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Old 11-09-2005, 01:37 PM   #1
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Blair's proposed terror laws defeated

Perhaps this should be in the war section - if so Mods, please move it and I apologise.

I'm not sure of the opinions of people in here about the laws Blair wanted, but i'd certainly be interested to hear what you thought of them and how you feel about this outcome.

Quote:
Parliament hands Blair stinging defeat
Wed Nov 9, 2005 5:57 PM GMT14

By Mike Peacock

LONDON (Reuters) - Tony Blair suffered his first major parliamentary defeat as prime minister on Wednesday over new counter-terrorist powers, raising fresh questions about his authority.

The House of Commons voted by 322 to 291 against plans to let police hold terrorist suspects for up to 90 days without charge, as about 40 Labour MPs refused to support him.

Blair had dramatically recalled his two top ministers -- Chancellor Gordon Brown and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw -- from abroad in a bid to avoid defeat, but to no avail.

Police called for the new powers after Islamist suicide bombers killed 52 people in London on July 7. Critics say they powers would be a huge infringement of civil liberties.

Parliamentarians later voted in favour of a much lower, 28-day detention limit, up from 14 now.

Blair had earlier put his personal authority on the line, telling MPs it was their "duty" to support the measure.

"We are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism -- terrorism that wants ... to inflict casualties on us without limit," he said.

"I appeal to the House to have some responsibility here."

Not enough of his supporters listened.

The financial markets reacted swiftly to his defeat, with the pound dropping nearly a 1/2 cent against the dollar after the vote.

"It highlights the weakness of Blair's leadership and increases the risk on UK assets but like most political events of the past year, the impact is likely to be short-lived," said Adam Cole, senior currency strategist of RBC Capital Markets of the pound's fall.

WANING POWER?

An election in May slashed Blair's parliamentary majority to 66, about 100 less than he has been used to, meaning fewer than 40 Labour MPs can defeat him by voting with the combined ranks of the opposition.

Many say his decision not to fight another election has weakened his authority. The decision to recall Brown from the Middle East will reinforce the view that he is increasingly reliant on his likely successor.

Richard Wyn Jones, political expert at Aberystwyth University, said Blair's standing had definitely taken a hit.

"If 40 Labour members voted against him when the chips are down, when he's called in all the favours, twisted all the arms, that really does kick his authority," he said.

Police say they needed 90 days because investigations into terrorism can take considerable time, often involving international checks and the decoding of vast amounts of encrypted electronic data.

Conservative leader Michael Howard said that risked acting as a recruitment sergeant for militants.

"We all want to fight terrorism effectively but you don't have to look very far beyond our shores to see what happens if you alienate minority communities," he said in parliament, referring to days of rioting in France.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:52 PM   #2
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Wow, I knew that it would be a close vote but figured that it would go Blair's way in the end. I'm glad about the result though, as 90 days was just excessive. If those detained didn't already have terrorist tendencies before, then I bet they would have after being held for such a long time. Detention for 90 days would be enough to destroy peoples' lives. The fall back, 28 days, should be sufficent for the police to find evidence. If they suspect something serious, surely they can charge them with a lesser offence and hold them for longer.

So many people have been picked up since 9/11 but no one ever hears what happens to them. I'm sure that most of them have been quietly released as there just isn't the evidence to charge them with anything. However, the gov't does nothing to publicise their release and the public is left with the impression that potential terrorists are being picked up left, right and centre. The point is to protect the public without turning the country into a police state. 90-day detention would been a step in the wrong direction.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:53 PM   #3
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how long does Blair have left? a year at most?

seems like 28 days is symbolic of the difficult balance between security and civil liberties that such security should, in theory, be defending.
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:03 PM   #4
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Originally posted by Irvine511
how long does Blair have left? a year at most?

seems like 28 days is symbolic of the difficult balance between security and civil liberties that such security should, in theory, be defending.
With the institutional racism that exists within the police force, I don't doubt that these laws would have been abused beyond their means had they come about.
On a selfish level, I wanted these laws because I want to feel safe/safer again. At the same time, I don't want to deny so many people of their basic rights.

90 days was too long. A more 'reasonable' length, perhaps. I would still be unsure if this issue got raised again.

As for Blair, I think this probably is the beginning of the end for him. He can't delay the inevitible much longer. Watching the coverage of the reaction in the Commons shortly after the vote results were announced, both him and Michael Howard were being hounded.
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by beau2ifulday


With the institutional racism that exists within the police force, I don't doubt that these laws would have been abused beyond their means had they come about.

As for Blair, I think this probably is the beginning of the end for him.
Yeah, I don't think it will be much longer for Blair. I'm sure he'll try to hang on for another year, possibly more, but his authority has been seriously dented today. He won't be as effective and the gov't/country will suffer as a result.

I definitely think the law would have been abused. I'm normally a trusting type but after that elderly protested who shouted "liar" during Jack Straw's speech at the Labour convention was changed under the flippin' terrorist act I just don't trust anything they say fully.
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Old 11-09-2005, 10:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by karls77


Yeah, I don't think it will be much longer for Blair. I'm sure he'll try to hang on for another year, possibly more, but his authority has been seriously dented today. He won't be as effective and the gov't/country will suffer as a result.

I definitely think the law would have been abused. I'm normally a trusting type but after that elderly protested who shouted "liar" during Jack Straw's speech at the Labour convention was changed under the flippin' terrorist act I just don't trust anything they say fully.
good healthy attitude



there have been tremendous abuses under Bush

it is a terrible time in American history
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:08 AM   #7
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i think that 60 days is ok...instead of 14 in the present scenario

police need to work harder in those 60 days to prove something or release the guy..

90 was a bit too long...
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Old 11-10-2005, 03:25 AM   #8
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Originally posted by deep


good healthy attitude



there have been tremendous abuses under Bush

it is a terrible time in American history
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