Friday, 7 November 2008

1984

Have been catching up with other people's blogs from while I was away. Tom Harris has been sent a copy of 1984 in the post. So have I, but with a slightly different covering note. (No contact name, no signature, very brave of them). Whereas Tom got a slip saying "Young man, This is a reminder that this book, contrary to what your leader might think, is NOT an instruction manual, but a warning. REMEMBER - WE are YOUR masters." I got a letter:

"Kerry

I have been asked to send you this by the LPUK [Libertarian Party UK].

We presume you have read it in the past but we feel our country might benefit if you read it again - this time understanding that it was intended as a warning to society and not an instruction manual for Government.

We would be grateful if you would consider the impact of legislation on individual freedom before sponsoring or voting for any more laws to prohibit things. Laws to criminalise prostitution would fall into this category.

Anyway, we hope you enjoy the book."

I think I know what, if he was writing 'Down and Out in St Pauls and Easton', George Orwell would have made of businessmen in BMWs paying drug-addicted teenagers £20 a time for sex on their way home from work. Freedom? For who?

50 comments:

Martin said...

I fail to see how giving us back our rights that this government have taken for no reason at all will lead to this vision you give us. I would say it is more likely to be the result of government interference in our lives. After all, it is the state, and not free markets as many a socialist has falsely claimed, that leads to poverty and social injustice.

Tom Harris tried to disprove the "Britain is falling into a police state" idea, and he failed miserably. We ARE, and it is the fault of you, and your 645 comrades in Westminster.

stateslave said...

Oh, you can do better than that...

swindon_alan said...

Kerry my dear

Why do you ignore the intent of why the reason the book was sent to you and simply focus on what was almost a throw away line?

You really don't get this, do you?

I can feel a 'Tom Harris' coming on...

IanPJ said...

Why do you think there are so many drug addicted teanagers out there Kerry.

Do you think its because they live in a Britain where there is little or no work for those who have been educated to Labour's pathetic standards.
Where they are condemned to a life on benefits, where there is no hope, where no-one, especially those in government seems to care whether they live or die, but ensuring that they are kept firmly in this poverty trap to further an ideological dream.

No, you really dont get it, do you?

timbone said...

Kerry, as I am sure you have realised from my handful of comments, I do not have a political label myself, I am just me. I should think you also realise that I think you are alright, despite the fact that you are a Labour MP and a woman - (sorry, I couldn't resist that last bit, a paraphrase from a musical I have directed several times, "The King and I"). Seriously though, the present Government, which you happen to be part of, are as a whole becoming increasingly dictatorial. Kerry, it genuinly scares me, (who was once a member of the Labour party), that I am feeling more and more that I am being controlled in my chosen lifestyle.
I think that this action on the part of the LPUK was a strong and clear message. I do however think that it has been clouded by closing sentences which the sender has chosen to add.
In the one that Tom got, whoever sent it, in my opinion, ruined it by using the phrase, WE are YOUR masters. I know what the spirit of that statement is, and a very good reminder that in our parliamentary system you are elected by 'the commoners', we choose to vote for the person we want to represent us. Unfortunately, this strong message is ruined by a phrase which is grating, using the term master, suggesting that you should be a slave.
In the one sent to you, again, the closing sentence ruins it. Why? Because it introduces a single issue which is a separate debate, and just takes the spotlight off what the true reason was for sending you the book.
So. Well done to the LPUK for such a brilliant idea, sorry that in these two cases (Tom & Kerry) the sender has not been able to stick to the basic message, but had to add something which is either a bad choice of words, or an issue which blots out the initial reason for it.
Kerry, do try to ignore the last sentence in your message, and think hard about why this book was sent to you.

Guthrum said...

Oh dear another disconnected MP

Matt Davies said...

Another MP who couldn't care less that people are now getting truly concerned, if not frightened at what this country is becoming.

What's the "very brave" bit all about? Don't you get it, that people no longer trust you with anything?

It is quite worrying that 100% of MPs who at least have the bottle to say something in public, have utter contempt for the public and their duties.

caligulaspalace said...

You lot really are disconnected from what ordinary people think. Tom Harris was forced to admit that he couldn't defend turning the UK into a totalitarian police state and now you will be too.

Lets just look at your voting record.

* Voted against a transparent Parliament. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for introducing a smoking ban. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for introducing ID cards. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws. votes, speeches
* Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. votes, speeches

You are clearly a nasty authoritarian.

You and your 645 collegues are not the solution, you are the problem

Roger Thornhill said...

Kerry,

I really think you do not get the irony in your "brave" jab. Think about why someone would not want to put their name to such a thing.

As for the drug-crazed teenagers brush, your prohibition is doing NOTHING to stop the rise in consumption, but only manages to criminalise the addicts, force them to associate with criminals, make drugs very expensive, of dubious quality and the distribution networks violent, just like alcohol in 1920's America. Well done. Congratulations.

