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Someone please rescue Henry Porter

The freedom bill will mean nothing if we keep repressive measures like control orders | Henry Porter | Comment is free | The Observer .

How can Henry Porter, sound as a pre-Labour pound on liberty, write for that authoritarian rag, the Observer? In the linked article, he explains again why control orders - the abominations that brought me into blogging - are a disgrace to any nation; and still more so to the one that invented the rule of law. I enjoyed the tale of Ken Clarke turfing the head of MI5 out of his well-wallpapered office. Leaking stories of Ministerial manliness is not nearly enough though. If this government is to retain any shred of credibility on the subject of civil liberties, it must repeal this offensive law. Every day of delay is an affront.

Astonishingly today it's not just Henry who's saying it. It seems that the Labour Party's Sunday Pravda now agrees that control orders are unconscionable. In the words of today's Editorial (the paper's party line):

If there is really no evidence that a suspect has committed any offence under this comprehensive regime, the law should treat him as a free man. Even if charged, he is innocent until proved guilty.

Control orders violate those principles. Either a crime has been committed or it hasn't. But Britain's anti-terror regime tries to carve out a new grey area in between. The implication is that government assumes some people are likely enough to become criminals that their rights as citizens should be pre-emptively restricted. That is not measured anti-terror policy, it is abuse of power. David Cameron should put a stop to it.

So he undoubtedly should. Indeed, his very first act as Prime Minister should have been to cleanse this legal stench. But with the honourable exception of Henry, where were the leftist hacks when it was their beloved Labour Party's "abuse of power," eh?

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