It is quite disgusting that if Labour wins the 42 day pre charge detention vote tonight, they will have done it with two financial bribes.
In his latest concession to backbench rebels Gordon Brown has said that anyone released after 28 days would get £3,000 a day compensation. In a Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy spooky coincidence, someone released after 42 days would get £42,000 compo.
We wait to find out what kind of financial inducement is being offered to DUP MPs, but rest assured it will be a high one.
What an utter travesty that human rights which have been protected since the 1215 Magna Carta are worth so little to some of our parliamentarians. Some very brave Labour MPs will defy their party line this evening and vote on the side of freedom. Others will follow their party out of a sense of loyalty rather than because they believe in what they are voting for. Loyalty to party is a fine quality. But loyalty to country is far more important.
To any Labour MP reading this - and I know there are many who will be - let me say this.
Have you heard a single convincing reason for 42 days?
Why is it that every other Western democracy makes do with 14 days or fewer? Is the threat here really three times that in Australia or six times that in the USA?
Neither the Prime Minister, nor the Home Secretary, have been able to answer this question or give any convincing reason for the rise to 42 days beyond banal generalities.
The Police are split dowm the middle on the need, the prosecuting authorities don't want it and the security services are said to be ambivalent. In such circumstances our legislators would be well advised to leave well alone.
UPDATE: Astonishingly, ConservativeHome has declared its support for the government on 42 days. Its readers are none too impressed judging by the comments. It takes something to be more right wing than Simon Heffer, who has a brilliant article critiquing 42 days HERE.
So let me get this right.
If I download an Alchy Ada mamual for research purposes, buy a few sacks of fertiliser for the garden and then refuse to co-operate with the plod I would be getting a taxfree payement of £42,000 in six weeks time?
Money for old rope init. Except for the solitary confinement, no natural light and sleep deprivation.
Probably, and sadly for this once-proud country, yes - they will be bought off.
Once this country was great, decent, democratic, and something that stood up for freedom and individuality.
Now it is a pathetic travesty - and the blame is firmly at Labour's door. The Labour party and it's bachbench apparachiks will not be satisfied until this counrty is a living, breathing Orwellian nightmare - 1984 is their gameplan.
For every single politician of any group - hang your head in shame that you are willingly signing up for a Police State.
The ordinary members of the public are sick to the back teeth of laws for terrorism being used against the ordinary citizen (eg councils spying on parents to check addresses for admissions to schools), and MP's etc all on on greedy gravytrain at public expense. When are all the parties going to wake up and smell the coffee? Add in huge rises in the cost of living and pathetic wage increases (we don't get a fraction of what MP's get) and you get an electorate increasingly angry at being treated with such utter contempt by government etc.
Will Gordon emerge from his bunker today, blinking in the sunlight? Vote for 42 days and say bye-bye to freedom...
Where have ZaNuLabour got their inspiration from? The Third Reich? The only compelling argument for 42 days is whence a conservative government gets in and requires to try ex-and current- ZaNulabour MP's for 'crimes against the state'(illegal immigration, 'inadvertently' lying about legal immigration, signing away parliament's sovereignty to the EU). Mind you, the evidence to prosecute should not take 42 days to compile- more like 5 minutes...
Would that £42000 be tax free?
They should hold out for the £300,000+ that Crewe voters got....
The ONLY reason this will get through is that Gordon has staked what little is left of his reputation on it, and his party fears implosion if he loses. i.e. they fear for their own skins, nothing to do with what is right, just pure, old-fashioned self-interest. And politicians wonder why the public holds them in such low esteem. EXECRABLE.
You have some hope, Iain, if you think what you have said will influence them. There have been a number of principled debates in the Commons - as with ID cards for example. It has been instructive to see the likes of Hogg, Lilley, Winterton, Winwick, Prentice weighing in on issues of principle and how empty were the Labour benches in particular.
If you think like a parish councillor you will not rise to matters of principle and history. The pity is that Labour at one time championed liberty, harking back to Magna Carta, The Pilgrimage of Grace, Cromwell and much more.
But then Labour destroyed history and British identity in the state school system.
Well said Iain. It is the politics of fear - and now it is the politics of fear of losing their leader - and it is a bloody disgrace
What about your good friend Anne Widdicombe's comments in the Express? She would probably want 84 days if she could.
