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Very disappointed to hear this news.

Ms. Widdecombe always was one of the authoritarian types. Thankfully she's standing down at the next GE and will no longer taint our party with her 'Miss Strict' image.

I do hope that Ms Widdecombe and the other (13/14?) misguided and seemingly disloyal (in this case) Conservative MP's do not become the conduit for Brown's survival (and prolonging the real damage that he and his Government are doing to this country every day) by winning this vote for him. Such an act will not be forgotten easily.

Not terribly surprising - but Ann is standing down anyway!

There is something of the night about this egocentric woman. Its just her way of putting two fingers up to Cameron.

This will no doubt persuade wavering Labour MPs to support Brown and he will have a boost for a gimmick introduced just to try to wrong foot the Tories, not actually help in the fight against terrorism. When are Tory MPs going to wise up to the real world?

Is there anything or anyone that Widdicombe doesn't want to ban or lock up?

I listened to her justifying on the radio news; sickening!

She could simply have abstained when the vote came up or, indeed, voted with Broon on the night. But no she needs the publicity.Can she not see that she gives succour to Broon at a time when there is a real possibility to make his difficulties even worse.

Better still she could support the party line and be seen to do the right thing.

I like Ann Widdecombe as a woman and applaud her for having the courage to speak her mind on key issues but I have to disagree with her here. Firstly, I do not agree with the very principle of locking people up without charge for 42 days, but moreover I do not see the need to undermine the party line at this stage and on such a key vote.

There was not a shred of evidence last time why 42 days sould be needed.....and there will not be this time. It is Brown's way of getting turkeys not to vote for Christmas and then use the 'victory' to pretend he is tough on crime. As usual, the guy puts his self interest above the country, liberty and common sense. He is the ultimate ambulance chaser. Sad Ann is going to help him here.

I have never been able to form a proper opinion of Ann Widdecombe, and that's speaking as one of her constituents! She is generally a person of deep conviction and, even though her opinions are often quite opposite to mine - e.g. hunting - I tend to respect them. But every now and again, she goes off on one of these crazy tangents that I never see coming. And, despite often being told otherwise, I have never thought of her as a particularly good constituency MP in some respects.

Isn't there something of the night about a person who wants to lock up someone for 42 days without charging them?

I think Widdecombe is absolutely right on the substance of the issue, but absolutely wrong on the politics of it.

"I think Widdecombe is absolutely right on the substance of the issue"

No she's wrong on that as well. With no other country needing anywhere near the amount of detention before charge as we do, one can only asume we have a trully incompetent police force to need 28 days, let alone 42 days.

Is there anything or anyone that Widdicombe doesn't want to ban or lock up?

Posted by: Alexander King | June 02, 2008 at 18:38

Well Alexander, I hope that you are the first on her list for the locking up job. Hopefully it will be for the full 42 days - you will love it: bed with at least three good meals a day; waiter service; TV (48 inch plasma); ping pong; snooker; weight lifting; being addressed as sir; conjugal rights (tiring if you are into polygamy, but the Government gives a grant and supplies free condoms on demand); trips out and about to see the family; pocket money; no waiting to see a doctor; operations on demand or dentistry; a rebate on you council tax; a good chance that you will be radicalised and as much wacky baccy coke, and crack as you can handle - a holiday not to be sniffed at (or maybe sniffed at - what ever turns you on)

Alex you will love it, in fact I know that you will demand the law be changed to 90 days. And if you forget to take your lap top in (to log on to Conservative Home) with you, you can use one supplied at no extra cost by our nice Home Sec. Before you know it you will have an article on 'Platform' informing us of the delights of detention. Ann will be your number one politico.

I didn't agree with her wishing to ban foxhunting, but I agree with her wanting to ban terrorism and make life difficult for those so inclined.

If you hear a knock at midnight it will probably be Ann coming to take you away. It is true that there was something in the Night about Michael Howard as Ann noticed - it happened in 2005 - unfortunately, it was, 'Good-Night' (from the electorate after his lackluster campaign. Cameron must hope that 28 days does not return to haunt him - unlike Ann).

It's odd - she's always attacking 'nannying' in her Daily Express column, yet here seems more than happy to help the country along the path to tyranny.

