Brexit – Leaving EU: UK citizens to be tortured and imprisoned without trial


In a recent article published in Prospect magazine and reported on by a number of news services, including Sky News in a piece titled "Leaving EU 'Could Boost National Security'", Sir Richard Dearlove the ex-head of the UK’s national security service, MI6 was reports as saying that Brexit could boost national security.

Sir Dearlove wrote:

"Brexit would bring two potentially important security gains: the ability to dump the European Convention on Human Rights - remember the difficulty of extraditing the extremist Abu Hamza of the Finsbury Park Mosque - and, more importantly, greater control over immigration from the European Union."

So let’s break that statement down, it consisted of two gains:

  1. Dump the European Convention on Human Rights
  2. Greater control over immigration from the European Union

Dumping The European Convention on Human Rights

The European Convention on Human Rights is a really very important document. It is a key part of what the EU stands for, and it guarantees some pretty fundamental things, including:

  • Right to life
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Prevents torture
  • Prevents slavery
  • Provides rights to liberty and security for individuals

Some of these principles trace their linage back to the Magna Carta. Yeah – let’s dump that. It’s much easier to have national security if we can imprison people without a trial, and while they are there torture them. Dam pesky not being able to do that.

Greater control over immigration from the European Union

This would increase national security, but limiting movement of people anywhere usually does. By the same metric we could have prevented the London bombings by putting in place a passport control just north of London, or placing security at the gates of every tube station, It would have worked, but it makes life pretty horrid.

When I read the Sky article I didn’t read better national security, I read a security chief saying his job would be easier if he didn’t have to follow the law. The law is there to protect us all, removing it is a dangerous step. A stronger United Kingdom will not come about by reducing the rights of each of the citizens. Besides, what is the point in having strong national security if that security reduces the real freedoms that each of us take for granted.

The Sky article instead of being titled "Leaving EU 'Could Boost National Security'", could have been titled "Brexit - Leaving EU: UK citizens to be tortured and imprisoned without trial".

Random Thoughts on the First Experience of Silicon Valley

Driving down the street passing by offices for most of the major players in my industry as just surreal: eBay, Intel, NVidia, BroadCom.. even some new comers, Evernote.

I've heard Peter Day (BBC World Service Business podcast) talk about how important Silicon Valley is - but when you see these names and how close they are it really brings it home.

Knowing that staff from these companies socialise together and the mixing of ideas, insights, and concepts that come from that - well it is easy to understand why there are so many startups in this area.

But does that mean that the same success can't be had else where ? Well no. But you can understand the advantages of being here, or at least visiting here would bring.

That doesn't mean of course that all the ideas that come out of here are going to be great - I in particular think that google glasses concept is just nuts. If glasses were such a good idea, we wouldn't have contact lenses, and hose people who didn't need glasses would all be buying empty frames... But hey ho...

It is now time to head home. Honestly, it's been educational and fun, but now it's time to head back home and I'm looking forward to that too. I'm even looking forward to my long, and delayed JetBlue flight to JFK ... once I get there I'm hoping to get some sleep or an hour or two before meeting my family and heading back to Dublin. It's been two weeks without them - and I've really felt it. To most people the idea of a 7 hour flight with two babies, while tired yourself, wouldn't seem like a good idea - but right now, it sounds like great craic!

But I do have to share my last bit of California wonder - I'm sitting here, in a bar, typing this on an iPhone via a bluetooth keyboard, while listening to music from my iPhone on some bluetooth headphones, and I'm bopping away in my seat - yet as I look up, i'm not drawing a single glance - which is impressive, given my big hair. Maybe there just a new definition of geek here in birth place of it all ?