Azara Blog: John Reid pronounces more rubbish on so-called terror laws

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Date published: 2007/06/07

The BBC says:

Home Secretary John Reid has outlined a raft of proposals to toughen counter terror laws - including reviewing the 28-day limit on pre-charge detention.

He said he wanted cross-party agreement on the measures, which also include a law change to allow terrorist suspects to be questioned after being charged.

Plans also include a sex offender-style terrorist register, and a review into courts using intercept evidence.

But MPs were told "stop and question" powers were not among current plans.

The measures are in a three-page consultation document rather than a draft bill because Mr Reid said he wanted to get cross-party support before announcing more concrete measures in a counter-terrorism bill later this year.

He said he personally believed, as did Prime Minister Tony Blair and the next prime minister Gordon Brown, that 28-day detention in terrorist cases was not enough.

He did not say whether there would be a fresh attempt to extend the limit as far as 90 days, which was the issue that led to Mr Blair's first Commons defeat as prime minister.

But he said action was needed given that suspects had "unconstrained intent... to murder people in their thousands, or potentially, millions".
Mr Reid told MPs he was now proposing new measures to toughen control orders relating to fingerprinting, DNA and police powers of entry.

But he appeared to talk down the possibility of opting out of parts of European human rights laws, favouring instead an overall rethink of them.

This was needed because at the time they were drafted, only nation states could inflict the level of casualties that one individual could now, he said.

Reid is just taking the piss. First of all, he is not going to be Home Secretary in a month, so anything he proposes is irrelevant. Secondly, the claim that "at the time they were drafted, only nation states could inflict the level of casualties that one individual could now" is complete and utter rubbish. Flying airplanes into buildings and blowing up bombs in the underground has been possible for a very long time. And the US and UK have demonstrated perfectly well in Iraq that nation states are willing and capable of inflicting a far higher level of causualties on the world than any terrorist ever has or likely will.

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