She's going a bit doollally if you ask me.

Our beloved DC will certainly not be shedding a tear when she stands down, I'm sure.

Very sorry to hear this. I quite like Anne Widdecombe even when I disagree with her as she is very much a conviction politician but she should look to the evidence. The police have been unable to produce a single example of when a potential terrorist has gone free because evidence could not be found within 28 days.
Brown's proposals have nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with tactical party political positioning. Unfortunately Widdecombe has made Brown's task a little bit easier. I hope David Davis monsters her during the debate.
PS Don'tmakemelaugh, you used to be amusing, what's happened?

Anne Widdecombe is not an evidence-based politician. It's quite possible that this is just about raising her profile in readiness for her next TV embarrassment.

Doris Karloff is a disgrace, she should be sacked forthwith.

Very disappointing. Does she really want to be remembered for helping to save Broon's bacon?


I think you'll find that terrorism is "banned" already.

Keep taking the pills.

PS Don'tmakemelaugh, you used to be amusing, what's happened?

Posted by: Malcolm Dunn | June 02, 2008 at 21:40

I am leaving it to you and Alexander.

She will be voting for 42 days detention as a matter of policy, not politics.

She will therefore be unique.

For everyone else in favour, its the other ways round.

I heard McShane on the radio today trying to justify it.
Didn't help that the Irish interviewer [Eamonn Holmes] had been wrongfully detained himself.

As a Lib Dem, I'm unsurprised to see a senior Tory backing authoritarian, kneejerk measures that won't achieve their supposed ends, and aren't even designed to do so, but to repress people still further...

But I'm glad that people like you are offering resistance. Like Tanuki, I hope the libertarian wing of the party is strengthened when the Widdecombes and Howards shuffle out and genuine small-staters come in. Does anyone know what the 2005 intake think?

All this tutting!

I don't agree with Miss Widdecombe on this issue, let alone her support for a ban on hunting,

But let's respect, if not celebrate, the views of a parliamentarian, independently expressed, reasoned (albeit flawed) and accept that there may be one point of view on this one.

AW has never been a clone modern politician and thank God for that. There are too few characters in modern politics and I for one will miss Widdy and her idiosyncracies.

The sooner she gives it and us a rest the better. This is the first time I have supported Dave Cameron on anything so why is she against him?

Dreadful woman.

She's completely self-obsessed and deluded about her own importance.

Her famous jibe at Michael Howard was a disgrace. She had served under him at the time and never resigned. No man could have got away with being that dishonourable.

Do you remember how sour and affronted she was when she couldn't get enough MPs to nominate her for the leadership? Who does she think she is?

As a Lib Dem, I'm unsurprised to see a senior Tory backing authoritarian, kneejerk measures that won't achieve their supposed ends, and aren't even designed to do so, but to repress people still further...

Tell me again about the Lib Dem policy on pistol shooting.

As a Lib Dem, I'm unsurprised to see a senior Tory backing...

Senior only in age.

Well, if Brown loses this vote it could bring down the government - so for a conservative (who is presumably against a Labour one) to vote with them is bizarre. Ann is a character, and that brightens up politics, but she has picked a strange time to go off the reservation.

On the subject of 42 days, the last thing a politician should do is tell the police they can have what they want. Of COURSE they want detention without charge! This is a terrible situation, we now live in a country with laws which mean there is no need for the police to charge someone with breaking a law, its disgraceful. I support the police and think we should try to make their jobs as effective as possible, but it doesn't extend to turning our country into a police state. Human nature means that they will abuse any powers introduced for specific reasons - look at that Labour party activist who was arrested at the Labour Party conference for heckling Jack Straw. He was arrested by the police outside under......... New Terrorism laws. Yup, nice one.

Actually Ann is not a "dreadful woman" She is a decent soul who was personally very kind to me some years ago. She has strong convictions and she and I would not agree on various issues - notably foxhunting. She has a strong streak of eccentricity in the great English tradition of Eccentrics and I certainly approve of this - my late mother was another fine example.
I am very sad that Ann is taking this stand. She will be helping Labour and as one of her final acts as a Member of Parliament I do not think it is one she ought to be proud of.

