Dermot Ahern - the most authoritarian Minister for Justice ever?

borntorum

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As discussed here, this week the government have introduced the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill 2010 which essentially aims to allow people to kill burglars on their premises.

This is just the latest in an increasingly long list of new provisions brought in by Dermot Ahern that have the effect of increasing the power of the State, or that have a 'get tough' intention behind them.

-Criminalising the 'direction' of a 'criminal gang', or engaging in certain activities as a member of a 'criminal gang', and making it easier to refuse bail.

-Increased provision for covert surveillance in criminal investigations

-The blanket ban on head shops

-The introduction of the blasphemy law.

Are there others that people can think of?

Given the paucity of political discourse in this country, there is rarely any coherent defence of libertarianism, and we have seen time and time again that anybody who dares to suggest that adults should be left alone to do what they want without the nanny state looking over their shoulder gets shouted down by the Liveline mob.

But after the comparative restraint of Brian Lenihan's period as Min for Justice, Ahern seems determined to create a reputation for himself as the hard man of Irish politics. What will be his next legislative crusade, and is there ever any hope that some opposition politicians might call for less, rather than ever more, interference in the lives of citizens?
 


Sync

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Well there's the Civil Partnership bill as well.

Aside from the blasphemy law which is........ludicrous imo, do you think any of those policies would be out of line with the will of the Irish people? Do you think the majority of Irish don't want action on criminal gangs? That they do want headshops? That they don't want the ability to defend their home?

I'm not saying any of the above are right or wrong, but there's no real outcry from the public or any of the other parties on any of these items.
 

borntorum

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Well there's the Civil Partnership bill as well.

Aside from the blasphemy law which is........ludicrous imo, do you think any of those policies would be out of line with the will of the Irish people? Do you think the majority of Irish don't want action on criminal gangs? That they do want headshops? That they don't want the ability to defend their home?

I'm not saying any of the above are right or wrong, but there's no real outcry from the public or any of the other parties on any of these items.
I'm not actually saying whether the individual provisions are right or wrong in themselves (FWIW, I'm opposed to banning headshops, dubious about the efficacy of the gangland legislation, and actually agree with Ahern that constitutionally a blasphemy law was required).

My point is that on most issues, other than the Civil Partnership Bill (although the cohabitation provision is strange and not the mark of a libertarian by any means) Ahern tends towards an authoritarian position. In this he is supported, almost entirely it would appear, but the political and media establishments. Is there nobody to put the libertarian case, and argue that we need less legislation enforced better, rather than this never-ending treadmill of ever more restrictive laws being passed in order to make it seem that something is being done? The Council for Civil Liberties can annoy me as much as they annoy many people, but at least they usually have the courage to go out and argue the non-populist point. We are drowning in a sea of Joe Duffy, tabloid-inspired authoritarian populism
 

Grumpy Jack

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Kevin O'Higgins? Gerry Boland? Oscar Traynor? Charlie Haughey? Dessie O'Malley? Paddy Cooney? Sean Doherty? Michael Noonan? Nora Owen?

Ahern may be a hardnut but he has a fair bit of competition there.
 

Sync

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I'm not actually saying whether the individual provisions are right or wrong in themselves (FWIW, I'm opposed to banning headshops, dubious about the efficacy of the gangland legislation, and actually agree with Ahern that constitutionally a blasphemy law was required).

My point is that on most issues, other than the Civil Partnership Bill (although the cohabitation provision is strange and not the mark of a libertarian by any means) Ahern tends towards an authoritarian position. In this he is supported, almost entirely it would appear, but the political and media establishments. Is there nobody to put the libertarian case, and argue that we need less legislation enforced better, rather than this never-ending treadmill of ever more restrictive laws being passed in order to make it seem that something is being done? The Council for Civil Liberties can annoy me as much as they annoy many people, but at least they usually have the courage to go out and argue the non-populist point. We are drowning in a sea of Joe Duffy, tabloid-inspired authoritarian populism
We're drowning in that sea and surrounded by those politicians because that's what the public wants. If a libertarian stands up and says they're pro headshops then they should go for that and see how the Irish public votes.
 

Dohville

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To deal with gun crime, he went after the legally held handguns.

To deal with drug crime, he made the legal highs illegal.

