Daily Archives: 15 November 2005

Is 90 days long enough?

Matt refers to a letter in the Evening Standard tonight:

Roy Jhuboo, of WC1, tells in a letter how the Police arrested him for photographing around Limehouse under the Terrorism Act. When he asked why, he was told that he “could be a terrorist on a reconnaissance mission planing to launch a rocket at Canary Wharf”. He adds “I am of dark-skinned appearance”.

This is an important story to remember whenever you hear someone like Lord Carlile say

“I believe I know of at least two or three cases in which a longer period of detention would have enabled the right people to be charged with and convicted of the right offences.

“If we don’t introduce law that enables that to happen then we are not introducing law of sufficient quality.”

Does he? Or is he aware of two or three cases where the circumstantial evidence suggested that individuals might be guilty, but hard evidence was sadly lacking. Of course, if it turns out simply to be a coincidence then such hard evidence will take much longer than 28 or even 90 days to turn up; it will never turn up, but after a while it will be in both the police and the presiding judge’s professional interest to let the investigation continue as long as possible. To do otherwise would be to admit that a mistake was made.

Nasty as it is to rat on people of your own party, but it should be pointed out that Lord Carlile when he was just plain Alex MP was one of the main forces behind the Lib Dem opposition to the national minimum wage, repeatedly warning that it would destroy the UK economy. Once he left to go to The Other Place, Lib Dem opposition to the measure fairly quickly evaporated.

Good to see we have such calm, dispassionate people independently reviewing our terror laws, isn’t it?

More pub nonsense

Just in case you thought the opposition parties had finally got bored and started doing something constructive, they’re trying to stop us from going to the pub again:

Peers voted by a majority of 33 for a motion calling on the government to think again.

This is the biggest rebuke the Lords can use, but will not mean the legislation – due to come into force on 24 November – is delayed or scrapped.

Shadow culture secretary Theresa May said: “This is yet another humiliating defeat for Labour. It clearly shows the gulf between Tony Blair’s government and public opinion.”

Lets just think about this for a second. Firstly, the vote has no effect whatsoever and the Lords is in a state of no-overall control; in what way is it a “humiliating defeat” for Labour?

Secondly, Theresa May is actually claiming that a vote in the House of Lords is indicative of public opinion. Not just reflective, but indicative. Read it again: “It clearly shows the gulf between Tony Blair’s government and public opinion.

Theresa now honestly, have you been at the Bacardi Breezers again?

Mockery

This is the sort of thing that annoys me about BBC journalism:

According to the Lib Dems, 42% of schoolchildren who took part in a mock general election organised by the Hansard Society in 2,000 schools this year voted for the party.

Actually, it isn’t according to the Lib Dems, it’s according to the Hansard Society. The BBC can’t even state the facts without some weird post-modernist nonsense getting slotted in. Is it too much to expect journalists simply to state the facts without editorialising everything?