July 03, 2006

28 days not enough

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5138294.stm

The BBC is reporting on the polices power to detain people for 28 days and the Home Affairs Committee saying that this is “Inadequate”. Apparently this is because it takes a long time to process terror suspects and then to charge them. People often worry about the police having the ability to randomly detain people without charge, and without even telling them what charge they might face, some claim that this could/would lead to more terrorism. Not so says Blair. The Home Office is still claiming that even 14 days which we currently have is simply not long enough and the government's official line at the 90 day debate was that it was essential to save lives (even though 14 days has been perfectly fine to prevent terrorism up to now… they didn't even detain the people who actually carried out the attack on 7/7/05).

At the risk of breaking Godwin's law I found this quote from Goering at the Nuremberg trials which seemed very relevant:

Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.

To me this is pretty much what Blair has been doing. Anyone who doesn't want 90 day detention is risking the lives of innocent people in the country… those damn pacifists who fail to be patriotic.


- 7 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. When I checked last night, the actual report wasn't on their webpage, only the BBC article. Check out my entry on that article. It actually says:

    In its report, the committee says no recent cases provide justification for a longer detention period. But it adds: "The growing number of cases and the increase in suspects monitored by the police and security services make it entirely possible, and perhaps increasingly likely, that there will be cases that do provide that justification. We therefore believe that the 28–day limit may well prove inadequate in the future."

    I think they're going to try to elevate 'may well prove inadequate in the future' to 'is inadequate' by some sort of voodoo.

    03 Jul 2006, 13:32

  2. Jeez. You can download the report now (press release here, and it doesn't say anything like what the BBC article says. The bottom line of the report is: "Any new legislation should not propose longer than 28 days detention unless the evidence is compelling..." I can hardly believe the BBC is reporting it like this. See also my entry on the BBC's misleading reporting of an independent review of their middle east coverage.

    04 Jul 2006, 03:20

  3. Oh, stupid warwick blogs, you have to take out the right parenthesis from the end of the link to the press release.

    04 Jul 2006, 03:20

  4. thank you for providing that information, I'll read it later and give a more ful response…

    You mention on your blog that the BBC has a bias in favour of Israel, as far as I am aware the bias is in the other direction, besides the repot is wrong anyway because, as far as I am aware, a bias has to be an intentional action so it wouldn't make sense to talk of an unintentional bias

    05 Jul 2006, 12:36

  5. I don't think a bias has to be intentional, but anyway that's my word not the report's. Anyway, give it a read, it's quite interesting and not really that long.

    05 Jul 2006, 12:54

  6. I read the report. it is very interesting, thanks for digging it out for us.

    I would disagree with what the report says though… there is never a need for a long detention period – 28 days being be absolute maximum – just because when you move on someone it must be based on something (you might think they are planning "x" at "y" time) so why not just charge the person and tell them what they are meant to do. If they are guilty then they'll be on remand until found so, which is all well and good, or they are innocent and can begin to collect witnesses who can say where they were when they were meant to be doing this evil and then defend themselves… where is the need for anything longer than even 1 week? where is the need even for that?

    05 Jul 2006, 23:19

  7. Oh confusing, two different reports we're talking about.

    I haven't read all of the 28 day report, but I agree that 28 days is too long, as is 14 days. It should be 4 like it used to be.

    06 Jul 2006, 00:24


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