Sunday, November 06, 2005

A hopeful huzzah!

Well, it appears that MPs have more spine than I credited them with (well done to Bob Marshall Andrews too):
Senior Downing Street sources said that although the Prime Minister remains personally convinced that allowing police to detain suspects for up to 90 days without trial is essential to combating the threat from al-Qaeda, he has now accepted that in the present political climate he will have to compromise.
Now, obviously all of this does not bode well for the authority of Tony Blair (always a good thing) but I'm sure other blogs will have a better time explaining this than me. Also, rather good news on the glorification front:

The Home Office will also offer concessions this week over separate plans to criminalise religious hatred - bowing to demands from peers for safeguards to protect freedom of speech - and over proposals in the terror bill to outlaw the glorification of terrorism, introducing new safeguards making clear what would trigger a prosecution.
Whilst I suspect this will not register the offences perfect (and as soon as I can't find the modifications I'll examine them), at least it makes things a little clearer. Though I suspect that the anti-imperialist left might still face problems, insofar as the definition of terrorism is still ridiculously wide, though again it's a case of 'more on this when I get it'. Lord Woolf was up to his old tricks too:

He spoke after chairing a London lecture at which Israel's chief justice, Aharon Barak, said judges must 'protect democracy both from terrorism and from the means the state wants to use to fight terrorism'.

Woolf agreed, adding in an unprecedented intervention: 'Every time you move the goalposts, you are accepting a different level of what is acceptable. That then becomes the new starting point, whereas before it was the last point. And that is the case with the length of time one can hold people in custody without charge.'

Aside from the irony of Israel's Chief Justice saying what he did, Lord Woolf is again emphasising this odd trend of judges operating to defend progressive acheivements. And on irony:

Blair is said to be privately 'exasperated' by MPs' refusal to accept the police argument that a case cannot be properly built against terrorists within the current permissible period of 14 days, and has accused the rebels of playing politics.

As late as Friday, he was understood to have been insisting on toughing out the vote.

'People have to realise that using a bill like terrorism to defeat the Prime Minister is not in the Labour party's nor the country's interest,' said one senior ally. 'He's not going to play games with people. As soon as he ceases to pursue what he believes in, he's dead and, more importantly, the Labour party is dead.'

Playing politics? What does Blair think he's doing? How is a smear accusing rebels of putting the defeat of Blair against 'national security' not playing politics?

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