A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, the Labour Party and Hackney - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

An idea

Maybe instead of Labour fielding a candidate in Haltemprice & Howden we should find a Martin Bell type candidate - preferably a recently retired senior police officer, or a survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack, to run under the following 5 word candidate description: "Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects".

I'm fed up with us playing softball with the Tories while they posture and pontificate on this issue. If they want to play liberal they should pay the full political price for it and be eviscerated at the polls for being soft on national security. We should have their stance on this issue on every single poster and leaflet at the next General Election and then see how Davis and his mates feel about a referendum on this issue.

177 Comments:

Anonymous David Floyd said...

I was thinking maybe someone like Jon Gaunt or Richard Littlejohn could run as the 180 days detention candidate.

4:44 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Jackson Jeffrey Jackson said...

And see how Labour Party activists feel about campaigning in a referendum on this issue?

4:54 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Toby said...

I think you should stand Luke, just on this one issue, and see how well you'd do. Yesterday you backed the two-thirds majority in favour in an opinion poll, so presumably you think you could win the seat in a shock result which could boost Labour as much as it would wrong-foot the Tories. You'd have nothing to lose than your deposit then.

4:56 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, I think you've lost it. Tories are 'soft' for not supporting internment, eh? Every bone in the Labour Party's body must tell it that 42 days was a cheap political stunt with nothing to do with national security.

4:59 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

How about the BNP? I am sure they will take that stance and they have a lot in common with the workerist right of the Labour party.

I'm a bit sceptical about the motive, but this is an excellent opportunity to argue exactly why this sort of legislation is such a fundamental threat to liberty. I would certainly vote for David Davis in this instance.

5:06 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

Erm, much as I hope David Davis gets trounced for such a cynical political gesture, (and much as I agree it'd be better for an independent to stand against him than a Labour candidate), I'm not sure using the victim of a terrorist attack for political gain is the best way of persuading people action on 42 days was taken from a principled stance on national security.

If an independent stands under this banner, okay. But we should have nothing to do with it, otherwise we're be seen to be sinking to Davis' level by treating this issue as a political game.

Let's completely ignore this by-election and concentrate on campaigning in marginals.

5:09 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

merseymike: you are being silly.

I am not on the right of the party but to compare Luke etc to the BNP is almost Godwin-worthy.

5:12 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

OK, perhaps that's a bit over the top - but their authoritarianism is worthy of the Sun.

I see them as to the right of liberal-minded Tories such as John Bercow, and certainly far to the right of the LibDems.

5:15 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you've already used terrorism as a political game, why bother pretending otherwise. 90 days, 52, 42, doesn't matter as long as we look harder than anyone else.

What next? Water boarding? Death penalty? I thought we had a Labour govt. The argument elsewhere here today that the public are onside was as weak as it gets. Most would bring back the death penalty etc etc, but I don't hear contributors here arguing for that. A matter of time I guess, esp if it makes Labour look well hard against their political opponents.

5:16 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

What a revoltingly cynical idea Luke - playing politics with tragedy indeed. I tell you what: I'll get the family friend of ours whose badly disfigured face (from the Edgware Rd bombing) was used on the front of The Sun to whip up support for a previous anti-terror law vote - even though he DIDN'T support the government's proposals - to stand instead.

Christ, have you any idea how cheap and desperate your politics sound?

5:24 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous tim f said...

"I see them as to the right of liberal-minded Tories such as John Bercow, and certainly far to the right of the LibDems."

Well, that's true if you define liberalism as being what's left-wing.

In which case you may as well say "I see them as less liberal than liberal -minded Tories and certainly much less liberal than the Liberal Democrats".

Which is an almost entirely meaningless sentence.

If you define left-wing in a more traditional sense, the Lib Dems' position on the minimum wage and trade unions puts them miles to the right even of New Labour.

5:29 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Matthew said...

Spot on Luke.

John Smeaton anyone?

We'll "set aboot" the tories.

5:43 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous jdc said...

