Gordon Brown spinning unconvincingly for 42 days internment without charge - is this a diversion to allow the rest of the Counter-Terrorism Bill to sneak through without proper scrutiny ?

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Remember when Gordon Brown pretended that his Government would not be spinning important policy ideas to the favoured mainstream media before announcing them officially in Parliament first ?

There has been no Statement or detailed Government consultation paper explaining the alleged "concessions" and supposed extra safeguards regarding the planned 42 days internment without charge (or even evidence) which is being planned in the Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is due to say something about this in the House of Commons later today, but only to potential rebel backbench Labour MPs, and is not making an official Ministerial Statement to Parliament.. Her boss and his expensive meedja spin doctor apparatchiki are doing exactly what Tony Blair used to do, and have published this article in The Times, ahead of any official statement to Parliament.

The Times
June 2, 2008

42-day detention; a fair solution
The complexity of today's terrorist plots means the Government needs more powers

Gordon Brown

Will this controversial 42 days internment issue soak up all the available Opposition time and campaign resources, dominate the mainstream media attention span, and thereby allow the other evil provisions of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, to sneak through without proper scrutiny ?

See Counter-Terrorism Bill - DNA and Data Sharing by MI5, MI6 and GCHQ - no more Duty of Confidentiality or the Wilson Doctrine ?

Where is the compelling, detailed evidence which justifies such an evil law ? It is not to be found in the following media spin article:

Next week, when Parliament votes on the proposal to detain terrorist suspects without charge for up to 42 days, hard choices have to be made.

Britain has lived with terrorist threats for decades. But I am under no illusion that today's threats are different in their scale and nature from anything we have faced before. Today in Britain there are at least 2,000 terrorist suspects, 200 networks or cells and 30 active plots.

This implies that there has been no progress at all in the last 6 months, since these figures were first spun to the media in a speech to the Society of Editors by Jonathan Evans, the Director General of the Security Service MI5, last November. If not, then why not ?

The aim of terrorists is to kill and maim the maximum number of victims, indiscriminately and without warning, including through suicide attacks.

That is not their political or cultish religious aim, is it ? Their misguided aim is to destroy our liberties and freedoms, and impose their own perverted tyrannical ideology, by force.

Look at the scale and complexity of today's terrorist plots and you will understand why the amount of time required before charges can be brought has increased. In 2001 police investigating the last big IRA case had to analyse just one computer and a few floppy disks. The suspects used their own names and never went beyond Ireland and the UK.

Gordon Brown is misleadingly re-writing history again.

IRA and INLA terrorists went to training camps in Libya and gave technical bomb making training to the FARC terrorists in Colombia. They murdered British soldiers in Germany.

They made over 3000 bomb attacks, including murders of Members of Parliament, members of the Royal Family and nearly killed two Prime Ministers.

The current threat to the United Kingdom is far less than from Northern Irish terrorism.

By 2004 the police investigating the al-Qaeda plotter Dhiren Barot had to seize 270 computers, 2,000 disks, and more than 8,000 other exhibits.

He may have had the intention to do evil on a large scale, but he did not have the means (he failed to convince his Al Quaeda superiors of the viability of his plans) or the opportunity to put his technically inept "movie plots" into action.

See Dhiren Barot - life sentence for impractical "movie plot" terrorist plans ?

There were seven co-conspirators, and the investigation stretched across three continents. In the 2006 alleged airline bomb plot, the complexity had grown again - 400 computers, 8,000 disks and more than 25,000 exhibits.

The "2006 alleged airline bomb plot" case is currently sub judice - the defence case is due to start in Court today.

Why is the British Prime Minister making any public comment about it whatsoever ? He is going to look even more of an idiot if the case is thrown out on appeal, as a result of this prejudicial intervention.

The police find themselves investigating multiple identities and passports, numerous mobile phone and e-mail accounts, and contacts stretching across the world. Simply establishing the true identity of a suspect may itself take days.

If there is actual evidence of firearms, explosives or other weapons or terrorist finance or training material, and other plotters, then it makes no difference whether a person is charged, tried and convicted under their real name or not.

Often hundreds of hours of video footage have to be viewed,

Why ? Any video surveillance of the terrorist suspects should have been conducted and already analysed before they were arrested.

layers of computer encryptions deciphered

Either modern computer encryption is broken within a couple of days, due to captured or weak pass phrases etc., or it will never be broken in the foreseeable future. There is no middle ground.

