Socialist Worker

Control orders strip us of all of our liberty

Issue No. 2229

You’re a so-called “terror suspect”—but the government doesn’t want to put you on trial, because there isn’t enough evidence against you.

So they put you under a harsh curfew, effectively indefinite house arrest.

They slap all sorts of bans on where you can go, tag you to monitor it, and even tell you who you can and can’t speak to. They confiscate your phone.

It’s internment in your own home. And neither you nor your lawyer are even told what you’re supposed to have done, making it almost impossible to appeal.

Is this a tale from a regime like Burma, where western politicians spoke out against the dictatorship subjecting Aung San Suu Kyi to house arrest for so long?

No—it is the day to day reality of control orders in Britain.

The government’s counter-terrorism review, set to be published before Christmas, is believed to recommend keeping and even extending the use of control orders.

David Cameron has reportedly said the coalition is heading for a “car crash” over the issue.

The Lib Dems have long claimed to be against control orders.

But, as usual, they have limited their opposition to, at most, behind-the-scenes grumbling.

Labour, meanwhile, was responsible for bringing in the orders in the first place, back in 2005.

In opposition the party has started rowing back from them, but not very far.

“The jury’s still out,” says shadow home secretary Ed Balls.

But it isn’t.

Control orders must be scrapped now—together with all the other attacks on civil liberties that the “war on terror” has been an excuse for.

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What We Think
Tue 23 Nov 2010, 18:26 GMT
Issue No. 2229
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