Tuesday, November 08, 2005

90 days detention - but why?

I have been thinking about why my reaction against the Government's plans for 90 day detention without charge is so instinctive.

Apart from all the arguments about how devastatingly life-wrecking such detention would be to the individual concerned (usually an 'innocent victim' that Blair and co are supposed to be concerned about), I think it comes down to the fact that they are simply not putting forward a case.

Blair's argument simply seems to come down to 'there are nasty terrorists about and the security services assure me that they need these measures to fight them'.

But there is no real explanation of how these powers would actually help prevent terrorism, no examples have been given from recent times to illustrate the difference they would make, and no clear explanation of why the alternatives being proposed by politicians couldn't do the job as effectively.

Which means that basically they are back to the same justification that was used for invading Iraq: trust us and trust the security services.

The problem is that on Iraq they got it wrong. And on previous attempts to change the law they got it wrong too (eg. the Walter Wolfgang incident)

So I don't trust them, and I don't trust the advice of the security services, and I feel dreadfully sorry for those who end up being the innocent victims of this unecessary and draconian proposal.

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