28 December 2004

The Decline and Fall of David Blunkett

We had been in the process of writing a piece about David Blunkett and the vendetta against perceived antisocial behaviour.

However, overtaken by events, his removal from power has come, not from pursuing a series of draconian and punitive measures against refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants, people suspected of terrorism, drug users and young people.

Instead it came from the hubris of believing that, while the state had every right to stick its nose in to the private lives of its citizens, he was entitled to privacy while he conducted illicit trysts.

Mr Blunkett has overseen a Home Office that has eroded civil liberties to a greater extent than any other peace-time Government. Traditional rights - including property rights, right to free assembly, freedom of speech and freedom of movement have all been stripped away. Not because of someone's offending behaviour - but because of unproven allegations that behaviour could be considered "antisocial."

Other rights, including Habeas Corpus have been ignored and as his last act before resigning, he has introduced the prospect of ID cards on spurious , anti-terrorist grounds.

While we do not hold out massive hope that any successor will adopt a more even handed approach, we are not in the least saddened to see the back of Mr Blunkett, one of the few people to make Michael Howard look relatively liberal!

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