THE BLOG

Using Drummer Rigby's Name to Change Our Laws

28/05/2013 12:55 BST | Updated 27/07/2013 10:12 BST

The brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby would have shocked most of us even if we had not seen so much of it on the television - but because we did it has had an even greater impact.

I imagine soldiers just like Drummer Rigby face similar levels of violence on a daily basis on the front line in Afghanistan and yet they continue to do their duty with great courage. Drummer Rigby deserved to feel, and be safe as he walked around the streets of his own Country and we did not protect him well enough.

But we should be very slow to change our laws and further limit our freedoms because of this vile act.

It is not yet clear whether anymore could have been done to protect him - it appears the two suspects were well known to the security services and it is not yet clear that extra powers for our security services would have made a difference.

Anyway, I am not sure we can expect the UK security services to prevent every attack although they do seem to have prevented a lot over the years.

Most of the people in this Country will not let such a brutal act change how they go about their business - some showed great courage on the day of the attack by standing up to the two men concerned.

I think the rest of should show at least some of the same courage that those members of the public showed and that our soldiers show and we should not let this brutal act change how we live our lives. Nor should we further limit our freedoms by enacting new laws using the name of Drummer Rigby without even knowing that it would have saved him.

Enacting Government plans through the Communications Data Bill to require internet companies to store data about who we have been communicating with would be a further loss of freedom - that of being free to communicate without being monitored by the Government.

Already people are using Drummer Rigby's name to support their argument that we should pass this into law and yet no-one has yet shown that it would have made a difference in his case. This is wrong and may do us all a dis-service.

If it does later become apparent that had this law been enacted Drummer Rigby would have been saved then there should be further debate on that basis.

Of all the types of law we could enact that should surely deserve most scrutiny are ones that remove our right to freedom and privacy and yet they are the ones that we are told we should be passed on the least evidence. We are asked to believe only the few people in the know that this new law is required - often just the Home Secretary and the few others.

In any case it is apparent that the new law would not be aimed solely and specifically at terrorism - there are a number of agencies who would have access to the information including Revenue and Customs and even local authorities might later have access to the information if Parliament decides so.

It is clear that the new powers would - initially be used to tackle all manner of crime - most of a serious nature - but not solely terrorism. Like most powers it might well be used against less serious crimes in the future - why have the local authority option if this is not the case.

Some argue that if we have nothing to hide then we should not mind being watched and listened to - presumably those that make that argument would not object to cameras in their front rooms? I suspect we all draw the line somewhere.