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3 out of 4 Brits are willing to ditch civil liberties

128shot

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Three out of four Brits would happily hand over their civil liberties in exchange for better security against terrorist attacks, according figures from pollsters ICM.


I see Orwell was right.
 

Brigand

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Yes. I think are a couple of factors for why that is. The first being, is that the UK doesn't have a constitution. So, take the US as being the best example, where the issues of civil liberties are taken far more seriously, because the issues are effectively 'enshrined'. Although, for the elite, the issue is more of a burden...frustratingly so.
Secondly, I think there is wider seperation between public and politics in the UK, than there is in the US. There's, somewhat, more of a "just get on with life and do what we were doing" attitude, in the UK. I reckon, this was being played alot by the US government and the Media after the September 11th event took place, although it didn't really work, too well.
Following the 7/7 event, this was exhibited in an extraordinary way in the UK. I mean, the first thing some mainstream newspapers did, was use a "get on with life" contrivance. Typically, The Sun newspaper, who showed a bunch of guys donned out in work outfits- Policeman, Fireman, Shopkeeper, Construction worker with the Union Jack flag behind them, all on the front page, with the words "We won't be defeated".
The objective is pretty simple, to stop the crowd from thinking too much about the important stuff and keep the wheels turning... and it's working.
 
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KevinWan

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Brigand said:
Yes. I think are a couple of factors for why that is. The first being, is that the UK doesn't have a constitution. So, take the US as being the best example, where the issues of civil liberties are taken far more seriously, because the issues are effectively 'enshrined'. Although, for the elite, the issue is more of a burden...frustratingly so.
Secondly, I think there is wider seperation between public and politics in the UK, than there is in the US. There's, somewhat, more of a "just get on with life and do what we were doing" attitude, in the UK. I reckon, this was being played alot by the US government and the Media after the September 11th event took place, although it didn't really work, too well.
Following the 7/7 event, this was exhibited in an extraordinary way in the UK. I mean, the first thing some mainstream newspapers did, was use a "get on with life" contrivance. Typically, The Sun newspaper, who showed a bunch of guys donned out in work outfits- Policeman, Fireman, Shopkeeper, Construction worker with the Union Jack flag behind them, all on the front page, with the words "We won't be defeated".
The objective is pretty simple, to stop the crowd from thinking too much about the important stuff and keep the wheels turning... and it's working.
I'm not from the UK, I'm from the US... but I know the UK has a constitution, just not a constitution in the way Americans think of one... The UK Consitution is composed of many different documents from British history such as the Magna Carta and I think things like the Parliament Acts.

Other than that, I don't really understand why UKers are willing to give up civil liberties... the UK has seen the Blitz from WWII, and IRA Bombings before. The 7/7 bombings were bad, no doubt, and a bit scary considering the situation (home grown terrorists, easy targets). However, I truly don't understand why they are willing to give up liberties. Here in the US nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 and liberals are having fits over the minor loss of liberties from the Patriot Act...
 

Plain old me

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KevinWan said:
I'm not from the UK, I'm from the US... but I know the UK has a constitution, just not a constitution in the way Americans think of one... The UK Consitution is composed of many different documents from British history such as the Magna Carta and I think things like the Parliament Acts.
This is essentially true, but the problem with this is that we have none of the enshrined rights that come with a constitution such as the US'

KevinWan said:
Other than that, I don't really understand why UKers are willing to give up civil liberties... the UK has seen the Blitz from WWII, and IRA Bombings before. The 7/7 bombings were bad, no doubt, and a bit scary considering the situation (home grown terrorists, easy targets). However, I truly don't understand why they are willing to give up liberties. Here in the US nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 and liberals are having fits over the minor loss of liberties from the Patriot Act...
I have to say, as a Brit, the poll quite surprises me. Judging from reactions to things like this over internet debates, and televised debates, I wouldn't have thought the number was as large as 75%. Maybe its just those unwilling to give up civil liberties are the loudest?
 

Brigand

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KevinWan said:
I'm not from the UK, I'm from the US... but I know the UK has a constitution, just not a constitution in the way Americans think of one... The UK Consitution is composed of many different documents from British history such as the Magna Carta and I think things like the Parliament Acts.

However, I truly don't understand why they are willing to give up liberties. Here in the US nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 and liberals are having fits over the minor loss of liberties from the Patriot Act...
Yes, that's quite right, the UK has a constitution much in the way a number of other countries do, which is a compostion of fundemental laws and Acts, but can be changed with a simple majority vote in Parliament. So, yes the emphasis should of been placed on the 'comparitive' part on the two different constitutions, Namely, Entrenched Supreme Law and Non-entrenched Law.

The Patriot Act: I don't see it as a 'minor' loss of liberties. It's quite a major chop on basic civil liberties...although, yes there may well be more of, an 'against' voice, made by liberals and libertarian groups, but I think feelings of opposition are to become broader.

The Patriot Act, effectively gives those in power, the right to arrest people, even US citizens and jail them for as long as they wish, without any charge, or access to a legal representative and all this at the whim of the President, who has to say "that the war on terror is now over, you are now free".
The Patriot Act II, I believe, is to bring forth the plan of actually being able to revoking peoples citizenship just as easy as that.

That's quite a hit against civil liberties, but of course, the issue really rests on the question of 'who it's likely to affect?.but, I don't see it impossible for the Police to drag people in, simply for possessing 'suspicious looking books'.
 

sitegod

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the poll doesnt surprise me at all- myself and my family have had huge rows about civil liberty/saftety issue. and I told them plainly- I will take a bullet in the head saying my OWN farewells, not on a prepared list in case it might offend anyone. (most of my family are for safety) I just think the British people have had enough of freedom at the price of terror, and want dictatorship with terror.
 

Brigand

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sitegod said:
I just think the British people have had enough of freedom at the price of terror, and want dictatorship with terror.
I think thats an unfair judgement. I don't see evidence of British people being in favour of a dictatorship.

The question of whether, there is some naivety about letting themselves head down one of those paths, is another issue but I don't see a call for a dictatorship.

The ICM poll is highly questionable, at least, if we just took it's first question.
It's pretty much a paradigmatic illustration of the "get on with it-ignore whats happening and you'll live longer". message being pushed out.


"Do you think it is right or wrong to lose some civil liberties to improve our security against terrorist attacks?"

Well look, the answer to that is fairly predictable...it's a question not without bias. If the question was more like "Do you think losing civil liberties will improve our chances in reducing terrorism?" it may well of yielded a fairly contrasting result.

This poll was also carried out 'before' the shooting of Menezes and the glaring inconsistencies in the Police reports that have come to light, concerning this incident.
 
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sitegod

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well, my opinion onthe subject has always been the same.civil liberties>safety. I didnt imply there was a call for dictatorship.. I meant literally that people are under the ilusion losing liberty will help solve terrorism
 
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