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two blairs, one attack


When political leaders such as Blair lose their grip on reality they often take refuge in draconian laws and censorship to appear strong and decisive. The current dictatorial proposals are no accident: the political standing of Bush and Blair is at an all-time low.

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair (no relation), speaking to a meeting of superintendents about the future of policing, has said troops should undertake firearm duties previously done by police officers (and according to Brazilian newspapers, it's happening already: they claim that Jean Charles de Menezes was shot at Stockwell tube by members of the SAS). Some police officers would be given extra powers to confiscate driving licences and issue Asbos on the spot.

His comments are part of an agenda that also includes the transfer of tasks to civilians and the replacement of the Police Negotiating Board with regional agreements on pay and conditions. This is the same nonsense which is being imposed on other areas of the public sector, such as education.

The government, for its part, plans more legislation on the limitations of civil liberties, and more censorship. Anyone, for instance, writing about or commenting on a recent historical event, where terrorist events took place, may be guilty of an offence and could receive up to five years. Terrorist bombs and Blair's state machine are two sides of the same attack on British workers.