Cabinet Split Over 42 Day Detention Limit

April 14, 2008 in information, news, unsubscribe by Rob Hallam

As part of their campiagn against the 42 day limit, Liberal Conspiracy<\/a> brings us the news that there is a split in the cabinet<\/a> over plans to extend the limit that terror suspects can be detained for without charge.<\/p>\n

The news comes after Home Secretary Jaqui Smith had stated that the terror threat to the UK was growing<\/a>. In a statement to the News of the World, she said:<\/p>\n



“We now face a threat level that is severe. It’s not getting any less, it’s actually growing. There are 2,000 individuals they are monitoring. There are 200 networks. There are 30 active plots. That has increased over the past two years. Since the beginning of 2007, 57 people have been convicted on terrorist plots. Nearly half of those pleaded guilty so this is not some figment of the imagination. It is a real risk and a real issue we need to respond to. We can’t wait for an attack to succeed and then rush in new powers. We’ve got to stay ahead.”<\/p><\/blockquote>\n

However, her views are at odds<\/a> with the Conservatives, Lib Dems, a growing number of unhappy backbenchers, former attorney-general Lord Goldsmith and the Director of Public Prosecutions Sir Ken McDonald. There have been arguments made that the new proposal will create ill-will in the Muslim community and actually cause the amount of intelligence supplied to drop. Lord Goldsmith also commented that it could be percieved as an attack on the Muslim community and used as a recruiting tool for terror organisations.<\/p>\n

However, Home Office minister Tony McNulty stated that he thought MPs ‘will buy<\/a>‘ the new limit.<\/p>\n

I find the language used by McNulty pretty scary:<\/p>\n



“This is a very, very serious thing and I think once people understand the bulk of the model and the temporary nature then people do buy it.”<\/p><\/blockquote>\n

It (and other statements from the proponents of the proposals) rings very much of “There are lots of threats against all of us, but let us have have this for now and we promise it won’t be used too much…”. The law has to be renewed after two months (“The new limit would only be available to police for two months unless it was renewed<\/em>“, source<\/a>), but if it is passed the bar will be lowered and it will end up being renewed.<\/p>\n

The proposals are a big step up from the (already too long) 28 days to a month and a half. These proposals have to be opposed. There is talk that if they are defeated it will be very damaging for Gordon Brown and so forth, but politics aside, they have to be defeated. The limit is too long already, and (without being alarmist) extension would be another blow against democracy in this country.<\/p>\n”Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)