42 Day Detention

A YouGov poll for the Daily Telegraph this morning found 69% of people supported an increase in the length of time people can be held without charge from 28 to 42 days “in exceptional circumstances”, 24% opposed it.

This is in line with previous polling, which has always tended to show a substantial majority support policies to extend the length of time terrorist suspects can be held. The picture is a bit muddier when alternates like allowing the questioning of suspects to continue after they are charged are brought into the equation, but in general the government’s policy has public support.

Tonight of course, it is the opinion of MPs that matters, not the public – the best place for analysing that is, as ever, Phil Cowley’s site www.revolts.co.uk

72 Responses to “42 Day Detention”

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  1. Ah, you missed me!

    I thought of giving June a miss. A sort of rehab after the manic May I had. But, as you request, I am back with my own views on events.

    Why should the EDP stand. We support England’s historic rights. Good luck to David Davies, and £25 is on his way to support his campaign.

    As for Labour…. How can they let the mask fall? The 42-day campaign is being run and financed by Rupert Murdoch. And here was me thinking Labour was run by the unions.

    [Of course, as I pointed out on Guido’s blog, foreign funding of such a campaign is illegal. Crick Jr must have read my comment, as he has posted the same thing on the BBC. :( ]

    PS. Anthony, I’ll try to curtail my antics from now on! It has seemed have been reflected in some recent response on this site. :P

  2. Fluffy,

    It’s not so much that we missed you as with a looney tunes by-election being called our thoughts immediately turned to you…….


  3. Peter,

    Trust a Scotsman to treat an election related to Magna Carta as looney tunes. Pfft!

  4. Fluffy Thoughts (E.D.P.)

    I certainly haven’t missed you as I don’t really think this blog should be any sort of medium for wind-up merchants and I would of course include ‘the Oracle’ in this category. As a Labour supporter I’m always happy to take serious comments by thoughtful people of other persuasions at face value and I’m perfectly happy with the odd rant if it’s witty and entertaining–unfortunately you and ‘the Oracle’ certainly don’t come up to scratch on those fronts.

  5. David, looking at what our dear friend fluffy has to say above, the comments seem thoughtful if a little inclined to the conspiracy theorist’s perspective. Certainly they don’t warrant your rather superior remarks. What qualification do you have to define who is thoughtful and what is serious? As to the oracle – such folk are needed to leaven out the pomposity of the rest of us. Sometimes a little OTT but mostly provoking of response and argument which is what we want here.

    Incidently the foeign funding issue mentioned by fluffy is significant – and hasn’t bene raised in the context of a Sun candidate (or even Kelvin and Ruoert’s vicar on earth). As I recall Australians with US citizenship living in Los Angeles are not allowed to fund UK political parties’ election campaigns.

  6. simon cooke

    Well, I might have been a little OTT but I hold to my point that the sort of comments made by Fluffy and ‘the Oracle’ are much improved by a bit of wit and perhaps they could help me out there?

  7. Anyone who thinks this by election is about defending the Magna Carta should join John Major and his warm women playing cricket on a bike brigade.

    Between Magna Carta and the twentieth century we had precious little democracy including slavery and every other king bumping off his brother/sister/wife (delete where applicable) at every opportunity. Hell it’s less than 100 years since we had equal suffrage and a century before that only the landed could vote.

    Truth is for the vast bulk of the time since the eleventh century the Magna Carta hasn’t been worth the the parchment it was scribed on.

    What invoking it does is appeal to peoples sense of their cultural superiority and by and large the public love it. We tend to like to be told that we are something special. That’s why politicians are always talking about decent hard working families and the decent fair minded British public, we tend to just lap that stuff up.

    My own party and country tend to do the same thing about the declaration of Arbroath, all countries tend to like to think of themselves as different.

    Habius Corpus is important by unfortunately I think this by election is going to be dominated by a lot of mock Churchillian posturing like an episode of Yes Minister.


  8. Why should the hard-pressed British tax-payer have to find up to £100,000 to finance a totally unnecessary by-election in order to give a rejected leadership candidate an egotistical outing? It is instructive that his much wiser and more discerning leader moved so swiftly to dismiss him permanently from his exalted position in the Shadow Cabinet. With regard to the exaggerated worshippings of Magna Carta, Peter Cairns, canny Scotsman, is indubitably right.

