Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chris Huhne on Jacqui Smith's climbdown

My new friends at the New Statesman have just posted an article by Chris Huhne on the government's defeat over 42 days' detention for terrorist suspects:

In reality, the Counter Terrorism Bill was all about making Labour look tough on terrorism by reducing public debate to a number: those in favour of higher numbers are meant to be tougher than those in favour of lower ones. Our opposition will be thrown back in our face in the rhetorical aftermath of an atrocity. When parliament rejected 90 days, Kitty Ussher MP warned that opponents would be left with ‘blood on their hands.’ This time Jacqui Smith has accused us of ignoring ‘the terrorism threat, for fear of taking a tough but necessary decision.’

But this is nonsense, as history teaches us an entirely different lesson. Governments that go over the top by implementing disproportionate and repressive measures lose the sympathy and co-operation of the very groups they need to combat terrorism.

Now read Shami Chakrabarti on the same subject

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