Prime Minister Gordon Brown was insistent that police should have the right to detain suspected terrorists for up to 42 days without any charges being presented against them. He is facing a probable defeat in parliament on the issue, but is determined to stick to his guns on what he believes is essential to deal with terrorist activities. “The complexity and sophistication of investigatons that now have to be conducted by the police, compared and contrasted with what was happening 10 years ago, make it inevitable that the police will need more time to conduct their investigations.” Brown is confronting a rebellion by members of his party who are prepared to vote against the government. “I have tried to build consensus around our proposals but I am determined that we stick to our principles and that is that up to 42-day detentiion is and will be necessary in the future, but Parliament will make the final decision on the individual incident itself.”
Gordon Brown, whether it is fair or not, has inherited the Bush/Blair legacy of deceit and disrespect for individual liberties. There are too many examples of people being detained without any charges raised against them, and, in the case of Guantanamo prison, forced to linger for years in a state of limbo. The prime minister will have to offer further compromises to gain acceptance of his basic idea to extend the detention time.