Monday, July 03, 2006

Terror watchdog scheme to placate opponents of 90-day detention

John DenhamThe government is doing a good job of spinning the Home Affairs Select Committee's recommendation that the police after all get their 90-day detention without trial period.

We now hear that Gordon Brown is pushing for a parliamentary "commissioner" to oversee the process. The efficacy of such commissioners is well demonstrated by the craven tone of the Interception Commissioner's annual report, which is the clearest example of regulatory capture I have yet seen (followed closely by the Intelligence and Security Committee).

The HASC feels that the police did a bad spin job and they can evidently do better:

The committee is critical of the case put by Sir Ian Blair, the head of the Metropolitan police, for longer detention: "The police should have been able to present an evidence-based analysis of the type we have endeavoured to undertake. It is clear that this was not done, despite their reliance on their 'professional judgment'.

"We think it is reasonable for the prime minister and home secretary to rely on advice from the police on such issues, but we would also expect them to have challenged critically that advice in order to assure themselves of the case that was being made. We heard no evidence that this had happened: this is unsatisfactory."

Denham is a Blairite of the highest order, so this is clearly the government's new strategy to get their Draconian powers past the Lords the second time around.

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