See Computer Encryption and Mobile Phone evidence and the alleged justification for 90 days Detention Without Charge - Home Affairs Select Committee Oral Evidence 14th February 2006

and overseas authorities persuaded to co-operate.

Every year there is a call from the European Union for more international intelligence data sharing, which the UK Government endorses, and which it then ignores. The worst offender for not sharing terrorist intelligence data with other EU partner countries is the United Kingdom.

And the police cannot just wait for suspects to be caught red-handed. They have to make a judgment about intervening early to avert tragedy; which means more time may be needed, between arrest and charges being laid, to unravel the conspiracy and assemble the evidence.

What danger is there to the public, if the terrorist plotters have not yet purchased or obtained any explosives or weapons, or tested any working infernal machines, or if the raw materials or firearms etc they do have access to are under close surveillance ?

It is this nature of modern terrorism and the growing complexity of investigations that have led not just the Government but the police and the independent reviewer, Lord Carlile of Berriew, to believe there may be circumstances where it is necessary to go beyond 28 days' pre-charge detention.

Nobody has spelled out in detail, exactly what those circumstances might be.

The challenge for every government is to respond to the changing demands of national security, while upholding something that is at the heart of the British constitutional settlement: the preservation of civil liberties. And if the national interest requires new measures to safeguard our security, it is, in my view, the British way to make those changes in a manner that maximises the protection of individuals against arbitrary treatment.

This is direct contradiction to all the excessive, repressive and counter productive anti-terrorism legislation, which this wretched Labour government has passed since the year 2000.

So our first principle is that there should always be a maximum limit on pre-charge detention.
Wrong ! Everyone else's First Principle is "Innocent until Proven Guilty, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, through actual Evidence".
It is fundamental to our civil liberties that no one should be held arbitrarily for an unspecified period.

Note the careful choice of weasel words. This envisages people being held arbitrarily for a specified time period.

After detailed consultation with the police, and examination of recent trends in terrorist cases, we propose the upper limit of 42 days.

Where is the detailed business case for this figure of 42 days from the Police ?

How is it any different from the discredited "case" for 90 days which Parliament rightly rejected ?

Where is the 2008 version of the discredited letter and briefing paper produced by the now retired Asst. Met Commissioner Andy Hayman in October 2005 ?

Since, in true NuLabour Orwellian "re-writing of history" style, this letter has magically disappeared from public view on the Home Office website, our suspicions at the time that this might happen, have proven to be fully justified.

Read our transcribed and annotated version here:

Asst. Met Commissioner Andy Hayman's letter trying to justify 90 days detention without charge

Our second principle is that detention beyond 28 days can be allowed only in truly exceptional circumstances.

What "truly exceptional circumstances" exactly ?

Mugabe style terrorist violence against opposition parties during an election which the Labour government seems set to lose ?

The decision is made by the Home Secretary but must be backed by the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the police. And this would allow the higher limit only for a temporary period, and only where there is a specific terrorist incident or threat under investigation that warrants it.

Our third principle is that the Home Secretary must then take this decision to Parliament for approval. If Parliament refused to sanction the decision, the existing 28-day limit would stand.

Who believes that Parliament would be given access to any actual evidence or to any detailed secret intelligence ? All that they will do is rubber stamp the Government's decision.

How can there possibly be a fair trial, once the case has been subjected to such extraordinary Parliamentary publicity ?

Fourthly, the judiciary must oversee each individual case. As happens now for detention beyond 14 days, a senior judge will be required to approve the extension of detention in each individual case every seven days up to the new higher limit.

Fifthly, to enhance accountability there must be independent reporting to Parliament and the public on all cases. That is why the independent reviewer will now report publicly not just in general on the operation of the legislation but on each individual case.

That is not any sort of safeguard for innocent people who get caught up in the Kafkaesque bureaucracy which the British State has now been infected by.

Will the Home Secretary or the Prime Minister resign if there is insufficient evidence to charge the interned suspects, even after 42 days ?

Will any suspects who are released without charge be generously financially compensated ?

Will they get personal, public apologies from the senior Police and Politicians involved in their incarceration ?

Will detainees who are released without charge, have their Police National Computer and other intelligence database records wiped, and their DNA samples and fingerprint images etc. destroyed ?

If, as we suspect, none of the above counterbalances will be applied, then there will be no effective safeguards for the innocent majority of the public.

So I say to those with legitimate concerns about civil liberties: look at these practical safeguards against arbitrary treatment. With these protections in place, I believe Parliament should take the right decision for national security.

They should defeat the Government over the 42 days internment without charge evil.

