Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Open Sesame: Ali, Baba and the 42 Days



Hurrah! Tories have really started to come out of the woodwork now on 42 Days with a Conservative Home Editorial following a Tory Right Op Ed there a week ago. The Telegraph are reporting that anyone held past 28 days but not charged will be eligible for £3,000 a day compo which is said to be exciting interest among MPs and MEPs named after seaside towns - Conwy, Chichester, Dover - as £90,000 tax free in a month almost matches their own winnings.

You Gov have 69% of the Public wanting 42-Days with Safeguards. While John Moss, possibly the Tory 'phone canvass supremo, almost polling that, ahem, struck a chord with this comment on the Conservative Home editorial:

The day we make laws based on opinion polls is the day we take the first step on the road to dictatorship.

Which presumably scuppers the proposed Referendum on the EU Segue Treaty as well as the 42 Days? We're agin it as the Secret of the Universe that is 42 is less well founded than a Sesame Street number skit.

But at the same time we reckon one of the loons (above) is genuinely against the 42 days while the more fashionable one is protesting too much and wouldn't dream of repealling the 42 Days if he got his grubby hands on the Home Office.


UPDATE: 42 IS a magic number! Simon Mayo has just had a psycho babbling numerologist on BBC Radio Five Live confirming some of the significance of 42, 6 (4 plus 2), the date's numbers which are 27 and nine. All very interesting. He also looked up the number's impressive wiki. If I recall correctly 4 is the unlucky death number in chinese numerology and a 2 with it more or less squares the effect ... bad things come in pairs too.

10 comments:

Evan Price said...

Chris;
Even you would have to accept that there is a difference between what is promised in a manifesto in the run-up to a successful election and what a polling company finds when conducting a poll.

If the latter were the basis on which we were governed, we would probably have all sorts of laws that you and I would disagree with wholeheartedly.

As to the poll itself - if you ask someone whether they wish to have terrorist suspects detained, they will probably agree - and suggest that you throw away the key while your at it; but the people who are under investigation are not always 'terrorist suspects' at all and are released before charge. The safeguards provided for in the existing legislation are, in my view, barely adequate.

Simply saying that there may be some feature of an individual case at some stage in the future that should give rise to the right to suspend, for the individual and anyone else arrested in the wake of the first arrest to be detained without charge for up to 42 days (6 weeks) is simply not persuasive. We cannot give such draconian powers to the executive without compelling reasons - no-one should have draconian power without compelling reasons for them to have it - and to do so on the basis that one can foresee circumstances in which power may be needed is simply inadequate.

Chris Paul said...

I accept every word of this Evan, except probably the definition of the treaty as a constitution needing a poll/referendum. Which things always constitute a risk whatever the merits of the issue. Tories and LDs in govt/local power don't tend to give referenda away, but always call for them from opposition. Discuss.

I am completely and utterly against 42 days, and government by poll or focus group or triangulation. But I don't think either David David or the soul of the Tory party is against.

You see my problem?

Evan Price said...

I'm an old-fsahioned Tory who is utterly opposed to 42-days and everyone who I am discussing this issue with (including members of the Shadow Cabinet) are also opposed on principle - most will accept that they would accept reform if there was any evidence whatsoever for a change.

BTW, it appears to me that there is a perfectly reputable liberatarian streak of longstanding within the Conservatives.

Chris Paul said...

That's true. Perhaps dave Cameron has it. But does David Davis have it? Any likely candidate for Home Secretary? Norman Tebbit, Ann Widdecombe and Margaret Thatcher certainly don't IMO.

Newmania said...

You think the Conservative party could have reneged on the Lisbon referendum , told a pack of lies and slunk off to sign it missing the flag and anthem ? Be serious. Referendums are not popular with Conservatives because they undermine representative democracy. There is a special case when you are giving away powers you have been loaned and there is no contradiction in this position .The clue is in the words �undermine representative democracy �.
A concern for civil Liberties is furthermore an essential part of Conservatism cannot function at all without the possibility if organic community and change. There is no reason, obviously , why Liberty might not be sacrificed for security in principle but the case has not been made. The problem is that the Government has to show that an invisible threat is large and real ....do they perhaps possess weapons of mass destruction?

That�s the problem., no-one trusts this government .They cannot tell us what they know and we cannot believe what they hint . If David Cameron told them that the position was sufficiently serious I would believe him. For the same reason Boris , with along history of being unimpressed with �Something must be done-ism� can be trusted if he says we need to submit to searches in the fight against knife crime . This government has done enormous damage to democracy and trust with its culture of disinformation but that we know.

That people when asked would like Terrorists in pokey forever is of no importance , actually they do not care much at all. Parliamentary oversight is rubber stamp as the case, by definition can not be made and they will take the advice of the services . Frankly I find this whole business of demonising Muslims having encouraged loathed mass immigration and Islamicised whole cities pretty appalling . Picking on the Poles in Crewe was a not dissimilarly low attempt to make the Conservatives look soft. This whole problem is one of Labour�s making .


You understand less than nothing about the soul of the Conservative Party which is noble heroic steadfast soul fired with love for humanity in all its perfect imperfection. If Labour in Parliament does not act now it will earn the loathing of Liberal England and in the long term that will be a deadly reputation.

