02 July 2008

Jill Saward Asks Some Important Questions

Jill Saward is standing in the Haltemprice & Howden By-election. While I do not agree with...
everything Jill Saward proposes (especially on increasing the prison population), by supporting an expansion of the DNA database to everyone (far fairer) and improving CCTV quality - that together have already prevented thousands of crimes including many murders and rapes (despite current limitations holding their usefulness back), she does give people a real choice in this election.

If you oppose equal gay rights, support capital punishment, SUPPORT 28 days detention without charge and support some minor reduction in CCTV cameras and the DNA database that will make them less effective tools for catching criminals, then VOTE FOR TORY DAVID DAVIS - Davis has to be the shittest exponent of liberty in recent history to try to stand on a libertarian platform - only a Tory could have the barefaced cheek to misrepresent their real views so spectacularly and seemingly get away with it! (Davis has even been ambivalent about ID cards - voting for them in 2004).

If you support equal gay rights, oppose capital punishment, OPPOSE ANY days detention without trial and dislike CCTV and the DNA database (but seem to have no specific policy on this) then VOTE FOR THE GREEN'S SHAN OAKES.

If you support ID cards, an expansion of the DNA database, better and more widespread use of CCTV, and better support for victims of crime generally, then VOTE FOR JILL SAWARD. Jill asks questions the 'libertarians' can never give a reasonable answer to - like; give real examples of what significant harm CCTV and the DNA database itself (rather than their potential misuse) actually do to people? And why is a theoretical principle worth letting hundreds of murderers and rapists (who do real harm) roam free?

Hopefully these three candidates will not be crowded out by the sheer ridiculous size of the ballot paper crammed as it is with 26 candidates.

It will be hard for the Greens and Jill to make any headway in a safe Tory seat and when the national media and Liberty have given such explicit backing to Davis's supposed 'principled' stand - criminally failing to mention his very illiberal voting record on this issue. As usual the Tories get more than an easy ride from the media.

25 comments:

  1. If you support equal gay rights, oppose capital punishment, OPPOSE ANY days detention without trial and dislike CCTV and the DNA database (but seem to have no specific policy on this) then vote for the Green's Shan Oakes

    If I were a constituent in H&H, then I probably would vote Green, if it weren't for the egregious Saward standing. However the political reality is that the smaller the gap between Davis vote and her vote, the more credibility her disgisting extreme right views will have. By comparison, she makes Davis seem like a liberal.

    I asked her on CiF, how she was going to implement the forced registration of 60 million people and how much violence and civil disorder she was prepared to inflict on the country to achieve it. No answer from any of the pro-DNA crowd. They haven't a clue how they would implement their ideas.

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  2. Stephen: There will always be refuseniks to every policy - maybe a referendum on the issue might be the way to garner vast support for it - and maybe it would have to be done in stages - the fairest way might be to add all people born in 2008 then 2007 and so on until everyone is covered.

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  3. There will always be refuseniks to every policy

    Yes, and I am sure you would cheerfully put them in labour camps or worse.

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  4. stephen: Millions of people violently oppose the tax system in this country but they accept the result of elections. If everyone went around doing violent uprisings at every position they disagree with society would break down. At the end of the day the few thousand people (at the very most) in this country who will react to this might enact a bit of civil disobedience - they will be fined, and fined again. If they really want to make a point and spend a few days in prison, then that is their privelege - just as it is to everyone else who breaks laws that have been decided by the representatives elected by voters.

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  5. Stephen: Just to reiterate - if there were a referendum and people voted for this measure - it would not be the poll tax riots as you imagine it would - there would be handful of people like you who object (as there is on every policy). If that is the case, what right have you to oppose what the vast majority want?

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  6. stephen: I meant to put 'what right have you to stop what the majority want by violent means? - which seems to be what you are suggesting you would do.

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  7. There will always be refuseniks to every policy - maybe a referendum on the issue might be the way to garner vast support for it

    And I shall certainly, like the LibDem leader, be one of the 'refuseniks' with regard to ID Cards!

    I am not a LibDem, by the way. Incidentally,since you so casually throw out the idea of having refererenda,I'm curious why the Labour Party has reneged on having one for the EU Constitution/aka Lisbon Treaty (I have read both and they are not so very different).

    I am fervently pro-EU, just in case you are wondering.

