LONDON, England -- The two British houses of parliament remained locked in a grim war of attrition Friday over Prime Minister Tony Blair's proposed anti-terrorism law, as authorities prepared to release on bail eight foreign terrorist suspects.
Terror SUSPECTS. If that is the case then prosecute them under the law, and let the law decide whether they are either found innocent or guilty.
Locking people up without due process is what those horrid regimes in the Axis of Evil do isn't it?
You're right Corporal, this is essentially, Britain's 'Patriot Act'
But Blair has already lied on this issue too.
He said the Security services had insisted there was no 'Sunset clause'
The 'Sunset clause' is there to ensure the bill dies after a year and a day , as a temporary emergency measure and doesn't become enshrined in law. It does after all , suspend some major civil liberties.
The Security services said no such thing. They have no more interest in seeing Habeus Corpus suspended at this time, than the rest of us.
But, Blair lied and said they did, until one of his Ministers inadvertantly let slip that the security services are insisting on control orders , NOT insisting that the sunset clause is taken out'
I've just watched a news journalist barely suppressing his anger on a live broadcast . He has just said that Blair did not tell the truth over this issue, and in this morning's interview, has admitted as much.
The Conservatives and the Lib Dems are opposed to this bill, without the civil liberty safeguards, and the Lords are refusing to agree to the wording, and sticking by it. There has already been one all night session , I'm wonderiong if there will be another.
Michael Howard has just gone right-flanking , and has said that the Prime Minister lied about Iraq, and he's damned if he'll give him another chance to drop Britain in the ka-ka (My paraphrasing) The Lib Dems are taking a similar line. Unfortunately , Labour retains the majority in the house , so if the Lords fold, then there is little that can be done to avoid another draconian law.
So right now,we're keeping our hopes pinned on the Lords, but so far, they're still in and fighting.
...and have you noticed that as soon as the Upper House exerts its independence, Bliar and his wolverines start making abolition noises and using words like 'unelected'.
This makes my blood boil. In the last seven years, the Upper House has been the last bastion of common sense outside the reach of the Neue Arbeit cave troll.
I am not upper class, I am not landed gentry, I believe in the democratic process but when confronted by aspiring presidential neo-dictators who think that their mandate includes lying to the House of Commons and the British people when it suits them, it is abundantly clear that the UK needs the Upper House and all of the wise heads within it. They are our safety net and we should value them more than the Crown Jewels!
This bill was rushed through without the normal debate any new law could/should expect. That is clear, as is that there's a lot wrong with it as it stands.
I've got no objection to it getting put on the books, but for a limited period until we can get something better thought out and implemented, ie. the sunset clause.
Labour's argument against having the sunset clause is that the new law would have to be rushed in in 12 months. Yet this present law was rushed in in a matter of a couple of weeks...... anyone spot the hole in the argument? Anyone see any double standard there?
I think they want to rush it in in it's present form so that they can use the 'fact' that 'they were the ones to sort out the security crisis' in the forthcomming election campaign. With that view I see what the House of Lords is doing as the right way. They are there to try and prevent what they consider 'Bad Laws'. They aren't all doddering old idiots and the amount of experteese in many fields in the house is shouldn't be ignored. Another imprtant fact is that in the Lords they are less likely to follow the party whip.
The best thing to come out of this is that if the law gets kicked out Blair is seen as the idiot trying to force through a 'lame duck' law. If it does get forced through, he will be the arrogant b4stard who couldn't follow good advice.
I think its too close to an election for that kind of trick; the public memory isn't that short and it would just be heaping up material for the other two parties to put through the mill.
When he rejected the Tories offer to extend the current legislation to allow more time for debate I started to smell a rat. That decision, given the unforgiveable waste of parliamentary time on foxes, belied a hidden agenda. I don't doubt fofr a moment that the sy services asked for the powers laid out in the bill and I still credit them with enough professionalism to only ask for what they think they need but I do wonder what else is in there that needs to be rushed through to avoid scrutiny.
That argument would never stand up. If he tries that one everyone could see that he was able to get the law in temporarily to cover the next 12 months. But HE has refused to do that because it might mean the possibility of another party (whoever wins the election) putting a decent bill forward and taking the limelight away from 'New' labour.
None of labour's arguments on this matter stand up to even the slightest scrutiny.
Bush did pretty well playing the 'attack is imminent and only I can save us' card in the US elections, I think Bliar is trying the same thing - but British people aren't quite as gullible (no offence to the spams but, well you are!).
I never thought that a labour government could make me into a liberal - outstanding achievement. If these people are so bloody dangerous and we know they are about to perform some horrid nastiness - take 'em out, it's not like we haven't been doing it for years.
To be locked up, without being informed of why, on the say so of some Intelligence rerport (I presume some of those making the recommendation will be the same people involved in the "They have got WMD...45 minutes claim?) is just so wrong. Who is going to decide the criteria for an enemy of the state? I know this has been quoted before but it is apt?
âFirst they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.â
Of course they did I was being sarcastic. I'm sure everything is being engineered to meet the objective
Sadly they saw fit to spend more time debating the ban on foxhunting than they have on this far more important topic. They have shown utter contempt for the parliamentary system by making deliberate procedural mistakes, railroading bills through parliament, manipulating the media and trying to spin themselves out of any corners they get themselves into. Like George W they are attempting to create a corrosive climate a fear to ensure they get these measures through and releasing these nutters will only go to help their cause.
The pity is they assume most of the electorate are too thick to see what's happening