Monday, November 14, 2005

Blair won't back down

It looks like Tony Blair's need to have a 90 day detention period hasn't gone away- despite his embarrassing defeat in the Commons. He intends to re-introduce the legislation with a single caveat, a one year sunset period. If the security services cannot show that it has been used repsonsibly and without curtailing civil liberties then Parliament will be able to get rid of the measure in a year's time. Of course, the chances of Parliament removing a piece of legislation that the police will then claim is "essential" are slim. Just in case this new measure is defeated the government also has another fall-back position- a 60 day internment period.

The compromise measure floated when Blair first introduced this measure was 28 days. In the space of a week, we've doubled the "compromise". The current period is 16 days. I suppose when 90 days is the choice, 60 seems a tad more reasonable.

And amid worries that the step is the first along the line towards a police state, the Labour Party mobilised senior police officers across the country to lobby for the new 90-day legislation. Former Conservative minister Stephen Dorrell has this to say-

“We need to ensure that the distinction is maintained between the process of policymaking, which is properly for the Government, and the enforcement of law, which is properly for police.”

Of course in Tony Blair's brave new world, the police can demand measures and those measures are then proposed as law. This is the same Blair who has done more to transform the British tradition of government than anyone in hundreds of years- and its not a coincidence that he's been stacking the House of Lords with Labour cronies during his time in power. They serve as less of a counter-balance to the excesses of the Commons now and more of a rubber-stamp for Blair policy.

1 comment:

FrauBudgie said...

It's an odd world ... and yah. You're not going to get in 90 days what you didn't get in 30.

It's odd ...