Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Error in the Liberal Test

Thanks to bella, shortly and unfortunately to depart these shores as a result of the dog-bark antics of the egregious fools who oppress us, the LPUK Liberal Test:


Created by LPUK



They need to do some more error checking on their thought processes, however (I'll assume that the test correctly reflects their opinions -they're welcome to comment if this is mistaken):

It is wrong for the police to retain the DNA of anyone not serving a prison sentence?
Your answer was illiberal

There is no reason why in a liberal society that the state should be allowed to steal the property of a person when they have not been convicted of any crime or are currently serving a prison sentence.

Clearly, I answered 'no'. I appreciate that I become (Ed notes: 'even more of') a tedious twat when it comes to investigations and the law but let us assume that the alleged offence is one for which the taking of DNA evidence is both relevant (potentially probative or exculpatory i.e. the identity of the offender rather than the nature of the offence is a fact in dispute - this would interestingly suggest that from a utilitarian point of view, taking DNA evidence in typical non-stranger rape cases - 'He raped me. No, I didn't, she consented' - is pointless. Ditto fraud. But I digress.) and reasonable (severity of the offence - as opposed to the blanket approach taken by the ACPO-Stasi). Then retaining the DNA evidence for all suspects until the completion of the trial process (which with trial, appeal, House of Lords, ECHR can be forever - look at Gary McKinnon - 8 years and counting and 'we kno he dun it, giv' - Ed notes: but for a hotly disputed value of 'it') is not just 'right', it is essential.

Come on, let's start getting things correct - it is the woolly ambiguities that allow for mission creep in the application of the law.

Edited to add: 'steal' and 'property' are hardly relevant points when it comes to DNA retention either. You are hardly being 'permanently deprived' of your DNA (the Theft Act test for 'steal') even by its massively illiberal retention by the current regime and treating as 'property' something you discard unwittingly every day is self-committed 'reductio ad absurdum'.

1 comment:

bella gerens said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I agree; a simplistic test, and I love the term 'mission creep.'

The question I got 'wrong' was: 'Is it wrong for democratic nations to overthrow foreign dictators?' And my knee-jerk response was, 'Not as wrong as it is for foreign dictators to overthrow democratic nations.'

Hmph. Silly test. :-)

 
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