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Correspondence

Spy Kids and Labour Snoops

In Great Britain as in the United States, terrorism has provided the perfect pretext for assaulting liberties enjoyed for centuries.  Torture, detention without charge, wiretapping, international databases of citizens’ private information—all have been enthusiastically pursued in the United Kingdom as in the United States.  Yet even as the bloated Labour government has begun to flounder about on the shore, to twitch with ever-decreasing vigor, to start rotting in its own blubber and methane, there have been no signs at all that it has any sense of regret.

George W. Bush may be widely derided, and his approval ratings of under 30 percent may be considered dire, but even he cannot match the utter awfulness of the 16-percent approval rating Prime Minister Gordon Brown hit in June.  Brown is roundly disliked; he has acquired the nicknames “Jonah Brown,” “the snot-gobbler,” and the “Prime Mentalist,” among others too cruel to print.  Disenchanted Labour types have been hoping for the emergence of a leader for their merry band of rebels intent on toppling Brown and saving their party from impending electoral disaster.  However, no one seemed brave enough to put his head above the parapet—best to let Brown suffer the opprobrium of leading Labour to disaster.

Then, from the wilderness, there emerged a voice of authority.  Charles Clarke is a former...

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