It seems that hardly a week goes by without some draconian new law being passed or proposed in Britain to restrict our traditional freedoms, usually on the pretext of “protecting” us from terrorists.
In fact, the chances of an individual in the West being killed or injured by a terrorist are negligible. The chances of his life being ruined by a bureaucrat armed with these new powers are very high indeed.
Entrepreneurs are more at risk than most. Bureaucrats view us as their natural prey, as untidy and inconvenient intrusions into the ordered little universe that exists in their minds. They draft tax laws and business regulations which seem to be based on the assumption that we are all crooks who have not been caught yet. They reverse the burden of proof, forcing us to prove our innocence. The terrorist threat is a convenient excuse to increase officials’ power over us.
This is not to suggest that the terrorist threat is not real. On the contrary, the truly disgusting thing is how the tragedy of 11 September, 2001, has been exploited by the bureaucracy to do what it has long desired to do.
Most of the use of new state powers has not been against terrorists but against the public sector’s traditional enemies in the private sector.
The most highly publicised of many cases was the extradition of the “NatWest Three” to the USA, to face charges of relatively minor banking irregularity, using a law supposedly passed to combat terrorism.
Yes, we need protection from terrorists – but who protects us from bureaucrats?