We certainly shouldn't be fielding a candidate.

There was a survivor or relative quite vocal on the telly pro-42, he'd do if he wants, but not as a Labour front.

I prefer the description "Independent - Keeping Britain Safe" as a ballot description.

But Davis will win, he's a Tory and so are the electors there.

5:57 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

But 7/7 victims are by no means united on this and other related issues. That's why Luke's idea is so dreadful, both morally and politically

5:58 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Maybe, Tim, but then, I'm centrist, not left wing in that sense.

Which is why I always thought of myself on the right, not the left of the labour party, when I was a member. Progressive/liberal on equality, defence, cultural issues like abortion rights and civil liberties, but certainly not sympathetic to the demands of the economic left.

So, I think of left and right as much more about libertarian/authoritarian, the cultural and social agenda, not the economic divide. I've never been an economic leftist.

But given that all parties are essentially saying much the same on the economy, why should I vote for an illiberal, authoritarian labour party? In any case, my votes are rarely on the economy - I only voted labour last time because of the civil partnership issue and being concerned that it may not be safe under the Tories. The LibDems were closer to my own views overall last time.

6:43 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does the UK need 42 days when no other country in the world, including the US, does? Perhaps we could instead give the police the resources they need to get the job done in a decent amount of time in order to preserve habeas corpus? Has anyone even LOOKED at the alternatives?

8:08 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Robert said...

If the labour government is too chicken to even stand up and argue their case then they don't deserve to stay in power one minute longer.

Asking a victim of a terror attack to do their work for them is the sickest comment I have read in years.

Shame on you

8:16 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Shamik said...

On the ball as ever! The public overwhelmingly back the Government on this.

I'd like to know just how innocent any of those detained actually are. I'd be shocked if any of them were model British citizens. Flabbergasted!

Either no candidates at all, which'll make Davis look a complete tit, or a former copper/soldier/spook to beat the tosser.

8:21 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

You should stand Luke, show em. After all, you are more gung ho than Basher!

8:45 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

As a 'victim of a terrorist attack', I spit at your repellent idea.

And if I was standing on a political platform I'd be standing right behind Davis.

I've met him, I back him, even though he is a Tory.

He stands up for freedom against fearmongering.

That's my own personal opinion, because, guess what, getting blown up on the way to work on 7.7 didn't affect my ability to think rationally,have opinions and care about freedom and democracy. If anything, it mademe even keener on preserving the freedoms that lunatics seem keen to destroy.

As to the other passengers on my train, and their families, they have their own opinions about politics, much as the passengers on any train do.

Al Qaida do explosions, not mass personality transplants

and terrorist 'victims' are actually just people like anyone else you know.

*rolls eyes*

Sheesh, you patronising muppet.

8:50 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Bishop Hill said...

Luke

If I were you I'd do a really humble apology pretty soon.

8:54 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous bobthedog said...

The labour party is acting like the national socialist party was in germany in the '30s gradually eroding the freedoms of our day to day lives.

Draconian laws on the statute book do not make for a safer nation, merely cause resentment for the groups which are being targeted, and make it more likely that a response will be made by them.

Stand on a "securocrat" basis but expect to lose

8:58 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Bob Bob said...

Oh do shut up, you Zanu-Lab dimwit.

This is the Labour Party, not some neo-fascist clique of Nazis and Aryan supremacists.

If I had my way, I would have scum like the author and their fellow neo-fascist supporters of this subversive legislation of this blog arrested and kept under lock and key for 42 days for no reason at all.

Fuck 42 Days.

Fuck Nu-Labour. Let return the Labour Party, back to the people, and not the cunts who run it now. Stop passing bits of info to the Scum newspaper, and everything that right-wing, Nazi paper stands form, let it rot in hell, along with the cunts like MacKenzie, Gaunt and Littlejohn.

Anyway I'm hearing rumours that the Zanu-Lab PPC up north is against 42 days in all shape and form, now that would be embarrassing for Chairman Brown and his appratachiks.

