Dead Men Left

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Wild delusions of grandeur

Now this is why people start blogging.

DML briefly tweaked Harry's Place's collective noses last week about their complete failure to mention the single biggest story in the British press at the time. Though the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by British troops involves at least two of HP's favourite things - Iraq, and occupying soldiers - for some reason or other the antics of a minor football club was deemed of greater importance. Seems Harry himself is a regular reader, though:

According to that handful of aggressively student Stopperblogs, which few people seem to bother reading (and which I don't link to) [I like his embarrassed furtiveness here; it makes me feel very dirty], if I fail to comment on an issue it must mean I don't think it is important at all.

...I want to add more guest posts and I repeat my invitation to all readers - if you would like to write an essay, an analysis, or even a short commentary on an issue, feel free to get in touch with your idea and we can discuss giving you some space here.

Obviously the primary aim is to give an opportunity for those on the dissenting, democratic left a chance to expand debate but each proposal will be judged on its merits.

Result. He wants suggestions - so what are you waiting for? And remember, "Liberty, if it means anything..." (Ta very much to Kate, whose blog will be added at some point to the blogroll, along with all the others I ought to have added some time ago.)

But wait, dear reader, come back, it gets better. A mere two days after speculating about the length of time the government was taking to act on freeing illegally-detained prisoners held in British gaols, this happens:

The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is expected to announce today that he will accept the law lords' ruling that the indefinite detention without trial of 12 terror suspects in Britain breaches human rights laws.

The ruling, which came just before Christmas, struck at the heart of the emergency anti-terror legislation passed in the aftermath of September 11 by the former home secretary, David Blunkett.

Mr Clarke is expected to outline to the Commons today his proposals to amend the legislation to meet the human rights concerns raised by the House of Lords. He is likely to propose a new civil order, similar to an anti-social behaviour order.

Now, I know what you're thinking. When members of the most senior court in the country start saying things like

The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws like these. may form the opinion that a serious legal problem has emerged which might have slightly more sway over the Home Secretary than a hastily-written note on a blog with a limited (but, as we have seen, certainly rather select) readership. You may also be thinking 1. this sort of thing is far too serious for studentesque self-indulgence on this scale and 2. providing the Secretary of State with hugely increased powers of house arrest, without recourse to the courts, is hardly a great improvement in matters.

Pfft, I say. Luddites be damned. Welcome to the future of politics.