Rachel from North London – 42 days. Once more for those at the back: The trust and good will of local communities in preventing murder-attacks is priceless and one of our best assets in saving lives. Time and again it is pointed out that draconian laws, laws that look like they are targeting Muslims unfairly, drafted on the basis of what tough-talking politicians say might be needed – rather than an honest assessment of the current situation are not only undemocratic but counter-productive. The Security Services, the people who do this day in and day out are not asking for this law. I repeat, the Security Services are not asking for this law. Don’t ask me how I know that, because I can’t tell you. But it is true.
And, bless her cotton socks, she was right on the money…
BBC – MI5 ‘has not asked for 42 days’: MI5 has not “directly” asked the government to extend the time limit for holding terror suspects without charge, to 42 days, Jacqui Smith has said.
As is noted here and here, there’s only one newspaper supporting 42 days, and that’s The Downing Street Echo, the same publication that pulled out all the stops for 90 days. Today, they’re busy parading a cop who does want 42 days (previously, they had to make do with two ex-cops (and the not-at-all blinkered MP Ann Widdecombe) but so far none of these people have shown why we need it now. All we get from the pro-42 camp is repeated assurances that we *might* need it someday backed by false urgency and shameless scaremongering like this; “Our enemies are planning our destruction and this is no time to play right into their hands.”
At this point I can confidently direct you back to the earlier post by Rachel and leave it at that:
Rachel from North London – 42 days. Once more for those at the back: The trust and good will of local communities in preventing murder-attacks is priceless and one of our best assets in saving lives. Time and again it is pointed out that draconian laws, laws that look like they are targeting Muslims unfairly, drafted on the basis of what tough-talking politicians say might be needed – rather than an honest assessment of the current situation are not only undemocratic but counter-productive.
Watch the publisher of Total Politics show you his understanding of what ‘fair and balanced’ means here and here.
Fans of Iain Dale will recognise the ‘baying mob’ line from his reaction to the Conway affair (summed up marvellously here, by Garry).
You may also note that, suddenly, Iain isn’t as quietly appreciative of anonymous comments as he usually is. Still, I suppose he feels that he should be suspicious of something. Otherwise people might get the idea that he’s slacking.
Random thoughts from a British Eccentric – Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Bob Piper – Another friend in need?
Sadie’s Tavern – In Association with the Conservative Party and the Official Receiver, Sadie’s Tavern presents: A NANNY’S TALE
Independent – US issues threat to Iraq’s $50bn foreign reserves in military deal: The US is holding hostage some $50bn of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.
I can’t possibly improve on RickB’s headline, so I won’t try:
Ten Percent – The Rape of Iraq: Bribed With It’s Own Money
Guardian – Tories’ Brussels enforcer quits over half-million in expenses: Giles Chichester, who three months ago was charged by David Cameron with the role of ensuring that Tory MEPs were behaving scrupulously, stood down in Brussels after being found, over the past 12 years, to have transferred the funds, which came from MEP’s allowances, to a company of which he was a director. On Wednesday, Chichester had resisted quitting his post, though he confessed to a “whoops-a-daisy” moment, stating that he had failed to understand the rules…
Sorry, but if you’re the guy in charge of making sure that others understand and follow the rules, you can’t break the rules and then say “whoops” and expect to get away with it.
And what fun it is to watch David Cameron charging around in the hope that his velocity alone will cast the egg from his face.
(I know it’s a show, because on a number of occasions Cameron has offered Anne Milton a free ride on clear wrongdoings – example – just because it didn’t look like it would cost him anything at the time. No fuss = no action.)
[Psst! Watch the Conservatives’ top attack blogger calling for calm. The partisan twit.]