You are either with us, or against, and if you against us, YOU ARE THE ENEMY.

Your day is coming when the Nazis who run this country will bought to task for everything they have done to this country, from sending us to an illegal war, and destroying the very fabric of British life, to lying in the manifesto regarding that piece of federalist bullshit, that is the EU constitution.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Davis, far from it, but he is making a principled stand on something which, remember 36 Real Labour Rebels voted against.

9:07 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Oxbridge Prat said...

And with that bizarre diatribe Luke shows why no decent person can ever vote Labour again.

9:15 pm, June 12, 2008

 
OpenID curly15 said...

Luke your suggestion is just appalling, I'm surprised that you could even think that way.

O.K. so we are on differing sides of the political divide, but remember Brown might have won the vote but certainly not the argument, there are many within the Labour Party who are furious at the 42 day clause.

I have my own opinions on why Davis took the decision that he did, I'll have to wait and see if I was right.

9:18 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If they want to play liberal they should pay the full political price for it and be eviscerated at the polls for being soft on national security"

It is not being "soft on national security". This ridiculous and pointless measure has nothing to do with improving "national security".

9:23 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Kris said...

"get a retired police officer"?

You are joking.

Hello. Earth to Luke. You boys (and Jacquie) are trying to shaft cops by backtracking on a pay deal.

Do you really think any copper would run for a seat as a labour candidate?

This out of touch crap is the reason why labour must go.

10:07 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, I started reading your blog after you were on the BBC blogging on election night. I don't think you ever wrote anything I agreed with. But I didn't realise until tonight that you were such a vile little shit.

10:11 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Benedict White said...

Sir, your suggestion is as vile as you are.

My father, grandfathers and other forbears fought and died for a free country and yet you seem so willing to sacrifice what blood has gained for a vote.

You are no democrat.

Why not stand yourself? I understand the Labour PPC does not support 42 days either so there would be a vacancy.

10:26 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Dave Winstanley said...

It's fascists like you who drove me from being a life-long Labour voter into never voting for you bastards again. You disgust me. May you rot in jail on false charges, or better still, may you rot in Guantanamo Bay on no charges at all.

10:45 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Personally I think it's "vile" that this man didn't do his duty as Shadow Home Secretary, which on issues of counter-terrorism is to ensure they remain above party politics by supporting the Government. I also think it is "vile" that he can't accept with good grace that he lost a vote in the House of Commons. I find his absurd invocation of Magna Carta too hilariously pompous to be "vile". Fortunately his huge ego and bizarre judgmemt now looks like destroying 3 years of David Cameron's hard work. The Labour Party should give him a medal.

As for Cameron who allowed him to bully the Tories into voting against their historic principles as the party of law and order - weak, weak, weak.

10:49 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Luke your views are just more evidence of why so many people are leaving the Labour Party.

If you honestly believe the Sun Poll then you really are a fool. People are not behind you on this at all and this is just government propaganda released to get a few more Labour MPs on board.

I'm shocked how Labour have used this issue to try and secure Browns authority. Brown really is a vile human being.

I'm disgusted at your views on this issue, and I don't think you truly understand how serious this is.

David Davis, although unorthodox, has made a very valid stand. I know I would support him just the same as I support all those Labour MPs that stood against the government on this issue.

This bill is a waste of money and won't get past the house of lords. So get ready for an election Luke because Brown has no more than a year left in office. We can't have another unelected leader so the next one will come with a general election.

10:56 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy said...

Spot on Luke, ignore the weak minded liberal cretin commenters. This is the perfect opportunity to spank the tories on an issue of principle. Does anyone have Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Tim Collins number? He'd be the perfect indpendent for national security candidate.

11:02 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Andy, and what do you know about national security? The reason we have this problem is that a bunch of Labour MPS backed an illegal war. Probably the same Labour MPS who are backing this bill.

Andy, next time can you go and fight because I can't be arsed. Because this Labour party will almost sign up to anything.