They should not be bamboozled by this, and make sure that the rest of the Counter-Terrorism Bill is properly scrutinised, line by line, without hasty "guillotine" programming motions.

I have received much advice in recent weeks. Some have argued that I should drop or significantly water down the 42-day limit. But having considered carefully all the evidence and arguments, I believe that, with all these protections against arbitrary treatment in place, allowing up to 42 days' pre-charge detention in these exceptional terrorist cases is the right way to protect national security.

That is why I will stick to the principles I have set out and do the right thing: protecting the security of all and the liberties of each; and safeguarding the British people by a careful and proportionate strengthening of powers in response to the radically new terrorist threats we now face.

The Labour party, especially Tony Blair and Gordon Brown , but really all New Labour Ministers, have perverted the English language, literally "newspeak" and "doublethink" as described by George Orwell' in Nineteen Eighty Four. Words and phrases like "liberty" or "protections against arbitrary treatment" simply do not mean the same to these politicians and their henchmen, as they do to the rest of us.

They may have deluded themselves that they are somehow Doing Good, in the National Interest, but nobody else trusts them, or believes that they are competent to do so.

Whilst these weak politicians are still in power, they are a bigger threat to our society than any alleged terrorist plotters.

See National Security Strategy - bias, omissions and weasel words and also
Political Lexicon 2008 - list of mostly NuLabour Orwellian Newspeak

Will the Opposition parties and backbench Labour MPs who rightly fear for their jobs at the next election, be able to defeat Gordon Brown over this unnecessary bit of legislation ?


You ask .."Gordon Brown spinning unconvincingly for 42 days internment without charge - is this a diversion to allow the rest of the Counter-Terrorism Bill to sneak through without proper scrutiny ?"


I have concluded that it is Brown who is the real enemy of the English people.

What Brown is doing seems so strange that I feel there may be another agenda being acted out here.

How can this dangerous man be stopped?

Note also that there is very little commentary on the measures included in Part 6 of the Counter-Terrorism Bill, Clauses 64 to 67, which deal with:
- Inquests without the presence of a jury and/or family members
- Specially selected coroners

These measures, which were not mentioned in the Government’s consultation documents published in July 2007, were described by the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights as"an astonishing provision with the most serious implications".

Remember that the inquests into the deaths of the victims of July 7th 2005 & of Jean Charles de Menezes have yet to take place.

There are also fears that (according to the Belfast based campaign and support group Relatives for Justice), the new legislation would impact directly on between 40 and 50 outstanding inquests, all involving British crown forces directly or through collusion.

More info/research on these measures is here.

Due to the lack of discussion on these 'Secret Inquests'measures, I reckon that, whether or not MPs capitulate on the 42-day detention measure, the 'Secret Inquests' measures will be quietly slipped in.

You ask .."Gordon Brown spinning unconvincingly for 42 days internment without charge - is this a diversion to allow the rest of the Counter-Terrorism Bill to sneak through without proper scrutiny ?"

No. This bunch of useless brown nosers only ever put under scrutiny the latest rules on expenses. Everything else they just read the executive summary and most of the time not even that, just a question to the guy sitting next to him 'What is the deal on this?' 'I don't know but it keeps the plebs under control so it must be good'.

Yes, I think the 42 days is a diversion. Isn't it sad when it comes to the point that you realise that the person in charge of your country is about as trustworthy as the original snake in the Garden of Eden? And you know he's lying because you can see his lips moving?

The entire argument is on a false premise which is that detaining people for longer makes us safer. This is not the case - it simply makes it more likely that the terrorists will be caught after they have committed their crimes. This may be desirable but it is not the case advanced by the government by way of justification.

I think we can agree that a very slight increase in the chances of getting caught is likely to have only a very slight deterrent effect on someone who has already decided to commit murder in support of a political aim.

It could be argued of course that this power will be use when the crime that has been committed is a conspiracy offence - the planned bomb has not gone off - but this argument is also flawed. Once the a member of the plot is arrested, the conspiritors will not stick to the original plan, they will, depending on how far advanced they are, either move the plot forward to ensure that it takes place or abandon it in order to evade capture.

In neither case would the period of detention without charge make the slightest difference to the conspiritors' decision.

The only way that this law could make us safer is if, during the course of an investigation into the plots of one group, another plot was discovered which was hitherto unknown to the police. Essentially then, the Government's chief justification is that it needs to facilitate fishing expeditions by the security services. It simply isn't a good enough reason to tear up our liberties.

Well said George Venning, I've been making the same arguments myself.

