised & how we have a 'duty' to behave better than 'them.' You want to be my conscience? Well fine. You can go ahead & lament all the horrible things we had to do - once we've won.

See, the measure of any society is its willingness to defend its values against those who wish to destroy it. That's our duty & by that standard one would have to concede that the UK's response has been worryingly erratic.

These are dangerous terrorists & they should be granted no consideration, not least the disgusting moral inversion that we can't deport murderous Islamist thugs to other countries because they might be tortured.

As for David Davis thank goodness this man will never again be a minister. No doubt when he leaves Parliament he'll find a cushy berth waiting for him at Amnesty International or some other such lefty NGO.

Jim Baxter said...

'Iain, with respect, you're a well meaning fool. Do pardon my crudity but we should kick these people in the balls before they do it to us.'

OK. A point of view. We should get down in the dirt to defend our way of life which involves not getting down into the dirt. In theory.

And I know it's in theory. Ask people who had their doors kicked in in Nortehrm Ireland, their possessions trashed, their lives threatened and worse; ask people who lived within 'striking' distance of coal mines in 1984 about the 'rule of law'.

We'll go down that route then shall we? We'll accept that 'these things happen'

You arsehole.

Anonymous said...

Amazing comments and views here!

We have a notional (if not written in stone) national policy on torture. It is "We Don't."

Are there ever any rare circumstances when torture might be appropriate? Well, yes, there might be.

Should such occasions when torture is used be made public? Ideally, no, because of the threat of backlash from those who would harm our citizens.

However, if the government of the day is systematically dismantling the mechanisms that assure the liberties and rights of the country's citizens and residents, then it IS absolutely right to raise it - or even scream it from the rooftops.

Thus, in my view, Davis was right.

Steve Tierney said...

As he always seems to be, David Davis was precisely right.

Rob said...

"And I know it's in theory. Ask people who had their doors kicked in in Nortehrm Ireland, their possessions trashed, their lives threatened and worse; ask people who lived within 'striking' distance of coal mines in 1984 about the 'rule of law'."

I'm sure I won't be the only one to point out that the fight against Islamism is not in any way, shape or form remotely comparable to the situation in NI much less the miner's strike. At least I don't recall the IRA or Scargill's mob willingly blowing themselves up for the cause. As befits a fully paid up member of the tin-foil hat brigade you no doubt believe otherwise.

Anyway, back on Planet Earth the fact that we're dealing with people who don't care about their own lives & simply want to kill as many people as possible - something exemplified by 9/11, in which crowded passenger airliners were turned into flying bombs - is precisely why conventional criminal laws & earnest debates about the limits of acceptable force are so laughably useless in this context.

What Iain & David Davis say might be acceptable IF we were talking about the IRA or the miner's strike. Alas, we are not. Unlike the IRA the Islamists can't be reasoned with, they can't be negotiated with, they have nothing but contempt for our values, & any sign of weakness will be ruthlessly exploited by them & turned against us.

"We'll go down that route then shall we? We'll accept that 'these things happen'You arsehole."

Mm, classy. But just pray that when the next bomb goes off in London, or another British city, it won't be one of your family caught in the blast. If it is you can in your own deluded way reassure yourself that it only happened because we weren't civilised enough with these people.

Jim Baxter said...

My own deluded way? I may well be deluded. Dreadful things me happen to those I care about. But a general principle remains which is more than anything that can happen to me or mine.

You sad prick.

Jimmy said...

"back on Planet Earth the fact that we're dealing with people who don't care about their own lives..."

...and yet who paradoxically can be relied upon to provide reliable actionable intel the moment you slap them around a bit.

Been on Earth long?

Rob said...

"My own deluded way? I may well be deluded. Dreadful things me happen to those I care about. But a general principle remains which is more than anything that can happen to me or mine."

That's right, Jim. You'd sacrifice all of us for your precious principles. Fortunately, however, we won't let you.

Rob said...

"...and yet who paradoxically can be relied upon to provide reliable actionable intel the moment you slap them around a bit.

Been on Earth long?"

Well considerably longer than you have! What hardcore Islamists have provided 'actionable intel' the moment they were 'slapped around'?

You don't know do you?

Jim Baxter said...

Rob,

(You gotta love him).

You fight for the corruption you believe in, from behind your brave anonymous tag.

Keepin' my head down said...

