James Cleverly repeats the myth about terrorism powers and Icelandic banks

I see that my MPA colleague James Cleverly has fallen (despite being a Tory) into the typical trap that usually catches the LibDems of having a Pavlovian reaction every time the words “counter-terrorism” or “anti-terrorism” are seen.

He has repeated the myth that the UK Government wrongly used counter-terrorist powers to freeze the assets of Icelandic banks when it looked as though British citizens and institutions might suffer when the banks appeared to be about to default.

The powers used were in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001.

LibDems and James Cleverly should notice that, although the Act’s title contains the magic word “anti-terrorism”, it is also about “crime and security”.

The specific power used was the freezing power and the Act specifies the following:

“(1) The Treasury may make a freezing order if the following two conditions are satisfied.

(2) The first condition is that the Treasury reasonably believe that—

(a) action to the detriment of the United Kingdom’s economy (or part of it) has been or is likely to be taken by a person or persons, or

(b) action constituting a threat to the life or property of one or more nationals of the United Kingdom or residents of the United Kingdom has been or is likely to be taken by a person or persons.

(3) If one person is believed to have taken or to be likely to take the action the second condition is that the person is—

(a) the government of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom, or

(b) a resident of a country or territory outside the United Kingdom.

(4) If two or more persons are believed to have taken or to be likely to take the action the second condition is that each of them falls within paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (3); and different persons may fall within different paragraphs.”

Even a LibDem (and especially someone who is usually more sensible – like James Cleverly) might recognise that these powers are not about combatting terrorism.  They are more general powers and are about protecting the UK economy and/or the property of UK nationals.

The question that James Cleverly has to answer – I don’t expect a coherent response from the LibDems – is why repeat something that is wrong and more particularly is he against protecting the UK economy and the property of British citizens?

7 thoughts on “James Cleverly repeats the myth about terrorism powers and Icelandic banks”

  1. Might you not better advise both Cleverley and Broxted of your previous blog post making this point some way back?

    How dumb do they plan on getting?

    I’ve never been threatened with violence by the police, despite two PCs toiling to catch me while I rode my bike without lights after dark when I were a lad.

    But two islamo-fascist co-workers in a factory in Sussex made clear that they would welcome an opportunity to cut my throat as our friendlier muslim workers made clear.

    Islamo-fascists are responsible for the mass murders of many people – most of them muslims – and HMG is absolutely right to take appropriate steps to prevent them.

    Oh, and I don’t see why Icelanders, who took calculated advantage of their nation’s weakness in the cod war, should be permitted to play Britain for a patsy again. Funny how some of the Tory right wingers such as Dan Hannan really, really, really liked the Icelandic Government which got them into such a mess – eh?

  2. Q try getting hold of this concept. Islam has over a billion followers. There may be a few bad ‘uns.

  3. Absolutely true, and other religions have a far smaller number of people killing others for what they imagine to be religious reasons too, but nothing like the same numbers, so successfully, over so many countries in the past 30 years or so.

    Islamo-fascism is a wannabe religious war, as its progenitors will tell you. You may recall the name they have for it?

    The guys in the factory where I was threatened did.

    Oh, and having been threatened by Martin McGuinness, I know the difference between his kind of “religious” war, and theirs.

  4. We seem to have had divergent experiences of Muslims. So if I were Sikh in Punjab that equates with hating Hindus? McGuinness threatened you? Like, you are walking down Strand Rd in Derry and he said “Q I am going to slot you?” Well, insert any 4 letter word and you have my opinion of McGuinness, I last saw him before the ceasefire.

  5. My experiences of muslims, including those whom most muslims would disavow, are extremely divergent.

    I’m on good – mwah mwah! – terms with the muslim Egyptian singer with my son’s popular musical group, recently deported to Egypt, whence the rest of the group have decamped.

    Sorry not to take up your point about Sikhs, I expect that they have their minority nutters too. There’s no doubt in my mind that Israel’s direction is too often influenced by theirs, especially when it comes to Gazza.

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