So my freedom is now worth £125/hour. What price freedom? Thanks to Gordon Brown we now know.
If I were a Labour MP trying to decide which way to vote then this cheap trick would certainly have made my decision easier.
It's the only 'solution' this lot know - throw money at it!
Iain, I'm shocked. Are you suggesting that the government is willing to use taxpayers' money to tempt their target audience into siding with them? Surely this kind of behaviour is unprecedented?
Oh, wait a minute....
Loyalty to party is a vastly over-rated quality. It is high time that loyalty to conscience and loyalty to country were put first.
When loyalty to party comes first, lack of integrity follows. How many MP/MEP expense fiddles would have arisen if mis-placed party loyalty hadn't fostered a conspiracy of secrecy?
They are stuck on this number of 42. For what its worth, I agree with 42 days, probably because I've lived through violence and the violent threat that faces us now is much bigger than any ulster/irish paramilitary organisation. The threat posed by the IRA et al was a political threat, the threat posed by extremists today is a threat to our very civilisaion, and I make no apology in saying we need to defend ourselves in any lawful way. To compare it to internment, fine - intern them.
Unfortunately with this £3,000 per day sweetner, and all the other 'safeguards', it is now totally unworkable anyway.
Another mistake for the labour party was to link this bill with the fate of Mr Broon. This bill should not be seen as part and parcel of party politics, it's too important to the country, and the public are in favour of it.
The magna carta was a great document for its time, and freedoms all fine and dandy until we are faced with a major catastrophe and then all those who go against this bill will be wringing their hands and calling for the govt to do something.
What this ghastly socialist mob have now done, with the bribes and sweetners is rendered it so ineffective that no one could support it in its current form.
Conhome backs the government Iain! Why aren't you, getting your orders from OBL now?
What price freedom ?
I am not at all happy with even 28 days as a detention period.
It is far far too easy for police, security authorities or home secretary to come up with all sort of specious reasons to hold someone if they wanted to for any reason.
My father was a farmer and legitimately had all sorts of equipment and chemicals on his farm that were well known to potentially be useful as bomb making equipment. He also had sevberal guns. All farmers had the same things in their possession - but none got arrested of course even at the height of the IRA campaign.
However, under th eproposed new law, if someone had wanted to arrest my father for 42 days all they would have to do would be to point to those pieces of equipment and chemicals and provide no other explanation or even evidence of wrong doing to a judge.
In 20 years time, when even thought crimes against the EUCCP will have you labelled as a terrorist, the full horror of what is agreed tonight will be realised.
Shame on our politicians for selling our liberty for ever, and shame on public opinion for being blind to what they are actually supporting.
Not just Hitch Hikers Guide with the magic 42, but also Catch22 with the stunning bureaucratic circular logic being used to argue for this attack on freedom.
The take on it here is that the DUP will try to get concessions for water charges.
That's it then - terrorism it is! I'll take a grand a day for 42 days, tax free - no council tax, no utility bills, free food, free health care (just thought, I could get that bridge done on my teeth on the NHS!).
Take a year off somewhere nice - like Pakistan - get arrested again and the merry-go-round starts again.
I'm quite excited!!
The grubby cowardice and spinelessness of the majority of Labour MPs never ceases to amaze me.
I now realise in my bones, that these people are no longer remotely human.
There is so much wrong with the concept that a £3,000 per day bung makes everything ok, I don't know where to start. But it provides a ghastly insight into the minds of politicians and how they think of their "subjects".
I don't know , Gym , drugs , women video games and rest for 42 days plus money , it could be worse . How suspicious do they have to be exactly? I could wear a mask and tip toe about a bit.
If there us a lot of work to do in preparing a proper case because ( they say ) they will have to move early . Then instead of twice as long why not put twice as many people on it. The resources can be redirected from their vital driver irritating activities?
If the safeguards involve Parliamentary review en route ,how can Parliament decide on the basis of inadequate evidence ? They will have to take the security forces word for if so it is no safeguard at all.