Just a word of caution to the proponents of torture.

Our enemies, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, frequently use torture and beheadings in order to debase us.

It would appear that their ruse has worked with you.

If we descend to their level of barbarism, then we have no right to complain if they respond with further debasement.

The consequence can only be convoys of handcarts enroute to Hell.

Elliot Kane said...

We know this govt has been complicit n 'extraordinary rendition' - torture flights - so i see no reason to doubt David Davis, who seems to me to make a very good case.

Torture is unconscionable in any civilised nation and the politicians responsible for allowing it should be prosecuted. I'm sure there's something in the Geneva Convention somewhere that would allow a case to be made...

Verity said...

True Blue Blood writes: "Allowing terrorists, however much we feel the need for revenge, to be tortured with our encouragement, makes us no more decent than them."

Don't agree. They were working for our destruction - the destruction of Britain and our ancient culture. I see their destruction as a big gain for civilisation.

Verity said...

Devshirme - Why is it the lefties always have the longest string of hanging drool?

Take a lesson from me,on the hard right. Be brief.

Florence of Arabia said...

PS - Devshirme - What the hell is an Islamacist? Explain. Chapter and verse. You actually mean Muslim, but excused by the Left, do you not? This word wasn't invented before around three years ago, by NuLabour.

Lady Finchley said...

Torture is wrong - the Guildford Four were effectively tortured and the entire British establishment sat by and let it happen. However, this alleged torture did not happen in the UK by UK operatives. Why should the onus be on us? And why did DD find it necessary to do this on the anniversary of 7/7? It struck a wrong note. I know that he is trying to carve a niche for himself but it was merely distasteful on that particular day. And where is the proof? Quite honestly those fingernails look like they had a fungus growth, not that they had been torn out. Methinks DD is spending way too much time with the fragrant Shami - and I don't mean to infer anything else than he is absorbing way too many of her ideas.

strapworld said...

I do not know what game David Davis is playing.

Defending our ancient rights..absolute rubbish!some people should read about our history a little deeper.

Perhaps we should look at what constitutes Torture!

It happens.

Bullying at school/ work is torture!

Criminals indulge in torture!

Reading Polly Toynbee is torture!

Do we want to defeat these terrorists or are we going to 'fight' them with both arms tied behind our backs.

As far as I am concerned.IF it stops another terrorist outrage, fair enough.

I am far more concerned about the Human Rights of the majority and certainly NOT terrorists.

The Human Rights Act should be scrapped and these people, once convicted should LOSE all rights! BUT this lot want them to have the VOTE!

If this society had any GUTS this individual- like all convicted of terrorism- should have been hung!

It does appear that, to some, the human rights of these terrorists are of more concern than victims of their planned dirty work!

I would like to see some politician/ some Human Rights Lawyer/ speak up for/ sue, on behalf of victims, these terrorists for their property, money, anything of value. They deserve the total contempt of us all.

DominicJ said...

How is this a "slippery slope" situation?

A Foreign Citizen with Residency Rights, leaves the UK, he goes to another Sovereign Nation, where he is arrested and tortured by that sovereign nations intelligence services.

Should we have arrested him earlier?
Probably.

But its not for us to judge what goes on in foreign places, thats their job.
If they want to torture people, fine.

Anonymous said...

The question should be "Who's side is David Davis on?".

Tony said...

I'd like to see a few of the commenters who think that torture is OK to step forward and volunteer for a bit of waterboarding. I give them 30 seconds to reverse their view on torture.

We are 21st Century, not 16th Century, Elizabethans and yet it seems many have learnt absolutely nothing from the lessons of history.

Anonymous said...

I say, stop the torture, stop the war and let the lunatics run riot, blowing up all and sundry at their merciless will.

Then we'll see who screams the loudest about their rights.

Although David Davis is right to raise the issue, it's wrong to assume it's correct and true just because he has.

Terrorists are drilled in making outrageous claims when caught, it's all part of their divide and conquer tactics. Looking at some of the posts here it seems to have worked well in this case.

Iain, earlier this week the Yemenis publicly executed a paedophile who raped, murderered and then cut up an 11yr old boy, you've not mentioned this at all, and there has been no worldwide condemnation......why?

Anonymous said...

When ANYONE goes abroad, they take on the responsibility that they are subject to ALL the conditions of that country. This man went to Pakistan of his own free will, he was NOT deported there. If he does not want to take the chance of being tortured, the solution is very simple. Stay at home.

jamestheless said...

If David Davis needed Parliamentary privilege to make these accusations (and I admit I don't really understand from the original post why this should be the case), does this mean that Labour's proposed reforms would have prevented him from making this speech?

Matt said...

Is it OK for a number of innocents to be tortured to get the "right" man - if so can one of you hardliners tell me how many is enough, and will you volunteer to be the first?

Secondly, the senior FBI interrogator in Iraq, ali soufan, found out that many of the foreign fighters went there not to support Al-Qaida but to fight against the torture in Abu Ghraib, proving that torture created many of the problems there, and cost US lives to boot.

Be careful what you wish for, it may bite you in th ar**!

Javelin said...

Terrorism is not a half way house between peace and war. Terrorism is beneath war. Soldiers have honour and kill soldiers, and are respected when they are caught. Terrorist plan to torture and kill civilians. There was sufficient evidence to prove this man was a terrorist before he was tortured. MI5 had aoral obligation to follow him to find more info. It was morally right to torture this man. The law simply hasn't caught up with terrorists strategy yet.

Disco Biscuit said...

So a British court tried and convicted him of terrorism. Poor little lamb...

Next time there's a bomb on the Tube, no doubt there will be an outcry about how the Security Service don't do enough to protect us. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place!

Stevo Bevo said...

For all you frothers-at-the-mouth like Martin, is there any line you would draw when it comes to giving the security services carte blanche to defend us?

niconoclast said...

Davis should be kicked ou of the party and sent to the Tower for the lily livered terrorist supporting traitor he is.If the Government is not torturing Muslims whose first name is invariably Mohumud -(go figure) on a regular basis it would not be doing its job.

DominicJ said...

"For all you frothers-at-the-mouth like Martin, is there any line you would draw when it comes to giving the security services carte blanche to defend us?"

I shall again point out.
The scum bag went to pakistan of his own free will and claims he was tortured there, by the ISI.

This is nothing to do with the UK.
MI5/6 knew?
So? Shall we stop all intelligence cooperation with any regime that is accused of using torture?

We didnt do it, nor were we in any way responsible for it.

Anonymous said...

I am amazed that so many people seem to see the issue in purely black and white terms.

I would say that torture, from a basic starting point, is fundamentally wrong. Yet, in certain circumstances, it can achieve results. Of course, these circumstances must be extreme, else we descend to a level of wanton barbarism.

Those who have claimed that it is always unjustifiable have pointed to Davis' personal experience in the army but have conveniently omitted to mention that plenty of US military staff have testified to the effectiveness of torture in obtaining crucial information.

I should stress that, in my view, torture is to be avoided in all but the most extreme of cases and I don't buy into the view that we should stoop to their level. I don't want this post to be caricatured as pro-torture and anti-civil liberties. But, like I said, issues are seldom black and white.

Finally, it is interesting that posters who are anti-torture and pro-liberty have, on occasion, resorted to foul language and bizarre references to Jack Bauer and, stranger still, masturbation. Surely damaging to their arguments, which would be better served by more careful analysis and fewer ad hominem attacks.

neil craig said...

He was of course right to raise it - we simply should not be complicit in torture.

However Davis, & all the rest of the MPs know perfectly well that this pales into insignificance compared to genocide, the sexual enslavement of children & cutting innocent people up while still alive to steal their body organs which he knows that almost all MPs are personally complicit in.

Anonymous said...

Matt said...
"Is it OK for a number of innocents to be tortured to get the "right" man - if so can one of you hardliners tell me how many is enough, and will you volunteer to be the first?"

Reply:
Thing is Matty dear, the terrorist in question was not an innocent as his conviction and subsequent life sentence show.

Mat said:
"Secondly, the senior FBI interrogator in Iraq, ali soufan, found out that many of the foreign fighters went there not to support Al-Qaida but to fight against the torture in Abu Ghraib, proving that torture created many of the problems there, and cost US lives
to boot."

Reply:

What bollocks! Firstly we aren't talking about a prison in Iraq and secondly the majority of foreign fighters were in and around Iraq long before the revelations about US atrosities at Abu Ghraib came to light.

Mat ended with:
Be careful what you wish for, it may bite you in th ar**!

