Friday, July 11, 2008

Now Tebbit supports Labour not Davis on 42-days...

I seldom find myself in agreement with Norman Tebbit, the so called Chingford Skinhead, but the views on 42-days and yesterday's bizarre by-election he expressed tonight on Radio 4's Any Questions are right on the button.

First, he said it would be difficult to agree with David Davis that yesterday's by-election was a victory for civil liberties.

Then the former Tory Cabinet Minister who famously advised the jobless to 'get on their bikes' revealed that he supported the Labour Government in increasing the maximum pre-charge detention for suspected terrorists from 28 to 42 days.

Lord Tebbit sensibly suggested that contrary to what some believe, our police are not actually waiting to pounce on terror suspects to lock them up for 42-days without reasonable cause and that in fact the measure would be rarely used, but may be necessary in some cases, for instance to give security forces time to uncover evidence held in seized computers.

Lord Tebbit's show-stopper was to remind us that his own wife had been 'locked up in a wheelchair for the past 24 years' after the IRA terrorist attack on the 1984 Conservative Party Conference.

Audience members pointed out that David Davis makes himself out to be a champion of civil liberties, yet has previously voted for hanging. More recently of course, in the Commons, he voted to increase the maximum pre-charge detention period for suspected terrorists from 14 to 28 days.

So he's for doubling the period to 28 days, but is against 42 days 'on principle'...

As predicted HERE...!, Mr Davis managed to beat off all looney all-comers, with most excitement before the result was announced being a recount between the Greens and the English National Party for a distant second place.

And of course, David Davis instantly claimed a 'stunning victory' - despite the fact that thousands fewer people voted for him yesterday than in 2005...

And despite the other fact that his party leader David Cameron let it be known that there's no place in the Tory Shadow Cabinet for the man who fought him for the Leadership .

For me, what David Davis achieved in his daft stunt, is to highlight that not only are the Tories against locking up suspected terrorists for a maximum of 42-days without charge, but they are also against CCTV and the DNA database - both of which protect the innocent majority - and which have both helped bring criminals to justice.

Once of the reasons the prisons are now full, despite provision of extra places, is DNA evidence which has helped lock up perpetrators of hundreds of serious crimes - years after they thought they had escaped justice...


Anonymous said...

I stopped reading this halfway through Phil, but I got as far as "Norman Tebbit supports crack down on towel wearing extremists" shocker.

What was your next story? "There is sand in the desert" exclusive? "Water linked to cure for thirst" blockbuster? "Bear shit in the woods" discovery? Too many holes in this story to even bother with a serious argument. But then you need some cover for this pathetic Government, and an anti-terror scare is the only way people might miss Broon's obvious incompetence.


Anonymous said...

Norman Tebbit.

You need to rely on Norman Tebbit.

Says it all, really. You are most welcome to each other.

The prisons are full mainly because of longer sentences, but also because of more restrictive release regimes, by the way.

The danger of internment is that it recruits for the oppos and corrupts the state.

Since you mention the maimed Mrs Tebbit in the unfortunate way that you do, it might be worth reflecting on the Northern Ireland experience.

It is dishonest to pretend otherwise.

Anonymous said...

It seems a curious argument to me, Phil.

You say that David Davis beat off a lot of candidates, some of whom were loons and assorted Elvis impersonators.

But isn't that because you chose not to stand for fear of getting beaten?

It obviously matters because you are blogging away about it.

But you do not tell us who a Labour supporter should have voted for.

Presumably the greens, who came second.

But they are not in favour of internment either.

So your argument is hard to follow.

fairdealphil said...


You are entitled to your view of course that 42-days is an 'anti-terror scare' by Government...

Were 9/11, 7/7, and the failed London bombings just 'scares'...

Did i imagine the carnage and slaughter of people...?

fairdealphil said...


thankfully, i don't need to 'rely' on big Norm...

but i do find myself strangely in agreement with him on this occasion.

it wasn't me that mentioned his maimed was him. i believe i reported his words almost verbatim.

on haltemprice, i never had any intention of standing...

as for the Labour Party not standing, various commentators agree with me that declining to enter into Davis's farce rather pulled the rug from under his stunt and left him looking rather silly - in my view.

The result added little or no significance on the serious civil liberties debate. I suspect many people who don't agree with his stand against 42 days (but not 28), DNA database and CCTV voted for him anyway...

Anonymous said...

And I am sure the Government is delighted to have these two tragedies to hark on about and to silence any opposition to its policies. Terrorism exists and has done in some form for the last fifty years. This does not convince most people that this incompetent and dishonest Government should be trusted with powers that go against all conventions and liberties this country has always defended.

As your poll ratings show, you aren't fooling anyone. This legislation is unlikely to make it through the Lords, and even if it does we will repeal it in two years anyway.

fairdealphil said...


yes, terrorism has, as you say, existed for the past fifty years.

And more.

But Guy Fawkes didn't have access to hi-tech computers and the world wide internet...

face facts: 7/7 saw home-grown terrorists slaughter more than 50 people and maim hundreds more.

the Government is not making up the very real threat: it is real and continuing.

we must, imho, give our security forces the tools needed to prevent a 9/11 in our country...

42-days with all the safeguards of appearances before the judiciary every seven days to justify further detention is a reasonable step in today's hi-tech world.

Thank goodness we have a Government prepared to take the tough decisions - as they did to sort the economy and make sure we can get through difficult world problems - and not salesman Cameron continually searching for a bandwagon to leap on.

If the security forces were forced to release a suspected terrorist after 28 days before they had completed their enquiries and an atrocity followed, you Michael, would be first in the queue demanding answer from Government..

As for your speak of:

'powers that go against all conventions and liberties this country has always defended...'

do remind us, which flavour of Government introduced unlimited internment without charge...?

i note that 'you' will repeal 42-days if enacted before the next General Election.

may i ask which parliamentary seat you proposing to stand for...and for which party?

Anonymous said...

The higher the threat, the more our freedoms matter.

It is not the security forces who detain people, Phil. It's the police and the criminal justice system.

As a sitting member of a police authority, you might know this already?

There will no doubt be atrocities.
It is the response that matters. To abandon the rule of law is to recruit for the oppos and corrupt the state.

Don't even think of going there. You give the impression of wanting the Black and Tans. No wonder Norman Tebbit is asking to join the Labour Party.

fairdealphil said...


the higher the threat, the more we must do to ensure that those who would wish to carry out the threat are prevented from doing so.

you are right, of course, that it is the police who actually detain suspects in the interests of the security of all us.

but as a member of a police authority, i well aware that the police also have an increasing role in security and protection, particularly in anti-terrorism, in response to changing threats.

Back to the main point:

Locking up suspected terrorists on extremely rare occasions for a maximum of two weeks longer than presently permitted, to give those responsible for our security more time if required, to get the evidence they need, seems a small price to protect us all...

And it is nowhere near 'abandoning the rule of law' that was internment as used by various British Governments over the past 50 years and more, (which I oppose), nor the absolute abuse of human rights that was (and is) Guantanamo Bay, for instance.

42-days, with all its built-in protections and safeguards is, in my view, a reasonable response to the current threat....