Anorak News | Police State

Police State

by | 11th, November 2005

‘CHANCES are Tony Blair will still be the Prime Minister in 90 days time.

‘As you can see from this projection, crime dips if we lock everyone up’

He might no longer be coated in a layer of Teflon, but he’s sure to carry on – not least of all because he sees no reason for leaving.

In any case, who would replace him? Gulping Gordon? Jamie Oliver? Or perhaps the police could take over from Tony. Well, the boys in blue have become newly politicised.

As the Telegraph’s front page says (“Labour used police chiefs to lobby MPs on terror Bill”), Tony might well have compromised the traditional neutrality of the police force.

The paper says that senior police officers were asked by the Association of Chief Police Officers to telephone and write to MPs asking them to back the 90-day plan.

Sussex chief constable, Ken Jones, who represents the association on counter-terrorism, wrote to his fellow police chiefs asking them to ensure MPs knew all about how right, proper and sensible banging people up without charge for 90 days was.

Paul West, the chief constable of West Mercia, talks of the “compelling and overwhelming” case for 90 days. And Peter Fahy, chief constable of Cheshire, says “90 days is justified and necessary”.

Problem is, just like Tony, there is no hard evidence to say why 90 days is the right way to go. It’s all arbitrary.

A Home Office spokesman tells the paper that Home Secretary Charles Clarke thought it would be “helpful” if the top cops were on hand to explain the case for the 90-days proposed if MPs contacted them.

This is a slight twist on the narrative, with the MPs doing the calling instead of the police. But whichever way round it went, the police failed in their mission.

As did Clarke. The Independent hears him tell BBC radio: “I regret that I got the judgement wrong in terms of the House and the ability to get that position through, and there are lots of issues to be looked at from that point of view.”

One of which is Clarke’s future. “I don’t know, that is a matter for the Prime Minister and for anybody else.”

So it’s all Clarke’s fault, not Tony’s. And we thought that as the leader who championed the campaign for 90 days, the buck stopped with him.

Perhaps the police can give us a call and tell us why it doesn’t…’

Posted: 11th, November 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink