[Marxism] Blair calls for "summary justice" - says fuck the British Constitution

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sun Oct 16 20:15:02 MDT 2005

OK, I made the last part of the subject line up.

A holy Christian man like him doesn't have to say it. For you know that 
he really wants to say it, but can't. Everyone understands and inserts 
it in there for him.

Like the smell of a fart in polite society, practically no one in the 
U.S. is commenting on it. Google "Blair" and "summary justice" and 
you'll see. But silence is acquiescence today.

The reason for it could be because Blair's outburst is too closely 
connected with Labour's proposed new terrorism law, which is at least 
passively supported here by the same people that support most of our 
Patriot Act. One doesn't want to connect laws against terrorism with 
summary justice without trial by cops.

Besides, our cops don't need to be told to commit summary justice. In 
the U.S., we have both summary justice and the relatively largest 
prison population in the world.

Brian Shannon

Summary justice needed to fight crime says Blair


TONY Blair yesterday threatened to impose "summary justice" on people 
accused of offences including terrorism, organised crime and 
neighbourhood yobbery.

Claiming that the criminal justice system was "passing through a 
watershed," the Prime Minister suggested a radical and far-reaching 
shift in legal practice, hinting that many traditional legal 
protections could be swept away.

Mr Blair identified terrorism, brutal, violent, organised crime and 
antisocial behaviour as "new types of crime" that require new rules.

"You can't do it by the rules of the game we have at the moment, you 
just can't," he told a Downing Street press conference.

Mr Blair's increasingly hardline stance on legal matters has drawn 
criticism from civil rights groups. Yesterday appeared to put the Prime 
Minister at odds with Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, over the new 
Terrorism Bill which would give police sweeping new powers to detain 

Going beyond that proposal, Mr Blair suggested that police could get 
more powers to impose fines on suspected offenders, or expel people 
accused of drug crimes from public rented housing. Only after the 
penalty had been imposed would the accused have the right to mount a 
legal appeal to prove their innocence.

"Now that is summary justice," Mr Blair told journalists in Downing 
Street. "It is tough and it is hard, but in my judgment it is the only 
way to deal with it, and that comes first."

Hinting at a shift away from the presumption of innocence as the 
foundation of the legal code, Mr Blair said: "You have got to put the 
ability to protect the law-abiding citizen at the centre of it."

Mr Blair said he had lost patience with the traditional judicial 
process, because it made convictions too hard to secure.

While Mr Blair gave no details of his plans for organised crime, he 
admitted that "some people" will find them "difficult" because they 
will change long-established rules.

New rules for organised crime and anti-social behaviour will come in 
the next few months, but the government's immediate project is the 
Terrorism Bill published yesterday.

The bill's most contentious clause would allow police to detain 
suspects without charge for up to three months.

Mr Blair insisted there could be no compromise on that plan, which is 
based closely on a request to government from senior police officers.

Mr Blair insisted that he was not simply doing everything he was told 
by the police. "If they are right, then how can I responsibly refuse to 
do something that will actually protect, the most basic civil liberty, 
which is the right to life?"

The apparent split in the Cabinet over the measure was exposed when the 
Prime Minister said there was a "compelling" case for police to be 
granted the powers.

The detention clause remains the main stumbling block to reaching 
cross-party consensus on the Terrorism Bill, and despite Mr Blair's 
stance, many MPs expect the government will eventually water down the 

• Mr Blair also signalled that a controversial plan to dock the housing 
benefits of so-called neighbours from hell is back on the government's 
agenda. The measure, floated and dropped two years ago, could re-appear 
in a government paper on welfare reform later this year, the Prime 
Minister said.

"There's nothing that is ruled out," he said when asked if the plan 
could be resurrected.


More information about the Marxism mailing list