The reminder about the people being your masters is correct, btw. The fact that almost the entire HoC has forgotten that has spurred one person to remind Tom Harris.

Tom did not seem to like it, neither did you. That, in itself proves the reminder was needed. When will it be heeded?

swindon_alan said...

[quote:"I think I know what, if he was writing 'Down and Out in St Pauls and Easton', George Orwell would have made of businessmen in BMWs paying drug-addicted teenagers £20 a time for sex on their way home from work. Freedom? For who?"]
Your party have been in power for eleven years. So why haven't you fixed this? There are no excuses, it is nobody else's fault but your own.

Kelvin Blake said...

I cant believe how pathetic the comments are on here. No one offers suggested alternatives or a measured arguments.

How does comments like "your disconnected", "you can do better than that", "You really don't get it do you", its go on..... how the hell does this deal with the challenges we face today.

I too have concerns over the actions of Government in allowing us to live a free and full life vs. protecting us against exploitation, terrorism and health risks. Leadership is required in most part I.e. the smoking ban, but also ensuring a balance is struck, i.e. the 42 day issue.

I grow up in Knowle West and ended up Councillor for the area. Some of commentators here live in a different world. Presume you think legalising drugs would be a good idea or allowing women to be exploited as street workers.

If you do then I would be very happy to introduce you to some of the families that have suffered from their drug addictive sons or to ex street workers who have been beaten up, kicked in the stomach when pregnant, and lost the best years of their lives to drugs and exploitation.

Our current freedoms have been hard fought for so when Government believes legislation is require to protect the many from the actions of the few we need to ensure our voices are heard. So far this Government has got it right, although I am totally against ID cards, but we should never be complacent and always make our constructive voices heard.

Saltburn subversives said...

"but we should never be complacent and always make our constructive voices heard."
And those constructive voices would, of course, be people who agree with you and nobody else eh? You authoritarian quarter-wit.

Matt Davies said...

Let me guess who were a councillor for Kevin, Nu Labour?

You don't get it either. The government isn't here to tell us what to do, like not smoke.

It is here to provide the protection of law, which should be based preventing people from hurting others.

Instead this government hurts us all with excessive taxation and a ridiculous amount of Nannystate laws.

Tell me Kevin, why do you think pub owners shouldn't be allowed smoking in pubs? They don't force people to use their pub or work there. Why do you think your personal wishes, or anyone else's should be forced on them?

I would suggest it's because you want everything your own way, just like all the other control freaks in Labour.

You've had it your own way too long. Things are going to change.

pagar said...

28 Oct 2008

Kerry today joins fellow MPs in launching the All Party Parliamentary Group on Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade.

The group will work with the Home Office to develop their new plans to target exploitation and reduce the demand for prostitution. Knowing how terribly prostitution affects the women involved and communities in Bristol, Kerry is keen to work with them to tackle these issues.

She commented “the group is a great opportunity to help develop current policy to make sure we help these vulnerable women off the streets, tackle exploitation and stop kerb-crawlers. We need to build on the police’s new powers to show that kerb crawling is not acceptable and that the sex trade will not be tolerated”.


The above extract from your blog demonstrates your support for new legislation to extend the criminalisation of consenting adults from acting as they choose.

What is the point of launching an all party investigation when you have clearly reached your conclusions before gathering any evidence. YOU have decided that YOU don't approve of prostitution therefore YOU are going to stop it happening by legislation.

That is the authoritarian bit,Kerry.

IanPJ said...

Leadership is required in most part I.e. the smoking ban, but also ensuring a balance is struck, i.e. the 42 day issue.

But the point is there is no balance. That tipping point was passed several years ago.

42 days is not required any where else in the world, so why here?
42 days is not a balance, its an abomination, and it will not just apply to terror suspects, it will apply to anyone a chief constable wishes to apply it to.

Smoking ban, merely forcing a point, and people to comply, based upon bad science and figures plucked from thin air, as admitted by government.

It is a matter of record that by banning anything, the result is merely to push it underground, into the hands of the criminal world. So these multitudes of bans create the problems, not fix them.

It is very easy to formulate an argument for single items, for things that only affect a very small proportion of the population, which is how the salami slicing works.

However, when we put it all together, 26,000 new laws, 3000 new criminal offences, then the laws are not for the good of the people, or for their protection but for the good of the state.

That is the balance that needs to be redressed.

For those who have not yet joined up all the dots, here is a list, albeit incomplete showing how you have eroded our rights and freedoms, for a perceived security that we have never needed before, and one that we do not believe we need now.

