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Silence Exile and Crumpets
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2005

Time Event
When I booted up this evening, for the first time, I got a screen full of wingdings and smileys, in a sort of harlequin effect. I rebooted, and Safe would not load; I rebooted again and everything was fine except for my standard sudden screen freeze after about ten minutes...

Any thoughts, other than that I really need to get a new computer quite soon?

It comes to something when Michael Frelling Howard can pose as the voice of sceptical liberalism and not be ludicrous. All Blair's posturing about leadership being that you do the right thing even when you lose would make more sense if he was, in fact, right on this or most other occasions. He has lost our trust, even if he has not, technically, lost a no confidence votes.

As for the 90 days detention without trial clause, I am minded against it both because of the principle involved and because it strikes me as liable to produce miscarriages of the most terrible kind. I don't trust the British intelligence services and I especially do not trust the Americans - nor do I believe that American agents will be denied access to detainees.

The Independent had a good summary of the arguments. It seems to me that the police have opted for a very large figure in order to cover their arses were they to go for a lower figure and something go wrong. After all, they knew all of the 7.7 bombers, but had not thought them important enough to watch. They have failed in their duty of care; they shot an innocent man; they were responsible for the ricin mess.

One of the alleged ricin plotters was clearly a bad man, but the policeman whom he killed died in part because of bad intelligence. It does not seem to me that an additional period of detention would produce better intelligence in the absence of better intelligence officers.

We need to trust our guardians before we give them more power, and they need to prove they will neither abuse them nor screw up out of complacency that they have got them...

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