Monday, 6 October 2008

42 days detention and the EU - Oh sweet irony!

The Times is reporting that Gordon Brown may be having a rethink on extending detention without charge to 42 days, and that he has decided against using the Parliament Act to force the Bill through.

What could have changed Gordon's mind? He was fixated on passing this Bill to the point of brutally whipping his MPs in the face of a major rebellion and (allegedly) bribing the nine DUP MPs to vote with the government. He faced the embarrassment of shadow minister David Davis quitting his post to stand against the erosion of our liberties, and still he desired this Bill to be made law. So what could have changed the flunking fist's mind?

The truth is that he didn't change his mind - it was changed for him. And why he changed his mind is sweet irony to those who are opposed to the Lisbon Treaty and the EU's general interference into our lives. Back in June, Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner criticised the British government's wish to pass this Bill saying:
"In the rest of Europe the time [length of detention] is much shorter. "We discuss with governments hours, not days and weeks. "I have not found any government in Europe that has approved such a long period. "Even 28 says, the present situation in the UK, is long compared to the rest of Europe. "And my real worry, of course, is that this would be seen as a signal to other countries where there may be a move for them also to prolong something that we would hope would be as short as possible."
Now the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly's committee on legal affairs and human rights has said that it had:
"serious doubts as to the compatibility of certain elements of draft counter-terrorism legislation in the United Kingdom with the requirements of the European convention on human rights and the Strasbourg court's case law. "terrorism must be fought with means that fully respect human rights and the rule of law, excluding all forms of arbitrariness. Injustice breads terrorism and undermines the legitimacy of the fight against it."
The Bill would have been most likely rejected in the House of Lords, but everyone fully expected Brown to use the Parliament Act to circumvent democracy. Isn't it just beautiful that the man trying to push the Lisbon Treaty on an unwilling British public, finds himself dancing to the EU's tune like a good little boy.


John M Ward said...

Ah, hoist by his own whatever. I like it!

I also like the fact that this issue is dead, at least for now. I'm sure they'll find a way around it in time, the way they tend to do...

Michael Byrne said...

No offense, but this blog is another example of typical anti-eu ignorance. FYI: the Council of Europe is NOT an EU institution. Naturally the Tories/UKIP/BNP coalition has been 'conveniently confusing' the two whenever it suited their hawkish agenda. Please educate yourself before you spout any more of this nonsense.

On a more positive note: thank God 42 days didn't make it. Shows you the usefulness of the CoE. And the EU has protested against id-cards. It's a good thing the EU and the CoE are there to safeguard our liberties.