Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Detention Without Trial: Law and Order Tories Sell Souls


Although I am no fan of proposals for 90-day, 42-day or even 28-day detention without trial I am finding myself still opposing yet getting more relaxed over the caveated proposals now in the works. And I'm also highly amused by Law and Order Tories running round pretending to be liberals on this matter.

David Ottewell has caught the ex- hang 'em and flog 'em arse man Basher Davis (right), now a convinced liberal, at it with a parliamentary question.

Mr Ottewell believes that somehow the answer Mr Davis procured from the Home Department provides conclusive evidence of the needlessness of the proposals. Even as an opponent of the measure I don't find this logic convincing, sorry.

Eleven people have been held over 14 days since January 2004. One was charged at 18-19 days. Six were held for the maximum 27-28 days. Three of these were charged and three released.

The only conclusive evidence either way would be if one of these three or the four released without charge between 14 and 28 days were to kill 100s in a terror attack but could have been prevented with further days in captivity. This would not however be the evidence Davis is looking for in his unconvincing painting of himself into the corner of liberality.

It must be just possible that Cameron's Conservatives will do a U-Turn en masse on this measure and follow Ann Widdecombe following Smith and Brown in backing the legislation. If not will they undertake to repeal whatever law may be made - and don't forget the Lords get to maul the measures next - if they form a government in the near future?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Arse man? Oh yes, I see.

David Ottewell said...

"Provides conclusive evidence of the needlessness of the proposals"?

I thought I said: "In short, then, nothing that obviously makes the case for Gordon Brown's demand to extent the 28 day maximum to 42 days."

A rather important difference. And the burden of proof is surely with the government.