The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Rebellion from the back

Posted by That Other Mike on 05/06/2008

Gordon Brown is once again facing a rebellion by backbench MPs, this time on new anti-terrorism laws. The issue in question is the new Counter-Terrorism Bill, a massive piece of legislation that would, among other things, give police the power to detain terrorism suspects for up to 42 days under certain circumstances before they would be required to press charges, the explicit ability to question suspects about further possible charges when lesser ones have already been brought, and give judges the right to impose longer sentences where alleged terrorism connections are considered an “aggravating factor”. Brown looking saturnine and vaguely creepy

You may already have guessed my response to the proposed terms of the Bill. Even with the proposed “safeguards” in place (such as the requirement for judicial approval), the provisions of it are deeply troubling.

This is one more sign that the current government needs to be brought to heel by its members –in this case, backbenchers– or to lose power entirely. We cannot preserve the principles of democracy and individual autonomy by destroying them entirely.

I would also remind everyone rushing to defend the limits on their freedoms that even during the worst parts of the Troubles, when there was a real and constantly present threat, we did not throw our liberties away.


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