Let us hope someone sees beyond Brown , not that difficult I would have thought

Chris Paul said...

You believe that the Tory party is libertarian, loving and egalitarian. I Believe in the Tory Party of Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit, Ann Widdecombe, and I honestly think David Davis is there too, whatever he says. Authoritarian, hateful and class warring.

Tim Montgomerie and Co certainly are in the authoritarian camp. And while Fawkes' libertarian instincts are (mostly) vindicated by his conduct some of his friends must be having a really hard time not reaching for capital punishment for terror suspects never mind a few days in jail.

These two Tory parties cannot both be true.

And history shows us that Tory parties DO NOT give Referenda on Europe, whatever the arguments. This is not feelings, beliefs, this is actual real history we have experienced.

You be romantic if you want to, and I too will dream of more liberal Labour Home Secretaries, but in reality I simply don't believe in this cuddly conservatism when it comes to terror.

Evan Price said...

Every party is a coalition of people with differing views on a number of issues.

Reading Thatcher's children and the chapters dealing with the earliest period of Thatcher's government, I do not agree that Thatcher was not (and so is not) someone who believed in the essential freedoms and liberties that we had (and some of which remain) in the UK.

Tory parties in the past have not promised referenda ... that they do so now, in relaton to the topic that most troubled them in the 90's (and which to a significant degree still troubles them) is a demonstration that they have learned from their past difficulties.

As for terrorism - I was a soldier, serving in Northern Ireland for 3 years (out of 7), dealing with the results of criminal activity where people were shot and blown up on the pretext of a political campaign supported by violence. Learning from the experiences that we had in 30 years of dealing with that violence, it is my view (and that of many Conservatives) that increasing draconian legislation will not resolve the problems - that in dealing with terrorism steps were taken that we would not use again is completely understandable.

It is odd that of the 5 or 6 former Home Secretaries that I have met or known (going back to Henry Brooke), all Conservative, every one expressed the view that they would not restore ID cards as they were illiberal ... and it is Labour that proposes their reintroduction - with ever increasingly complex databases to support them.

Chris Paul said...

> Every party is a coalition of people with differing
> views on a number of issues.

Of course

> Reading Thatcher's children and the chapters
> dealing with the earliest period of Thatcher's
> government, I do not agree that Thatcher was
> not (and so is not) someone who believed in the
> essential freedoms and liberties that we had
> (and some of which remain) in the UK.

Think she'd have used the concept of liberty as Blair did, sneering at the cap L Liberty org, and using small l liberty to defend tough measures for crims and suspects ... including in terror.

Heath of course (a softy) presided over internment in NI though it was Faulkner (UUP) that brought it in with all the terrible consequences of it.

> Tory parties in the past have not promised
> referenda ... that they do so now, in relaton to
> the topic that most troubled them in the 90's
> (and which to a significant degree still troubles
> them) is a demonstration that they have learned
> from their past difficulties.

They promised this one knowing there was 100% certainty that they wouldn't have to do it but that it might cause Blair problems. Blair was very specific in his weaselish on the matter and like 26 other states NL is not having one. I don't think the Tories would have had one. Though of course we will never know.

Manifestos tend to be paperbacks (they bend) and are not enforceable legally as we well know. They are a prospectus. And sometimes plans change. though whether they have in this case is moot.

> As for terrorism - I was a soldier, serving in
> Northern Ireland for 3 years (out of 7), dealing
> with the results of criminal activity where people
> were shot and blown up on the pretext of a
> political campaign supported by violence.

Indeed. But quite unlike al Queda don't you think? Completely different. They're criminal, yes. But not in the same kind of ways at all.

You may know from previous posts I have a cousin and an uncle who have caught rubber and/or plastic bullets protesting against ... er, things like internment, and housing lists, and gerrymandering, and so on. And my ma's cousin Hugh was shot dead by the Army.

> Learning from the experiences that we had in 30
> years of dealing with that violence, it is my view
> (and that of many Conservatives) that increasing
> draconian legislation will not resolve the
> problems - that in dealing with terrorism steps > were taken that we would not use again is
> completely understandable.

Yes, I agree. But others don't. their reason? it is not the same kind of terrorism. Innocents are the NORM as targets now. Cells are more secret and often suicidal.

> It is odd that of the 5 or 6 former Home
> Secretaries that I have met or known (going
> back to Henry Brooke), all Conservative, every
> one expressed the view that they would not
> restore ID cards as they were illiberal ...

They would wouldn't they? Did any of them say anything about detention without trial?

> and it is Labour that proposes their
> reintroduction - with ever increasingly complex
> databases to support them.

Or was it the Republicans? I forget.

Evan Price said...

Given the reports that David Davis would have resigned from the front bench if he had been whipped to vote for 42 days ... do you still think that he's not in favour of liberty?

Chris Paul said...

I personally think that that report is about as meaningful as one saying Brown would resign if whipped (by himself) to vote against 42 days.

It was never going to happen.

Davis is no doubt in favour of liberty. But there are several ways to construct policies starting from that premise. Brown and Blair before him (and I suspect Tories had they been in government post - 9/11, 7/7 etc) would claim that they were protecting and increasing liberty in general by limiting liberty of some suspected criminals/terrorists and that they had the balance right.

They might use a utilitarian argument in aid.

We both disagree with them. So be it.