Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


Are bankers terrorists?

Penguin Food
Originally uploaded by didbygraham

I read this today:

MSPs have launched a campaign to use anti-terrorism laws to freeze Sir Fred Goodwin’s assets, as a poll showed that most Scots want the disgraced former banker stripped of his £700,000 annual pension.

Politicians believe legislation would allow ministers to seize the luxury Edinburgh home and classic car collection of the former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) chief executive.

The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 allows the government to seize assets from individuals or organisations it believes have acted in a way that is detrimental to the UK economy.

This is a very slippery slope. It’s not that I have any great sympathy for Fred the Shred, but what he did wasn’t terrorism.

It’s urgent and imperative that terrorism legislation is revised to make sure it only can be applied in the case of real terrorism. Not to people overfilling their bin, or for negotiating a disgustingly big pension pot for oneself.

If this process isn’t halted, we’ll soon be in a situation where everything is effectively illegal – it’s just a matter of whether the government will happen to crush down on you or not.

And that will be the end of liberty, democracy, and the rule of law.

One thought on “Are bankers terrorists?

  • Harry Campbell

    Well said. Another insidious (if well-intentioned) case of “the law is what some official at the time decides is bad” might be the ASBO. Anyway the practice of misusing anti-terrorist legislation is well established, and was used against (eg) anti-globalisation demonstrators at Gleneagles nearly four years ago. Should we even have the concept of legislation aimed specifically at terrorists? Murder and mass destruction are wrong and already illegal whoever commits them for whatever purpose. Isn’t it just like saying “these people are so bad we’ll have to relax the normal legal safeguards and ethical standards and give ourselves special swingeing powers like detention without charge for huge periods — and oh look, how handy, we now have all these super gadgets we can use against whoever else we don’t like”. As if there had never been terrorism before.

    I’m getting a lot of those annoying silent calls from (presumably) phone marketing people. These are pre-meditated nuisance calls and many people find them very frightening. In fact it’s really a form of terrorism. I reckon any company that looks as if it might make such calls one day should just have all its phones disconnected to be on the safe side. I mean come on, these are exceptinal circumstances and we can’t expect to del with them using the boring old laws we’ve had for ages.


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