Our politicians are bozos

So, nothing new there you may well say.

My morning paper tells me that Broon has won a pointless victory over the bizarre 42-day-detention stuff. He had to buy off the Ulstermen to do this, and the Lords will veto it, and he is only doing it for cheap popularity, and he will fail, and it will all be useless. If he actually wants to increase our security, perhaps he might stop his people leaving "intelligence" documents on the train.

But in a stunning bid to make Broon look competent by competitive incompetence, Tory David Davis has decided to resign and fight a by-election errrm, for some reason or another. The Grauniad describes it as Davis's move - to "take a stand" on what he said was the "relentless erosion" of freedoms by the government. Quite how it helps, I'm really not sure, and from the look of it not even the Tories are pretending to understand what he is on about. And why he triggered on 42 I don't know - our current 28 is already madness.

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On BBC News, they've been asserting that in the U.S., the corresponding time limit is two days, thus the obvious comparison makes the UK proposal seem outrageous. And that makes me wonder what the BBC folks are smoking.

I don't have any special knowledge or position of authority but I'm pretty sure that if I were suspected of being a Terrist, I'd be put away for a good bit more than two days while the several governments were figuring out what to do with me. Heck, determining jurisdiction could take longer than two days. How long did the shoe-bomber rot in jail before being charged? (Ans.: long enough to become quite deranged, apparently.)

So from where I sit, it looks like someone's very, very confused about the nature of pre-charge incarceration. I'm not 100% sure who.

By Matt Platte (not verified) on 12 Jun 2008 #permalink

Matt: You're dealing with a bunch of people who think that laws aren't applicable to them, so what's on the books doesn't mean much. Actual behavior is much more telling. Jose Padilla (a United States Citizen apprehended inside the United States) was incarcerated for about two years before the executive branch brought charges, so its clear that they're willing to jail American citizens apprehended inside the United States for that long without charges. People who are not United States citizens, captured overseas by the CIA, have been held for a good six and a half years without bringing criminal charges or awarding them prisoner of war status.

Virtually our entire political class including the Journo's are bozos.

Whatever the reason for Davis tipping at this particular tipping point, I see him as a principled man. Yet the government and chattering classes seem to be portraying this in terms of the only motivation they know - a self-interested power game. Pretty stupid game to risk throwing away your position on the greasy pole.

[On this matter, I'm on davis side insofar as I understand it - the absurdity of 42 days most obviously. I just don't see how what he has done is going to help -W]

By CobblyWorlds (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink

I want to believe that this is a principled decision that I greatly admire, but there are a number of reasons to feel a bit cynical. For example, Davis voted for the 28 day limit, so apparently it wasn't a great matter of principle then. He also has consistently voted against legislation aimed at greater equality for homosexuals. So obviously he obviously is rather selective in his respect for civil liberties.

There's also some political weirdness going on here. According to David "Dave" Cameron, the Tories will campaign against 42 days. So why on earth is Davis resigning? He could have stayed in the Shadow Cabinet and carry on opposing this illiberal idiocy. On the other hand, maybe his resignation forced the hand of Cameron on 42 days, in which case well done.

I think Davis' move was probably largely emotionally driven so I'm not sure it's meant to "help". But he may have become a focus for those that dislikes this and forced some of those who do the nodding dog to anything connected with terrorism to stop and think. 28 days - I'm not keen but think it's the upper limit I'd grant. I think this whole terrorism thing is overblown; the major risk I see to myself is alcohol fuelled thuggery and those carrying knives. But I accept that there is a real threat.

Hello Steve,
I exhibit such incongruities. Walking through town it doesn't bother me that I'll be potentially trackable on loads of different CCTV systems. They're useful during murder enquiries, but as long as they're not centralised the effort to gather all those tapes means it's not a general threat to civil liberties. So I cannot give a yes/no reply to whether I'm in favour of CCTV. There may be detail behind Davis' voting that I'm not aware of.

By CobblyWorlds (not verified) on 14 Jun 2008 #permalink