Maybe I am getting too worked up about the David Miranda affair. However, I am too old to worry about that, so I am continuing to allow free rein to my outrage over it. In a free democracy, I don’t think one can make too much noise about this sort of disgrace.
You can see my speech to our Glasgow conference on the subject below.
The latest twist to the story has really made me breathless with disgust.
Finally, we have had the Metropolitan Police pre-explanation as to why they detained David Miranda for nine hours under anti-terrorist legislation, Schedule 7 of the 2000 Terrorism Act.
Here are their words, which apparently took learned Knackers several drafts to come up with:
Intelligence indicates that Miranda is likely to be involved in espionage activity which has the potential to act against the interests of UK national security. We therefore wish to establish the nature of Miranda’s activity, assess the risk that Miranda poses to national security and mitigate as appropriate…We assess that Miranda is knowingly carrying material, the release of which would endanger people’s lives. Additionally the disclosure or threat of disclosure is designed to influence a government, and is made for the purpose of promoting a political or ideological cause. This therefore falls within the definition of terrorism and as such we request that the subject is examined under schedule 7.
Do you see what they did there?
They’ve redefined journalism as “espionage”.
But the meaning which has me exploding with a mixture of outrage and disbelief is where they have redefined terrorism to cover promoting a political cause in a way designed to influence a government.
That is absolutely ridiculous!
So we’re left with Miranda potentially knowingly carrying material which might endanger lives if released. Since when is that “grounds for suspecting that [the traveller] … is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism” (which is the key criteria regarding use of schedule 7)?
Come off it, Met Police, you’re having a laugh!