Six Weeks

So, Brown gets his way to lock people up for six weeks without the evidence to charge them. Still, it's one way to get the kids out of the way for the summer holiday...

The arguments used are pitiful, 'the police tell us they need the extra time, so...'. The police, with the best will in the world, aren't going to argue for a shorter time. They're the ones who get it in the neck if wrong, it's a tough job. It is the job of the lawmaker to balance the interest of the individual against the rest of the public. Do we really want to have a society when someone can be locked up for a month and a half because they are a suspect?

It's worth remembering that a Terror Suspect is just that. A suspect. Not a convict. Suspicion is not evidence.

Surely, it would be much less of a compromise to allow for questioning after a lesser charge?

For a millennia the rule has been that one could not get locked up without evidence and a trial. A six week detention, equivalent to a three month sentence (with good behaviour) can now (at least, assuming the Lords don't throw it out) be served without trial.

Strange, how in this 'free and democratic' country, once again we look to the Lords to safeguard our rights.

We never came anywhere near this even when the IRA made a successful bomb attack which threatened the cabinet and nearly killed the prime minister.

Brown is playing the politics of fear, long may his electoral approval slide.