So the smug cunt lost one at last. Though I’m pretty impressed by quite how much. The government has a notional majority of 71 at the moment, if you exclude the Sinn Féin MPs, yet he still lost by 31 votes.
And quite right too. It comes to something when I’m agreeing with Andrew Gilligan and the Tories! It was under 1000 days ago* that the government used exactly the same arguments to persuade Parliament to double the internment time allowed and grant them the longest period in a democracy anywhere on the planet. Now, rather than suspending habeas corpus indefinitely for foreign nationals and for a fortnight for Brits, they’re wanting to suspend it for three whole months. Three months of detention for someone innocent (and there’s bound to be at least one accident, obviously) could destroy their life.
And we don’t even need these powers to be granted to the cops; all the pretexts are utter bollocks. The main problem (as Gilligan pointed out in this evening’s Standard) is that cops can’t continue interviewing people once they’re charged. Change this (it’s in the PACE Code of Practice, not statute law, so much easier to change, even) and half of the problems go away. More importantly, though, the idea that there’s nothing that people could be charged with if they’re suspected of terrorism is just ludicrous; even encryption doesn’t pose a problem there because (a) three months won’t allow them to decrypt anything and (b) the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2001 was specifically designed to handle problems like that.
Anyways, I want to go to bed, so I’m gonna stop ranting and just keep enjoying that Blair finally got defeated. On a civil liberties issue. Not very surprising, as he’s almost certainly the least liberal Prime Minister we’ve ever had and pisses all over civil liberties at almost every opportunity, but about fucking time.
So when will he fall on his sword and realise he commands neither the respect of his party nor that of the public and that Labour would have had a much larger majority in May had he not been leading the party?
* 921, if you’re that bothered