Blair on Liberty; or How to Give Someone Half of Something That Was All Their Own and Pretend It Was A Present
Tony Blair's speech today demonstrated how Labour just doesn't get the concept of freedom. The fact the substance is being dwelt on so much less than the personalities shows how far political coverage in the UK has slipped. Surely this is truly a defining difference between the Tories and the Government. Just look at some of what he had to say:
"I don't want to live in a police state or a Big Brother society or put any of our essential freedoms in jeopardy. But because our idea of liberty is not keeping pace with change in reality, those freedoms are in jeopardy."
Eh? Isn't liberty, liberty? So, because they're in jeopardy, because some people don't like them we scrap them for them? The giveaway, of course, is the word "essential". We're allowed to keep our "essential" freedoms. Of course, we don't have the freedom to decide what is "essential" or not. Noooo, TB knows best, we can trust TB, he can decide for us, he knows best. Big Brother loves you.
"We can only protect liberty by making it relevant to the modern world."
Does anyone follow this? It's the same old chestnut as above isn't it? Since liberty is being threatened and at risk we scrap it. We can't defend it as it used to be so we run away. Brilliant. How exactly is what Tony Blair would call liberty free at all?
"That is why identity cards using biometric technology are not a breach of our basic rights, they are an essential part of responding to the reality of modern migration and protecting us against identity fraud."
Leaving aside the dodgy logic which leads to this conclusion a couple of factual queries here, Tone. Don't we already have a card system for economic migrants who wish to be employed? Hasn't that proved completely ineffectual because employers just don't check? If the current card system isn't used and is no use, why will a more expensive and onerous one be likely to an even greater waste of time and money? How much is the annual cost of ID fraud? Ah, yes. Nothing like the annual cost of ID cards will be. I'd think more of him if he just admitted it was a better way for him and his cronies to "manage" us and identify what of our "essential" freedoms we're allowed to keep this week.
"In the next parliamentary session, the centrepiece will be John Reid's immigration and law and order reforms. I ask people of all parties to support them. Let liberty stand up for the law-abiding."
Aside from the quite blatant bigging-up of a challenger to Gordon Brown... How can liberty stand up for anything? It's a state not an actor. This is just a shamless plug of the word as he's terrified of being outed as the authoritarian that he is with an understanding of liberty of which an A-Level student should be ashamed - even one who's had the misfortune to study under this Government.