11:14 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Oxbridge Prat said...

Andy, do you actually know who Tim Collins is?

"In January 2004, Collins announced his resignation from the army, citing bureaucracy, chronic underfunding, and the MoD's lack of support over the mistreatment allegations."

The chance of his backing New Labour on anything is essentially zero.

Stupid as well as vile. New Labour in its most characteristic style.

11:20 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy said...

No Rich, the reason we have this problem is that the Saudi regime has supported the spread of Wahhabist Islam, a particularly virulant and unpleasant thread of the islamic faith, which legitimises and supports violence, including suicide attacks against those who do not belive in this totalitarian and oppresive religious ideology. The development of a violent military wing to wahhabist islam is a result of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, but given the tragic legacy that history has bequethed us, we have to start from where we are. Wahhabist inspired islamic terrosism is a clear and present danger to the security of the UK, regardless of the Iraq war.

11:32 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy said...

Yes Oxbridge Prat, I know who Tim Collins is. I am not looking for a candidate who would back New Labour. I am looking for a genuinly independent candidate who offers an alternative to Davies' softness on terrorism and who is above party politics.

11:34 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Martin Bormann said...

We can't have people who are weak, weak, weak. We need to put our weight behind the strong - those with the guts and courage to take us forward to the glorious Fourth Term. Weak people should be rounded up and sent to rehabilitation camps where they can learn to be strong. How about "Work makes you free" as a slogan?

11:43 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Andy, mmmmhhhhh. Well funny how all the problems started after the second invasion of Iraq. The first had a clear mission objective but the second war was very different. I should know I was there.

Hence the reason why the first war was a complete success and the second one a complete nightmare. You obviously think that the killing of a million innocent people in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorist activity in the UK. Or when the Yanks use the term "Shock and Awe" actually means terror and the result is what we have now.

11:45 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Gareth said...

"Personally I think it's "vile" that this man didn't do his duty as Shadow Home Secretary, which on issues of counter-terrorism is to ensure they remain above party politics by supporting the Government."

Hahaha. What a tiny minded argument. It is not the job of the Shadow Home Secretary to ask 'How high?' when the Government wheels out the specious spectre of Osama Bin Liner and says 'Jump'.

By your logic the Government is never wrong on counter-terrorism. I haven't seen a great many security services people supporting this. I haven't seen a great many politicians speaking in favour of it beyond repeating the Government's vacuous and illogical argument.

The biggest threat to our way of life has never been terrorists, it is the kneejerk grab for power they cause in our politicians and civil service. The hard man is not the one who hides behind the Police and locks up all and sundry without due process, but the one who understands the moral and physical limits of the State and the Law.

The Labour Party: Doing the terrorist's job for them.

11:50 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy said...

Rich,

I dispute your analysis, but even if you are right and I am wrong, we have to start making policy from where we are. Whether it is due to the 2nd iraq war or not, we are now living with the threat of terrorist attack, so I want to support politicians who take this threat seriously and are willing to do what it takes to protect the country from the threat of wahhabist islamic terrorism.

11:56 pm, June 12, 2008

 
Anonymous Alexander said...

Luke you really do sound rather pathetic. Why didn't your party support the anti-terrorism acts of the 1980s? I understand that, as a Labour supporter, you may not understand the principle of belief (not your fault after 10 years of spin), but you sound rather desperate.

12:12 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

No, it is not the job of any opposition politician to follow the government when its so-called counter-terrorism measures are going to threaten basic civil liberties.

You still don't get it, Luke. In Harlow tonight, the sort of place where your brand of populist 'aspirant workerism' is supposed to be popular, Labour lost another seat.

Two of us here will not be voting Labour next time because of this decision. How many do you think will vote Labour instead of an alternative party because of it?

12:31 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous ex labour said...

Has Brown decided whether or not to fight this by-election yet or is the cowardly wretch still dithering and waiting to see which way the wind blows?

12:35 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Benedict White said...

