The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is transforming Britain into a police state, one of the country's former leading anti-terrorist police chiefs [false flag police chiefs] said yesterday.
George Churchill-Coleman, who headed Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist squad [false flag squad] as they worked to counter the IRA during their mainland attacks in the late 1980s and early 1990s, said Mr Clarke's proposals to extend powers, such as indefinite house arrest, were "not practical" and threatened to further marginalise minority communities.
Mr Churchill-Coleman told the Guardian: "I have a horrible feeling that we are sinking into a police state, and that's not good for anybody. We live in a democracy [?] and we should police on those standards.
He added: "I have serious worries and concerns about these ideas on both ethical and practical terms. You cannot lock people up just because someone says they are terrorists. Internment didn't work in Northern Ireland, it won't work now. You need evidence."
Mr Churchill-Coleman's team had to counter IRA cells which mounted the 1991 mortar attack on Downing Street. His criticism comes as Mr Clarke attempts to convince cabinet colleagues about the need for new powers.
The home secretary has already shown an appetite for the kind of political language favoured by his predecessor, David Blunkett, to justify the tools he says the state needs to fight the ongoing war against terror.
He warns of the need to monitor not only alleged terror suspects but their family, friends and acquaintances. They could be subjected to potentially daily searches even though they are not accused of any crime, he said.
He said: My first responsibility is to protect people. I don't regard their rights as absolute. There are serious people and serious organisations trying to destroy our society. We are in a state of emergency."
Mr Clarke appeared to be digging in for a long and potentially turbulent fight to achieve his new powers.
As criticism of the proposals grew, Mr Clarke gave a lengthy cabinet presentation on the plans. It is believed that some of the government's own law officers have reservations about the details of the new powers, which are needed to ensure it survives any expected legal challenge under the human rights convention.
Guy Mansfield QC, the chairman of the Bar Council, said yesterday that house arrest without trial was as damaging as imprisonment without trial and would breed resentment among ethnic minorities.
The leftwing Labour MP and QC, Bob Marshall-Andrews, called the proposals "the most substantial extension of the state's executive powers over the citizen for 300 years".
He predicted the bill could face a Labour backbench revolt of up to 70 MPs.
Tony Blair mounted a strong defence of the plans.
Speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said: "I pay great attention to the civil liberties of the country. But on the other hand, it is also right that there is a new form of global terrorism in our country, in every other European country and most countries around the world."
Some of the 11 foreign terror suspects held in Belmarsh and Woodhill prisons and Broadmoor high security hospital could be released under strict bail conditions within weeks or even days.
Lawyers will be pressing for three of them to be freed from detention under restrictions similar to the proposed new control order in a series of bail hearings starting on Monday.
The applications, on behalf of the detainees known as A, C and P, could be heard partly in open court at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.
The men's lawyers will argue that the home secretary had accepted that imprisonment was unnecessary to protect the public when he announced this week that it would be replaced by a new control order imposing restrictions on suspects in the community, up to and including house arrest. The Home Office refused to say whether Mr Clarke would oppose bail. But lawyers said it would be virtually impossible for him now to argue that imprisonment was necessary for public protection when he himself was proposing a maximum restriction of house arrest.
Lawyers believe the chances are strong that Mahmoud Abu Rideh, a Palestinian detainee whose bail application was heard in December, will be released when the commission delivers its judgment, which is expected imminently.
Mr Clarke's proposals face a hazardous passage through both houses of parliament as MPs and peers seek to condemn what some regard as a draconian extension of state power.
By Alan Travis, Clare Dyer, Michael White posted 31 January 05
Safeguards demanded for DNA database
Privacy safeguards are required to combat the intrusive effects of the police DNA database, it has been claimed.
London police may moor prison ship on Thames
UK: The London police are holding discussions about possibly mooring a prison ship on the River Thames in a bid to ease pressure on the spiralling prisoner population.
UK solitary confinement
UK: Segregation units are prisons within prisons - the places where the most unchecked brutality is meted out to prisoners. In recent years conditions in high security segregation units have deteriorated, and the use of long-term segregation as a control mechanism has increased.
Mentally ill face 'Asbo' measures
UK: People with mental health problems living in the community could be banned from leaving their homes under proposals to reform mental health law, a legal expert has warned.
UK politicians launch Blair impeachment bid
Parliamentarians and celebrity campaigners have launched a bid to impeach UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for "gross misconduct" over his justification for the Iraq war.
UK court rules to use evidence obtained by torture
Britain's Court of Appeal has ruled that evidence obtained by torture can be examined in criminal proceedings.
Blunkett to extend long arm of the law
UK: Sweeping changes to police powers were proposed by the government yesterday, with officers in England and Wales to be permitted to arrest suspects for any offence, rather than only those which attract prison sentences.
law and order days over, says Blair
UK: Tony Blair will today make the provocative claim that Labour's new five-year crime plan heralds "the end of the 1960s liberal consensus on law and order" by putting the values of the law-abiding majority at the centre of the criminal justice system.
Blair's comments reflect badly on Australia says Hicks lawyer
The Adelaide-based lawyer representing accused Taliban fighter David Hicks says the latest comments by the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on United States military tribunals reflect badly on Australia.
Blunkett's Quest, but is he on drugs?
The legislation is expected to introduce a new definition of "possession" of an illegal drug, making it an offence to have a certain amount in the bloodstream. This is likely to prove controversial - not least because some drugs, such as cannabis, can remain in the bloodstream for weeks.
Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims 'food and lodgings'
UK: We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That'll be £80,000 please.
England tops the EU in imprisonment
England and Wales jail more offenders per capita than any other European, Union country, according to new figures.
Britain ponders new terrorism laws?
The British Government is considering introducing new legislation that it claims would make it easier to convict suspected terrorists.
Charles guilty as sin? Or Lying-in-state?
Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry are said to be devastated by the decision of Royal Coroner Michael Burgess to seek a Scotland Yard investigation into the death of Princess Diana when it is clear as the nose on your face that Charles is guilty as sin?
It is up to ordinary people to raise the level of debate about the undemocratic surveillance practices of the many faceless and unaccountable agents who make daily intrusions on individual privacy, and about the apologists and propagandists for the War nn Terror who applaud every new attack on human rights and freedoms as "prudent" or "necessary". If there is no discussion of reverse surveillance in the national media, create it on the streets on a citizen to citizen basis. If nobody is talking about the outrageous assaults on privacy and human rights embodied in the new antiterrorist acts forced through US, UK and Australian legislatures, start talking about it to your neighbours and friends.
Here come de Judge - Time to Leave 
There have always been examples of rulings and interpretations that have supported the saying "The law is an ass". This is increasingly the case, because even the best intentioned judges are now facing an avalanche of new technologies and social change. But, it is no good making excuses for the judiciary and continuing to accept their strange interpretations. We must recognise that not only judges but the whole legal system will struggle more and more. In the end the whole system will become a farce. This is the way empires end.
2nd Renaissance -15 The Rabbits And The Wolves 
Historically, there have been periods when legal distinctions between animals and humans have been blurred. For instance, in medieval Europe, in the 14th and 15th centuries, numerous trials and executions of animals occurred. One source identifies 34 recorded instances of pigs having been tried and cruelly put to death. Besides pigs; rats, chickens, goats, and bees were similarly tried. Some of the pigs were fully dressed in human clothes at the time they were, inevitably, found guilty. In one case a vicar excommunicated a flock of sparrows that infested his church. All this happened despite the theological stance that animals had no soul, and no morals or conscience. They could not really be guilty of transgressing the Rule of Law.
Govt, police 'let off the hook' Haneef inquiry
8 years ago