13 June 2008


It’s almost too depressing:

1. The whole palaver over 42-day detention has been ridiculous. I accept that the cops need more time to collect evidence from Islamist terrorist suspects than they do, from, say, football hooligans. But why go for bang ‘em up for six weeks for interrogation? No one has explained. Why not risk prosecutions going wrong? OK it’s expensive, but how much more so than the complex compensation packages that seem to have emerged this week in order to win over Labour doubters? Why piss off every lawyer who thinks that Magna Carta did not die in vain? It’s plain stupid.

2. The deals that appear to have been done to win 42 days are disgusting – and I mean kow-towing to nostalgic Stalinists who enjoy the hospitality of Fidel Castro over EU sanctions for jailing writers as much as greasing up to reactionary Northern Irish Protestants who want backdoor constraints on reproduction rights. The whole thing was rank.

3. David Davis is an unprincipled scumbag, and his resignation stunt may well implode under its own momentum. But Davis versus (or rather colluding with) Kelvin Mackenzie and the Sun, with Rupert Murdoch footing the bill for Mackenzie, is potentially a stunt on the scale of the Beaverbrook/Rothermere United Empire Party in 1930-31 – a blatant attempt by reactionary media interests to shift the political agenda to the right.

“Power without responsibility: the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages”, as the Tory leader of the time described it – but we won’t get that from David Cameron. This is scary.

4. The Irish vote against the Lisbon treaty raises the whole question of Europe again in UK politics even thought the vote was a farce – and the Tories look good on it even though they are obnoxious opportunists.

Add it all to the 10p tax rate fiasco and inflation and collapsing house prices, and – oh shit.

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