    Finally, if the Labour government was so sure of itself on the 42-day issue and other 'liberties' issues, it is difficult to understand why it won't put its beliefs to the electorate in H+H. Even if it might not win this particular seat, it would at least show it really believes its own propaganda.

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  8. Bill. I disagree with 42 days, I disagree with Labour's cowardice, I reject GB as PM, I disagreed with the Iraq war, think too many people are in jail and think there should be a referendum on the EU Treaty. Why no mention from you of Labour's reneging on 2 manifesto promises for a referendum on PR - far more significant a betrayal in my mind.

    Yet I happen to think ID cards could be useful, that the DNA database would save thousands of lives AND prevent miscarriages of justice, and that no harm is done from the millions of CCTV we have - indeed I think it does prevent crime and help detect criminals - and what is wrong with that? The main problem with CCTV is that it is not in EVERY public space and of sufficient quality. If people on the street or from buildings can see you, what difference does it make if somebody can see you through a camera?

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  9. Why no mention from you of Labour's reneging on 2 manifesto promises for a referendum on PR - far more significant a betrayal in my mind.

    LOL - I was trying not to abuse your hospitality by including an even longer list, but add these too so far as I am concerned ;)

    For clarity, I am not currently a member of any Party, but was formerly a Conservative - until IDS became Leader. I think ID Cards and the database which is being created to back them up is a mortal danger to our demcocracy and our liberties and I will do all I can to fight it. I have lived in 'police states' of both the Communist (e.g. China, Vietnam) and absolute monarchical (e.g. Saudi Arabia, UAE) varieties and am very aware of how disingenuous is the claim of police or authoritarians everywhere that 'if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear'. I'm afraidthat this kind of mentality will lead to more shootings of the kind that led to the illegal killing of Jean-Charles de Menezes. The subsequent high-profile arrests and interrogations of sundry Moslems, and their much quieter subsequent release without charge tells me all I need to know about the attitude of this Labour government toward basiccivil liberties.

    I may have genuine ideological differences with someone like Tony Benn, but at least he has integrity and a belief in something I can empathise with - democracy.

    The present Labour government, just like the present US Republican administration, seems to have lost its way badly.

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  10. Bill: When I think back to the brutality and casual racism of the police in the 70's, 80s and early 90s, the sus laws and internment, the treatment of the Irish, Black people, gays, miners, poll tax rioters or other minorities in this country and compare that with today - the problems are real but not in that league!

    Without this Labour govt we never would have gay marriage, tentative FOI, workers rights, better work/life balance, real freedoms that have really enhanced people's lives and crime has tumbled by every measurement. When libertarians rage against the inconsequential - the CCTV and speed cameras that save lives it makes me rage. Motorists forget all the saved lives when they are frustrated at getting a ticket.

    The biggest criticism of the police nowadays is that they 'waste time' filling in forms to arrest ethnic minorities. Well there is a very good reason for that and it is that which HAS changed attitudes of police officers who now have to treat ALL people with more respect. That is true liberty and it has come about because of Labour and its 'political correctness'.

    Tories like Boris Johnson rail against the lack of politeness in society - but they are blind to the obvious - being PC is all about being polite. But not the politeness they want - the 'doff your cap to your superiors' and 'know your place' respect of the working class gone by. No, this is real politeness to those 'less fortunate' than yourself, putting yourself out to people who are victimised - that is true liberty and that is what a lot of you new breed of right-wing 'libertarians' miss (some on purpose, some through ignorance or misguidance).

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  11. I meant to put 'what right have you to stop what the majority want by violent means? - which seems to be what you are suggesting you would do

    Well for one thing, the majority does not support a universal DNA database. The second is that Labour would never ever put this question to a referendum. The third, please do not libel me by saying that I was advocating violent resistance to the policy. That would be completely counter-productive. Passive, peasceful resistance is the most effective way of countering such policies. Several million people simply refusing to register their DNA would be impossible for the authorities to do anything about. The Poll Tax was not defeated by the Poll Tax riot, it was defeated by millions of people saying 'no'. However despite my views, undoubtedly a policy of mass forced DNA registrations would stimulate a great deal of disorder. This is why most policemen I have spoken to have significant misgivings about this policy, even though some of them may think the principle is right. But many of them don't.

    You appear to be the person who would do anything to implement your policies. Reading you, Neil, it is not at difficult to see how ordinary people could be induced to particate in the holocaust or adminster the gulag.

