Letter: Don’t sell our freedom for the phoney war on terror

As a British citizen, I recognise the debt I owe to those who have given their blood and tears for our rights, and have lost their lives protecting the freedoms we enjoy today.

So when I read Mr R Bays’ suggestion (Have Your Say, 23rd March) that citizens must unquestioningly support the government in any actions it may take to fight the phoney ‘war against terrorism’, I was disgusted that the sacrifices made for our freedoms could be so casually disregarded.

His McCarthyite position that those who don’t support those moves should “be treated with the utmost contempt”, reads like a prayer to totalitarianism.  Thankfully, his opinions are protected by the very rights he wouldn’t mind losing to fight the ‘war against terrorism’.

The current rightwing Labour government so precious to Mr Bays has been eroding our rights and freedoms since they came to power; many new laws under the guise of anti terrorism measures.

We now live in a state where the police use anti terror laws to stifle peaceful protest and intimidate citizens employing their democratic right to object.  Because the ability to protest is essential in a democracy, every time protest is restricted, democracy is eroded.

The words of Benjamin Franklin are as true now as when they were first written – “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

Maybe Mr Bays should take his responsibilities more seriously.  As Franklin also said, “It is in the region of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

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