The 2006/2007 report by Privacy International tells us that The UK is now joint 1st place as the most surveilled country in the world, alongside Russia, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

Then we have the databases. UKLiberty tells us these are just the major ones, there are loads more public sector databases:

1. ContactPoint is to record our interactions with state agencies from the day we are born until we are 18;
2. the National Identity Register takes over at 18 (even earlier if the child is given a passport), recording our names, addresses, and so on, as well as every interaction that requires us to prove our identity (from collecting a parcel at the Post Office to getting a new job to using non-emergency health care to crossing international borders) - also we will each be assigned an identity number, which will be used as an index in other databases (that is, if I am 10365 in the NIR, someone could draw together all the data on 10365 from all the other databases to find out everything about me - precedent suggests this isn't a good idea);
3. the Department for Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study links tax, social security, benefit, pension, ISA, TESSA, PEP information with names and addresses;
4. the Intercept Modernisation Programme is to record every detail of our communications (except for the content, probably only because this would be practically impossible), who we talk to, when, for how long, and using what (see Article 5 European Data Retention Directive);
5. the ANPR is to record all our vehicle journeys nationally and the PNR (see also this and this) is to record all our international journeys (currently its just journeys by air);
6. the NHS medical records database, with our names, addresses, medical issues, health care workers etc;
7. the CRB database and the Independent Safeguarding Authority database, which not only have details of our proven convictions (which I have no problem with) but also unsubstantiated allegations;
8. the National DNA Database, which is recording the DNA of not only convicted criminals and suspects, but also innocent people including volunteers and witnesses, along with other details.

All adding up to an almost complete picture of our lives - and all for our own good, of course.

Do not forget that the information collection for marketing purposes by Corporate institutions, whether Google or Tesco, is a further part of the erosion of the liberty of action with unseen monitoring or intervention. The using of private companies to collect this data is just insidious.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1994
Abolishes a suspect's right to silence (by permitting Courts and Juries to draw inference from a suspect's refusal to disclose matters to the Police at the time of arrest.

POLICE ACT 1997
Allows the police to break into property and install electronic surveillance.The chief constable can make such authorisations.

The occupier of the property need not be under suspicion of a crime. The decisions can be taken without a warrant. (Sections 91 to 108)

CRIME AND DISORDER ACT 1998
First facilitation of ASBO's and the conception of causing Harassment, which makes everyday perfectly legal activities illegal for the target subject.

Distress or Alarm. Introduction of Parenting Orders and Curfews on Offenders released on Licence.

IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM ACT 1999
Among other matters, facilitating the establishment of Detention Centres.

TERRORISM ACT 2000
Definition of "terrorism" close to catch-all..
The government can proscribe organisations or persons without having to prove that they have committed any offence.

REGULATION OF INVESTIGATORY POWERS ACT 2000
Authorises Surveillance and disclosure of Communications largely without warrant.

Authorities able to do so range from any Police Force to include any Local Authority and the FSA. (now extended to over 700 organisations).

FOOTBALL (DISORDER) ACT 2000
Enables courts to place banning orders on people, prohibiting them from travelling when a football match is on, without proving they committed an offence.

Allows the police to prevent a person without a banning order from leaving the country if the police have "reasonable grounds" for believing the person may cause trouble at a football match.

HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE ACT 2001
Enables the Health Secretary to authorise disclosure of confidential patient information to anyone he chooses if he believes it is in the public interest or will improve patient care.

ANTI-TERRORISM, CRIME AND SECURITY ACT 2001
Allows government departments and public bodies to disclose confidential information to police forces for the purposes of investigations of any crime anywhere in the world.

Permits the Home Secretary to certify any foreigner as an "international terrorist" if he/she decides that they are a risk to national security.

Terrorism is defined as in the Terrorism Act 2000.
Section 29 prevents courts from challenging the detention of foreigners under sections 21 – 26,.

SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD ACT 2001
Officials authorised by local councils and the Department of Work and Pensions can demand that banks, credit card companies, utility companies, any company providing financial services and phone companies hand over any data they think is necessary for the purposes of preventing or detecting benefit fraud, without a warrant.

These officials can also demand that telecommunications companies tell them who owns a particular account, when given only a number or electronic address associated with the account, again without a warrant.

THE PROCEEDS OF CRIME ACT 2002
Under this Act, the Criminal Assets Recovery Agency is set up and in Part 5, it is given the power to seize a person's assets via civil procedures in court. (now updated to allow police to seize assets and bank accounts BEFORE charge or conviction).

This law applies civil proceedings to a dispute between the state and an individual, with the state as the adjudicator.

ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR ACT 2003
Extends the thinking behind ASBOS and includes premises closure,
obligations on landlords, parenting orders, dispersal of groups, public assemblies (the 1986 Public Order definition of an assembly reduced from 20 to 2).

EXTRADITION ACT 2003
Part 2 - unratified treaty with USA. No prima facie evidence required for extraditions from the UK to the USA, but still required for USA to UK extraditions.

Part 1 of the Act implements the similar European Arrest Warrant extraditions.

There is no requirement for evidence to be heard before a UK Court.
Also refer to the Home Office website.

THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT 2003
Facilitates the elimination of Juries from complex fraud cases.
Removes "double jeopardy". Permits hearsay evidence.