Reply:

You people keep banging on as if the UK security services are grabbing ordinary Joe's off the street and sending them to various countries to be tortured. This isn't the case and you damned well know it.
Terrorists do not have any honour, they do not subject their victims to the "due processes" of law, they have no moral values.

They are murdering, butchering bastards. (This is a point worth remembering when crying about what may or may not have happened to one of them in another country).

Therefore, i find it difficult to understand why ANYONE would want to defend their rights. As far as i'm concerned they gave up their human rights the minute they either pulled the trigger, detonated a bomb or helped facilitate an act which resulted in innocent people being killed or maimed.

Remember, they themselves torture those they capture and then cut off their heads.

Anonymous said...

Where else BUT Parliamentary privilege should David Davis air and address serious, humane concerns - he has the courage of his convictions in what's fast becoming Stasi Britain. Mr Bercow will be delighted with David Davis's integrity.

What an unholy mess 12 years of Nulabor has wrecked upon mankind with their 'hidden agendas', spinning, manipulative method of rule and oppression.

Anonymous said...

Anon. July 09, 2009 12:26 PM

"Finally, it is interesting that posters who are anti-torture and pro-liberty have, on occasion, resorted to foul language and bizarre references to Jack Bauer and, stranger still, masturbation. Surely damaging to their arguments, which would be better served by more careful analysis and fewer ad hominem attacks."

Reply:

Happens all the time, it's something the biscuit allows as they are mostly his mates.

Hey said...

They profess to be a single entity out to annihilate the West. Any attempt to dismiss that is simple racism, believing that the other is incapable of rational thought and intent, that they are merely the playthings of Western prejudices.

Given that they represent a single umma and are conducting a genocidal war out of uniform, they are beyond all protections of law and convention. Any and all retaliatory measures may be made against any part of the whole (including France, which must be viewed as part of it given the subservient attitude of its government and the population of its capital).

I'd much rather that the US and UK were doing these things at home. String them up and get out the jumper cables - we're far more interested in real information and torturing actual threats, rather than the terrorist front of the ISI or Syrian Intelligence who are simply trying to get useful idiots off their backs by grabbing someone off the street and making them confess. They should be attacked for passive rendition - but only because of cowardice and dereliction of duty. We can't trust Pakistan or any other muslim country in our efforts against jihadism. Every muslim country is riddled with jihadists - Saudi lets them hold telethons even though their end goal is stringing up every Al Saud, just so that they get targeted last.

Since these people are unlawful, genocidal combatants, there's no need for trials or anything. Geneva Convention gives us the ability to shoot them out of hand, so a little slap and tickle beforehand is no real concern.

David Davis should be focusing on dangers at home from a government that coddles terrorists and their advocates while suppressing decent citizens, instead of attempting to hobble the few organizations still trying to defend the realm. MI5 and MI6 should be let loose to do unto others before they do unto us. Grab suspects from Bradford and mosques, see major infrastructure around the umma mysteriously explode, off fundraisers and compromised elements of security forces, nuke Paris...

The UK needs to find a spine again and come to grips with the threat it faces. Look at what was done to face down the Sepoy Mutiny and bring back some of that traditional British excellence.

Chalcedon said...

The only problem with torturing anyone is that they will, eventually, tell you what you want to hear. Everyone breaks no matter if well trained or not. So why use torture? Apart from some kind of sadistic pleasure that the torturer may receive, ultimately torture is useless. I thought the days of "he fell down the stairs" and "he slipped on a bar of soap" were long gone.

Hey said...

I love the comments "well we didn't do this against the Provos". That is why the Provos won and are the government of Northern Ireland.

Every member of Sinn Fein and the IRA should have been taken out. Everyone funding them should have been taken out. Yes, the security services shoudl have been targeting US citizens (mostly in Boston) and politicians like Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Pete King.

They're going to hate you anyways and claim that you were responsible for innumerable atrocities, so might as well get things done. Sri Lanka showed how to WIN against terrorists - ferocious will to win and acceptance that every method is on the table. Amnesty screams, but Amnesty screams whenever a leftist stubs his toe so who gives a f***.

