War on Terror Leadership bid

Reid's best hope is to make us think we need a strongman

So has he, as some commentators contend, improved his chances of succeeding Blair as Labour leader, particularly since Gordon Brown remained invisible throughout the crisis? Was his whole performance over the past 10 days deliberately designed to make him a serious contender for the highest office? Or is it, given the thousands who (we are told) might have died, in bad taste even to discuss a plot to blow up transatlantic aircraft in terms of its effect on the Blair succession?

Most curious was the decision to release so many details of the alleged plot, how it was uncovered and those detained. This has never happened before in any of the threats the authorities claim to have foiled. Long periods of detention without charge are needed, we are told, partly to protect further inquiries. If too much evidence is released to defendants and their lawyers, the argument runs, it may leak to co-conspirators who can then cover their tracks or advance their evil plans. So, leaving aside the concerns about prejudicing the detainees' chances of a fair trial, why was it all right to plaster so many clues across the media?

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