Friday, December 07, 2007

How did they come up with 42 days?

You do have to wonder don't you. It used to be that people could only be held for 24 hours, then for terrorism it was extended to something like 2 days, then 7, 14 and then Tony Blair wanted 90. He got 28.

Now we have had Gordon Brown trying to look tough again, heavens knows why, we all know it is not true and extend it again.

Hints were dropped that 90 days was back on the agenda, despite there being no case that you could point to where 28 days was insufficient. Then 56 days was hinted at. Then Jacqui Smith, the Alleged Home Secretary, said she did not know how long it should be and did not want to get fixated with a number.

Now we have one. 42 days. Why? Why not 41 or 43? Well, OK 42 days is 6 weeks. But why 6 instead of 4? Or indeed 7,8,9 or 10?

The fact is they are just making this up. It is true that ACPO are officially in favour of it, but then ACPO gets its funding from the Home Office. However many have come out against it, for example the former Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, and the current head of the DPP.

They say that in the future there may be a need. Well in the future they may be a need for all sorts of things, on the other hand there may not. Why do we want to hand our enemies propaganda that they can use to bend young minds? You can bet your bottom dollar they will sell this as anti Muslim. How are we supposed to criticise other countries for human rights violations when we would rather forget our own liberties at the first sign of trouble, rather than taking a more thoughtful approach.

In short, its bonkers. I do hope it gets canned in the Commons. If not its up to the House of Lords to throw out this hideous piece of legislation.


paul said...

Ugh. If there is a teeny tiny consolation, it is that at least you have a limit for how long people could be held before they have to be charged or released. We used to, before we decided that it's okay to hold people indefinitely. America is such a fine example, isn't it?

Anyway, the government should have to present sufficient evidence to charge in a timely manner, or release the suspect.

Hopefully your legislative branch isn't complicit in this quest to hold suspects for an unreasonable period of time.

Cox says said...

Didn't you know? Jacqui Smith has a "policy hat" from which she pulls the latest home office wheeze: