Thursday, November 10, 2005

A victory for common sense

Finally! After 8 long years Tony Blairs government has been defeated in a parliamentary vote. It's ironic that Blair seemed to be pushing the 90 day element of the anti-terror laws through so quickly because he was worried his 'legacy' reforms might struggle.

In the end he has made a serious error of judgement. He will and can take the moral high ground, but anyone with any sense of realism will understand that there has never been a need to hold suspects for 90 days. In all of the major (by this I mean hyped by the media/govt/police) cases like the Ricin plot (in which there wasn't ever any ricin) and the Old Trafford bombing plot (in which there was never a plot to blow up Old Trafford) suspects have been released well within the current 14 day maximum period. Yet these are the same cases being used by the government and senior police officers to justify a need for 90 days detention.

Whether this defeat proves to be the first of many remains to be seen. One thing is for certain. Blair is a fighter and will not go easily. Like Thatcher, the only thing that will remove him before his planned retirement is a senior member of his cabinet challenging his authority. Step up to the plate Gordon Brown. Your time is well overdue!

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