THE CIVIL CONTINGENCIES ACT 2004
Authorises any cabinet minister to make "emergency regulations" Emergency regulations may make any provision that can be made by Royal Prerogative or Act of Parliament.....

the FIRST of the real shifts towards Enabling Act thinking.

THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT 2005
Under this Act, the government can impose "control orders" on anyone they suspect might be involved in "terrorism-related" activity.

The person subjected to a control order does not get a trial, is not charged with anything, and may have the evidence or accusations against them withheld from them or their lawyers.

Terrorism is defined as in Section 1 of the Terrorism Act 2000

THE SERIOUS ORGANISED CRIME AND POLICE ACT 2005
Sets up the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

All offences, no matter how trivial, are now arrestable, granting powers to obtain DNA, intimate samples, fingerprints and photographs of those arrested, to be retained on file regardless of whether the suspect is charged with or convicted of an offence. (Don't discard your cigarette butt).

Protesters, even a single protester, must apply at least 24 hours (and more normally 6 days) in advance for a permit to protest within 1km of Parliament, or any other designated place.

LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY REFORM ACT 2006
Originally drafted in terms which would have made this an Enabling Act, the diluted text with some safeguards introduced remains the second part of Enabling Act thinking.

By this, Ministers can, with minimal Parliamentary scrutiny, modify and enact regulations, interpretations, resources targeting and law.

IMMIGRATION, ASYLUM AND NATIONALITY ACT 2006
Further powers tor restrict the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers.

Sections 56 and 57 modify the British Nationality Act (1981) to permit the Home Secretary to deprive a person of citizenship or the right of abode.

TERRORISM ACT 2006
Further clarification of offences of glorification etc.
Extends detention period. (currently 28 days, government planning further attempt at 42 days).

IDENTITY CARDS ACT 2006
Well publicised. Read and weep.


I could go on, and on, there is just so much more.

If I began to start listing all the abuses of the above legislation, being used for purposes other than it was designed then this posting would be so long......

I could mention the Orwellian Newspeak introduced by NuLabour, I could mention the Targeted Messaging and propaganda, I could mention the perpetual war against an ever changing enemy, I could mention the big brother TV Licencing warning ads, I could mention that every Government department now encourages you to shop your neighbour, I could mention government sponsored health facists telling us what to eat and drink, how to live, I could mentioned a lost count of bans for things from fox hunting to smoking, I could mention local authorities using children to spy on parents, I could mention that we may no longer simply live by the rule of law, but by legislation for everything we do, legislation for everything we cannot do, and legislation for what we might do. No longer free thought, the state will do that for you.

Are you are so far removed from reality that you cannot see what harm you do.

The State does not need this information, the State abuses this information, and the State has no right to this information.

Roger Thornhill said...

Kelvin,

A viable alternative IS legalisation of drugs.

Has it occurred to you how the son buys drugs? How that the person selling is selling moody gear and has every intention of upgrading the kid from dope to heroin to crack to increase sales? People in Boots do not try and push Vallium onto those buying Aspirin. Nor do they cruise schools looking for new punters. Nor do consumers of Aspirin think they can fund their habit by introducing others to the delights of pain relief. Why? Because there is no money in it. Is there money in moonshine? Very little...unless there is prohibition.

As for the disingenuous attempt to link legalised prostitution to sex slavery and violence upon women, I am surprised you have not mentioned people trafficking. If prostitution is legal, then they become as any worker. Illegal workers are exploited far more than legal. Sex slavery is far harder to operate in a legal, open environment and there is more reason for punters to ensure they visit Kosher establishments.

You also appear to think the smoking ban is "leadership". It is nothing short of Authoritarianism. 42 days? 28 days is already an outrage to the Rule of Law.

Old Holborn said...

Kerry,

Who controls these prostitutes?

Clue: You invited millions of pimps to come from Somalia, Pakistan, Turkey and Albania. Don't you dare try to blame me.

I was in Westminster this week. I can be there next week if you like.

I'm watching you

DaveA said...

Hi Kerry I hope you are well.
I am sure Tom Harris and the Labour Party must be taken aback at the authoritarian labels, quite rightly being pinned on you. Under Brtish politeness and the stiff upper lip is simering resentment at civil liberties being undermined. I am sure it is not a malice of forethought assult on freedoms but more of a clumsy reaction to curent politics. However I am greatly encouraged by many of the people here posting against the smoking ban who I do not recognise.

However the smokers were the first to have their rights infringed and I feel we won't be the last.

vincent1 said...

Superb comment by IanPJ, something has gone drasticly wrong in this Country in the last few years. ID cards, governments create more criminals. My eg; If I could imagine a line between good and bad, say in the middle of a tennis court. For many years I would have considered myself, stood near the boundary in the good area, I did not move closer to the line, but the line is moving closer to me.
So being a criminal was never in my thoughts. Getting out of this life the way things are going, without a criminal record, will be some kind of miracle now.
I am not the greatest at explaining my thoughts, so I hope those who feel the same can understand where I am coming from.
That scenario was never a consideration 15 years ago.
Banning this that and the other, always has a consequence, more criminals and black markets being a couple.
I agree with the sending of the books. So well done to those who thought of the idea.

