The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

Archive for the ‘Civil Liberties’ Category

“Hate Crimes” and equality before the law

Posted by rantingkraut on July 3, 2010

English history is the chronicle, from Magna Carta onwards, of a slow progress towards equality under the law. By the 20th century it had been fully attained; then it was imbalanced again. Creating “aggravated” crimes is a reversion to the Middle Ages when assaulting a Norman baron meant death, while attacking a churl entailed a fine.” (Gerald Warner in the Telegraph)

Posted in Civil Liberties, discrimination, quotes, UK politics | Comments Off on “Hate Crimes” and equality before the law

Tell them which laws to scrap

Posted by rantingkraut on July 2, 2010

Nick Clegg has acked us which laws we want repealed. There is a government website that asks for suggestions and allows ratings. All those concerned about freedom of speech and due process should probably endorse this one proposal:

Repeal all terrorism acts from 2001 onwards in their entirety

Posted in Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, In The News, Justice System, surveillance, UK politics | Comments Off on Tell them which laws to scrap

Another Case of Illiberal Democracy

Posted by rantingkraut on June 30, 2010

Thanks to the First Amendment, the US is the only country with non-trivial restrictions on government censorship. Ever wondered what the opposite of the First Amendment would look like? Look no further than France for a demonstration.

Posted in Civil Liberties, EU, Freedom of Speech, In The News | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Censorship in Action -Again

Posted by rantingkraut on May 3, 2010

Just in case anyone thought that New Labour’s various thought crime laws are of mere theoretical importance, consider the following two cases:

1. Atheist Harry Taylor has been given a suspended jail sentence and ASBO for distributing anti-religious material. (HT: Pub Philosopher)

2. Christian preacher Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” by a hobby bobby who overheard him publicly stating that homosexuality is considered sinful in Christianity.

What these cases illustrate in the first case is that suppression of free speech is now everyday reality in modern Britain. Not only do Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Christianity, Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, Religion | Comments Off on Censorship in Action -Again

Performance Targets and the Police

Posted by rantingkraut on May 3, 2010

The Scottish police seem to have noticed that target driven policing causes the police to focus on fulfilling targets rather than serving the public: “Speaking at the Scottish Police Federation annual conference last week she said the performance-related payment system was leading to a “car salesman” style of policing.

She said: “In Strathclyde Police we have senior officers refusing competency-related threshold payments and special payment applications as officers have not met the performance indicator targets set for anti-social behaviour fixed penalty notices, stop searches and other fixed penalty notices.” (source)

Apparently, things aren’t better in England either. One can only hope that the supposedly planned ‘bonfire of labour laws‘ will address this issue after a change in government.

Posted in Civil Liberties, In The News, Regulation, UK politics | Comments Off on Performance Targets and the Police

Stasi 2.1

Posted by rantingkraut on March 8, 2010

If the tasks of the state know no limits, the reach of its police force can know no limits. That’s why, as New Labour seeks to micromanage every aspect of human behaviour, more and more state employees are pressed to take on police tasks:

Under CSAS, a chief constable can give employees of local authorities or private companies limited powers such as the right to hand out on-the-spot fines for offences including disorder, truancy and littering; stopping vehicles for roadside tests and confiscating alcohol.”  (source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, fence posts, In The News, surveillance | Tagged: | Comments Off on Stasi 2.1

Police Raid on Manchester

Posted by rantingkraut on February 20, 2010

It appears that the police has been laying siege to Manchester city centre in a massive fishing expedition. During the operation, pedestrians apparently had to pass airport style security checks just to walk down the pavement.

Given that the alleged reason Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Drugs, fence posts, In The News, UK politics | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Banning the ‘Burka’: a poor performance from UKIP

Posted by rantingkraut on January 17, 2010

Nigel Farage appeared on the BBC arguing that face covering Muslim dress should be banned on security grounds -which seemed uncontroversial- and because it is a symbol of the oppression of women and of a divided society. On the two latter points he lost the argument to his Respect opponent.

To argue that women who choose to wear burka or niqab are as a rule oppressed -even if they say otherwise- is essentially a feminist argument which requires hefty dose of social determinism to conclude that women can’t make genuine choices within a patriarchal society.

Alternatively, one could argue that the Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Atheism, Civil Liberties, immigration, Islamism, Libertarianism, monthly rant, Regulation, Religion | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Muslim Integration in Germany

Posted by rantingkraut on January 7, 2010

Necla Kelec, a German sociologist of Turkish origin is again in the news, criticising islamism as well as multiculturalist relativism:

Kelec pointed out that Islam has a problem: ‘it wants to be the leading culture and aims to regulate not only the life of Muslims but also wants to dictate how the rest of society has to relate to Muslims’. Islam, moreover did not separate religion from politics, it isn’t secular. At the same time, there is generally no consensus on what defines its ideology. ‘Islam is everything and nothing at once. It is a phantom. Islam is -in this way- irresponsible, since believers only have a duty to Allah.’

The onus therefore ought to be on civil society Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Civil Liberties, Islamism, quotes, Religion | Comments Off on Muslim Integration in Germany

Henry Porter on the UK Police

Posted by rantingkraut on January 5, 2010

“… if I have one overriding concern in 2009 it is about the British police, which every day seem more like a force than a service, whether it is displaying violence at legitimate demonstrations, making secret databases of political and environmental activists, swooping with unnecessary might on innocent people such as the rock band the Thirst, making arrests to add to the DNA database, Tasering members of the public as punishment or treating football supporters with a shocking disregard for their rights. It has been a bad year for the police, and a worrying one for the general public who see an essential trust and respect being lost. The next government must find a way of bringing the police under control and making them realise that they are the servants, not the masters, of the public.” (source)

Posted in Civil Liberties, quotes | Comments Off on Henry Porter on the UK Police