Re Luke at 10:49. "Personally I think it's "vile" that this man didn't do his duty as Shadow Home Secretary, which on issues of counter-terrorism is to ensure they remain above party politics by supporting the Government."

With respect (which means I think you are an ignorant w*anker, and you are) I think you miss the point.

The Tory party has been in power for more years than the whigs, Liberals, and Labour combined, as such we have seen all sorts of "terrorist" campaigns, we know what works and more importantly what doesn't. Largely because we have tried them all before.

"I also think it is "vile" that he can't accept with good grace that he lost a vote in the House of Commons."


Do you? You sad git.

The Duchess of Athol also stood down and forced a by election, on the issue fo appeasement. She was against, she lost. She had guts and principle. You clearly do not.

"I find his absurd invocation of Magna Carta too hilariously pompous to be "vile"."

Really? How so? Do you not think the state needs to have its boundaries set?

"As for Cameron who allowed him to bully the Tories into voting against their historic principles as the party of law and order - weak, weak, weak."

We are the party of law and order where all are equal before the law including the state. We brought in the 1984 Police And Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) which means that the police do not get confessions from someone who has fallen down the same staircase three times already like the do in Zimbabwe.

12:52 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I had forgotten that Tories were so quaintly amusing when they get excited.

Boundaries of the state... blah ... ancient liberties ... blah... Magna Carta ... blah ... more than the Whigs ... blah ...

None of which disguises that their position on this is not just a disgusting one where they have allied themselves with the soggy ultra left in order to try to get a convenient tactical victory over the Government, but one that is going to make them extremely unpopular with the public.

1:02 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Given that Luke, in his opening post, suggested the idea of getting personal victims of terrorism to stand against Davis, it's truly a pathetic indictment of his knee-jerk faux-populist politics than when two such victims of terrorism have been invoked in this thread (Rachel, who has posted herself; and John Tulloch, to whom I alluded) he hasn't seen fit to answer the issues raised.

So go on then, Luke, explain the benefits, with evidence, of how repeating the failures of internment will WORK. I want to be safe. What matters is what WORKS, after all, used to be a New Labour mantra. Now the only mantra seems to be "keep driving into that wall".

1:02 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous The Morningstar said...

Luke, I cannot believe that you suggest exploiting terrorism in this way, you're no better than the people who carry out the attacks.

They use the victims of terrorism to instil fear in the population too.

1:05 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

What works is winning the trust of those able to provide the intelligence needed.

This won't work as its effect will be the opposite.

But apart from that, its just plain wrong - like capital punishment, homophobia, and the many other issues which the public have supported in the past, and parliament has not, defying public opinion - and quite right too.

I too am cynical about the Tories, but it doesn't excuse Labour.

And can I remind you again, that the only people in the public who feel strongly enough about this to suggest a change of vote are civil libertarians 9those horrible liberal Guardian readers whose votes you would rather not have) and Muslims.

No-one will vote Labour simply because of their stance on this issue. But plenty won't vote Labour because of it. It says something about the sort of party Labour has become , at least at parliamentary level.

1:15 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Benedict White said...

Luke at 1:02.
"I had forgotten that Tories were so quaintly amusing when they get excited."

Can you think of anything more important to get excited about?

"Boundaries of the state... blah ..."

I see. On planet Luke, there are no boundaries to the state?

"ancient liberties ... blah... Magna Carta ... blah ..."

Do you not understand the significance of the Great Charter?

It is so significant that Runnymede has a monument built by the American Bar Association. It has affected significant parts of the western world and their legal system.

Are you so ignorant of this charter that it is irrelevant?


"more than the Whigs ... blah ..."

Well, we have been in power longer than the Whigs, in fact our faction dates back to 1678. We have seen a bit since then.

"None of which disguises that their position on this is not just a disgusting one where they have allied themselves with the soggy ultra left in order to try to get a convenient tactical victory over the Government, "

Que? We have stand by 800 year old principles so we are allied with a faction that is at best decades old for a tactical victory?

"but one that is going to make them extremely unpopular with the public."

Well, that is the test, is it not? Let battled be joined!

I stand with my father,my uncles, my grandfathers and their forbears, in a fight to make this country free and keep it free.

1:24 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger wozza said...

i think Luke and Ann Coulter should get together............


seriously.... Luke..... and i know we haven't got on in the past... and well, i can forgive some of your previous indiscretions..... but ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY MIND????

This is just about the scariest thing i have in quite some time.

if this is the view from the bunker we are categorically all fucked.

seriously - no limits on state power?.
Dude..... that exists it's called the Patriot Act. It's also called the Unified Executive Theory - where the executive is legislator and Judiciary in one. It's a fringe theory endorsed by Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter and about 2 law professors in the USA.

i mean - wow.

as an acute disregard for everything parliament stands for - keeping law enforcement at bay, protecting the citizen from the executive, holding the executive to acocunt, being our better self...... you fail all of it. instantly.

i mean - i've been a groupy of parliament over the executive for many many years now, and wow.

i mean holy shit dude.

Thats without even starting on your rank insensitivity to anyone who has suffered at the hands of Terrorists in this country to make them your little string puppet dancers. i mean..... just - wow.

congrats man - outside of LittleGreenFootballs - where i suggest you now take up residence - you have taken the biscuit.

2:59 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manipulating a victim of terrorism to use as a disposable proxy candidate against an experienced politician, on his home turf, standing on a cross party matter of principle ?

No wonder the electorate is disgusted with politicians like you !

3:17 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

There are times in the affairs of men when every bugger just lines up to give someone a kicking. It is nice to see that happening to Nu-Labour.

Come the next election I cheerfully predict that we shall see the back of this rancid crew.

As a Scargillite socialist all I can say is, we were right about this lot all along.

As you were, lads, and keep on kicking!

4:36 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous john miller said...

Weird, just completely weird.

4:42 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

What was particularly tiresome was that Nick Robinson actually parrotted this 'why not get a senior copper or terror victim' last night on the news!

I have voted for Labour most of my life but I am absolutely sick of the politics of fear, the selling of our liberty down the river, the sending kids to an illegal war under-equipped and underpaid, and the sheer monomaniacal arrogance and mendaciousness of the New Labour project.

7:36 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Tom said...

Xenophobia -> Fearmongering -> Racism -> New Labour.

8:09 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Henry Crun said...

Luke, Nelson Mandela's in town for his birthdy party later this month. You may want to ask his opinion on detention without charge/trial.

8:40 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Andrew Pillsdown said...

So, David Floyd, didn't they warn you to be careful what you wish for? Your request is granted. Labour bottles out again and an alternative fascist stands.

9:11 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You can always tell a debate is on shaky ground when the protagomists start calling their opponents Nazis/Fascists, swearing, or invoking Mandela or Gandhi (plus in this case Magna Carta).

9:23 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

But these measure do undermine the principle of freedom - so they undermine the Magna Carta.

They aren't anti-Terror, they are an expression of that Terror and surrender to it - ie cowardice.

The problem with Labour is having sold your souls over 10 years ago you forget anyone else has any principles.

10:18 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, I think you really ought to recognise you are wrong - and offensive on this. I know you're an annoying pedant when you get told what to think by the leadership, but Labour's policy is nowt to do with national defence. They are engaged in the very cynicism you then accuse the Tories of.

As for 'accepting the process', which evidently involved much threatening, cajoling and possibly bribery, I think that's a lot to ask. Esp when the govt are only doing it to score a political point.

As for the Tories being 'quaint', not sure why you think people who disagree with you are automatically Tories, although the fuckwittery you spout on here will probably push many readers in that direction.

10:27 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If this was only about conventional bombs I would be more sympathetic to arguments that we should incur some increased risk in order not to compromise civil liberties.