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  12. Bill: When I think back to the brutality and casual racism of the police in the 70's, 80s and early 90s, the sus laws and internment, the treatment of the Irish, Black people, gays, miners, poll tax rioters or other minorities in this country and compare that with today - the problems are real but not in that league!

    What complacent rubbish! Try being a young muslim and see how respectful the police are.

    Without this Labour govt we never would have gay marriage, tentative FOI, workers rights, better work/life balance, real freedoms that have really enhanced people's lives and crime has tumbled by every measurement

    And if you'd stopped there then your only opponents would be Tories and right wing libertarians. But no, your party also set about attacking civil liberties in an ignorant and wanton fashion.

    Perhaps the reason why people are now considering voting Tory is because they are comfortable that the Tories will leave many of these Labour policies in place, just as Labour has conducted itself as a Tory party on matters economic.

    As people like people have attacked Labour for being too timid on matters of redistribution and tax, so many Tory supporters will attack a Cameron government for being too liberal. In fact, in its second and third terms Labour has been a Tory government in all but name, which is why it managed to keep the support of so many Tories but lose the support of liberals like me. Now the Tories have come back from the wilderness, these people are deserting Labour. Obviously the incompetence of the Labour administration doesn't help but I don't think there is much that Brown or Labour can do about it. Your time is up.

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  13. stephen: You go on about libel because I mentioned your apparent eagerness to see violent opposition, but I am going to invoke Godwin's law on your comment about the holocaust and gulag - a far worse accusation.

    I think you underestimate the support for the DNA database - it saves lives and prevent crimes - that is the bottom line. If it was universal it would save a lot more lives - the vast majority would sign up enthusiastically - the few refuseniks like you would be heavily fined and eventually a small number (like those who refuse to pay their council tax) might be given short prison sentences (in which case their DNA would be taken automatically).

    If there were resistance on the scale of the poll tax then yes, you are right the scheme would have to be abandoned - but I just don't see it. Your lot might whip up some ridiculous hysteria about it (reminds me of the harm caused to the MMR vaccine) - but the poll tax caused real hardship - it hit people in their pockets every year - a DNA database would only be a small one off inconvenience - like taking your polio vaccine at school, most wouldn't even think about it. If only you put your energies into something that really would improve society - like campaigning for more inheritance tax or against tax avoidance or for a fair voting system.

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  14. In the above debate between Stephen and Neil, I support Stephen on some points and Neil on others. As I have said elsewhere, I would certainly vote Green in this by-election, without necessarily agreeing with them on every single detail.

    But coming back to Jill Saward. I wonder if someone who has been through such a horrendous experience can ever really be objective about crime. At all events, she certainly presents a stark choice. There is a theoretical case to be made for a much more authoritarian society; I imagine she would like to live in Singapore, which is not quite totalitarian because it is a democracy, but it is certainly authoritarian. There is much that is good in Singapore, and in certain respects we have been drifting closer to that model in recent years, without perhaps quite realising it. But we are in Enlightenment Europe, not Confucian Asia. I think I prefer it that way. Are any of our European neighbours doing what Jill Saward wants? I don't think so. As on so many other issues, my gut reaction is: let's find out what they do in Scandinavia and Germany and Benelux, and do that.

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  15. stephen: You go on about libel because I mentioned your apparent eagerness to see violent opposition, but I am going to invoke Godwin's law on your comment about the holocaust and gulag - a far worse accusation.

    Yes, it is a worse accusation, but it is one that fits. You are an entrenched authoritarian who would not scruple to break a butterfly on the wheel to push your agenda. People like you and your party need to be stopped. And the evidence from opinion polls appears to be that ordinary people have begun to tire of your authoritarianism, which is something that the Tories have tuned into.

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  16. PZT: Although I support Jill's views on the DNA database, ID cards and CCTV - In the absense of Labour and the Lib Dems, I would vote for the Greens in this election, and I think that you and Stephen have also stated your support for the Greens on this.

    I think nobody should be locked up for long periods without charge. I think 3 days is too long, let alone 28 or 42. If the police think someone is a danger they should get the evidence to charge them. David Davis is no libertarian candidate - he would be more authoritarian towards minorities than anyone else, as his disgraceful record on gay rights shows. He is also a Tory who believes that liberty should be dependent on wealth (which is what most 'bloggertarians' seem to forget). He is making vague noises against CCTV and DNA databases but he proposes to do little or nothing in practise and like I have said - he still supports 28 days detention without charge.

