Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s problems continued to foster growing resentment against his leadership. his proposal to extend from 28 to 48 the number of days a suspected “terrorist’ might be detained without any charges being filed has run into a stone wall of opposition from members of his own party. Labor has a 67 seat majority in Parliament, but at least 38 of its members have already indicated a desire to vote against the prime minister on this issue. His idea suffered a blow when Sir Ken Macdonald, Director of Public Prosecutions, blasted the idea of extending the length of time suspects could be held without the filing of charges. “I think the basic point,” he stated, “is whether you want to legislate on the basis of hypotheticals or whether you want to legislate on he basis of evidence that we have acquired from practice.” Macdonald pointed out there was no evidence the current 28 day limit had failed to do the job of bringing charges against suspects.
More and more Labor MPs are becoming disgusted with the erosion of civil liberties that the war on terrorism has produced. They regard themselves as protectors of the historic rights of Englishmen and see no reason to alter a system that has and is working because of some hypothetical “maybe” claimed by the government. Unless Gordon Brown becomes more sensitive to the aspirations of his own party members his days as prime minister are numbered.