  9. So far as I am aware David Davis hasn’t mentioned Magna Carta.

    What he said was :-
    “I will argue in this by-election against the slow strangulation of fundamental British freedoms by this government,”

    This has to do with Habeas Corpus, but not Magna Carta.

    Views about the wisdom of DD’s actions run the gamut of opinions, but apart from the official Labour line ( a stunt)there seems to be a wide acceptance of his sincerity on the point.

    He may indeed finish up debating with himself-or a number of assorted nut-cases, but I think David Davis does feel Habeas Corpus is “important” (sic !), and he would be the last person to employ “mock posturing.”-he doesn’t do either.

    I only wish he had waited for the final outcome to the potentially doomed 42 days.

    He could by now have been laying into the undemocratic farce that EU political integration has become.Plenty of “slow strangulation of fundamental freedoms” to expose there.

  10. What Davis has shown clearly is what a lucky escape the Tories had when they picked Cameron. Whether you agree with the by-election or not it’s clear that the people who have responded most favourably to it are those to the right in politics and particularly euro sceptic Tory voters.

    Cameron has moved the Tories in to poll position by moving to and attracting centre voters and it looks like those people would see a Davis would probably like Howard, IDS and Hague just not appeal to them.

    Like those since Major a Davis lead Tory party would still be lagging behind.


  11. “it’s clear that the people who have responded most favourably to it are those to the right in politics and particularly euro sceptic Tory voters.”

    What is the evidence for this asertion?

    Your reading of British Public Opinion Polls on EU is not the same as mine!

    “Euroscepticism” as you put it is very much centre stage. Enough of power transfer to Brussels-more democracy & accountability is not a “right wing” position at all-unless of course you see the status quo in Brussels-more transfer of power, more integration, less democracy-as “left wing”-in which case I suppose you are right.

    I never believed the media portrayal of DD as “right wing”-his background tells his story-he was always a man of the people in my book.

    But you are correct about the Tories choosing the right leader.Cameron is a collegiate team player.

    DD -very sadly-is not , as is now so painfully evident.

  12. Colin,

    Portraying the current EU treaty as “More power to Brussels” is exactly how the right see it, and it’s not about that at all. the vast majority of the treaty is an exercise in streamlining a n administration that can only move at the speed of the slowest.

    For those of us who are pro European this is about effective government. It is only people on the right who do the “wake up Britain” bit and claim that this is a threat.

    I remember about six or more years ago speaking in a Euro debate at the SNP conference where I advocated That Scotland no have it’s own EU commissioner because what we didn’t want was a commission with limo for every nation as the EU expanded but rather as few Limos as possible or only as many as was needed.

    I lost ( and badly) because the argument that one was ” if they have a commissioner we should have one too” and ” Our commissioner will do deal s to get us what we want”.

    I remember in my summing up ( which I lost) saying that that was an argument for good governance but one for institutionalised corruption.

    I am strongly pro Europe and want this treaty but because it streamlines what we need to do and are already doing, I don’t se it as a loss of sovereignty and to be honest think that those that do are close to paranoid.

    Like 42 days detention it says more about the lack of confidence and fear of the unknown that seems to grip us than anything else.


  13. “I don’t se it as a loss of sovereignty and to be honest think that those that do are close to paranoid.”


    The Brussels elite will no doubt attempt to ensure that the paranoid electorate of Europe have as little say as possible in it’s governance.

  14. Commentary on reasons for the Irish “No” vote highlights fear of loss of influence for small countries as a result of the change from a revolving to a permanent Presidency.

    This view is shared by the Czech President.It will be interesting to see what the Czech Republic, and other countries yet to ratify, now do.

    Vaclav Klaus said:-

    “The result is hopefully a clear message to everybody. It is a victory of freedom and reason over artificial elitist projects and European bureaucracy.”

    No doubt the bureaucrats have already stamped “Paranoid” across his file.

  15. David,

    As the purpose of this blog is focused upon polls and the underlying reasons upon them, I intend to try to keep my slightly irreverent responses within the guidelines as defined by Anthony. [When I stray, I stop commenting. See above.] Your partisanship is hardly any better then my lunacy.

    Sir, you have from the very first attacked me and not my comments, yet have not tried to understand who, what or why I am. Instead you have name-called and preached to my peasant views. I can only put this down to the relaxed way Anthony manages this blog – very well in my view – as opposed to the other blogs I visit; Guido’s, PB.com, Iain Dale, and Boulton’s.