Thank you Sally. Can folk please disagree with Ann without getting personal? Thanks.

One rebel. Who cares? She's often very right, sometimes she is wrong, as in this case. The Labour rebellion will not be big enough to defeat the government, so this doesn't matter.

Remember, Ann is now a media star.

"The Labour rebellion will not be big enough to defeat the government"

Which is the real disgrace, for Labour MP's are putting the narrow interest of their dysfunctional leader over and above that of an ancient liberty of ours. A poor swap by anybodies measure, especially when its Brown who has precipitated his own leadership crisis via his political posturing on terrorism legislation in his ham fisted attempt to wrong foot the opposition for an election he never called.

The whole thing has become akin to putting lipstick on a pig and Ann has just jumped in as a stand in make-up artist...

A sad but timely reminder of why our Party was unelectable up to 2005.

Ann is a conviction politician and she is voting in this way to be true to her convictions. There are too many MPs that are simply party machines and I am pleased that she is actually standing up for what she believes in.

"Ann is a conviction politician"

Unfortunately she wants to convict people to detention with out charging them, not the sort of conviction politician who should be respected.

I thought the government were trying to tell us that the prisons are full and we had to let some criminals out?

We don't have enough space in prisons for GUILTY people, let alone those we don't have a case against!

As a life-long Tory, and having served the Queen in various interesting times, I think that the Hon. Member for Maidstone is wrong on this one. However, Mrs Widdicombe comes from the same stock as the Redoubtable Glynnis. She is (always has been) being castigated for having a conscience and holding views not to the comfort of the Conservative sheeple. When the majority of contributors have learnt to think for themselves as to the balance of freedom against security, and not blether on about inconsequentials, then they can reasonably argue against her position. One cannot applaud such as Frank Field, Kate Hoey and the late Mrs Dunwoody for standing up for what they believe in then denigrate Mrs Widdicombe for doing likewise. 11 years of Labour spin has left it's mark in more ways than one. Sorry ED. but I feel strongly that this had to be said.

Alex Swanson, as I've said, on this site (I remember saying it to you, actually) I support gun rights. Even though the Lib Dem leadership, copying from the US liberals, don't seem to support the right to bear arms, the party still share my aims of civil, social and economic liberty, internationalism (including the bits like being pro-EU and supporting controlled immigration), environmental protection and a serious engagement with the problems of society which will actually get us somewhere rather than chasing Daily Hate Mail headlines.

But I am interested in forming a civil liberties coalition across parties and traditions. I admire Davis in particular for his stance on the issue and his opposition to Howard. I would like, if it can be had, information on how the 2005 intake voted on these matters. I have hopes for them. Not especially high hopes, but they're at least better than their fathers.

I confess to feeling a bit uncomfortable with opposition to longer periods of detention. If the terrorist threat is as great as we’re often told, Ann Widdecombe might be right, and longer periods of detention of suspects might be right, as long as they’re strict safeguards and the powers would only be used rarely. Might opposing 42 days risk appearing to be merely taking an opportunity to defeat the Government – with the help of left-wing Labour and LibDem MPs? Would it be better to work with the Government to come to an acceptable solution? This (as well as making Mr Cameron look even more prime ministerial) show we’re working for national interests on a threat to the security of the public – which should be the first concern of government.

A Spectator article by Melanie Phillips (also linked opposite) makes a case – e.g. whereas before police were able to wait to make an arrest until much closer to the carrying out of a plot in order to do surveillance to collect evidence, the different nature of the current threat (where terrorists give no warning and want to kill as many as possible) means that to avoid a possible atrocity someone might need to be detained earlier.

Well done to Miss Widdie. We need strong laws to fight terrorism. In the 80's Thacther got the SAS to execute unarmed IRa soilders and fought a dirty war. No one cared about Magna Carta then. So why is locking up terror suspects for 42 days so serious compared to exectung IRA soilders wihtout court case in the 80s. The only reason Mrs Thacther did not have to change the law was she went neyoned ther law. I would prefer we do things through strong laws. :

God is this site opinion a reflection of what Tory opinion has become on terrorism now? Christ how depressing. No way i'm voting Nu Tory.


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