Roger Whittaker

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UCL and Bindmans debate last week

Tuesday 27th May 2008

The UCL / Bindmans debate last Wednesday (with Shami Chakrabarti, Conor Gearty, David Blunkett and Lord Carlile) was interesting, but rather too short to get very far in really debating the issues.

The title "Liberty and Security: Are the Rules of the Game Changing?" referred to Tony Blair's remarks after the London bombings of 7th July 2005.

It was interesting that David Blunkett came over as much more liberal than Lord Carlile, who insisted there was a "civil liberty to have the right to national security".

Lord Carlile stated early in his contribution that as the Government's independent reviewer of terrorism legislation he had access to intelligence reports (which of course he could not talk about). That made it odder that later on in a throwaway remark in answer to a question from the floor, he spoke about the possibility of "terrorism sponsored by Iran using weapons of mass destruction".

Brief report on Bindmans site:

Richard Norton-Taylor did a write-up on the Guardian's "comment is free":