Letter published in the Guardian 23rd August 2005


Re: ‘Britons would trade civil liberties for security’- Attacks on London (page 4), The Guardian 22/08/2005

The news that the majority of the public in the UK would choose to lose civil rights in order to improve security is particularly disturbing for all UK residents. The government is supposed to be protecting us, but slowly our civil liberties are being eroded. Surely by losing civil liberties and introducing policies that breech the Human Rights Act, the public will be more exposed to more danger than ever before.

The proposal to ban radical Islamist groups, even if they don’t advocate violence or racial or religious hatred, is absurd. Unquestionably, by casting the net so wide we will end up with all sorts of accidental by-catch. Targeting people because of their religious or political beliefs is not the answer to security problems in the UK. Are we really recruiting the thought police, making the world of Minority Report a reality?

We must question the evidence to support the implementation of these measures and ask how the government can guarantee that these policies will be successful? Implementing the suggested procedures will almost certainly lead to further unrest, not just throughout ethnic communities. Is this really what the government and British public want?

Jean Lambert MEP