Unfortunately there are non-conventional threats around use of NBC by terrorists that wouldn't just cause mass casualties like 7/7, they would cause loss of life on a catastrophic/apocalyptic scale. Faced with those kind of threats arguments about exactly how long you can question people from seem trivial in the extreme.

I feel envious of those of you who do not feel afraid enough about those threats to accept the logic of the government's position.

Personally I fear for our survival as a society if weaponised anthrax or small pox, or radiological devices got used.

Those few of us who survive could no doubt debate the merits of Magna Carta and 42 vs 28 days whilst picking our scabs and counting the corpses in some cave or bunker.

10:35 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke, keep taking the pills.

Do you still believe we invaded Iraq because we were 45 minutes away from a chemical attack? The Government's arguments would carry more weight if they hadn't been caught lying on the same issues in the past.

If the risk was as great as you say, I suspect the police and other security officials would have shown some unity in supporting the need.

It is, as you know, a 'stunt' to try and make Labour out to be 'tougher' than the Tories. Or the Republicans if it comes to that. You keep odd company nowadays.

10:51 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous AngryVoter said...

So, just out of interest Luke...

Are you going to start lobbying for the Death Penalty's reinstatment?

After all, polls taken by the Sun and the Daily Mail call for it's reinstatment. At around 75% and 68% respectively.

When one relies on singular polls, without taking into account a much broader political spectrum.

If it were up to me, I'd finish the whole issue once and for all. Put it to a referendum. See if the public actually supports the measure, rather than what your sections of society that you poll agree with.

Davis is doing something similar, but being limited to his own MP constituency can skew the results, rather than the principle behind it.

I remember back in the mists of time when politicians were prepared to put everything on the line for issues they beleived in. Kinnock and Thatcher, Ashdown. The last "real" politicians

The "public" polled might not agree with Davis on his issue of 42 Days.

Be darned if it doesn't show the man has principles prepared against the measures taken by the government.

Know what though? People have been crying out for years for a politician to be prepared to do such a thing.

My question instead, to you Luke, and see if you can actually answer this.....

Theoretically, lets say you're in Parliment, and say, a bill is passed you dislike.

Lets make it, unilateral withdrawal from Europe.

Now, your profile would suggest you are pro-europe. Would you be prepared to put your political career on the line for an issue you felt so passionately about? Or would you continue to sit there, moaning from the backbenches. Would you be prepared to make the stand on an issue you feel would transcend your loyalty to your party's line?

That's how Davis has felt for a long time about our civil liberties. Davis has a long list and long standing passion, deriding it straight away and off hand as "a stunt" doesn't ring true with me, and I doubt it'll ring true with a lot of the public.

This is the problem with us as Brits. We don't do anything until it is almost too late.



Now, I will also remind everyone, and I said this over on LabourHome where I am also a contributor...

150 people a day die from car accidents.

Nearly 100,000 people in 2001 died within accidents in their homes in the United Kingdom alone.

In 2001 nearly 3,000 people in the US died during 9/11.

Since then, specific US and UK casualties from direct terrorist attack has resulted in 54 deaths. 4 years later.

In seven years the total amount of deaths is around that of 1 year of road accidents that have resulted in death in the United Kingdom.

On a per-death basis. I don't think this legislation is necessary.

10:52 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,

Are you OK? You seem to be suffering from a psychotic break.

Do you really believe that liberty and freedom are irrelevant? Do you have any idea how offensive and unappealing your ignorant sneering is?

Seek professional help.

10:54 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Chas said...

Luke, you accuse the Tories of being "soft on national security".

Take a little step back. Yes, just a bit further. Now think for a little.

The Conservatives are the party of Churchill and Thatcher. They are the party of the army and the police.

What on earth makes you think the Conservatives would possibly be "soft on national security"? National security is the first responsibility of every government, and the Conservatives, who have been in government far longer than Labour, understand this better than anyone else.