3 Why has the government misrepresented the situation as it exists on the continent You may recall David ( A-Conservative-victory-is-psephologically-impossible )Boothroyd , as well as Millipede repeating the same line about Meredith Kercher . Boothroyd is just parroting the Labour hand out but Millipede knows better
“Carlile’s comments on Italy, meanwhile—suggesting that the suspects in the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher could spend up to a year in custody without being charged—flatly contradict the advice we have received from Italian lawyers revealing confusion between pre-charge and pre-trial detention
4 Where does 42 days come from? The Hitch hikers Guide theory is better than you may think,. In fact the revelation that the answer to life the universe and everything was 42 was not a coincidence. Douglas Adams road tested a variety of numbers on Stephen Fry looking or the most hum drum forgettable insignificant sounding number he could so as to make it funnier . This forgettable quality is exactly the process by which Brown arrived at 42 . Brown is quite literally making a joke of freedom.
5-WE are not at war and the forces against us are not master criminals as it entirely obvious from their loonish amateurish plans. The IRA were far far better equipped organised and trained and Major did not require a police state .
No to 42 days
No to Brown
No to this vile attempt to co-opt anti Muslim feeling their own foolishness has created into the Labour cause.
Of course the £3000 a day sum should come from the Home Secretary's salary - that would focus her mind.
No, wait, let's make it £6000 a day - even better. Let her put her money where her mouth is.
The whole thing about such bribes stinks.
"the threat posed by extremists today is a threat to our very civilisaion"
If you honestly believe that al-Qaida has even the slightest chance of succeeding where the continent-conquering war machines of Hitler, Hirohito and Stalin failed, I pity you as I would the village simpleton.
So wait a minute. Someone will come out of a period of prolonged detention, bitter, angry and ready for revenge. And the government gives them several thousand pounds?
That'll come in handy for buying all that fertilizer and black market C4.
I think that the reason for 42 days is simply that it's more than Blair got. This has nothing to do with national security, and more to do with Brown point scoring over Blair. If Labour were really interested in improving national security we wouldn't have open-door immigration and a complete failure to deport illegal immigrants, foreign criminals and bogus asylum seekers.
Why did Brown decide to stake his reputation on 42 days? Because he wanted a soundbite - to be able to say, 'The Tories are soft on terrorism.'
Now all he can say (to obscure back benchers he hasn't spoken to for years) is, 'Please don't be too hard on me.'
In party political terms, the outcome of the vote hardly matters. Whichever way it goes, the Tories are gleeful, Labour backbenchers are infuriated and Brown himself is diminished.
"The magna carta was a great document for its time, and freedoms all fine and dandy..."
Al-Qaida has one thing going for it: unlike 'spider', at least they're open about their contempt for democratic freedoms.
I am not a fan of this 42 day measure - but isn't the point here that the bill has been filleted about with so much that no one can really tell just exactly how illiberal or not it is any more ???
Especially with this ridiculous smokescreen of 'compo' payments. Will they get extra cash if they are water boarded ? Or taken to a black site prison in Eastern Europe ??
Perhaps if they end up in Guantanamo they will hit the compo jackpot and get a Million Pounds and a load of ticker tape from the ceiling, and a bottle of champers from Chris Tarrant.
This addresses one of the main objections - that a lengthy period away from work could ruin some-one financially. In practice, it won't cost much because the occasions when innocent people are not freed without charge before 28 days will be rare.
With regard to comparisons with other countries,the police here are not allowed to question suspects once they've been charged. If they were allowed to do so, there would be no problem holding suspects for years on end, simply by charging them and then detaining them for questioning until there was enough against them to start a trial.
It is easily enough money. I deffintely support this now. They get compensated so so what. If it stops people have their legs blow off and innocent people dying. I support it Grow up tories.
Iain, Why is locking somebody up for 42 days 'right wing'?
I'm right wing (very) and I don't support anything more than the 7 days we used to manage the IRA with.
Is it because you've subconsciously accepted the media's definition of right wing: nasty. Is that why you call yourself centre-ring (i.e. different from those nice lefties but not by too much).
Getting right wing defined as nasty in most people's minds has been the propaganda coup of the century for socialists. For example, most people would call Nazis right wing. This despite the fact that Nazi is short for National Socialist. Now you wouldn't call a Socialist right wing and you wouldn't call a Nationalist one either. So why does putting them together and gassing Jews make them right wing?
The only delineation of right and left wing that makes sense in more than one historical context is as follows:
The defining feature is respect for one's ancestors. The left tend to think that anything old is bad and as a result tend to favour revolutionary change. They tend to idealise the future. The right tends to idealise the past and as a result can often be resistant to reasonable changes but on the other hand more rarely get seduced by lunatic policies.
