I was so concerned to see the latest opinion column on your website, and the comments attached to it, that I couldn’t resist writing in to offer the counter (and only sensible) view.
Of course the UK cannot deport terror suspects. Why? Because they are exactly that – terror suspects.
People aren’t automatically criminals if they are suspected of doing something.
In this country, we have a rule of law, and our legal system is one of the best and fairest in the world.
Recently, three men who were arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences were released without charge. In a mob-ruled Britain, they would have been deported without any evidence of them actually doing anything wrong.
The legal principles that govern our nation make it clear that citizens are always innocent until proven guilty. Let me ask you, would you advocate the deportation of yourself to another country if you were wildly and inaccurately accused of a terrorism offence? I suppose you wouldn’t have a choice in mob-ruled Britain. And despite all the scaremongering, where exactly would we deport all of these people to, especially if they were British born? Do Paul Nuttall and Roger Helmer imagine a magical island will appear from the ocean where they can relocate? Oh wait, we tried that with Australia 100 years ago.
If we start deporting British born nationals suspected of terror offences, it will mark the beginning of a slippery slope.
I’m sure that everybody agrees that terrorism is probably the worst crime you can be accused of. But with all of the terror suspects deported, where do we turn our attention to now to solve the next big problem? What happens to those accused of murder and sexual abuse for example, do we deport those too? Why not if we are expelling people for being suspected of doing one thing, but not another? Whilst we are at it, ‘Mrs Jones’ down the road is suspected of speeding at 40mph in a 30mph – let’s get rid of her too.
Expelling people suspected of a crime sets a dangerous precedent, goes against international law, and our own rule of law.
If found guilty in a British court the appropriate remedy must be considered.
The majority of the population, or certainly Mansfield judging by some of the comments I have read, are confused by the word ‘suspect’ and ‘convict’.
Once the distinction has been made maybe we can talk about an actual solution to the terrorism crisis?