“I”m sorry, but this is England, Britain, and we don’t want this fomenting of terrorism to go on.” Quite right, old man. From the Times Online, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
Tony Blair is expected to give details this morning of proposals to widen the British Government’s powers to deport and the block the entry of preachers and extremists who encourage terrorism in the UK.
The Prime Minister will not announce any new powers, rather a clarification and extension of rules that already allow Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, to remove individuals from Britain if they are deemed a security threat.
In the days after the London bombings, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Ian Blair, asked for new rules to proscribe “glorifying terrorism” and to make it easier to prosecute what he called “preachers of hate”.
This morning, Sir Ian welcomed the proposed expansion of powers: “It may have been better if it was done before, but let’s do it now,” he told GMTV.
Sir Ian also said that he believed that there was now more public support for rules to govern the behaviour of provocative preachers and extremists. In the past, critics have warned that preachers will be imprisoned and persecuted in their home countries if they are removed from Britain.
“One of the difficulties has been this idea about how can we deport people to places where they may suffer oppression,” he said. “Well, I think the public mood is shifting. I”m sorry, but this is England, Britain, and we don’t want this fomenting of terrorism to go on.”