John le Carré: Britons have been 'stripped' of civil liberties

Nicole Martin and Christopher Hope
London Telegraph
Tuesday, Sept 23, 2008

Britons have been "stripped" of their civil liberties amid an "atmosphere of panic" over the threat from terrorism, according to the novelist John le Carré.

In a rare public intervention, the spy author criticised ministers for voting to extend the time limit that terror suspects can be held without charge to 42 days.

His comments come only weeks ahead of a key vote in the House of Lords that could see peers throw out the Government's controversial 42-day proposals.

The writer, who admitted he has a reputation as "an angry old man", said he was furious that the Government had been allowed to get away with a sustained attack on civil liberties.

"Partly, I'm angry that there is so little anger around me at what is being done to our society, supposedly in order to protect it," said the 76-year-old in an interview in Waterstone's magazine.

"We have been taken to war under false pretences, and stripped of our civil rights in an atmosphere of panic. Our lawyers don't take to the streets as they have done in Pakistan.

Full article here

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