Wednesday, June 11, 2008

42 Days and all that

Tomorrow in the Commons Gordon Brown will enter the battlefield to prove he is "Well 'ard" when he tries to force the 42 day detention law through Parliament.

As Bob Marshall-Andrews says in a piece in the Independent entitled This folly has provoked a unique alliance

The strong and growing opposition to detention for 42 days has created strange and wonderful bedfellows. Lord Peter Goldsmith, the former Attorney General, joins the usual Labour suspects in predicting ethnic and racial tension. (In view of his responsibility for the Iraq war this may reek of atonement, but the apostasy remains remarkable nonetheless.) Lord Falconer, devoid of his many jobs, embraces the Tory and Liberal opposition, while Liberty and the Director of Public Prosecutions drink happily from the same cup.

I join the growing list, which includes, a former Attorney General, The Lord Advocate of Scotland, Police Chiefs and MI5 of people who really don't understand why he wants this piece of legislation. The powers that are currently available are more than strong enough to handle any situation that does occur. Gordon Brown keeps insisting that there are threats existing which cannot be fully explained, you'll just have to trust him. Trust is a word no longer available to the current Labour Party, all trust has long disappeared.

Just to show how desperate the Government has added a last minute bribe to waverers, this time it's a bit less than the £2.7bn it tried on Crewe and Nantwich voters. It is the promise to pay any detainee £3,000 per day for each day over the 28 day current limit if the suspect is not charged. The coffers must be really low if their bribes are only worth a maximum of £42,000(42 is a popular number) now.

Claims of Ministers or police sexing up dossiers (Where did we hear that before?) have also been made by the Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti.

Bob Marshall-Andrews finishes off in the article with this.
Finally, when MPs vote today we must confront the most dangerous fallacy based upon a perception of public apathy – that they don't care. We must understand that the British do not articulate liberties easily any more than they define them in lists or guard them as properties or beneficence gratefully received from their masters above. For us, political and personal freedoms are not gifts or indulgences, they are defining characteristics as a nation....
....If Labour MPs of principle accede to the whip tonight they will deserve the censure that will inevitably follow led by the strangely united political forces whose opposition this folly has provoked.
I don't think many people could have put the case better.

Bob Marshall-Andrews: This folly has provoked a unique alliance - Commentators, Opinion - The Independent

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