Also, addressing the increasing difficulty of managing investigations involving encrypted computer files, complex communications and having an international dimension... Can anyone explain how the Police conduct precisely the same investigations into child pornography, money laundering, people trafficking or drug smuggling? How is it the Police can build a case in these matters in very much less than 28 days, nevermind 42 days?

I would very much hope someone asks Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith the question above before the vote. I'm quite sure they'll be unable to answer because it would reveal the lies in their argument for increased detention.

I believe Brown is acting on the real lesson of NuLabour, which after all was what turned Blair into the illiberal nightmare he became. That is do what you can, regardless of whether it's good, or whether it's right. Fixing public services and protecting people from volatile energy markets is just too difficult for them, so they do what they know they can do, merely to prove they're not incompetent at everything. 42 days of course is largely to prove that Gordon has any authority left, and it would be unforgivable for it to get through, although I'm sure the Lords would slap it straight down and pick a serious fight over it.

@ Jason - the House of Lords has been packed with more Labour appointees since the previous "90 days" vote, so there is less of a potential majority against the Government.

The vote in the Commons is where this dangerous legislation should be defeated, if MPs are to retain any credibility, but the signs are not promising.

Will the DUP in Northern Ireland be "bribed" to support Gordon Brown, as has been suggested ?

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This United Kingdom based blog attempts to draw public attention to, and comments on, some of the current trends in ever cheaper and more widespread surveillance technology being deployed to satisfy the rapacious demand by state and corporate bureaucracies and criminals for your private details, and the technological ignorance of our politicians and civil servants who frame our legal systems.

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"Give 'em hell Pike!" - Frank Fisher

Corruption-free Anguilla - Good Governance and Corruption in Public Office Issues in the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla in the West Indies - Don Mitchell CBE QC

geeklawyer - intellectual property, civil liberties and the legal system

PJC Journal - I am not a number, I am a free Man - The Prisoner

Charlie's Diary - Charlie Stross

The Caucus House - blog of the Chicago International Model United Nations

Famous for 15 Megapixels

Postman Patel

The 4th Bomb: Tavistock Sq Daniel's 7:7 Revelations - Daniel Obachike

OurKingdom - part of OpenDemocracy - " will discuss Britain’s nations, institutions, constitution, administration, liberties, justice, peoples and media and their principles, identity and character"

Beau Bo D'Or blog by an increasingly famous digital political cartoonist.

Between Both Worlds - "Thoughts & Ideas that Reflect the Concerns of Our Conscious Evolution" - Kingsley Dennis

Bloggerheads: The Alisher Usmanov Affair - the rich Uzbek businessman and his shyster lawyers Schillings really made a huge counterproductive error in trying to censor the blogs of Tim Ireland, of all people.

Matt Wardman political blog analysis

Henry Porter on Liberty - a leading mainstream media commentator and opinion former who is doing more than most to help preserve our freedom and liberty.

HMRC is shite - "dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of the HMRC, who have to endure the monumental shambles that is Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC)."

Head of Legal - Carl Gardner a former legal advisor to the Government

The Landed Underclass - Voice of the Banana Republic of Great Britain

Henrik Alexandersson - Swedish blogger threatened with censorship by the Försvarets Radioanstalt (FRA), the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, their equivalent of the UK GCHQ or the US NSA.

World's First Fascist Democracy - blog with link to a Google map - "This map is an attempt to take a UK wide, geographical view, of both the public and the personal effect of State sponsored fear and distrust as seen through the twisted technological lens of petty officials and would be bureaucrats nationwide."

Blogoir - Charles Crawford - former UK Ambassodor to Poland etc.

No CCTV - The Campaign against CCTV

Barcode Nation - keeping two eyes on the database state.

Lords of the Blog - group blog by half a dozen or so Peers sitting in the House of Lords.

notes from the ubiquitous surveillance society - blog by Dr. David Murakami Wood, editor of the online academic journal Surveillance and Society

Justin Wylie's political blog

Panopticon blog - by Timothy Pitt-Payne and Anya Proops. Timothy Pitt-Payne is probably the leading legal expert on the UK's Freedom of Information Act law, often appearing on behlaf of the Information Commissioner's Office at the Information Tribunal.

Armed and Dangerous - Sex, software, politics, and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures… - by Open Source Software advocate Eric S. Raymond.

Other Links

Spam Huntress - The Norwegian Spam Huntress - Ann Elisabeth

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol over £1 per litre ! Protest !
Mayor of London Blog
London Olympics 2012 - NO !!!!

