Monday, June 02, 2008

28 into 42 won't go!

Back in the autumn of 2005 Tony Blair experienced his first ever Commons defeat. A healthy majority of 66 was turned into a 31 vote defeat on the key vote on the terrorism bill. Tony Blair, a prime minister who possessed impressive skills of persuasion, could not convince enough of his own MPs to back an increased limit of 90 days on the detention of terrorism suspects without charge, even with the vocal support of the chief constables. What chance Gordon?

The scene is now set for next week's battle with the government apparently pressing ahead with plans that would allow the police to hold terrorism suspects for up to 42 days before they are charged.

Some say such measures are a necessary evil but I cannot help feeling that they are a step too far? What do others think?


LastWord said...

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Labour Matters said...

I think Gordon will get 42 days because he's in a hole and has listened sufficiently to the concerns to win the day. I also think that it would be a crying shame, if he does.

We need a Labour government pushing for (any) detention without trial like a whole in the head. That is what the fascists, sorry Conservatives, are for.

First it comes out that CCTV doesn't reduce crime, then we discover that youth re-offending rates have largely not budged in a decade either. Yet 42 days detention without trial is supposed to make us look tough on crime? (That can be the only excuse for such an illiberal measure, which nobody is actually asking for.)

And we wonder why the electorate is unhappy with us...

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the rather over the top comment from lastword- Given that there hasn't been a single instance of any case that would require 42 days detention without charge I think the whole exercise is pretty pointless and is designed to show Brown's toughness. My advice would be 'be tough on things that people care about-or you as a Labour PM cares about, don't be tough on something no one cares about and is not needed'.

I suspect Brown thinks it's one u turn too many to ditch the plans so he's pressing ahead regardless.

Letters From A Tory said...

Brown will concede to the rebels via Jacqui Smith and keep pretending that he's protecting us by stealing our civil liberties after eventually winning over enough rebels to secure a victory.

You can see it happening from a mile off.

Anonymous said...

What Gordon Brown couldn't have predicted was David Davis' maverick action. David Cameron must be despairing. This is because:
1. David Davis is the wrong man to be dressing himself up as a man of principle - he has form as a disloyal plotter against Tory leaders.
2. Cameron is now in a bind himself as to whether to offer whole-hearted support for Davis, but risk being labelled "soft on terrorism" - it would only take one actual attack/outrage to bring the whole campaign down in ruins.
3. Tory voters themselves are split - a number of Davis's own constituents sounded split between loyalty towards their local MP and supporting extra powers for the police.
4. The Lib Dems have already announced that they won't stand against Davis. Now all Labour have to do is make a similar announcement and Davis is left to claim an overwhelming victory against fringe candidates.
5. If that is the case, an even worse scenario becomes possible - a single-issue candidate standing directly against David Davis on the issue of greater police powers and security against terrorist suspects. One such might actually do rather well (with plenty of Labour/Lib Dem voters sneakily wading in to embarrass Davis).
6. The Tory leadership has been caught flat-footed and hasn't been in control of the situation, something any political leader hates. Davis faces exile from the Shadow Cabinet and could become a divisive figure.

Anonymous said...

p.s. I never expected the "stalking horse" to be Kelvin McKenzie (rubs hand in glee!)