The Great Simpleton said...

"I grow up in Knowle West and ended up Councillor for the area. Some of commentators here live in a different world. Presume you think legalising drugs would be a good idea or allowing women to be exploited as street workers."

Well prohibition hasn't worked, has it it? So you have a choice, continue to make these people's lives misery as they live on the edge of society without protection, or legalise it and give them protection.

We could also do with the extra taxes legalising would raise and with fewer people picking up criminal records for no rerason other than their activity offends a few self righteous people.

Guthrum said...

'I grow up in Knowle West and ended up Councillor for the area. Some of commentators here live in a different world. Presume you think legalising drugs would be a good idea or allowing women to be exploited as street workers.'

I presume you mean grew up- I know Knowle West, have the prospects for the people in Knowle West improved in the last eleven years, not a jot.

It is an area that has been reduced to utter dependency, there is very little incentive to strive in places like Knowle West.

So passing Laws against prostitution is going to stop the trade, not a hope. Decriminalising
and ensuring that women involved in the trade are operating in safe establishments and able to access medical services in the honest way as in many European countries. Nope for new Labour it is always the quick fix of another Law and a ban.

Even the Police admit they have lost the war against drugs, the drugs trade is in the hands of gun toting criminals in Bristol.

My concern is that you have turned this country into a Gulag were we are all watched, forced to pay ever higher taxes for a diminishing quality of life and Freedom.

We are now watching you

Katabasis said...

Kerry.

Please please please come to Sheffield.

I'd like to introduce you to some violent thugs, some pimps, some police officers and some drug dealers.

In Sheffield you can put these people all in the same room and nothing will happen. They all know eachother. Thanks to you lot transforming the police force into SARCS (Statistics and Revenue Collectors), they now only go for easy targets.

This kid was stabbed to death while the police were outside, and refused to go into the venue. One of the doormen who had been fighting with the gang inside came out of the club covered in blood and demanded the police go in to stop the violence. They refused. He called them a lot of useless [expletive]s and they then arrested him. This is one example amongst many many others in this city (and I'm sure many others) - many of which I have witnessed personally.

The petty criminals are picked up occasionally. The serious criminals are given a free ride, especially if they aren't white. (c.f. the Toni Comer "incident" and ask why South Yorkshire police will not go into any majority non-white altercation). That's also not to mention the incidents where the relationship between organised crime and law enforcement in Sheffield is very blurred indeed and it isn't possible to tell who is pulling who's chain.

If you - by some incredible miracle - can encourage the police in the City to do their job I might make some time to listen to you. In the mean time however, please remain in your cosy bubble.

You are completely and utterly out of touch.

Katabasis said...

Kelvin:

"If you do then I would be very happy to introduce you to some of the families that have suffered from their drug addictive sons or to ex street workers who have been beaten up, kicked in the stomach when pregnant, and lost the best years of their lives to drugs and exploitation."

I am from one of those families Kelvin (albeit not in that area). Numerous family members ruined by the above. In fact one was beaten to death in prison only a few weeks ago.

Zanulabour have made all of the above far worse as the police just go around collecting statistics and revenues now. Other people are paralysed with fear and can't rely on the police, never mind the law generally, to support them if they make a stand. Everything is in the hands of organised criminals (and a few coppers here and there too. I'd be happy to identify some of them to you....)

What do you say to me?

Kippers Dickie said...

The left does not advance its agenda so much by argument as by insult, intimidation and smear. It has its S, R, H and F bombs, standing respectively for 'sexist', 'racist', 'homophobe' and 'fundamentalist', which it happily drops on anyone who gets in its way.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Well done Kerry, you have followed the Labour "ignore the point and attack the irrelevant" tactic to the letter.

You were sent a copy of 1984 by Orwell. It is a warning not an instruction manual, said the sender. Quite right too. You don't seem to realise that you, as a Government, are doing anything wrong. Why?

YOU hate smoking, so you voted that EVERYONE shall stop smoking. You personally hate BMW drivers is the only fact that I picked up from your thinly-veiled class attack. It looks like your book donor was pointing out a local issue judging from previous comments here. The issue he (or she, it could be from someone who doesn't want their livelihood destroyed by your personal morality) raised is just one of a multitude of areas where Labour have ridden roughshod over personal responsibility, in favour of their own viewpoint, at the expense of anyone that disagrees with them.

And when it is pointed out, you just ignore it. Your puerile blog post has justified the book being sent to you. How about reading it and thinking about the message, not just the part that you can facetiously dismiss?

By the way, you should have ended with "For whom". You're not the first Labour MP today who has published a spelling or grammatical error, but why are we surprised? Education, education, education? If the MPs can't get it right, what chance the kids you are supposed to be educating, Kerry?

