Be careful what you dream of...

So the two administrations in Dublin and London are taking away our right to bail, our right to our reputation, our right to fair trial, our right to trial by jury, free passage through our own streets, our right to be considered innocent until proved guilty, etc, etc.

Yes, we know all that but if you think that is all they are doing, think again. The police down south a couple of weeks ago seized money from a republican association. No warrants required. No court order required.

Nothing required. Just seized. And the reason? The police said the reason was that they were concerned about how this money might be used.

Just think of that now.

So, you are walking down Royal Avenue or up Grafton Street, along comes a policeman or, even more shamefully, a policewoman, and he or she says, “What is that ye have in yer fisht? ’Tis money, give it to me.”

No warrant. No court order, nothing. Just hand it over.

“But why, constable (or do they still call them Gardai down there?), I am going shopping for a new pair of shoes.”

“Ah yes, but we know you are a republican, and we are worried that you might use the money for bad purposes.”

What bad purpose? Getting into a dirty show maybe? No. A brothel perhaps? No. Giving a subscription to a satanist society? No. No, we're just worried that you might use the money in a way we do not approve of.

Now you think that's crazy, don't you ? Well, it’s not. It happened just a couple of weeks ago. The money was seized, and that, in writing, was the explanation the police gave. So the police can now seize your money because they are concerned about how you might use it.

Not a bit of wonder, because already they can seize your house and all your belongings by just saying you got them the wrong way, so this new thing is just extending what they can do already. That is how police in that kind of state do their business. One step after another, seeing how far they can go each time and get away with it. And if nobody cries halt...?

Now they can seize our possessions because they say we got them wrongly, and they can seize our possessions because they say we will use them wrongly!

This is, we may suppose, the present Department of Justice in Dublin creating its own new world order. The British administration always did it, of course, so it is nothing new for them.

And if you think that is all, think again, and again.

Now you can be had up and attacked not just for what you said and wrote but for what you have never said or written but might say or write. In other words, I can be condemned for what I may write here next week. Yes, I can.

Not for what I wrote last week, mind you, that is already provided for in the various repressive laws. No, I can now be condemned for what I might write next week or next month or next year.

You think that's a joke, don't you? Well, it's not. To be precise, a Mr McDowell in Dublin has condemned the new daily newspaper Daily Ireland – before it has even had one word printed! Now that's justice for you.

Yes, an outright condemnation before publication by the minister in charge of, what was that thing they used to talk about down there, ah yes, justice. One could hardly imagine anything more unjust than condemning people not for what they do (without evidence of course ) but for what they might do.
The Department of Justice is clearly operating along the same lines as the old moralists who used to say

1) if you do a wrong thing it's a sin and
2) if you don't do it but intend to do it, it's a sin and
3) if you don't do it but think about doing it it's a sin and
4) when in doubt that's a sin too.

What a pity the minister for, what was that word again, ah yes, justice, seems to have followed a tradition we thought we were getting rid of.

Friends of these two administrations – loyalists, unionists, political cheats, war-makers and so forth, are not punished for what they did or said – decent people are punished for what they might do and say. Handy, Andy.
Now let's see, are there any other human or civic rights you can think of that they are not taking away?

The right to be cherished as one of the children of the nation? No that's gone.
Freedom of religious belief? Well, apart from RTé and BBC and walking peacefully up and down the Shankill that's more or less still there.

Freedom of political expression? Well, that disappeared long ago.
Yes, most of them are gone.

So now it's the turn of the Thought Police. That fellow over there, he may be thinking of doing something wrong, get him. Here, you – you're thinking of doing something wrong, I know you are, you've got a pen and a bit of paper and a copy of a forbidden newspaper.

Any suggestions for further destruction of human and civil rights, please send them on a postcard to the Department of Justice, Dublin One. Don't bother to send an extra one to the relevant British departments. They get copies anyway.

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