"But this makes us as bad as them!" We're not trying to win a freaking beauty contest, love. We're trying to survive. People will hate us no matter what we do, trying to win others approval is futile (has no one read Clausewitz or Machiavelli?) This is the same bollocks that was used by the fellow travellers to enable communism to thrive despite their lacking nuclear weapons in '45. If the US & UK had nuked Moscow and other vital targets, we would have saved more than 100M people. How many millions are going to die for the sensibilities of traitors this time?

Anonymous said...

If we opposse terrorism, we cannot terrorise! If, by our behaviour, we act in a way which mirrors the actions of those we claim to oppose, then we are hypocrites and deserve what we get.

To that end, we should not torture anyone, and we shouldn't allow information imparted througfh torture to be used in court.

This stance is not being soft on terrorism, but rather is upholding the values we claim to wish to impart to others.

SJB said...

Hey: "... the security services shoudl have been targeting US citizens (mostly in Boston) and politicians like Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Pete King."

Don't you think the US might have retaliated?

Anonymous said...

Anon said:

This stance is not being soft on terrorism, but rather is upholding the values we claim to wish to impart to others.

July 09, 2009 4:57 PM

Ah yes, values. Wonderful things if you can afford them. Maybe you'd like to give a reading on values at the relatives service after the next terrorist outrage....

Michael said...

Iain,

As you are a tory blogger on a nationally small scale I would like to see a statistic for the replies to an article like this, as well as more general party-wide surveys that compare the quantity of libertarian tories against those of a more intolerant brand. How many hang-'ems are there versus the bleeding hearts amongst the tory benches, constituencies and the general public.

If a poll has been taken I would like to know.

Also, do you think the next serious debate in the conservatives is between libertarians and hard-liners? It appears to me that this division has lost prominence amongst the many new dividing lines that Gordon has drawn.

Jimmy said...

Of course the same people who advocate thumbscrews for the suspiciously swarthy are the same people who pretend to regard id cards as an intolerable attack on civil liberties.

Let's not forget that the tories' new liberal conscience also believes in putting convicted criminals to death. I wouldn't get too carried away.

Biffo said...

I think David Davis was right because:
1. The end doesn't justify the means.
2. What if this treatment was meted out to an innocent man or woman? You or a member of your family? And don't say it couldn't happen.
3. The UK Govt's 'high moral ground' on rendition & torture is totally hypocritical & needs to be exposed as such.
4. Torture merely creates martyrs, it doesn't prevent terrorism.
5. Research has shown that frequently someone being tortured will tell the toturer what he wants to hear - which may be very far from the truth.
6. Those who live by the sword frequently die by the sword.

Lady Finchley said...

Jimmy, are you out of your tiny mind? Where on earth did you get that?

DominicJ said...

Micheal
I'm a quite hard core Libertarian.

I'm Pro Death Penelty and somewhere in between on torture.
There isnt any conflict between the issues.

"The only problem with torturing anyone is that they will, eventually, tell you what you want to hear. Everyone breaks no matter if well trained or not. So why use torture?"

People use torture because it works, simple as.
A Taliban Spy arrested after a firefight in Afghanistan DOES NOT KNOW what the person chopping bits off him wants him to say. How could he they've never met?
He also does not know what the people who were captured yesterday have already said, and what the people who will be captured tomorrow have said.
Its just like being questioned by the police, they listen to what is said, compare iot to what they know, and instead of shouting at you when you lie, water board you.

Or are you going to argue that police questioning people is a waste of time too?

neil craig said...

Never let the facts get in the way of a Labour troller's rant eh Jimmy.

Anybody interested in facts would have noticed that nobody was more opposed to ID cards than David Davis. Don't remember any Labour or LibDim MP putting their job on the line over the issue.

Simon too said...

Sandy Jamieson (July 08, 2009 11:40 PM) refers to Enoch Powell's speech about the treatment of Mau Mau prisoners.

Now we have a president of the USA whose own relatives were Mau Mau prisoners, and his view of Britain is coloured accordingly.

If you abandon civilised values to defend civilised values, you have surrendered at the outset, and what you did will come back to haunt you.

The corruption of this country by the Blair and Brown ministries taints us all. It is no use skulking in a corner and muttering "'snot me, guv" or "not in my name" - we have to come out in the open and reject what has been done.

And so, lacking DD's moral fibre, I sign off pseudonomously ... not .

neil craig said...

A nit pick Simon because I agree with your sentiments but Obama is of the Luo tribe & Mau Mau was an exclusively Kikuyu matter.