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  • 28 days: government offers “concessions”

    by Sunny
    26th February, 2008 at 4:14 pm    

    Via Anthony Barnett, I find that the home secretary is preparing to offer “concessions” in an attempt to avoid a rebellion against its plans to extend pre-detention charge for up to 42 days.

    Under the proposal, MPs would be allowed to debate a decision to invoke the emergency powers within 10 days of a government decision. At the moment MPs would only be given a say within 30 days, a proposal seen as largely meaningless by critics - suspects could have been charged or released by the time MPs had a chance to scrutinise the need for an extension beyond the current limit of 28 days.

    This is so meaningless as to be an insult to our intelligence. Martin Salter, Labour MP for Reading West, who Anthony rightly says is preparing to be a sellout, says we have: “got stuck in a sterile debate on the number of days”. So why not remove any delay of time in which MPs can debate the decision? It is cosmetic surgery and it is being thrown as crumbs to Labour MPs who still have control of their conscience. Feel free to write to Salter by email. As Anthony rightly adds: “There are few things more insufferable than MPs telling us how they are the guardians of our liberty and all the great things about Britain while the executive laughs up its sleeve and voters snort with derision.

    Later this week I’ll be speaking alongside Liberty at an event organised by the Muslim debating group City Circle about how this campaign can be taken forward strategically. All are welcome to attend. 6.45pm - 8.45pm

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