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  17. stephen: Who knows how anyone would act under a Nazi or Stalinist regime. I would like to think I would have the courage to risk my life in opposition. But perhaps like the majority I would keep my head down in cowardice (but not open support). What I would say is; I would imagine that any of you, me or PZT would be more likely to stick their heads above the parapet than most.

    I have always tried to speak up for the underdog - those who are being trampled on - which is why I disagree with this Labour government on a number of issues and vehemently oppose a return to the Tories. To say my support for ID cards or CCTV or a DNA database makes me a Nazi is ridiculous. Do you really believe that?

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  18. But coming back to Jill Saward. I wonder if someone who has been through such a horrendous experience can ever really be objective about crime

    If you go onto her campaign web site you'll see that she advocates doing away with the right not to be compelled to self incriminate. Does she have any conception of why such legal rights were acknowledged in the first place? It sound like she would tear up every right to convict more people on the naive and false belief that innocent people will not be affected. Very dangerous. I hope Davis makes mincemeat of her.

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  19. To say my support for ID cards or CCTV or a DNA database makes me a Nazi is ridiculous. Do you really believe that?

    That's not what I said. A belief in those things does not make anyone a 'Nazi'. The phrase 'breaking a butterfly on a wheel' says it best. You appear quite prepared to use disproprotionate measures to enforce your view of society and are indifferent to their consequences. That makes you susceptible to totalitarian modes of thought.

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  20. Fairly typical piece of perverse logic from one of Labour's authoritarian true believers. There's nothing fair about invading millions of people's privacy and demanding they hand over DNA swabs for a database state. Nor of criminalising them because they don't appreciate that New Labour know "what is best for them" and aren't willing to go along like good little sheeple. Of course it gives the writer and his comrades the opportunity to put the police state into action and roll over their dissent.

    CCTV and DNA are the panacea of all ills for preventing and catching murderers and rapists. Naturally this being a Labour supporter once the murderers and rapists have been caught we won't actually be punishing them and locking them up to keep the public safe because we don't want to expand the prison population which rather begs the question what's the point of catching them in the first place?

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  21. Nobody thinks it authoritarian that we compel children to take vaccines to stop the spread of preventable disease, or compel children to go to school to get an education, taking a swab of DNA to catch future criminals is no different.

    Can anybody tell me how taking someone's DNA harms anyone? Does anyone deny that rapes and murders have been prevented by the DNA database? An expansion of the database is bound to save more lives.

    Sarah: Most people in jail are there for non-violent offences - nobody is saying anyone who is a danger to the public should be released or not imprisoned. If Labour are so lenient why have average prison sentences lengthened and prison numbers doubled?

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  22. (rather than their potential misuse)

    Typical Labour supporter behaviour - you dismiss the most important argument against CCTV and the DNA database with a wave of the hand.

    They have a huge potential for misuse. That is why I and many others oppose them.

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  23. Nobody thinks it authoritarian that we compel children to take vaccines to stop the spread of preventable disease

    Where the hell were you during the MMR debate?

    or compel children to go to school to get an education

    There is no compulsion to go to school to get an education, only that an education be provided.

    taking a swab of DNA to catch future criminals is no different

    The difference is that the supporters of a universal DNA database are too arrogant to make a case for it.

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  24. I have always tried to speak up for the underdog - those who are being trampled on
    No you haven't, or at least you haven't been trying very hard.

    While we're at it - with characteristic disregard for any kind os facts or evidence (it's easier to lie than tell the truth) you claim a universal DNA database would save thousands of lives. Quoting from murder statistics, please explain roughly how many "thousands" of lives you think would be saved. Clue: the vast majority of people are murdered by people they know (well) and no amount of ID card CCTV scaremongering by ignoramuses like you is going to alter that.

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  25. ian, stephen, urko: You guys will never accept that more information in the fight against crime can only REDUCE the chances of wrongful convictions and INCREASE the deterrent effect. You will also never accept that CCTV IN A PUBLIC PLACE is no different to someone using their eyes to look at a passer by. All this stems from an irrational fear of new technology that leads to grannies being told they cannot take pictures of empty swimming pools and that dads cannot take pictures of their own children in a playground.

    As for use of stats - urko - you are correct that only 'hundreds' of lives will be saved by CCTV, databases etc. I should have included all crimes to make it thousands who will benefit.

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