I am right wing because I believe that on balance that far more evil has been caused by left wingers (e.g. the Jacobins in France, Napoleon, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Poll Pot, Mugabe and Mbeki) than by the most right wing people I can think of (Bloody Mary, Charles I of England and Louis XIV of France).
Blair is the most right wing leader of the party not because he has been tougher/nastier on terrorism but because unlike his predecessors he didn't try to be too revolutionary. He accepted the Thatcherite past and worked with it rather than trying to overthrow it. In this, alas, he has been much more successful in socialising the British state than any other Labour leader in our history.
Never mind the terrorists getting £3000 a day. My vote is always available as my conscience is easily influenced.
Gordon Brown can phone me at my constituency and make an impassioned plea that may well move me ...
On a completely different note I do like the look of the new Quango for the development of sugar cane into ethanol being set up to extensively tour Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda.
My mobile is switched on and I'll be in all day
the nodding dogs on the Labour benches dont give a sh1t about the country. They only care about their jobs
" vote for 42 days or get Miliband on Thursday"
spineless rubbish one and all
Thank God we have you as well as ConservativeHome! Your "Conway moment" and general naivety on certain issues are hereby fully expiated.
Do People expect this government to be honest on anything.
For years they have said that under (Lying) inflation was around 2%, when we all new that under (Truthful) Inflation figures were a lot higher.
This pedants' hunt for the errant politician, driven by the media's love of expose, is destroying what little faith in our political class remains and, in doing so, poisoning the political realm. The disjuncture that now exists between the public perception of politicians as peculators, crooks, Soviet apparatchiks almost, and the banal reality of the cross-section of men and women in Parliament undermines very seriously the smooth functioning of the political system.
Undiscriminating cynicism and mistrust will be the result, and that can only hurt our political culture and do real harm to any ideology which relies on a positive conception of the state.
To read my ideas at greater length, link to my blog at:
>>Astonishingly, ConservativeHome has declared its support for the government on 42 days.<<
I'm not sure why that is astonishing. Much as I vote Conservative and enjoy reading Conservative Home, its editorial line has always been pretty authoritarian.
If one of the reasons for objecting to 42 days is distrusting this government not to abuse it, as every other piece of their supposedly 'terrorist' legislation has been abused, I would equally distrust the editors of Conservative Home with such power.
Aye, the threat of losing your 125k package,the 18 weeks' holiday, the free 'research trips' to such hell holes as Barbados, Acapulco and Monte Carlo and the copious bonus points from the John Lewis shopping catalogue - plus all the free complementary Westminster humbugs you can shove in your gob is enough to make any Gloucester Old Spot think again....
Of course the Yanks don't need 42 days. They have extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo Bay.
But think of a list of countries you associate with decent behaviour and then check how many days they can bang people up without charge. You will then be forced to conclude that British Vah-lewes are more in line with Nazi Germany than with anywhere civilised.
Compensation of £42,000 if I am imprisoned without charge for the full 42 days? £1000 / 24 = £41.67 per hour. If that is the price of my freedom, I understand how Gordon feels able to contemplate suspending habeas corpus, because in these days of post-boom-and-bust inflation my freedom is worth almost nothing.
Which is why if I were undecided I would now be against the proposal. You cannot allow such powers to people who value us so cheaply.
But I am against it anyway, because it does place us in the company of tinpot banana republics who don't care about freedom and probably don't care about democracy.
I will not be commenting upon this because Osama bin Laden is a personal friend of mine and anything I have to say on the matter I shall say to his face.
He is also one of the most endearing and honest people you could ever meet.
Innocent until proven guilty is what I say.
This will have the Seaside Three - Conwy, Chichester and Dover - twitching their curtains and downloading aQ manuals. But don't they get the £3,000 for the first 28 days too? I'd have said so myself. £140,000 for 42 days. Almost as much as Oily Duncan had from the man from horrid nasty Vitol, middle eastern despots favourite oil dealers.
Who will be the 42nd comment? It's a magic number!
Adam McNestrie said...
"To read my ideas at greater length, link to my blog at:
Using this blog to adverise your own again.
"If it stops people have their legs blow off " ... how will it do that?