Next step, to deal with Prostitution, he will make it illegal to have sex.
 

blarney

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The Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 is also a fairly good piece of legislation. I just wish he'd hurry up with the Immigration Bill and speed up the processing of lengthy asylum claims (for both the taxpayer and the genuine refugee).
 

j2mey

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To deal with gun crime, he went after the legally held handguns.

To deal with drug crime, he made the legal highs illegal.

Next step, to deal with Prostitution, he will make it illegal to have sex.
I've heard that you no longer have to show ID in order to buy as much ammo as you want - surely this is not a good thing - but this is how the new law works ??

And as for making sex illegal soon (AGAIN - didn't the Catholic Church do this for the last 1,000 years) - with the moronic new blasphemy law - TALKING about sex and using certain words in certain contexts could very well be illegal - nevermind the actual act!
 

Munnkeyman

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I've heard that you no longer have to show ID in order to buy as much ammo as you want - surely this is not a good thing - but this is how the new law works ??

And as for making sex illegal soon (AGAIN - didn't the Catholic Church do this for the last 1,000 years) - with the moronic new blasphemy law - TALKING about sex and using certain words in certain contexts could very well be illegal - nevermind the actual act!
Today's take on it.
Drinking causes sex abuse in Ireland.

Alcohol-induced abuse of children is rife, says bishop - The Irish Times - Tue, Jul 20, 2010
Drunk teens sexually abused -- bishop - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

Ban DRINKING!!:rolleyes:
 

j2mey

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Sorry I know this is off-thread but Munnkeyman I love your underline quote from Bertie about Haughey - 'learning from the Master', 'cat calling the kettle black', ...
 

LeDroit

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The Cohabitation 'Forced Marriage' Bill has to be the most authoritarian piece of legislation brought in since Archbishop McQuaid was in town. The State effectively marries you by default if you're living in sin for 5 years and appropriates your current property and future earnings to give to your girlfriend/boyfriend. I can't actually believe it's the law in this republic now. It's Taliban legislation. When you consider that no one was actually asking for it, you have to conclude that it represents Ahern's own moral viewpoint which is unsurprising considering his Opus Dei membership card!
 

j2mey

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I'd forgotten that he was a member of that seriously whacky, Ubba-Conservative, women-hating, brain-washing, should be outlawed, organisation.
 

edwin

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I'd forgotten that he was a member of that seriously whacky, Ubba-Conservative, women-hating, brain-washing, should be outlawed, organisation.
I see Dermo isn't the only authoritarian in town then!
 

Catalpa

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As discussed here, this week the government have introduced the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill 2010 which essentially aims to allow people to kill burglars on their premises.

This is just the latest in an increasingly long list of new provisions brought in by Dermot Ahern that have the effect of increasing the power of the State, or that have a 'get tough' intention behind them.

-Criminalising the 'direction' of a 'criminal gang', or engaging in certain activities as a member of a 'criminal gang', and making it easier to refuse bail.

-Increased provision for covert surveillance in criminal investigations

-The blanket ban on head shops

-The introduction of the blasphemy law.

Are there others that people can think of?

Given the paucity of political discourse in this country, there is rarely any coherent defence of libertarianism, and we have seen time and time again that anybody who dares to suggest that adults should be left alone to do what they want without the nanny state looking over their shoulder gets shouted down by the Liveline mob.

But after the comparative restraint of Brian Lenihan's period as Min for Justice, Ahern seems determined to create a reputation for himself as the hard man of Irish politics. What will be his next legislative crusade, and is there ever any hope that some opposition politicians might call for less, rather than ever more, interference in the lives of citizens?
Other than the blasphemy law the rest of these measures would have a great degree of popular support.

Ahern is at least making an effort to meet some of the demands of the law abiding public in facing down dangerous criminals.
 

j2mey

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I see Dermo isn't the only authoritarian in town then!
Get over yourself and off your high horse - we all think we're right if we're honest.

I've had the 'honour' of meeting several members of said organisation and I think my comments have been mild ...
 

edwin

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Get over yourself and off your high horse - we all think we're right if we're honest.

I've had the 'honour' of meeting several members of said organisation and I think my comments have been mild ...
Relax mate! Was more the 'should be outlawed' bit I was criticising. If you think that isn't authoritarian then good luck to you! :shock:
 

SideysGhost

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I'd forgotten that he was a member of that seriously whacky, Ubba-Conservative, women-hating, brain-washing, should be outlawed, organisation.
Are we talking about Opus Dei, the Catholic Church or Fianna Fáil now? :confused:

Same difference I suppose!
 


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