Counter-Terrorism Bill – Great Quote

// April 2nd, 2008 // Blog

TheyWorkForYou.com notified me of a recent House of Commons debate on the Counter-Terrorism Bill. Browsing through I was particularly tickled by the following speech made by Robert Marshall-Andrews, Labour MP for Medway (I especially liked the bit I highlighted in bold):

In the past six months, we have heard a great deal about Britishness—indeed the former Attorney-General was put in charge of it, perhaps as a consolation, but more likely as a punishment for his term in office. In truth, that was wholly unnecessary. We do not need to be taught about Britishness, or about flags and ceremonies. Britishness has many great attributes at its root, but civil liberties are not one of them. Civil liberties are not an attribute of being British. They are the defining characteristic of our nation. They are what we are.

That is not hyperbolic; I mention it simply because what comes from it is the enormously high burden and standard of proof required in this House if any Government attempt in any way to circumscribe or check those liberties. My first point, which has been made extraordinarily well already, is that there is no evidence whatever to vote for the Bill—none. Hopeful statements of desiderata are not evidence. Statements from senior police officers saying, “I would really like this,” or, “I would really, really, really like this,” or, “It would be very useful,” or, “I need this,” are not evidence. Evidence is what needs to be put before the House, and there is none, so the Bill must not be voted for.

Read the rest of his statement here… 

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