... do you even care?

Dick Puddlecote said...

Kelvin Drake @ 13:17 said:

"Some of commentators here live in a different world. Presume you think legalising drugs would be a good idea or allowing women to be exploited as street workers."

I think it is YOU who lives in a different world Kelvin. There are Labour MPs who actively campaign for drugs to be legalised, just as there are Labour MPs who actively campaign for prostitution to be legalised.

No commenter here has advocated either. You are aiming your personal prejudices at the wrong target.

Nice to know that you agree with 2,500 pubs being closed since July 1st 2007 too. What would you say to the thousands of people that are on the dole now just because YOU don't like someone smoking in a private business?

You're extremely naive ... you'll go far in the party.

Old Holborn said...

Hello Kerry,

I know you really hate the sex slave trade. I also know that you are one of only 646 people who can actually do something about it.

So I would like you to explain why you haven't and apologise to us, your masters, for this

I've checked your voting record and YOU allowed this to happen

Northern Lights said...

Some of these comments are ridiculous. I'm going to post her Jean-Jacques Rousseau to balance things out a little.

Jay said...

I've just watched the Remembrance Service. Presumably Kelvin Blake, who supports the Government's leadership regarding the blanket smoking ban, sees nothing wrong in the fact that, after the veterans have marched past the cenotaph and go off for a drink in one of the pubs around Whitehall to reminisce, they'll be criminals if they use a legal product within the four walls of the pub. As veterans of wars fought against overmighty regimes they are saluted; as elderly smokers they are of so little account that they are not be accommodated in comfort but must stand outside to be sneered at by sanctimonious prigs, foolishly waving their hands around to disperse the 'clouds' of smoke so damaging to their health. (By the way, Kelvin, if you were to do some research instead of blindly accepting the risible case for the'dangers' of ETS, you would realise that there are no significant health risks.) Incidentally the British Legion, which is widely acknowledged as a force for good, has been severely affected by the smoking ban. Another of those pesky unintended consequences...

The issues in question here are applicable to the wider debate of erosion of liberties and state authoritarianism. The role of the State in a democracy is not to impose its values on the electorate, let alone to do so by the inexcusable methods of bullying and criminalising huge swathes of the population on the basis of pressure from over-zealous lobby groups whose integrity is compromised by vested interests and prejudices.

A sentence in the piece quoted by pagar, above, exemplifies, to me, the foolishness of this Government:

"The group will work with the Home Office to develop their new plans to target exploitation and reduce the demand for prostitution"

Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession in the world. If civilisations throughout the millenia haven't managed to reduce the demand why would this Government succeed (and is there an acceptable reduction in demand, is there to be a target: 10% demand for prostitutes (good), 15% demand (bad)!!)? So the Government will set about trying to do the impossible: change human nature; the means employed will be legislation; when prostitution is merely less visible it will, erroneously, claim success; there will be unintended consequences, more grave, perhaps, than the origninal problem; critics will have the usual accusation hurled at them (you are racist/homophobic/ don't care about the children, other people's health, safety, welfare, future generations, the planet (delete as appropriate)).

Finally, Kerry, on one of your 'smoking' threads back in the summer, I raised the issue of the ramifications of the Government's campaign of demonisation of smokers with reference to, inter alia, smokers no longer being considered as foster parents. You expressed surprise and concern. In the past week there has been wide coverage of Redbridge Council's decision to bar smokers from fostering. Other Councils will, inevitably, follow suit. So, smokers are no longer to be judged by their contribution to society or by traits of character which are admired by society. Instead, they are to be defined solely by their use of a product which, although legal, is now the object of Government disapproval.

An incompetent government is exasperating, an incompetent, arrogant, authoritarian government is frightening.

Old Holborn said...

Kerry sweetie,
I've just scalped you on my blog

Little Black Sambo said...

Time for some kind of reply to your correspondents, Kerry? I expect you will think of something plausible.

Northern Lights said...

No one else is a fan of Rousseau then?

pagar said...

Excellent post Jay. One comment.

So the Government will set about trying to do the impossible: change human nature; the means employed will be legislation

I don't think the Government really believe they can change human nature (although bromide in the water supply remains a possibility).

What they know they can do is to use legislation to influence our behaviour and that is what Kerry will propose to do once her all party group have pontificated.

They aren't really interested in the conditions in which prostitutes work or in their safety- if they were they would decriminalise them. They are only interested in imposing their own morality and prejudices by trying to stop an activity they don't approve of.

They will try to do this by advocating legislation designed to curtail demand- by criminalising the man as well as the woman. The effect will be to force prostitution further underground and the girls into the clutches of the pimps, dealers and traffickers.

Witness the Swedish experiment.

Elby the Beserk said...

Oh dear. Kerry, I'm 57, a Labour voter from my first vote in 1970 until Iraq; never again. Never.

1. 1984. Neat way to avoid the point,by picking up on one matter and ignoring the rest.

