The very definition of tyranny

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny

James Madison – 4th President of the United States of America and signatory to the Declaration of Independence.

If you think the votes that will take place over the next two days on the Terrorism Bill are about the ‘glorification of terrorism’, then like the BBC in this report, you have got things very badly wrong.

Having read through the order papers for the debate on the Terrorism Bill, the explicit offence of ‘glorifying terrorism’ has gone – it’s just not in there – nor do any of the amendments tabled by the government reintroduce such an offence.

What is in there is the offence of ‘encouraging terrorism’ which does include the notion that one may indirectly encourage others to commit terrorist acts and this does, in addition, include the idea that one may commit this offence if one is reckless in making statements relating to terrorism. It is this indirect component of this offence which makes it different from the offence of ‘incitement’.

The main amendment to this section of the Bill that the government will be moving today seeks not to reintroduce the offence of glorifying terrorism but merely to remove a definition of ‘indirect encouragement’ inserted by the Lords, which reads as follows:

For the purposes of this section, “indirect encouragement

  • Although I am technically incapable, to the point that I cannot work out how the hell to produce a “trackback”, I have pointed in my blog to this post. This may bring you an extra two readers, but hey – I do what I can.

  • I can’t find an accurate definition of blogswarm: is it “absolutely everybody post about x so users cannot help but read about it”. Would be happy to link to this, for example.

  • Unity

    Yep, that’s a blogswarm – just ramp the issue and get people to take notice.

  • I have been trying to do so ever since the Bill was published.

    I failed to shame the “British Political Blogosphere” into discussing it and lobbying the the “Westminster Village”.

    There is more written online about the Australian Terrorism Bill 2005 than the UK one 8-(

    Spy Blog Terrorism Bill 2005 category

  • Thanks for the heads up. It seems that the media (and most blogger, incl me) have been spun right out of the picture. NuLabour really are a shower of b*st*rds.

  • Paul

    Oh dear. Someone’s tipped H Blears off about search engines. The result – Hazel would be interested in finding a way to restrict search results to exclude any offending material.
    Though she doesn’t say it, Hazel knows that this is possible because the Chinese do it.

  • “To compund their error, the Guardian have even succeeding in providing a link to entirely the wrong piece of legislation, last years’s Prevention of Terrorism Bill (now Act) which deals with Control Orders and is not being debated today.”

    err. unfortunately it was !

    90 minutes of “debate” on the “sunset clause concession”, with , at one point only 13 MPs in the Chamber.

    The Motion went through “On the nod” without a vote !

    This is exactly the danger of similar Orders and “super affirmative motions” etc. in th Civil Coontingencies Act, or the Identity Cards Bill, or the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill – Parliament becomes just a “rubber stamp” and no pritection against the power of the Executive branch of Government at all.

  • Terror, Tyranny, and Tony
    The argument that I find most sickening is that which holds that since the current government is trustworthy and ethical, it follows that no future governments will abuse the powers they inherit. Never mind that I have no respect for the ethics of th…