Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Short memories

Last Sunday I drove with the family through Runnymede. Typically, because I am a self-confessed history bore, I took the opportunity to tell my kids about Magna Carta and its importance .

Ironic with the news this week that the judicial and security establishment is queuing up to tell the government that they don’t want the 42 day detention of terrorist suspects.

Of course it shows precious little confidence in the security services that they supposedly need six weeks before they can gather enough evidence, not to convict, but to merely bring charges against suspects.

It also shows little knowledge of recent history to forget that the single thing that did most to propel ordinary Catholics into the arms of the IRA was detention without trial.

Or from our more distant past, the lesson that freedom from arbitary detention or arbitary government was gained by long and bloody struggle. And lost not overnight but in subtle increments.

But hey - the economy’s going down the tubes, we’re bogged down in un-winnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - New Labour needs to demonstrate that they’re ‘tough’ on terrorism. So bollocks to Magna Carta.

Maybe it's time to hold Brown hostage and make him sign a Bill Of Rights. There's a precedent.

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