In a shock development on the “War On Terror”, home secretary Jacqui Smith has announced plans to extend the period that people suspected of such activity can be held in prison without charge to 42 days.
Ms Smith, arguing for the measures, says that there is “…a serious and consistent threat from terrorism”, and the proposed new period would be needed “only in exceptional circumstances”… which means, in the current emergency, that, in the eyes of the government, anyone either with a darker skin, or looks like a Muslim, or speaks a different accent or language, can be seen as a threat to Britain’s “safety and security”.
The current detention limit of 28 days is already the longest in Europe. These plans have already being attacked by the opposition parties in Parliament, as well as anti-war and civil liberties groups. They will be seen, quite rightly, as the government’s increasing desperation in their bid to draw attention away from the dodgy donors scandal, and the other problems that threaten day-by-day to bring down the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour party.