Get Reading – Reading magistrates asked for Bush arrest warrant: A peace campaigner from Newtown will tomorrow ask Reading magistrates for a warrant to arrest George W Bush. Peter Burt, of Biko Court, is taking his case to court to try to get the American president arrested for war crimes. Mr Burt, of Reading Peace Group, plans to outline the offences that ‘Dubya’, left, has committed and the international laws that he has broken, including the invasion of Iraq, the bombing of Afghanistan and the abduction, illegal detention and torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. He said: “The historians of the future will mention the name Bush in the same breath as the names of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and other great criminals who have committed the most appalling crimes that humanity has known. “I will be asking Reading magistrates to stand up for international law by issuing an arrest warrant so that George Bush can be held to account for his crimes in the International Criminal Court.” Magistrates have the power to issue an arrest warrant under section one of the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980 if information about a suspected offence is laid before them. ‘Laying an information’ is usually done by the police or other law enforcement agencies but it can also be done by a member of the public.
And getting back to the crime in progress…
Independent – Revealed: Secret plan to keep Iraq under US control: A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the US presidential election in November. The terms of the impending deal, details of which have been leaked to The Independent, are likely to have an explosive political effect in Iraq. Iraqi officials fear that the accord, under which US troops would occupy permanent bases, conduct military operations, arrest Iraqis and enjoy immunity from Iraqi law, will destabilise Iraq’s position in the Middle East and lay the basis for unending conflict in their country. But the accord also threatens to provoke a political crisis in the US. President Bush wants to push it through by the end of next month so he can declare a military victory and claim his 2003 invasion has been vindicated.
[Psst! First round of invites for Operation Manticore go out this afternoon.]
This just in… Belinda Carlisle is a pre-op transsexual. Apparently.
Hey, there’s an easy win for Boris… cleaning up the tart cards! Just imagine the defiant last-ditch party that would provoke.
According to this article, Leah McLaren thinks that the typical English male “is either a repressed homosexual, a drunkard whose alcohol intake renders him incapable, a boarding school product deprived of his mother’s love too early in life, or simply a woman-hater.”
But a quick scan of that article, the original article and/or her Wikipedia page reveals that she formed this opinion while hanging around right-wing tabloid and City types.
Not that I’m mentioning any names…
Ten Percent has reminded me via a link to an old article that Scotland Yard only pressed for partial closure of London’s mobile phone network after Bush was told he wasn’t allowed to use his shiny black helicopters that block mobile phone signals.
In the end, he had to make do with a shiny black truck that followed the motorcade, blocking mobile phone signals.
(FFS! The rest of us get by with tinfoil.)
His bubble got a lot smaller as a result.
Seeing as many of the world’s problems with this administration stem from Bush insisting that he spend his entire life in a bubble so sterile that not even information can pass through, I saw this as a good thing.
In fact, I dared to hope that Bush’s bubble had finally become so small that he could actually see reality from where he was sitting.
Of course, Blair had to f**k it all up by creating a fantasy-land for him in Sedgefield (building Britain’s very first official free speech zone in the process) but Brown is not likely to be (a) that stupid and (b) under anywhere near as much pressure… especially after today.
The race for the White House is on* and McCain has begun by running a mile from Bush.
(*Don’t tell Hillary… she’s in a bubble of her own.)
[Psst! Items of interest here for Scotch and Ten Percent. The first round of invites for Operation Manticore are going out tomorrow latest.]
Sorry about the delay. I was all set to go at a few minutes to midnight last night, but there was a rebuild problem. Looks to be clear now.
Operation Manticore is go. I repeat; Operation Manticore is go.
The back-end should be fully secure and ready to roll for the first round of invites tomorrow.
UPDATE – Oh, and thanks to the former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchezdo, we have a fresh eye-opener for the few remaining Bush-lovers:
“Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can’t send that message. It’s an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!” – George W. Bush (source)
1. Bloody hell. What a hero.
2. Come to think of it, we could do with a march to democracy over this way…
(reaches for weapon)
This became an irretrievably stupid idea from the moment the newspapers started to cash in on it.
(Both London freesheets had it on their front page yesterday, and it’s in several nationals today.)
My advice to you if you’re planning on a day or night out in London today is to avoid the underground system. You certainly shouldn’t put yourself in a position where you need to rely on it.
UPDATE – Alternatively, you could throw caution to the wind and have a drinking competition.