The British government is about to lay out its legislative programme for thenext year in the Queen's Speech, and it is expected to include another unhealthy does of authoritarian anti-terrorism legislation, including another stab at introducing 90 days detention without trial for terrorism suspects (because bothering to find people guilty, let alone charge them, before locking them up is so last century). Meanwhile, Home Secretary John Reid is also practicing authoritarianism on a pettier scale: he wants to evict "neighbours from hell" from their homes:
Mr Reid said he wanted to give police the immediate power to close down premises being used for drunken parties, raves, brothels or other persistent antisocial activity, and to "move away from the traditional view that justice has to involve going to court".
Or indeed any testing of the evidence or ability to put both sides of the story (a right fundamental in any justice system). Instead, this will be an instant punishment, akin to a parking fine - except that it involves throwing people out of their homes. It may be "swift", it may even be "effective" (at least at shuffling the underclass out of sight and out of mind) - but it sure as hell won't be "justice".