Mr Clarke Goes To Strasbourg

In a moving speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke declared

Our strengthening of human rights needs to acknowledge a truth which we should all accept, that the right to be protected from torture and ill-treatment must be considered side by side with the right to be protected from the death and destruction caused by indiscriminate terrorism, sometimes caused, instigated or fomented by nationals from countries outside the EU.

This is a difficult balance to get right and it requires us all as politicians to ask where our citizens – who elected all of us here – would expect us to draw the line.

Well, at least he is prepared to defer to the electorate, and you have got to hope that they will want to draw the line the right side of torture; but is he really saying that the very principle of torture is now up for grabs?


Update: NoseMonkey covers this better, and in far greater detail here.