Bob Geldof on Liberty

Bob Geldof wrote a fantastic opinion piece in the Telegraph which is worth a read by everyone in the United States. That awful telecom immunity thing has been passed and already signed into law and I find myself incredibly disappointed with Obama for voting for it. But Geldof’s words resonate:

Let us be grand for once, for we talk of great subjects. Ask “what is the point of Britain?” if we so casually give up the liberty which defines this country, its greatest gift to the world.

Still today, 800 years later, Magna Carta resonates: “To no man will we deny, To no man will we delay, Justice and Right.” Is that not grand, worthy of your vote? Is habeas corpus to be traduced in one sad moment of political expediency? Do we not clearly deny and delay Justice and Right when we imprison a person for 42 days without charge?.

What existential threat do we face greater than those of the past 800 years? What great terror exists today that not civil war, not world war, nor recent other terrorisms could make our forefathers change the fundamental basis of this state? What is so dangerous that our oldest statutes could be upended for such a ha’p’orth of momentary panic?.

What terrorises the terrorists is our civilisation. What those unthinking fools of fundamentalism fear most are the freedoms our representatives now strip away. This “war on terror” is against Islamist forces that reject the Enlightenment..

How can we ever succeed, if we side with our opponents in rejecting those ideals? Every moment we are spied on by the invisible watchers, every time we are monitored, every time we are logged on databanks, they win. And every time we accept it, we lose.

Stirring words. Every day our “War on Terror” makes us more like them and less like us. Yet the supporters of these acts claim that this is the only way to protect our liberties and our way of life. They must have no sense of irony. You protect liberty by taking it away? Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what “protect” means?