UK Will Stand up to Terrorism (by Curbing Freedoms)


In the wake of the recent fumbled British car bombs, some have raised the possibility of resurrecting an old bill that would give UK police the power to detain anyone they like for 90 days without trial. This is the bill that saw Blair's first-ever parliamentary defeat, and was eventually negotiated down to (only!) 28 days before it passed into law.

With new PM Gordon Brown on the clock, some reckon another push for the full 90 days might be coming, especially if "Terror" hits the headlines in a more serious way. Brown says no, for now—but then he's only been in power a few days, and certain "emergency" powers have already been rushed through for the Scottish police:

[Scottish police chief] Mr McKerracher said the powers had been applied for on Saturday after the car bomb attempt. Speaking at a press conference in Glasgow today, he urged the public to be tolerant of extra security measures being brought in to protect Scotland. He said: "We have applied for the authorisation to utilise stop-and-search and that is across every community in Scotland. That will be done sensitively and in situations where officers on the ground feel that is appropriate. Those powers were sought two days ago and that gives us an immediate 48 hours authorisation and then they will be confirmed by the home secretary."

Remember when the ban on liquids on planes was just a temporary "emergency" measure?

Jesse Walker blogged Blair's defeat in 2005.