Friday, June 6, 2008

John Major speaks out against 42-day detention

John Major (the former Prime Minister) as a guest contributer, wrote a column in The Times today: 42-day detention: the threat to our liberty - The Government's plan is simply part of an assault on our ancient rights This is an excerpt from the column about his views against 42-day detention: If the measure is passed, it will be a pyrrhic victory that owes more to political survival than principle. Even so, it is hard to justify: pre-charge detention in Canada is 24 hours; South Africa, Germany, New Zealand and America 48 hours; Russia 5 days; and Turkey 7½ days. and this excerpt is about the government's identity cards scheme: But it is not only the case for 42 days detention that is bogus. So is the case for identity cards. They were to be voluntary. Now it is clear that they will be compulsory. Yet the Government has admitted that such cards would not have stopped the London bombers. Nor will they cut illegal immigration, since asylum-seekers have been obliged to carry ID cards for nearly eight years. Nor will they have any real impact on benefits fraud, as this is typically caused by misrepresentation of financial resources rather than by identity. The Government has been saying, in a catchy, misleading piece of spin: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” This is a demagogue's trick. We do have something to fear - the total loss of privacy to an intrusive state with authoritarian tendencies. This is not a United Kingdom that I recognise and Parliament should not accept it. Very powerful article. Please read the entire article and pass the link on to others.

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