The Guardian reported his comments on the struggle against terrorism:
So the problems we face are the existence of politicians who disagree with the government, an independent judiciary and a free press. In short, the central institutions of a liberal democracy.
The majority of the public understood its seriousness but there were those who "just don't get it", whose opposition was undermining the struggle. They included:
- Politicians who opposed the anti-terror measures the police and security services said were necessary to combat the threat.
- European judges who passed the "Chahal judgment" that prohibited the home secretary from weighing the security of millions of British people if a suspected terrorist remained in the UK against the risk he faced if deported back to his own country.
- The media commentators who "apparently give more prominence to the views of Islamist terrorists rather than democratically elected Muslim politicians like premier Maliki of Iraq or President Karzai of Afghanstan".
Faced with this it is hard to forget that John Reid received his political education in the Communist Party of Great Britain in the early 1970s. That is after Hungary, after Czechoslovakia, after all but the most deluded had seen through the nature of the Soviet system.
It is usual, while observing that many central figures in New Labour came from the hard left, to remark that they left all their ideological baggage behind, retaining only their talent for organisation and belief in party discipline.
Yet reading the report of Reid's speech, the marxist echoes sound clearly:
The home secretary yesterday gave the thinktank Demos his strongest hint yet that a new round of anti-terror legislation is on the way this autumn by warning that traditional civil liberty arguments were not so much wrong as just made for another age.This sounds so like a marxist patronising a liberal: Yes, elections and a free press and all that were imporant in their day, but time has moved on. It used to be poverty and the crisis of world capitalism that demanded we give up our freedoms. Today it is global terrorism.
Whatever the supposed enemy, the conclusion is the same: Socialists hate freedom.