Cool Britannia

Identity Cards Bill clause by clause analysis and comments


Free Gary McKinnon - UK citizen facing extradition to the USA for "hacking" over 90 US Military computer systems.

Parliament Protest - information and discussion on peaceful resistance to the arbitrary curtailment of freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, in the excessive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

RIPA Consultations

RIPA Part III consultation blog - Government access to Encrypted Information and Encryption Keys.

RIPA Part I Chapter II consultation blog - Government access and disclosure of Communications Traffic Data

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July 2009

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UK Legislation

The United Kingdom suffers from tens of thousands of pages of complicated criminal laws, and thousands of new, often unenforceable criminal offences, which have been created as a "Pretend to be Seen to Be Doing Something" response to tabloid media hype and hysteria, and political social engineering dogmas. These overbroad, catch-all laws, which remove the scope for any judicial appeals process, have been rubber stamped, often without being read, let alone properly understood, by Members of Parliament.

The text of many of these Acts of Parliament are now online, but it is still too difficult for most people, including the police and criminal justice system, to work out the cumulative effect of all the amendments, even for the most serious offences involving national security or terrorism or serious crime.

Many MPs do not seem to bother to even to actually read the details of the legislation which they vote to inflict on us.

UK Legislation Links

UK Statute Law Database - is the official revised edition of the primary legislation of the United Kingdom made available online, but it is not yet up to date.

UK Commissioners

UK Commissioners some of whom are meant to protect your privacy and investigate abuses by the bureaucrats.

UK Intelligence Agencies

Intelligence.gov.uk - Cabinet Office hosted portal website to various UK Intelligence Agencies and UK Government intelligence committees and Commissioners etc.

Anti-terrorism hotline - links removed in protestClimate of Fear propaganda posters

MI5 Security Service
MI5 Security Service - links to encrypted reporting form removed in protest at the Climate of Fear propaganda posters

syf_logo_120.gif Secure Your Ferliliser logo
Secure Your Fertiliser - advice on ammonium nitrate and urea fertiliser security

cpni_logo_150.gif Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure
Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure - "CPNI provides expert advice to the critical national infrastructure on physical, personnel and information security, to protect against terrorism and other threats."

SIS MI6 careers_logo_sis.gif
Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) recruitment.

Government Communications Headquarters GCHQ

Serious Organised Crime Agency - have cut themselves off from direct contact with the public and businesses - no phone - no email

Defence Advisory (DA) Notice system - voluntary self censorship by the established UK press and broadcast media regarding defence and intelligence topics via the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

netcu_logo_150.gif National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit
National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit - keeps a watch on animal extremists, genetically modified crop protesters, peace protesters etc.
(some people think that the word salad of acronyms means that NETCU is a spoof website)

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us - UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID Campaign - cross party opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.
Gary McKinnon is facing extradition to the USA under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, without any prima facie evidence or charges brought against him in a UK court. Try him here in the UK, under UK law.

FreeFarid.com - Kafkaesque extradition of Farid Hilali under the European Arrest Warrant to Spain

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area restricting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans
Data Retention is No Solution - Petition to the European Commission and European Parliament against their vague Data Retention plans.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

Open Rights Group

The Big Opt Out Campaign - opt out of having your NHS Care Record medical records and personal details stored insecurely on a massive national centralised database.

Tor - the onion routing network
Tor - the onion routing network - "Tor aims to defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal anonymity and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security. Communications are bounced around a distributed network of servers called onion routers, protecting you from websites that build profiles of your interests, local eavesdroppers that read your data or learn what sites you visit, and even the onion routers themselves."

Tor - the onion routing network
Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress and Tor - useful Guide published by Global Voices Advocacy with step by step software configuration screenshots (updated March 10th 2009).

Amnesty International's irrepressible.info campaign

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

NGO in a box - Security Edition privacy and security software tools

Home Office Watch blog, "a single repository of all the shambolic errors and mistakes made by the British Home Office compiled from Parliamentary Questions, news reports, and tip-offs by the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs team."

Reporters Without Borders - Reporters Sans Frontières - campaign for journalists 'and bloggers' freedom in repressive countries and war zones.

Committee to Protect Bloggers - "devoted to the protection of bloggers worldwide with a focus on highlighting the plight of bloggers threatened and imprisoned by their government."

Icelanders are NOT terrorists ! - despite Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling's use of anti-terrorism legislation to seize the assets of Icelandic banks.

No CCTV - The Campaign Against CCTV


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