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In our Taking Liberties blog, not only will we keep you uptodate on the progress of the film, we'll also post news about the ongoing civil liberties movements we're related to.

Friday, 25 May 2007

It's all kicking off

It's been a mental couple of days. In no particular order....

First 5 star review!

From the Birmingham Mail - which is nice of them. And an extended plug for the film's first public screening which is at Warwick Arts Centre on Saturday 26th May. Tickets still available but starting to shift so book now to avoid heartache.

ITN News

Used a scene from Taking Liberties in piece on Control Orders. More on the Control Order story below, but it was deeply satisfying to have us inter cut with "Dr" John Reid trying to look tough outside Downing Street.

See The Clip

Myspace traffic still very strong. We should have a new viral/sketch/webclip coming very soon, so watch this space...

The Brummies are revolting!

Even though the press in the midlands is raving about the film, it is still not showing anywhere in the midlands on the opening weekend. A few people in Birmingham have started a campaign to see it, which just involves emailing your local cinema and telling them that they should screen it. Apparently Cineworld Broadstreet Birmingham is the most likely to go for it, so please email them and tell them you want them to open it along with the rest of the country on June 8th. Write to

It's been a busy couple of days in the news for civil liberties...

Google launches Fortune Teller Service

Google has taken it's smug hype to a whole new level by saying that it will soon be able to use what it knows about you from your Internet behaviour, to start telling you how you can live your life. The CEO Eric Schmidt (a man who is so damn cool and smug he has a full size snooker table in his toilet) gleefully told a conference in London "The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask questions such as:
-'What shall I do tomorrow?', and
-'What job shall I take?'."
Presumably the correct responses are:
-'Tomorrow I shall remove Google from my homepage as they are using private data to make even more money out of me', and
-'any job other than work for google as they obviously have less respect for individual privacy than New Labour.'

John McCarthy Condemns "24"

For helping make torture acceptable. John knows better than anyone what a barbaric and completely counter productive practice torture is, so it's good to see him lining up to slate the crypto-facist wankfest that is "24". Taking Liberties has it's own pop at "24" for much the same reason, he also uses the same clip in his argument as we use in the film (Jack Baur shoots man in the knee and threatens to do the other one unless he talks)

The current resurgence in the use of Torture in The War Against Terror stems from the myth that is the "ticking clock" argument: A bomb's about to go off, and the only way to stop it is to torture someone to get the information you need. The only problem with this argument is that this has never happened once in the history of the world ever. When the proponents of Torture (George Bush, Tony Blair, Jack Straw, "Dr" John Reid and Rupert Murdoch) tell us that Torture is sometimes necessary, they can never describe a single occasion where the ticking clock scenario has actually happened.

Control Order Suspects still on the run.

So to avoid embarrassment, John Reid wants to declare a state of emergency. This was the subject of the ITN news story that used a couple of clips on the film, and the row is still showing no signs of going away. A quick recap:

-A cornerstone of the the Rule of Law is that no one can be detained unless they have been charged with a crime.
-When Britain has tried Internment (ie locking people up without charge) in Northern Ireland in the 70's, it backfired completely and actually helped recruit people to the IRA.
-After 9/11 Blair and Blunkett panicked and brought in a law that gave them the power to detain foreign suspected terrorists without charge. They tried to derogate from the Human Rights Act with the claim that there was "a genuine threat to the life of the nation".
-When the law was tested in 2004, the Law Lords threw out this argument and declared that the real threat to the life of the nation was not from terrorism, but from laws like that.
-Blair and Charles Clarke went back to the drawing board and came up with "Control Orders". This means that the home secretary can now put anyone under house arrest without charge. All he needs is a reasonable suspicion (no need for evidence) and you can be held indefinitely.
-The first problem with this is that completely innocent people end up getting completely screwed - one of them is Mouloud Shihali whose devastating story is told in the film (and this is the clip they used on ITN News)
-The other problem is that people who really are dangerous aren't charged and locked up properly... they just get left on control orders from which anyone can escape from if they put their mind to it.
-At the moment 6 of the 17 people who were placed under control orders are currently on the run. The Government on the one hand has said that these men are so dangerous that they need to be placed under house arrest without charge, but as soon as they do a runner we are told they aren't dangerous in the slightest and there is no need to panic.
-"Dr" John Reid yesterday blamed the whole scenario on whinging Liberals like us, and said that if only he had the power to lock up anyone he wants and throw away the key, we would all be completely safe.
-"Dr" Reid, has also said that he is going to declare a "state of emergency" in order to overturn the offending part of the human rights act (ie the presumption of innocence, Habeas Corpus and other pesky rights) so that he can detain who he wants with impunity.

But what is this state of emergency? Where are all these terrorist attacks that we keep being told are going to happen? And if these men really are that dangerous, why don't the police charge them in the usual way, try them before a jury, and if guilty put them in prison where they belong? New Labour is the very first to howl about "innocent until proven guilty" when it comes to the cash for honours affair, but as soon as the "suspect" is a dodgy looking Muslim bloke with a beard then the rule of law no longer applies.

Amnesty International condemns New Labour. Again.

Not that New Labour is going to take a blind bit of notice, but Amnesty's annual report has condemned Britain's record on Human rights, from curtailing the free speech of anti war protesters, to failing to stand up to the US over Guantanamo Bay. Tony Blair's response? Books himself in for a manicure before his tough day on the sofa with Richard and Judy...

And finally...

Robert Rodriguez to remake Barbarella

OK nothing whatsoever to do with civil liberties, but looks pretty damn cool.


Tim said...

No link to the Birmingham Mail review!

lethalbuzzle said...

I was just gonna say that... link too big tho. Try this -

Taking Liberties said...

thanks will correct

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