If police have no idea about a terrorist attack then they cannot stop it.
If they suspect a terrorist plot they can arrest the terrorists and plot is stopped.
If they feel after 28 days they have not enough evidence to make a charge then they release them but the plot is stopped.
Is anyone seriously suggesting that if the police have enough evidence to arrest terrorists because they think they are about to launch an attack that they cannot find something to arrest them with after 4 weeks in custody?
"If it stops people have their legs blow off" - what a load of tripe.
And £3000 if they are not charged ! What about the first 28 days then - why nothing for that. What is the logic in giving people compensation of 14 days and ignoring the first 28 days when they were needlessly held?
what a bucking load of tripe
Typical Labour response to a problem - throw money at it.
42 days is a long time, I know its obvious but that is 6 weeks. 42 days ago we still had a Labour London Mayor! 6 weeks is the length of the school summer holiday. Ask any parent whether that is a long time?
I've got a suggestion. For those people who are in favour of 42 days they should give something up for 42 days, something they really like, beer, chocolate, ciggies, the car, meals out, fancy coffee, whatever it is, try and give up something that they really value. Then think about being held for that amount of time, without being told what you are being held for!
Lets pretend that the 42 day detention goes into effect. Now let me look into my crystal balls and see how the £42,000 compo might actually work....
"Now, Mr brown skinned person with a funny name and a beard, the special Detention Compensation Commission (Quango costs around £1,500,000 per annum) has considered your claim very carefully over the last 23 months and decided to award you the maximum £42,000. However this is to be reduced by the statutory 50% because you were not fully co-operative with the police and chose to remain silent. It is also reduced by a further £15,000 which is the cost of providing you with a publicly funded lawyer. You also have to pay a further £6,300 towards bed and board for this period. You also have to repay the £1,200 state benefits you were paid because you were not available for work during this period. This means that you actually owe the Detention Compensation Commission £1,500. In view of the circumstances the Detention Compensation Commission is prepared to accept the outstanding money in 4 quarterly repayments, for a special premium interest of 5%. Please let us know if we can be of any further help to you."
Three thousand quid a day ?
Poor dears, does that include counselling as well ?
What a sick joke.
The 10p tax furore wasn’t about people paying a new starting rate for income tax; the 42-day pre-charge detention is not about the extension of government powers to hold terrorist suspects without charge. These are synthetic controveries spun from virtual issues. They represent the shadow cast by power in a period of consensus politics. An adversarial political system must have conflict; the heat generated by partisan political conflict has to find a site for its release. And so, like the United States and the Soviet Union in 1970’s and 1980’s, we get proxy wars – conflicts purporting to be about one thing (social justice; the liberty of the individual) which ultimately are about something else altogether: the ugly subterranean currents of power politics.
To read these ideas developed at much greater length, link to my blog at:
Could someone please explain to me why I should worry about the erosion of civil liberties when I myself am white, speak with a British accent and have never held a controversial opinion in my life?
So the government gets to lock up people without charge. It's only going to happen to OTHER PEOPLE, isn't it?
trevorsden You talk a load of codwollope.
The police have asked for this as they think it will help capture terrorists.
Now I do not find it diffuclt to see that with, modern computing it is difficult to find all the evidence needed to investigate a terrorist. I am sure this evidence is needed to capture terrorists and stop them, killing people.
This will stop innocent people being killed end of story. Grow up how are you better judge of what powers the police need to stop terror scum.
It is muslims who would suffer if there was another attack. As racism would leave to innocent people suffering.
Bin Laden does not want this law end of story. Strong laws will prevent them the evil terrorists, killing us.
It's up to the Lords to throw this back and hopefully the government will lose the ping-pong battle.
This disgraceful legislation is all about propping up Brown's reputation at the expense of long-held liberties. They will use this law, of course - not against what we would call terrorists, but against vague challenges to the state from organisations like Fathers 4 Justice and anyone with the temerity to protest in public about the Iraq war.
There comes a tipping point when civil liberties are irretrievable through normal democratic processes and direct action is required, indeed is a duty. We are getting perilously close. Most of me believes that this government will call an election in just under 2 years and will be smashed at the ballot box. A small part of me thinks that, in their darkest moments, they have fleetingly considered invoking civil contingency legislation to prolong their gtip on power and detaining anyone who objects.
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