Tag Archives: House Lords

British House Of Lords Denies Detention Plan

The British government has been pushing for power to hold suspected “terrorists” for up to 42 days without charging people with a crime. It was a key part of Gordon Brown’s legislative program to fight terrorism. His plan went down to a crushing defeat in the House of Lords by an overwhelming vote of 309 to 118. The defeat was among the largest for any Labor proposal in twenty years. Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith accepted the defeat and told fellow Labor MPs the proposal was dead. However, she continued insisting the plan was the correct one to fight terrorism. Liberals and Conservatives united to defeat the bill although they did receive support from some Labor peers.

The fight against terrorism is not won by tearing down constitutional guarantees. Democracy best fights terrorism by retaining the basic democratic principles that have so long endured to protect the rights of those who are accused of crimes.

British Peers Defend Rights Of Suspects

The proposed anti-terrorism laws which are being pushed by the government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown have run into strong opposition in the House of Lords. Senior peers indicated they regarded the idea of holding suspects for up to 42 days to be a concept being pushed for political reasons that was unconstitutional. A House of Lords report will claim extending the period of detention beyond 28 days has “serious implications” for the finely balanced separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The report insists the decision to extend detention should be left to the hands of judges, and not under the control of politicians.

Baroness Manningham-Butler, former head of MI5 made an important point in declaring: “In deciding what I believe on these matters, I have weighed up the balance between the right to life– the most important civil liberty– the fact there there is no such thing as complete security and the importance of our hard-won civil liberties.”

Amen to this defense of civil liberties.

No Pubic Iraq Inquiry Says House Of Lords To Mums

The British House of Lords turned down a request from mothers of soldiers fighting in Iraq for an inquiry into why their children were sent into battle. The women argued there was failure on the part of the Blair government to ensure in advance the war was lawful and justified. “That duty,” said their lawyer, Rabinder Singh, “is owed to soldiers who are under the unique compulsory control of the State and have to obey orders. They have to put their lives in harm’s way if necessary because their country demands it.” The mothers challenged a Court of Appeal rulining December, 2006 that the Government was not under an implied obligation to order an independent inquiry undeer Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Their lawyers argue it was not sufficient for the government to promise holding such an inquiry “when the time is right.”

Although the mothrs lost their bid, it made clear to the British people that Government has an obligatin to be truthful when it sends soldiers off to fight about the reasons for fighting. To this day, the Bush adminstraton has never been honest regarding internal discusions about decideing invade Iraq. There will be an inquiry one day, that’s for sure.

Tony Blair Is A Liar Claim British Mothers

Two British mothers whose sons died in Iraq told the House of Lords that former prime Minister Tony Blair deliberately lied to the nation and thus is responsible for the deaths of their children. Ms. Beverly Clarke and Mrs. Rose Gentle argue the Blair government breached their duty to members of Great Britain’s armed forces by failing to ensure the invasion of Iraq was based on valid evidence. Rabinder Singh, who represents them in the House of Lords, argued: “The duty is owed to soldiers who are under the unique compulsory control of the state and have to obey orders. They have to put their lives in harms way because their nation demands it.”

Mrs. Gentle summed up the issue concisely when she said: “I think Tony Blair sent our boys to war on a lie. This was not defending his country. The country was not under any threat of attack.”

It is unfortunate we Americans lack a body which would listen to the pleas of parents about the lies of the Bush administration which sent thousands of Americans to their deaths on the basis of lies.