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« John Leo: Deaniacs are today's McGovernites | Main | Nicholas Kristof: Bleeding Hearts Of The World, Unite! »

Comments

Editor

Agreed on China. Charles Powell's kow-towing performance on Today this morning was sickening.

Editor

Returning to the main thrust of this thread....

Good to see Ann Widdecombe siding with Labour on the terror laws.

A good number of Tory MPs want us to be more open to the advice of the police and security services.

Public opinion (YouGov/ Populus) is clearly on Blair's side on this.

Selsdon Man

I support our frontbench team's principled stance against the united forces of authoritariansm.

Shaun

"Public opinion (YouGov/ Populus) is clearly on Blair's side on this."

I am not all sure why majority opinion should justify changes in the legal system. Britain is not a populist democracy. We are a liberal democracy where human rights and civil liberties should be protected even if the majority feels it is right to violate them. I support the Conservative Party's stance against such police state measures. Remember what happened after the Guilford and Birmingham bombings! If the majority of people bays for blood, we should not indulge them.

Shaun

"people bays for blood"
Oops! My concordes went a bit haywire there.

Editor

Shaun: you're right - public opinion shouldn't dictate our laws but politicians often ignore it at their electoral peril.

Editor

Shaun: you're right - public opinion shouldn't dictate our laws but politicians often ignore it at their electoral peril.

Selsdon Man

"A good number of Tory MPs want us to be more open to the advice of the police and security services."

Apart from Widdy, WHO? Let's name and shame them!

Alex W

Is there any real evidence that this will help the fight against terrorism? Being "tough" on terror is vacuous populist grandstanding if it doesn't actually help win the war on terror: we should not automatically assume that being "tough" is the same as being effective. Indeed, the major historical precedent - Irish internment - seems to demonstrate that such draconian measures merely further alienate an already dissatisfied minority grouping, potentially aggravating community splits and fuelling radicalism.

I find the argument that the police want more powers to be the most specious of all. Come every Budget, each and every spending department will demand more money whilst the poor taxpayer will want some of his hard-earned cash back. Ask any agency whether it wants/needs more powers, and it will answer "yes". No organisation will shy away from an opportunity to expand itself and its jurisdiction. Blair needs to show why this is a good policy on the evidence rather than simply saying "the cops want it".

malcolm

Being fairly authoritarian myself and generally a supporter of the police I would normally back them if they asked for extra power but not this time.
Michael Ancram gave a wonderful speech on 'Any Questions' a few weeks ago on his expriences as a minister in N.I. which led him to believe that powers such as this would be both counterproductive and wrong.
Equally I have lost a lot of faith in Ian Blair.The police 'cover up'in the shooting of the Brazilian man was an absolute disgrace and his pleas for this bill to be passed are not well argued.
Most importantly however is the fact that of all those terrorist suspects who have so far been held for 14 days (the current maximum) NOT ONE has been charged with anything!
Blair typically is now playing party politics with this issue and it seems as if the majority of Labour backbenchers (the most supine in British history according to Roy Hattersley) will support him not because he is right but for narrow party political advantage.
I sincerely hope that Anne Widdecombe,Bill Cash and other Conservatives are not so stupid as to do Tony Blairs dirty work themselves

Derek

I support the Conservative policy on this. In my opinion it ought to be possible to bring a charge against these suspects within the 14 days. If they are being arrested for genuine reasons, then why not put the evidence before a court and charge them? If not then we need to have more offences to charge them with. I do not wish to be soft on terrorism, but I believe in justice, and locking people up without charge goes against our justice system.

Richard Allen

"A good number of Tory MPs want us to be more open to the advice of the police and security services."

After this week I will find it very difficult to trust the British police ever again. The unprecedented involvement of the police in the political process that we have seen this week has been disgraceful and deeply disturbing. There are countries were the police and security services get the exact powers they want. Thank God Britain isn't one of them.

Richard Allen

"Apart from Widdy, WHO? Let's name and shame them!"

During yesterdays votes 3 conservative MP's voted against party line (not all in the same vote) with another 5 abstaining.

On the first vote (the proposal for 90 days) Sir Peter Tapsall voted with the government while Tony Baldry, Eric Forth, Michael Mates, Nicholas Soames, Sir John Stanley and Anne Widdecombe all abstained.

On the second vote (the 28 day amendment) Michael Mates and Sir John Stanley voted with the government while Tony Baldry, Bill Cash, Eric Forth, Nicholas Soames, Sir Peter Tapsall and Anne Widdecombe all abstained.

Obviously Mates, Stanley and Tapsall had objections to the party line and both Widdicombe and Cash had expressed their concerns. In the case of Baldry, Forth and Soames I am unaware if they were unhappy with the party line or if they were simply absent.

Innocent Abroad

I wonder if Dean would care to share any of wisdom about Conrad Black with us? My great hope is that a Delaware court will ask him back home so that he can share it with them.

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