Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lord Advocate Does Not Advocate 42 Days Detention

Well Jeff at SNP Tactical Voting kicked off the blogosphere debate of the week yesterday over Wednesday's vote in Westminster regarding detention without charge for 42 days. I see with relief that the Lord Advocate in Scotland has come out against increasing the current powers.

Lord Advocate Elish Angiolini has said that the move is "not supported by prosecution evidence". Her views echo those of the Director of Public Prosecutions in England and Wales, Sir Ken Macdonald who has revealed that nobody has been held for more than 14 days since last summer when the time scale was increased to 28 day. In fact he says he has "managed quite comfortably" within that time frame.

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, who these days rarely speaks up on domestic issues, has also called the move unnecessary. Indeed he believes the arguments for the increase are bogus and counterproductive. Major who laid the ground work for the Irish peace process sees the move to increase to 42 day detention as more likely to boost terrorist recruitment than tackle the security threat to Britain.

He went on to defend British freedoms as a fundamental right which Labour are doing a great disservice and harm to:

"If we are seen to defend our own values in a manner that does violence to them, then we run the risk of losing those values.

"Even worse, if our own standards fall it will serve to recruit terrorists more effectively than their own propaganda could ever hope to do.

"The Government has introduced measures to protect against terror. These go beyond anything contemplated when Britain faced far more regular, and no less violent, assaults from the IRA."

So is Gordon Brown heading to a beating on Wednesday? Heavyweights are starting to come forward and be counted say this is an irrelevance. We already have 16 days longer than the next highest comparable county Australia with 12 days. Why do we need to have 4 times as long as anyone else before we can bring to trail? Why when the Director of Public Prosecutions says that we haven't need to use the new powers give last year at all yet do we need a further extension?

Is the government going to stop at 42 or are they going to strive on to reach their original goal of 56 days? If they get there then where? Is the government of stealth taxation trying to implement stealth detention now as well?

42 days is not the answer to Life, the Universe and Terrorism.

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