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Monday 21 Aug 2017 | 03:34 | SYDNEY
Monday 21 Aug 2017 | 03:34 | SYDNEY

'Ineffective authoritarianism'

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13 June 2008 10:27

The conventional wisdom on both sides of Australian politics seems to be that it is politically unwise to oppose measures that would improve our protection against terrorism. But Australian politicians of a liberal persuasion (note the small 'l') should take heart from UK Tory leader David Cameron. See below for his spirited opposition, in yesterday's House of Commons Question Time, to a measure to increase to 42 days the time that authorities can detain terrorist suspects. (The relevant portion of the clip is from the 3 minute mark; h/t Clemons.)

Note that Cameron makes his case explicitly on grounds that some commentators have been making for years and which is just starting to get a foothold in the debate: terrorism cannot destroy our liberties; only we can do that. The worst damage that terrorism can wreak is that which we do to ourselves through ineffective and counterproductive responses to the threat.