Friday, 18 February 2011

Bill of No Rights

Statement on sex offenders' register (Home Office, Wed Feb 16 12:14:14 GMT 2011)

The sex offenders' register has existed since 1997. Since that time it has helped the police to protect the public from these most horrific of crimes.

Where is the evidence that the sex offenders' register protects anyone against anything?

Does anyone realise that 'sex offences' include such things as brothel keeping (read 'two prostitutes sharing a flat so that they can protect one another if a client becomes violent')? (Sex workers put in danger by British policing, Melon Farmers, 13th February 2011.) How about people convicted of having sex with inanimate objects? (Bike sex case sparks legal debate, BBC News, Friday, 16 November 2007.) A wide range of other victimless crimes could be listed such as the truly moronic Dangerous Pictures Act. (UK prosecutors drop 'tiger' sex video case, Register, 6th January 2010.) So Theresa May considers these to be the 'most horrific of crimes'? And in the case of sex with bicycles and cartoon tigers, where exactly does protecting the public come into it?

This is Britain all right. Any mention of sex and all fuses blow, and Home Secretaries with puny brains start reciting well rehearsed, but meaningless phrases such as "most horrific" and "protecting the public".

the right of the public to be protected from the risk of re-offending

The risk of re-offending is never zero. The risk of someone not convicted of any crime so far committing a crime, any crime, is never zero either. In the case of certain 'sex crimes', the risk of re-offending is smaller than the risk of someone not convicted of any crime so far committing a crime some time in the future.

The risk of crypto-fascist Home Secretaries in sheep's clothes tomorrow turning into chain-saw murderers is never zero. So we'd better lock her up, shouldn't we?

The final decision of whether an offender should remain on the register will be down to the police

And we know how concerned the police is with our rights, don't we, boys and girls? Letting the British police decide matters involving individual freedom is the best guarantee that citizens' rights will be trampled upon until it is an unrecognisable goo mashed through the cracks in the floor.

Finally, I can tell the House today that the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary will shortly announce the establishment of a Commission to investigate the creation of a British Bill of Rights.

For those who have been hoping for the creation of a British Bill of Rights to safeguard human rights in the UK, let it be a sobering thought that if this crowd of right-wing loonies gets its way, that Bill of Rights will codify the status quo with the public (a euphemism for the state as an abstract entity) having all the rights and the criminal (meaning any individual who steps out of line) having none.

It is time to assert that it is Parliament that makes our laws, not the courts;

And a populist mob law it will be.

that the rights of the public come before the rights of criminals;

Let's not forget that by definition anyone is a criminal who has been convicted of a crime, and crimes are defined by law makers. Once homosexuality and sodomy were crimes. Women resorting to civil disobedience in the late-19th and early-20th century, in order to demand the right to vote, were breaking the laws of that time. The brave people in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya fighting against tyrany and oppression today are committing acts labelled by various repressive regimes as crimes.

and above all, that we have a legal framework that brings sanity to cases such as these.

If moving against insanity were the objective, our first step should be locking people like Theresa May away for good.

There is the usual blatant government propaganda from the BBC, dressed up as scientific fact:

Who, what, why: When is a sex offender not a risk? (BBC News, 16 February 2011)

"Often these offenders are incredibly furtive," Prof Wilson says.
"They may have committed many, many offences before being caught - their conviction is only the tip of the iceberg."

"furtive"? Does he want to say that the crimes are so hidden that no one notices. Are we, by any chance, talking about victimless crimes again?

Sex offender registration appeals to go ahead (BBC News, 16 February 2011)

"Adults who sexually abuse children should stay on the offenders register for life as we can never be sure their behaviour will change."

If sex offences were distinguished into different categories, such as sex with inanimate objects, indecent exposure, possession of videos with cartoon tiger sex, brothel keeping, and child abuse, then we, the poor readership, would find ourselves intellectually challenged beyond our limited capacities. Therefore the BBC simplifies the discussion by equating sex offence to child abuse. How thoughtful of them. And utterly misleading.