It's Christmas. I am trying to focus on the good things of life. This blog is about civil liberties though, so how can I ignore this story? The phrase "police state" is over-used in dealing with the New Labour Project and I try to avoid it. I try to express my opposition to this authoritarian government (mostly) in a moderate and (I hope) persuasive way. But this is yet another piece in the jigsaw puzzle which - if we don't prevent it from being completed - will one day reveal a police state in Britain.
Anyone who has contact with Britain's officials knows that they revel in their new status under New Labour. Whereas, as a young man, I could - and one one occasion did - tell a policemen to get lost when he exceeded his powers, I would never do so now. At the borders, there are signs warning against "verbal assault" on the minions of the State; many of whom are in dire need of being put in their place as public servants.
My livelihood is outside Britain's borders. After Russia, I shall probably work in China or India or the United States. Though I remit profits home to be taxed, I have no vote in Britain because I have been away 15 years. I would be afraid to return if officialdom could remove my right to earn a living at whim. That right is fundamental enough to require the protection of the courts.
"Be you never so high," Mr Brown, "the law is above you." Or ought to be. My freedom of movement and my right to earn a living should not be jeopardised other than by decision of an independent court or (preferably) a jury of my peers. The Government is there to serve us, not boss us. It is time the voters of Britain made that clear. As I am disenfranchised, I would be very grateful if my fellow-citizens would do so on my behalf.