Friday, 6 February 2009

More Bad Law

Leg-Iron has found another example of an appalling new New Labour law. I'm staggered.

Discussed by professional photographers here, it seems that anti-terror laws will shortly be extended to impose a sentence of up to ten years for taking a photograph thta may be of use to terrorists. They are upset at the effect on press photographers, as one might expect, but my worry is slightly different.

Specifically, the purpose of the law is to tell me what I can't do. If I choose to ignore that proscription, then on my head be it. But .... exactly how am I meant to tell whether a potential photograph will be of use to a terrorist?

I took a photo of the snow this morning. Here it is:

It shows the complete inability of the UK to cope with sudden falls of snow. Is that of use to a terrorist?

It shows part of my neighbour's house, and the windows through which one might gain access in order to hide things for terrorist purposes. Is that of use to them?

This is serious. There have been terrorist arrests in my vicinity, so the local plod will be on the look-out. It won't be a defence for me to point out that I had no idea the photo would help them, or, shamefully, that I had no intention of helping them and did not actually help them. The only way I can be sure that I am complying with this law is to put my camera away. For the record, I have no intention of doing so.

Our law is now explicitly oppressive, and I do not say that lightly.


  1. As posted elsewhere:

    One thing I don't "get" is why these laws seem only to be publicised when they are about to come into force rather than as they are being discussed in Parliament. By 16th Feb it will be far too late to do anything about it. WHY DON'T THE OPPOSITION KICK UP A STINK AT THE TIME??

    To be honest I hold the Tories partly responsible for the current malaise for being so weak in Opposition. This kind of thing would never get through Parliament under a Tory government because Labour MPs would kick up such a furore.

    I am so angry.

  2. Yes, there is quite a failure there. I start to wonder what we pay them for...

    (Although the greater failure is in proposing these things, compared to not noticing them among the torrent.)

  3. "To be honest I hold the Tories partly responsible..."

    You do..? I hold them wholly responsible!