...a blog by Richard Flowers

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 2660: This Government really likes terrorists



After all, they'd never get away with granting themselves OBSCENE and INTRUSIVE powers of snooping and detaining if they admitted it was NOTHING to do with fighting MAD BOMBERS and EVERYTHING to do with POKING and PRYING into your – yes YOUR – personal and private life.

Everyone remembers Walter Wolfgang and you'll have heard how Poole Borough Council were spying on a family suspected of living outside the catchment area for the school to which they applied.

Now Staffordshire County Council are using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to snoop on kids suspected of buying alcohol.

And that's not to mention the way anti-terrorism laws are used to police protests against the ARMS TRADE.

Or, indeed, the almost unlimited powers to stop-and-search granted under the WIDELY USED Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

In each case, the Government brought in new powers that they PROMISED were only going to be used to tackle fully signed-up MAD BOMBERS, SUICIDE ATTACKERS and the Al Qaeda TYPING POOL, only for we the public to find that the police are using them for "everyday" offences like underage drinking or looking vaguely in the general direction of Fylingdales.

So you have to wonder what the REAL motive is for wanting to extend detention without trial.

The Secretary of State for Afternoon Kebabs and the Home Help Department, Ms Jacquie Spliff, uses the usual terror-tactics – thirty plots are being investigated, be AFRAID, she warns– and then promises an extra three-hundred police to beat up tackle radicalisation (accidentally radicalising the Conservatories with her breach of the election rules).

A more CYNICAL elephant might suspect that the Home Secretary want to be able to keep people in the SLAMMER for so long that they crack and confess to ANYTHING… it could certainly help improve the shoplifting and pick-pocketing clean-up rates.

Ms Spliff says that the problem is that it takes longer and longer for the police to go though a potential terrorist's computers and reach the HIGH SCORE on Grand Theft Auto IV discover any EVIDENCE of EVIL-DOINGS.

The Home Secretary's Mini-Me is Mr Tony McNutty who still thinks that MPs will "buy 42 days".

(Why am I thinking of Mr P T Barnum, I wonder?)

Anyway, Mr McNutty gave a right TICKING OFF to Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, when he told the Counter-Terrorism Bill committee that he believed 28 days was "sufficient".

I think you'll find that that is up to PARLIAMENT to decide, snapped Mr McNutty.

Odd, then, don't you think, that he didn't similarly castigate Sir Ian "clone of Lord" Blairimort when HE was saying that sooner or later, maybe, you know, if the wind is in the right direction and the moon is full and with the best will in the world there's every chance that eventually we might have a situation where we can push it so it takes more than the twenty-eight days we have at the moment.

Unfortunately for the inept Home Office Minister of State for Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and finding the Home Secretary's Handbag when she's been for a Kebab, the next witness was Lord Goldfinger who IS a member of Parliament and HE said that 28 days was "sufficient" too.

Personally, I liked the line that Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Mr Huhney-Monster, used in the Counter-Terrorism debate:

"In one recent case that she mentioned, there were three terabytes of evidence on computer—the equivalent of a library a third the size of the US Library of Congress or more than 10 million books. This point is a boomerang for the Government, because an extension of a mere two weeks would be entirely useless if each bit of evidence had to waded through and assessed as the Home Secretary implies. Indeed, if it were necessary to read material equivalent to a third of the US Library of Congress within the proposed legal limit of 42 days, I calculate that that would require 238,095 police officers working eight-hour shifts. That is all the police officers in this country, plus 100,000 on loan from a friendly neighbour."
But here is a THOUGHT: why create a SPECIAL WARRANT that would let the police continue to question and investigate someone AFTER they had charged them. So we could go back to the old days where the police had to charge someone within TWO DAYS (not twenty-eight!) but they can still go to a judge and say: "we have charged this person with a Terrorism Offence and here is our evidence so far, but we need to investigate further". That would not be so very different to what they have to do NOW, except that the person who is under arrest but still – I'm sorry to have to mention it – still PRESUMED INNOCENT gets to find out why the police have them in KLINK!

No comments: