Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The best speech in the house arrest debate

Undoubtedly it was the one made by Kenneth Clarke. To read the old bruiser's contribution in Hansard, click here.

My favourite passage was:

There is a danger in our system of politics, which I have seen, that senior politicians and senior officials who have access to an exciting and hidden world of security will get carried away with their excitement. They can sometimes become vulnerable to advice to do things that, with hindsight, are not altogether wise. However, if I am not careful, that will get me back into discussions that we had last year about a war with the right hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) - the former Foreign Secretary - who is sitting next to the hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), and others. However, the idea that the public often have - that if the security services and the police demand something, it is unpatriotic for the House of Commons to refuse it - would be dangerous for us to accept.

We had better leave the effort from Mark Oaten, the Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary, to another evening.

No comments: