This is a sometimes 'cheesey' blog about British and American politics and anything else which tickles my fancy!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Shame of 42-Days Detention

I disagree fundamentally with the Government's stance on 42-day detention and was very disappointed that Parliament voted last night to approve it.

It is unnecessary, unjustified and unforgivable. A crass example of playing politics with our civil liberties.

A consensus on 28 days was reached two years ago and there was no need to go back and review it. I cannot understand why Brown has done it.

Certainly, a defeat would have led to a fresh round of speculation about his judgement and leadership so I can understand the pressure on Labour MPs to support the government. But, unless I am mistaken, there was little public pressure on the government to increase the time. And Brown can only play that card once.

Just because public opinion was in favour of the changes once they were introduced, doesn't make them right either. Heck, most members of the public would like to see the death penalty re-introduced but I don't see Gordon Brown leading the charge for that one. (Incidentally, David Davis supports the death penalty but he hasn't resigned on a matter of principle over that!)

Diane Abbott, whose politics normally alienate me, made an impassioned plea for civil liberties in the debate yesterday which was impressive. But interventions like hers were few and far between. Most members of the Labour Party succumbed to the pressure to their eternal shame.

The idea of someone innocent being locked up for up to 6 weeks is too horrific to imagine. And yet the Labour Party which is meant to stand up for the marginalised, the unpopular and those who are suspected, rolled over and gave the Prime Minister his Pyrrhic victory.

A bad day for the Labour Party, a bad day for democracy, a bad day for Britain.

1 comment:

TP said...

bloody hell - this is fantastic!