On 'Chocolate and Vodka' there is an excellent open letter to the author's MP, a shame it is required and the letters beforehand didn't have noticeable effect. To me, it's a no-brainer that giving the power to detain without due process is a dangerous step to take. What's frustrating is when I walk past news-stands and see papers like 'The Express' have headlines like 'Victory for Terrorists' when the resulting legislation isn't quite as draconian as they might have hoped. Blair and co will only be locking people up without due process for a year (he has promised to review the legislation in 12 months - I wonder if this is a promise which will be kept?)
Now, I fully appreciate that there may be people out there who are 'not nice' and need their activities to be curtailed, but a way should be found to do this such that centuries of checks and balances are not discarded. After all, surely there must be some reasonable evidence if such a decision is to be made? There is also an argument that if evidence is weak enough that only a vague suspicion is possible, then discrete surveillance is preferable to announcing 'Ah-ha! There you are!' This could yield firmer evidence as well as giving further leads into colleagues.
I find myself stunned that I now live in a country where someone can be detained (sorry, 'controlled') indefinitely without recourse to a reasonable defence, for how can one defend oneself if the charges and evidence are unknown? I find it even more amazing that joe public seems to be quite unconcerned about this step.
"He who sacrifices freedom for security is neither free nor secure." -- Benjamin Franklin
On a more trivial matter, browsing around Chocolate and Vodka, this site seems rather like this one. A mix of subjects from the trivial to the serious. I'll watch the RSS feed with interest, and look forward to the bilingualism articles.