Let me begin 2009 with a glimmer of hope. I have been unkind in the past years about British academics. Reports from the front line (the Misses Paine are currently studying at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics respectively) have given no reason to be otherwise. I have feared particularly for the moral welfare of Miss Paine the Younger at the LSE, which was founded by Fabians and sometimes still seems to serve as the Labour Party's staff college.
Yet the linked article is by an LSE professor and I agree with almost every word of it. He is just as scathing as I have tried to be about the attacks of our current government on our civil liberties. If I had written (as I wish I had);
The threat posed by our own government to our liberty and fundamental rights is a constant one. Most of the time it is a much greater, direct and immediate threat than that posed by foreign states (through conquest or extortion) or by external non-government agents, the violent NGOs like Al Qaeda.
...some of my readers might have thought I overstated the case. Perhaps the dignity of Professor Buiter's office will give them pause for thought? I have tried repeatedly to express the sentiments below, but sadly not with such powerful effect;
It was breath-taking and depressing to observe the transformation of New Labour after 1997, from the party of open government, human rights and civil liberties into an increasingly paranoid group of power-hogging and repressive political control freaks, who have done more damage to fundamental human rights in the past 11 years than any other (sequence of) government(s) in any comparable-length stretch of time since the Glorious Revolution.
(though, unlike the good professor, I never believed Labour - with its socialist control-freak DNA- was a party of "human rights and civil liberties.")