September 2003

if only this was true …..

If like me, you wake up every morning and check to see what delights the postman has left, and are then heartbroken to discover that all you got was a shitty Capital One offer, something from Egg and some Nectar or Vodafone crap, I suggest, like me, you take the following advice I found left by an anonymous user online.

1. Save every Free Credit Card Offer you get, Put it in pile A

2. Save every Free Coupon You get, put that in pile B

3. Now open the credit card mail from pile A and find the Freepost Reply Mail Envelope.

4. Take the coupons from pile B and stuff them in the envelope you hold in your hand.

5. Drop the stuffed to the brim envelopes in the postbox and walk away whistling.

I feel, just that bit better, knowing im wasting their time, like they’re trying to waste mine …..

That’ll learn the bastards.

Prof Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed BBC Radio 4

Laurie Taylor dives into an intoxicating past when he meets two historians who’ve been delving into the whys and wherefores of early anti-drug policies.

Jessica Warner has written about the moral panic surrounding Gin, who could and couldn’t drink it, in eighteenth century London whilst James Mills has been exploring the processes which led up to the first instances of cannabis regulation in the 1920s.

Their histories comprise a heady mixture of vested interest and realpolitik which continued to influence penal policies almost down to the present day.

Listen again [for the next 7 days]

Liberty’s high court legal challenge of police searches at DSEI will take place on 2 October, 2003. Were you searched in London by police using Section 44 powers (Anti-terror search powers) during/before the week of September 6th-12 “DSEI week”? Liberty needs information from you, ASAP!

If you were searched by police using anti-terror search powers, Liberty needs a copy of your police search record(s) right away!! Your anonymity will be guaranteed, but the some of the information from the record will be used on THURSDAY the 2nd of OCTOBER at the High Court Hearing (see below).

Send a copy of your police search record(s) would be sent via fax to 0207 407 5354 or delivered by hand to Liberty at 21 Tabard Street, SE1 4LA (Borough Tube).

If you have questions, please ring Mona Arshi (the LIBERTY lawyer handling the case) at 0207 378 3653. If you have any difficulties reaching Mona, contact the Liberty volunteer involved in this case – Jesse at 0781 4587 361.

NOTE: All information will be held in accordance with you right to privacy under the data protection act 1998).

A short explanation of Liberty’s high court challenge of police tactics at DSEI.

The Metropolitan police used anti-terror searches to intimidate, disrupt and deter protest at DSEI.

Liberty will challenge these police tactics in the high court judicial review on the 2nd of October, 2003.

To show support, arrive at 9am outside the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand.

For more details, visit,3605,1046964,00.html

Home secretary presses cabinet sceptics to agree to include paving legislation for introduction of national scheme in Queen’s speech

Alan Travis Home affairs editor

The Guardian. Monday September 22, 2003

The home secretary, David Blunkett, said yesterday that he was still hopeful that legislation paving the way for a national identity card scheme would be introduced in the Queen’s speech this autumn, despite opposition in the cabinet.

He confirmed for the first time that he wants to see a compulsory scheme, and that those who do not qualify for the card will not be able to work or get access to healthcare, education and other public services.

That confirms the fears of civil liberties campaigners that in reality it will prove to be a “disentitlement card” scheme.

Several leading cabinet ministers, including Charles Clarke, Peter Hain and Patricia Hewitt, are sceptical and known to have strong reservations about the introduction of identity cards.

The cabinet’s domestic affairs committee was given the task 10 days ago of making further feasibility studies before a final decision whether to go ahead with the scheme is taken this year.

Mr Blunkett candidly admitted yesterday that there was “a vigorous debate” in the cabi net on compulsion, the cost of the scheme, the technology involved, and the timing of the necessary legislation.

He appealed strongly to cabinet sceptics to back the need for paving legislation this autumn.

And he argued that without a national identity card scheme it would never be possible to establish how many illegal immigrants were living in Britain.

Asked on BBC TV’s Breakfast with Frost yesterday to estimate how many unregistered migrants there are in the country, the home secretary replied: “I haven’t got a clue… The reason we haven’t is, of course, because we don’t have a rigorous and enforceable identification system linked to a register of all those who are in the country.

“That is, of course, what we are debating in cabinet at the moment.

“Should we have a register of all those in the country and should we have an identifica tion system that relates to it?”

The Home Office has never made an estimate of how people are living illegally in Britain, on the grounds that it is impossible to know.

Mr Blunkett said yesterday that it was clear from the number of people using public services that it was wrong to claim the figure was as high as one million.

“I have to get people’s trust on asylum and immigration,” he said.

“And one of the trusts that we need is that we know who’s here, we know who they are, that we can track them, that people don’t work if they are not entitled to work, they don’t draw on services which are free in this country, including health, unless they are entitled to, and that when we find people we can identify quickly that they are not entitled and get them out.

“Now all of that, in my view, is dependent firstly on improving the whole system… you build on what is already there, 44m passports, 38m driving licences, we can build on that, and ensure that everyone has a verifiable card.”

He said the ID cards would not be compulsory in the sense that everyone would have to carry one in the street.

But the card would have to be produced when it was required, and that would mean that those without it would be denied access to work and public services.

“My own view is that the minimum is that you can’t actually work, or draw on services, register for services unless you have that card.”

Asked whether he wanted to see the necessary legislation in this autumn’s Queen’s speech, Mr Blunkett said: “It is my hope that we will do that.

“We are debating the Queen’s speech at the moment, let’s see if we can get that through.”

The home secretary also confirmed that it was his intention to introduce legislation for a single right of appeal for asylum seekers whose cases were turned down.

He will learn the outcome this week of his appeal against the high court ruling that the decision to deny welfare benefits to those who do not claim asylum as soon as they arrive in the country was illegal.,3605,1046964,00.html

Legal Action Group is running a one-day course, Recent Developments in Traveller Law, which highlights developments in the law affecting Travelling People. It is designed for legal aid practitioners, Travelleradvice and liaison workers and voluntary sector workers with a basic knowledge of Traveller issues. Local government housing, planning and education departments responsible for Gypsy and Traveller matters will also find this course particularly useful.

The course is run by lawyers, who are experts in this field of law, and it is essential to attend if you want to know about Travellers’ rights on a wide range of issues ranging from eviction to education and health.

Topics include:

 Eviction

 case law update

 the Human Rights Act and its impact on public authorities

 police, local authorities, government departments and others

 homelessness in the light of R (Margaret Price) v Carmarthenshire County Council

 security of tenure on official sites

 new government changes to law and guidance

 Town and country planning

 update on case law and planning policy

 consequences of Chapman v UK and South Bucks v Porter

 development plans, development control and enforcement

 the Planning and Compensation Bill

 Human rights

 positive theoretical UK judgments

 negative practical UK judgments

 ECHR accommodation judgments

 ECHR environmental and health judgments

 update of ECHR Roma judgments

 Race relations

 The Race Relations (Amendment) Act and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

 race equalities schemes

 Education and health

 the duty to provide health care services

 education issues affecting Travellers’ children

Details: 9.30am – 5.15pm, Thursday 25 September 2003 at 6 Avonmouth Street, London SE1 6NX, £259 + VAT.

For more information, email Legal Action Group’s Training Team at or call 020 7833 7434.

Interesting item on Radio 4 program, ‘The Message’

e-democracy :: Our politicians want a greater use of the internet to engage the public in democracy. Campaigners love it, the “Nimbys” embrace it, but what about the rest of us? We look at the power of the internet.

Program website:

You can listen to the show again [for the next 7 days] at:

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