Sunday, December 23, 2007


Prediction: Gordon Will Lose Vote on 42 Days Detention

I've always liked Diane Abott as an engaging, outspoken kind of politician who teams up well with Michael Portillo on The Week with Andrew Neil. She claims the good chemistry is all about them all being products of grammar schools. However the sharpness of the other two do tend to expose the fact that she rarely says anything which is perceptive or memorable.

However,in her guest 'week's diary' slot in The Observer today she rightly bemoans the proposed 42 day limit for terrorist suspects,

It is one of the most depressing things that Gordon Brown has announced. It is purely about political positioning, so the Prime Minister can look 'tough' on terrorism. The safeguards proposed are worthless. And interning young Muslims without trial will do lasting damage to community relations.

She confesses that she has missed a meeting on the topic organised by veteran rebel, Frank Dobson:

I'm overcome with guilt at missing this important meeting (What will I tell Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty?) So I scour the building to find someone who has been and can tell me what happened. Fortunately, it was well attended and opposition remains solid

I can reveal-scarcely a scoop- that a Bloomberg journalist who rang me last week to chat about the topic, had done a telephone poll of Labour rebels and had found well over 30(enough to wipe out the majority) of them pledging to vote against the measure. There is still time for Gordon to row back from digging that pit ever bigger but maybe appearing macho is more important for his floundering government right now, than appearing merely foolish.

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