7 of 20 Constitutional Restrictions
The Conservative does not put his trust in mere benevolence. Constitutional restrictions, checks and balances, adequate enforcement of the law and the old intricate web of restraint upon will and appetite, these the Conservative approves as instruments of freedom and order. A just Government maintains a healthy tension between the claims of authority and the claims of liberty.
We are asked constantly by Government as well as by business to trust, that we need to trust them with our security, our life, our privacy, that they have our best interest at heart. Well maybe they do, but we can only trust so far without being naive. How do we know how much trust we should show? Well a good indicator is the law. Is what they are doing lawful, is it necessary, is it harmful, all of these questions need answers, not necessarily exact answers but answers that still give us a guide to decide if we should trust.
Last week it was revealed that the United States Government has been intercepting all phone and internet traffic within the United States, so that it could use this "meta" data to stop terrorist attacks. Is this lawful? Is it necessary? Is it harmful? I don't know if it is legal or not, I'm sure this is being debated right now. Is it necessary, it seems it is necessary, terrorism exists and much of it is directed at the United States. Is it harmful, again that can only be decided with more information, but it appears at the moment as if it is not harmful.
The main problem is that it is self-regulated, where are the checks and balance's? Where is the web of restraint? Benevolence, mere benevolence seems to be the only restraint, for such a program to get our approval it must first be necessary, secondly it must have checks and balances and thirdly it must be lawful. Not so that it can tick a box and be approved of, but so that adequate oversight can be given, so that then we can know that there is a web of restraint upon will and appetite.
Upon Hope Blog - A Traditional Conservative Future