The vote is tonight.
The former Attorney general is against it. The former Lord Chancellor is against it. many senior police officers are against it. The DPP doesn’t want it. The Lord Advocate is against it.
BUt despite no evidence indicating it is necessary the government propose to go ahead with their proposals for 42 days detention without charge (or internment as we know it) because some senior police officers want the time.
To get it through they are offering special issue legislation to bakbenchers. They’re saying its not an issue of confidence in Brown – while twisting arms and indicating that defeat would put the government in a difficult position. And they’re still wheeling out concessions.
What price our civil liberties then?
Well, about £3,000 a day if the Beeb is to be believed. So you’re detained without charge. You don;t know why you were detained. you’re locked up for 42 days and then you’re released without charge.
Your job is lost. You’re shunned by former friends. Your life is ruined. And 42 days worth of detention without knowing why you’ve been detained – and if you’re then released without charge the government propsoe to give £3,000 a day to you (for every day detained over 28 days – obviously being completely innocent and detained without charge for up to 28 days is perfectly acceptable – despite no case ever getting near that limit either).
I hope they lose – and that Brown and the strategists that occupy ministerial positions at the Treasury, in education, and in INternational Development, finally get it into their heads that alienating the liberal left by this constant move to the right is one of the reasons they’re flatlining in the opinion polls, and are regularly shafted when real people cast real votes.
That I feel more comfortable with David Davis’s position on civil liberties than that of what is notionally a left wing party says it all really.
ETA septicisle of course says it better. I agree with all he writes on this.