Johnson calls for ‘guilty until proven innocent’ for suspected terrorists


Boris Johnson has called for the supposed British jihadi to be killed. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA

Courtesy of The Guardian:

Boris Johnson has called for the presumption of innocence to be reversed in cases where Britons travel to Iraq or Syria and said he wants the jihadist who beheaded an American journalist to be killed in a bomb attack.

The Mayor of London, who has overall responsibility for the Metropolitan Police, said legislation should be introduced so that anyone visiting those countries would be automatically presumed to be terrorists unless they had notified the authorities in advance, and joined growing calls for Britons fighting abroad to be stripped of their citizenship.

Johnson said Britain must take on the Islamic State (Isis) and “try to close it down now”, warning that doing nothing would mean a “tide of terror will eventually lap at our own front door”.

British intelligence agencies are close to identifying the killer of US journalist James Foley who has been dubbed “jihadi John”, according to the UK’s ambassador to the US, Sir Peter Westmacott.

Writing in his Daily Telegraph column, Johnson said most Britons wanted “someone to come along with a bunker buster” and kill the man, reported to be British, “as fast as possible”.

Johnson said those who “continue to give allegiance to a terrorist state” should lose their British citizenship and called for a “swift and minor change” to the law so there was a “rebuttable presumption” that those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities had done so for a terrorist purpose.

“We need to make it crystal clear that you will be arrested if you go out to Syria or Iraq without a good reason,” he wrote. “At present the police are finding it very difficult to stop people from simply flying out via Germany, crossing the border, doing their ghastly jihadi tourism, and coming back.”

The mayor said that while Britain’s recent military interventions had left the nation reluctant to wade into overseas conflicts, “doing nothing is surely the worst of all” and warned that the Isis “wackos” must be tackled.

“What is the point of having a defence budget, if we don’t at least try to prevent the establishment of a terrorist ‘caliphate’ that is profoundly hostile to civilised values?” he wrote.

It is worth while blogging the first comment from Rickylee369:

Those Bullingdon meetings must have been a real blast. In a bizarre way it seems that Michael Goves attempts to reform education are increasingly finding justification, after all, the kind of stuff that is being taught, at least in out top schools really needs to be addressed. It would appear that the better the school, the more downright despicable the lessons.

We’ve seen this with Cameron’s attacks on the poor and vulnerable, all his draconian measures coalesce into an ideological virus that infect anybody who hasn’t risen past the level of paper-millionaire… Spreading faster than Ebola, it mutates into anti-privacy measures and the freedom to protest slowly fading. The secret trials, the data-collection, fixed-term Parliaments, the inaction over House of Lords reform, the ever-lasting Chilcot enquiry, attempts to sell confidential medical data to drug companies, spying on our allies… This paranoid and presumptuous government must surely realise there is only so much that people will take, and use their weapons indiscriminately.

Still, Boris will sort things out… He’s going to be an MP, and probably run London at the same time, taking his friends in the city to lunch whilst three miles away the food-banks are over-subscribed. These friends, a group of people that hardly anybody down the pub will know the name of, have somehow managed what for generations had been thought impossible… They’d become more thoroughly loathed by the people than even politicians. Boris defends the corporate interest, and he should, our country is now so pitiful that all we have propping up our fragile economy are oligarchs and numbers that calculate the distance between excess and extinction with unerring fallibility. Industry is measured not in GDP, because the only thing we are capable of producing are pharms and arms…. Our success is now measured in Re-tweets and Likes. Boris, the bumbler is perfect prime-ministerial material for these times of attack-dogs and empty-calorie policy.

Still, at least we are traditional, and have a long and glorious history as long as you cut out the bits that are inconvenient to the narrative. We pride ourselves on the rule of law that we spread around the globe in order to suppress the natives, and despite the dubious merits of its inception there is much to be proud of. However, although we spread ‘democracy’ (ahem) to the four corners of the world, we in the UK have no constitution, no bill of rights… We rely on the technologically prehistoric Magna Carta, and on silly Lain terms such as Habeas corpus, a tradition that at least in the UK that goes back to the Romans… “Proof lies on him who asserts, not him who denies”… This is the minor adjustment to the law that our potential future PM wishes to adjust in the name of public safety.

There is of course, no justification for going abroad to fight in some Jihad, except perhaps one, that people are free to make their own choices. If in the aftermath of the chemical weapons attack in Syria that Cameron botched up the response to, British soldiers in Uniform had gone to Damascus to fight they would have come home with medals, now the situation on the ground has escalated beyond anything seen in the region since Jesus bought his first pair of flip-flops and any Brits out there will come back to custody. I do not apologise for terrorism. Nobody with a British passport has any business meddling in the affairs of the Middle-East. Take their fucking passports away and give their council-flats to refugees. What I have a problem with is this further attempt to circumvent the human rights of everybody in the country with this ‘War on Terror’ legislation 2.0, that will take the burden of proof from the blind justice of Jury’s in the name of national security.

Of course there will be the same old talking-heads on the telly trying to convince us that this is another special case, as with rendition and GCHQ before it, that if we have nothing to hide… Well, you know the rest. They’ll try to convince us that it’s only the terrorists that we seek to harm through this inconceivable action. Yet there is no proper definition of terrorist that we can measure these acts against. An animal rights protester can be a terrorist, those who chain themselves to the entrance of fracking sites could be considered a threat to our ‘energy security’. Just about anybody is at risk if they want to expose and damage the two-faced unsustainable crack-pot system that delivers yachts to people who offer the illusion of wealth to those who can’t afford to fill the tank on their second-hand car.

Johnson is not a funny guy. He is a wolf. He is a lens through which we can see our future. I hope people will see through the charade, protest and avoid this bumptious attempt at buggery. If we allow our governments the power to accuse and not follow through, by the time it comes to stepping out to register your dissatisfaction, we’ll all be fucked.

2 thoughts on “Johnson calls for ‘guilty until proven innocent’ for suspected terrorists

    • I agree, @rickylee369’s succinctness and framing of the issues within this article are an act of terror and there’s none of that ‘nail on the head’ nonsense.

      “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.” Orwell

      Thanks for your comment on the Guardian, we need more of @rickylee369 insight and hope that it is inspiring others to take a proper look at the reality we find ourselves in. Fucked will be the least of our problems. All the best!

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