Tony Blair suffers his first defeat as prime minister as MPs reject plans to hold terror suspects without charge for up to 90 days, but he insists his authority is intact.
In a vote on a key piece of legislation he not only lost his large majority but he was roundly and convincingly defeated – for the first time in eight years.
And, while he continues to claim this was not an issue of his leadership or authority, it has dealt him a serious personal blow and already led to a demand for his resignation from Tory leader Michael Howard.
Not even the support of Chancellor Gordon Brown succeeded in persuading his backbench rebels to fall into line behind the hugely-controversial proposal to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge.
(Source: BBC News)
Imagine the late-night knock on the door. Or, more likely, your door being kicked in by armed police. You’re hauled off into detention. You’re given no reason for your arrest. You’re not charged. You’re not allowed representation and your family isn’t allowed access.
You’re being detained with no charges. For ninety days. For three months, Her Majesty’s Government owns you, you don’t exist. You’ve become an un-person.
This nearly became law tonight.
Some of you may be thinking, “good – they’ll only arrest proper terrorists, all these lefties are going to let them roam round scott-free!”
Yes, the police and our government and Tony Blair are infallible. They never make mistakes. Blair was absolutely right about those huge caches of WMDs in Iraq, wasn’t he, “45 minutes” from attacking Britain?
And the police would never misuse the Prevention of Terrorism act, would they? Remember this bloke:
He was dragged out of the Labour Party conference and prevented from re-entry by our boys in blue who cited the Prevention of Terrorism act.
And how about this dangerous terrorist? :
The police lied about murdering him and attempted to cover-up their lies after the fact. And the head of the police at the time, Sir Ian Blair, didn’t even have the common decency to resign over it. Instead, he’s been leading the calls for the draconian 90 days detention. Yes, I really want to put my life in the hands of that liar.
Tonight was a victory for freedom, a victory for liberty, a victory even for parliamentary democracy, even as it’s been hobbled, whored and corrupted by Blair and his cronies.
Just ask yourself this: do you absolutely trust the government and the police force? With all that we know about corruption, sleaze and the lying about WMDs? With the many reports of police manufacturing evidence to suit themselves and gain popular convictions?
This is the central lie peddled by Tony Blair and his cohort of mentalists:
“In order to protect our freedom and liberty, we must remove our freedoms and liberties!”
Perfectly logical, if you’re a Labour front bencher, I’m sure.
With his fascistic laws, with his ID cards, with the increasing surveillance and intrusion into every aspect of our lives, it’s clear that Blair wants to be our Big Brother. Just as much as Al Quaeda, he is trying to deprive us of our freedom and liberty, of the way of life that millions of Britons enjoy now and for which many Britons fought and died.
Blair should be in prison for his war crimes. But I’ll settle for his resignation and humiliation. After tonight’s defeat, we only have one question for you Tony:
When will you go?