Institute Says British People Ready To Forget Freedom
Institute Says British People Ready To Forget Freedom
Alleges that vast majority will accept total erosion of civil liberties in face of "terrorist threat"
Steve WatsonInfowars.netWednesday, January 24, 2007
The foremost social research institute in the United Kingdom has today revealed results of its annual 'Social Attitudes' survey that show an overwhelming majority of people in Britain are ready to accept ID cards, phone tapping, curfews, electronic tagging, the opening of private mail and extensions to detention without charge.
The Guardian reports the findings from the National Centre for Social Research, a not for profit organisation that conducts research for public bodies such as central government, universities and charitable organisations.
In a series of questions that ask whether certain measures are "a price worth paying" in order to to reduce the threat of terrorism, the survey (PDF) found the following:
• 81% think that following people suspected of involvement with terrorism, tapping their phonesand opening their mail is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 80% think that putting people suspected of involvement with terrorism under special rules –which would mean that they could be electronically tagged, prevented from going to certainplaces or prevented from leaving their homes at certain times – is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 79% think that allowing the police to detain people for more than a week or so without chargeif the police suspect them of involvement in terrorism is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 71% think that having compulsory identity cards for all adults is ‘a price worth paying’.
Conor Gearty, professor of human rights law at the London School of Economics and joint author of the report's civil rights chapter, said: "The very mention of something being a counter-terrorism measure makes people more willing to contemplate the giving up of their freedoms. It is as though society is in the process of forgetting why past generations thought these freedoms to be so very important."
I would suggest, however, that the results here are misleading. These answers only reveal the fact that when the word "terrorism" is used in a question, many more people automatically become less inclined to support civil liberties.
This is borne out by the fact that recent surveys on ID cards concluded that around 50% were still against them. Furthermore, if people had been asked "would you accept tapping of YOUR phone to combat terrorism?", the results would have looked very different. People still do not associate the erosion of THEIR OWN freedoms with the war on terror.
The only thing these results proves is that people are being trained to be more susceptible to the fear of terrorism and hoodwinked into giving up their liberties in the name of false security.
And make no mistake it is a false security. The questions in this survey make no sense when you take into account the fact that measures such as ID cards will have no bearing on the threat level of terrorism. The government has even admitted this themselves. So you may as well ask the question "Is having compulsory dancing lessons 'a price worth paying'?"
Further results from the survey, garnered from questions about more severe restrictions of civil liberties, reveal some disturbing signs:
• 22% think that torturing terror suspects in British jails to get information, if it is that the only way the information can be obtained, think this is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 35% think that banning certain peaceful protests and demonstrations is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 45% think that denying the right to a trial by jury to people charged with a terrorist-related crime is ‘a price worth paying’.
• 22% think that ‘during war it is acceptable for the armed forces to torture people’.
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Those who answered in the affirmative again fail to realise that the questions being asked here are ABSURD.
The results are mind boggling when you take into account the fact that Peanuts kill more people than terrorists, you have more chance of being struck by lightening than being a victim of terrorism, and its more likely that a lost deer or your own swimming pool will kill you than a terrorist attack will.
As Ohio State University's John Mueller concludes in a report entitled A False Sense Of Insecurity, "For all the attention it evokes, terrorism actually causes rather little damage and the likelihood that any individual will become a victim in most places is microscopic."
If you were to ask people "Is banning all forms of nut based snacks a price worth paying to reduce the threat of choking on a peanut?" they would simply laugh at you or think you were mad.
People are being asked whether giving up their rights is acceptable in order to protect them from a threat that is just not there.
They do not realise this however as it has been shoved down our throats for the past five years that terrorists are everywhere, lurking behind every corner just waiting to kill everyone.
In a famous speech in the early eighties, before the "war on terror"had been cooked up, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said "Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend.". Now I am no supporter of Thatcher, but the quote is key.
As soon as we lose the fear, the terrorists lose their power over us to control our behavior. If western governments were really trying to win a war on terror as they claim then they would downplay and sideline acts of terror, pointing out that an individual has more chance of being struck by lightning than being killed in a terror attack.
The British director of public prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, today rightly warned that a "fear-driven and inappropriate" response to the threat of terrorism could lead Britain to abandon the values of fair trials and the due process of law.
Giving up our liberties is what the real terrorists want and it shouldn't even be an issue. The main problem with the fallout of this bogus "war on terror", as the National Centre for Social Research has today shown, lies in the fact yet the vast majority of people don't actually believe they are giving up anything when in actual fact they are giving away everything they have ever had.