    I understand it is difficult for someone of your views to be treated with anything but derision on the internet, which is why I have read your views but have only replied to your abuse. [Your comments are self replying.] Please use your obvious intellect to make similar judgments before posting.

    Finally, how is your search for a new supreme leader going…? Does the short-list include Peter Robinson M.P.?


    No, this is nothing to do with Magna Carta per se. :P It’s about limiting the scope of the state. As a Millsian [sp?] liberal the actions of this government turn my stomach.

    What you may see as show-boating by David Davies is seen by many, including Labour’s Tony Robinson and Tony Benn, as a noble fight against a foreign threat to English liberty. I have also seen GIN trying to get someone to confirm whether or not 42-days applies to Scotland.

    One plausible reply to this question has been that the senior law-officer has said that the law exists in Scotland, but will not be implemented. Is this correct and, if so, is it not strange that Scottish and Irish MPs have been bought in order to subject the English people to such a hideous law?

    As for David Davies failed leadership being a boon for the Tories I disagree with your analysis, but the overall conclusion may be correct. That defeat made me become an English Democrat! :)

    John C,

    £100,000 to hold a bye-election? The figures I have seen suggest it will cost £75,000. But then what is £25,000 to an MP? [Answer: Little more then there second-home allowance.]

    Taking your figure, £100,000 equates to 33-1/3 days illegal detention under the 42-day law. That itself equates to just over two innocent people being illegally detained without charge for 42-days. In my book that is a bigger affront to the English tax-payer citizen-subject then any stunt by the Honourable rebel MP.

    Simon Cooke,

    Cheers mate. However I don’t do conspiracy theories, at least not conscientiously…! ;) I do tend to approach topics from an informed, if left-field [?!] manner.


    Geesh, that must be the longest post I have ever submitted on here. Unfortunately their are a lot of questions I like to ask on this site, not least because there are a number of good posters here whose views I respect. However that is not the type of debate Anthony encourages, so I have to watch my P’s & Q’s.

    Those of you who have no interest in my views, please skip my comments. However admit to your egos that not everyone sees the world through you immensely perceptive minds.

    Peter, do you have your own website where I can discuss our two nations futures with you? As a proper politico you seem to have your head pretty well screwed on. Well, apart from Europe that is…! :)

  16. Colin – David Davies did mention that this week is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

    I think its importance is unfairly dismissed. When looking back at historic events it’s important to see what went before those events.

    Was Magna Carta something of progress?

    If we simply look backwards, we end up looking down our noses at the past.

    Having said that, I think it’s time for a modern bill of rights that takes account of to-day’s conditions.

    I hope the Labour Party puts some-one up and stands on a ticket for a Bill of Rights, rather than simply the 42-days issue.

  17. john-yes he said that this morning on Marr’s programme.

    My seperation of Magna Carta & Habeas Corpus was a bit flimsy anyway!

    I agree with your other comments.

    DD was fascinating on TV this morning-he sounded utterly convincing-until you contemplate what he has thrown away personaly.

    He is either:-
    *The only truly principled MP at Westminster.
    *Covering up an deep disagreement/hurt with DC
    *Off his trolley.

    But he seems to be lining up lots of interesting people for his big debate-can’t see any opposition yet though.

  18. Given that the “dithering” epithet has tended toi stick to Brown, I’m dis-appointed he seems to be waiting to test the wind before deciding whether to contest or not.

    I’d have thought any chance to debate in public would be seized on by Labour at the moment.

  19. Colin – I reckon people think he’s aff his trolley, and like him all the more for it.

    He’s got spirit. Like Thatcher. (And Fluffy)

    Not that I agree with any of them.

  20. John tt,

    How do I add you to my Christmas card list…? ;)

    Cheers bud!

  21. If there is sufficient evidence to lock someone up for 42 days then there must be something there that they can be charged with, if this is not the case then it is in breach of our hard won freedom and an insult to the thousands of soldiers who have died to uphold this freedom. But if there is evidence of a crime ( and maybe new laws are needed) then they could be charged on that and given whatever sentence is relevant, although the law lords would probably oppose anything to safeguard the public, IE not allowing people to remain anonymous to give evidence, who in there right mind is now going to come forward to testify if they are in fear of there life?

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