FACT : Legislation has never made any difference to prostitution. Indeed, it misses the point - if you wanted to ameliorate the problem of prostitution by legislation, simply get rid of the drug laws. Back in the 60s, heroin addicts could register with their GPs and get CLEAN doses and needles.

You wouldn't dare do that, would you?

I would add that New Labour's belief that you can change behaviour and thought by legislation takes back to old style eastern bloc ideology.

So - we have someone reading out the names of the war dead by the cenotaph arrested as a terrorist.

We have an 80 year old man - a REAL labour stalwart - arrested on terrorist charges (for heckling a terrorist, oddly, our old Jack "swings with the wind" Straw, the war criminal).

And RIPA, used to prosecute a man who left his bin lid 4" open.

Trouble on the way, Kerry. There are a lot of VERY angry people out here, and despite what you and the media might say, there are more of us who are totally pissed off labour voters than right-wingers.

This is the first government in my lifetime that I fear. That is not right.

LH said...

This is what Labour has created: two films that sum up Britain:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKl2sEN4yNM

Versus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiWJL5BlMpQ

I fully understand why we are fighting a "War on Terror". But you allowed the real dangers to our society to fester. So you allowed the Islamic jihadis to set up shop here.Hence the French called London Londonistan. You hoped a compact of security would save us from terror, but it did not. Now you have a problem: a large radical community that you you ignored and allowed to grow through uncontrolled borders.

The cancer of radical Islam grew under your watch. (you don't even dare mention Islam now). And now that cancer has metastasized you are scrabbling around for answers. The only ones you can come up with are the ones that affect the freedom and liberty of the people of this country.

Shame on you:

The Courts lock old ladies up for not paying their council tax whilst allowing scum like Abu Qatada to seek refuge here.

The right to silence is compromised, whilst MPs won't answer questions about their expenses.

Hazel Blears and her will keep posting the happy Ramadan videos on youtube whilst planning to gag bloggers.


However, we the people of this country will not allow you to steal our freedoms. Our rights are inherent and they are not yours to play with as you see fit.

Gordon said...

Kerry, you seem to have attracted a lot of criticism for your response (quite unsurprisingly given that like Tom Harris, you completely missed the point).

Any chance that you'll reconsider and give us a proper response?

Elby the Beserk said...

@timbone

In Your Humble Opinion, you meant to add, I am sure...

Elby the Beserk said...

What was it Bliar said in 1997?

Legislation, legislation, legislation ...

Any government that seeks to change thought or behaviour by legislation is inherently fascist. And the slow legislative creep we have seen towards our own Enabling Act is a measure of this. We had the 2006 Legislative & Regulatory Reform Bill, which in true New Labour (New Stasi) fashion, hid, amidst some sensible stuff on cutting red tape, a clause enabling ministers to enact legislation with NO recourse to the house whatsoever.

Happily that was thrown out, but in essence replaced, using the sledgehammer approach, by the Civil Contingencies Act, enabling the Great Helmsman to suspend whatever. Indeed, I am thinking of a punt at Hills on said act being invoked shortly before the next election.

Indeed, Kerry, I wrote to you as a constituent regarding the 2006 act. Your reply was hilarious, dismissing my concern saying that you did not think ministers would every use this power.

It's you and us now. We hate you out here, and whilst hate is not nice, indeed, it is a horrible emotion, we HATE you. We just want you to LEAVE US ALONE, and do the job you were elected to, which is to manage the country - not to infest our every day lives with your snooping and control.

On Remembrance Day, I think of my late father, who commanded a tank in North Africa for 2 years, and saw true friends die, and his father, who went over the top twice, in WWI, got shot twice and gassed once.

Did they fight for this?

Billy Wallace said...

Hi Kerry, thanks for letting me say.

"There are alot of people out here who do not like what your doing to this country".

Arkangel said...

When MPs vote to give us back our (not your) country, then I shall extend them some respect.
With very few exceptions, all of them are self-serving, snout-dipping sanctimonious oafs.
Most of them, including your odious leader, have never held a decent job from the time they left school and they have the brass neck to tell us how and what we should do in our daily lives.
You need to stand back and actually look at what your party has done to this country in the past few years. Freedoms restricted so much that people are subject to stop and search merely by walking round Parliament Sq. Strangely enough, I thought parliament was a bastion of democracy...well, perhaps it was ...once.
Still, never mind Kerry, keep up with the expenses and the freebies which just happen to come your way. Don't worry about the ordinary people of this country as long as you're ok.

Elby the Beserk said...

LH,

Well said. Odd, is it not, that NOTHING can be done which might in any offend the Muslim community, yet Islam is touted as our enemy.

So we get hate preachers barred from entry into the country (good), and the police prosecuting Channel 4 for filming home grown hate preachers (Evidence of how New Labour have politicised - and castrated - the police force).

Mitch said...

Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense.

bofl said...

kerry! How old are you? What on earth has 1984 got to do with prostitution in Bristol?This is a typical childish reaction from an immature politician.Any time somebody says something or does something that you do not like then you change the subject and say something straight from the playground.

Perhaps if you actually got the police to do their jobs and went round and questioned every person RUNNING the brothels etc then you may put a stop to it!

Who paid for your trip to the u.s?
Was it a holiday or did we pay for it?

Were you out there representing the views of the people you are supposed to represent i.e. your constituents?

Was there some kind of vote in Bristol that demanded you go to the u.s and get involved instead of doing your job?

Elby the Beserk said...

And the BBC suborned, as well as the police force (and the civil service). No news at all on the Beeb re Straw breaking donation laws (as opposed to rules), as has been uncovered.

Now, had it been George Osborne.

We got shot of our TV. Don't miss it, we are fed up with funding the propaganda arm of New Labour.

The Penguin said...

Ms McCarthy
Your attitude continues to demonstrate the arrogance and the sheer disconnect from the real people of England that so exemplifies this New Labour "project". Fortunately, hubris blinds you to the inevitability of your becoming unemployed at the next General Election.

AngryDave said...

Kerry

The labour party has made it easy for the criminal classes and harder for the rest of us to live our lives.
The justice for criminals system absolves criminals of responibility with numerous excuses for their behaviour. Things like, 'it's societies fault' or 'they just have low self asteem'. I have never heard so much rubish in my life!
If anything, criminals have an over inflated sense of self asteem. This is because they have been given more rights than the rest of us, and they have been told that they are as valid to society as the rest of us from a young age.
As a child i was told to do as i was told until i was old enough to understand the boundaries and rules that were in place.

I live in, and grew up in, the Hartcliffe area of the city. What about the 95% of us from these types of areas who do not commit crime and want to get on in life unmolested by the state.
My brother is 17 and wants to be a nurse. Yet, he is now considering leaving college to get a full time job, because he cannot get an help or get a job that pays enough to cover his costs without disrupting his studies too much.

I work as a prison officer with young offenders, and i see numerous agencies and people falling over themselves to help these people. They spend thousands of pounds on each and every one of them, which does not include the £50,000+ each it costs to keep them locked up every year. All the while, they refuse to change their ways. Why? Because CRIME PAYS! And, they CHOOSE to.

Why are you not making sure that the 95% get what they need first, and are able to meet their potential. We do not want handouts, just a fair chance.

Istead we are legislated against and controled more and more by the state, and told it is for our protection. At least 3000 new laws have been introduced by labour, and those of us who work are taxed endlessly covertly and overtly.
Criminals will always operate outside your rules, and i would rather have more freedom than more of your 'protection'.

I am fed up with being told what to eat, what to say, what to drink, what is good for me, what is bad for me, and what i should be thinking.
I think for myself, and i am considered dangerous for doing so. You now want my DNA, my retinal scans, access to my email and telephone records. You want to watch every move i make via cctv, and soon you will be wanting to track my car.

Then you moan about being sent a copy of 1984 and wonder why it was sent.
Not everyone who thinks is a terrorist, or maybe to new labour we are?
One by one are freedoms have been striped away by the labour party, and i for one will not stand for it any longer.

You want to force me to carry an i.d card.
FUCK OFF, i refuse!
You want my DNA and retinal scans.
FUCK OFF, it aint never gonna happen.
You want me (and the citizens of Bristol) to apolagise for slavery.
FUCK OFF, i have never condoned slavery, kept slaves or known anyone who was a slave. Why should i apolagise for something that happened over 200 years before i was even born, to someone who was never a slave.

This is why you and your kind have been sent copies of 1984.

Elby the Beserk said...

11 years into New Labour

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5118537.ece

LH said...

Kerry

Look at Devil's Kitchen. He has a post about those people who dressed up as Guy Fawkes and wandered around Trafalgar Square and on up to Parliament.

Go on. I dare you:

http://devilskitchen.me.uk/

And if you dare look at this post:

"A stroll, a speech and Bloody Devil #18"

Forget the masks and frippery. Maybe even forget the arrests.Take a look at the picture of the Smart Car. The one with the CCTV camera on a mast. Then read the words:

"this little CCTV car followed us around all day "

Then find this bit in 1984:

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

Do you still not get it? Not at all? Not even in the slightest. Maybe this is the reason why you don't get it (again it is in the book):

"We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him."

electro-kevin said...

Kerry,

I didn't send you the book but I wish that I had.

My name is Kevin Peat.

Is that brave enough for you ?

Jay said...

pagar, thanks and I take your point (although I think you credit this Government with too much common sense!!).

Perhaps it's just as well that the Government's put in place all those new powers. When the realities of the credit crunch really hit with people losing their businesses, jobs and homes, and there's no money in the pot to help them, all those simmering resentments, hitherto held in check by escape abroad for a long weekend or a spot of retail therapy, are going to bubble over. I wonder if this will be the point at which the worm will turn and people express their anger through action rather than words.