The insistence by Gordon Brown on extending the period of detention without trial looks to be heading to considerable opposition. The quote from the Director of Public Prosecutions damns the proposals for relying on threats which are not based on evidence. The road taken by Blair has already done immeasurable damage to community relations and stirred up feelings against Muslims in a way which draws uncomfortable parallels with the stoking of hatred against Jewish people. It looked in the first week that Brown was embarking on a process that drew away from this. That intention has now become very blurred.
” It emerged as Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, delivered a damning verdict on Mr Brown’s 42-day plans. He argued that the 28-day limit was working well, accusing ministers of wanting to pass laws based on a theoretical threat. ‘I think the basic point is whether you want to legislate on the basis of hypotheticals or whether you want to legislate on the basis of the evidence that we have acquired through practice,’ Sir Ken told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One. “It seems to me that if you are legislating in an area which is going to curtail civil liberties to a significant extent, it is better to proceed by way of the evidence and the evidence of experience.” Source The Independent 27.12.2007.
“Lock people up and throw away the key” looks like New Labour policy stealing a Tory one. It is inhumane, and has been shown time and again to be inhumane with record numbers locked up and proposals for super prisons run by the likes of Group 4. In them go not only those who need to be held in detention, but the most vulnerable in society including those in desperate need of treatment for their mental health.
Meanwhile the UK has been identified as a key market for an airline which is making a business of removing failed and “disruptive” asylum seekers. No doubt they are disruptive when they fear for their lives on being returned to places they may have already suffered torture.
Heinz Berger, who has set up the Asylum Airlines company and has worked with British companies providing security at British airports, says that he is still involved with the “bureaucracy” of the scheme but has identified Britain as a key market for his service.
“Mr Berger said that Britain was on a list of countries with whom he was seeking to do business. He said there was ‘ongoing interest all over Europe’ for an airline that will organise flights around Europe, picking up failed asylum-seekers from various countries and then flying them back to their home nations around Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
A special feature will be bespoke aircraft with padded rooms and restraining equipment.” Source The Independent 27.12.2007.
Thank you Mr Berger. Thank you New Labour. Doesn’t it make you proud to be British?