As the Government attempt 90-day internment without charge with the one hand, with the other ....
"Legislation allowing fugitives from Northern Ireland to return home is due to be published."
"Fugitive" is BBC-speak for "wanted murderers".
The 90-day rule is the greatest blow at freedom yet by Blair's Government. Those tempted to relax, on the grounds that this will only apply to bearded, brown-skinned chaps, should think again.
In the first place, said chaps are British citizens with all the rights and duties appertaining thereto. No Briton of any colour should be subject to arrest and lengthy imprisonment without charge or knowing the evidence against them. We have managed without such a law (in peacetime) for 700-odd years now. There is also a sharp distinction to be made between the cases of suspected British terrorists and suspected foreign ones. The Belmarsh detainees, all foreign, are able to leave the UK at any time if they so wish.
Secondly, anyone who thinks that this legislation will not be used elsewhere is optimistic to the point of gullibility. What better way of neutralising political opposition than taking out leaders and activists until an election is safely past ?
My fear is that were things to get worse in this country the temptation to use such a law would be irrestistible to our rulers.
UPDATE - in Hardy's words :
"Hurrah!" said Coggan, with a swelling heart. "God's above the devil yet !"
3 hours ago