The 42 days detention has absolutely nothing to do with national security. In the first place it is to do with the death throes of Gordon Brown and a last ditch effort to exert his authority by bribing members of minority parties. Secondly, as David Davis said, it is about the insidious erosion of my liberties and your liberties. The 42 day detention is not about locking up terrorists without charge. It is about locking YOU up without charge, and locking ME up without charge. Civil liberties are about innocent people, not terrorists. Please read some history books, or speak to someone over thirty from Eastern Europe.

Lastly, locking terrorists up without charge is the very oxygen they crave. The current wave of Islamist terrorists seek only martyrdom. This measure hands it to them on a plate.

11:08 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Chas said...

...and another thing.

"Andy" mentions David Davis's "softness on terrorism".

David Davis served in 21 SAS. Is that where he learnt to be soft on terrorists? Just think about it for half a second, and you might start to realise that he really is standing up for YOUR liberties, whether you want them or not.

11:17 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

"I feel envious of those of you who do not feel afraid enough about those threats to accept the logic of the government's position."

Oh I'm afraid of them. I just think that the government's policy will, at best, make no difference to them; at worst, exacerbate them. I know an ignorance of history is a New Labour badge of honour but this is plumbing new depths - read up about how internment acted as a recruitment tool for violence in Ireland.

It really is the most offensive bollox to accuse those who don't agree with this arbitrary and opportunistic measure are simply not bothered about terrorism.

Now run along and get on the stump with Kelvin McKenzie, the man who fought so tenaciously to keep Labour in opposition back in the 80s and 90s

11:19 am, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Oxbridge Prat said...

Luke, if you really believed the threat was as serious as you pretend, you wouldn't be campaigning for 42 days, you would be campaigning for internment.

The idea that we are surrounded by a host of terrible terrorist threats which couldn't possibly be broken in 4 weeks but which will crumble in 6 weeks is laughable.

11:21 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: I think you simply don't get that we don't agree with the basis of your politics. Its a very basic difference between a statist authoritarian populism and a recognition that whilst the State can liberate, it can also oppress. You basically don't care about liberty and freedom.

I completely agree with what Rachel has said, and will remind you of it when, hopefully, you lose the next election. Because that's the only hope for getting rid of this sorry crew.

11:24 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

Luke, I am not a conservative. I have always voted LABOUR. I can't do so any more because they are shredding ancient freedoms and engaging in fear-mongering.

I expect terrorists to attack our freedoms and our democracy by using fear and terror to hurt us. I was right there, seven feet away from a 19 year old suicide bomber in my carriage on 7/7 and lucky to escape with my life when he killed 26 fellow passengers.

I object vehemently to your assumption that victims of terrorism can be waved about to us as a bloodied figleaf to cover up a naked desire to be seen to be tough on terror for entirely politcal purposes, I object to being used as a political football, and if 'for the victims' is going to be invoked for this kind of liberty-trashing fearmongering, then this 'victim' (hate that word)is going to shout right back that those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

It is what I said in the Sunday Times and the Guardian when it was 50+ days being mooted

and I will go on saying it.

Please don't assume being blown up makes everyone agree with the Sun.

11:39 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Well said, Rachel. But Luke doesn't want people like you and I to vote Labour. Their policies ensure that we won't.

11:45 am, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Dave said...

It's noticeable that Luke can't engage with real life victims as opposed to convenient cardboard cut-out tabloid victims who agree with his punitive, reactionary views.

On three occasions, they've posted, and asked, other posters have asked, and Luke can't dignify his remarks or them with a reply. You are an utter coward and beneath contempt.

It's a pity, since whatever chances you had of having a seat, or a advisor's role, or even good lobbying access - will be shafted by the impending wipeout and sadly - for someone who has spent nearly half their life in the Labour party - I can't muster a scintilla of regret for that.

1:45 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Craig said...

Luke

I'm angered beyond measure at the Labour approach to this.

Remarkably few of your MPs have even the slightest concept of a military career.

As a veteran and recent ex-serviceman from four of this countries more recent wars (GRANBY, JACARANDA, TELIC and HERRICK) the suggestion that your party speaks "for me" would be laughable were it not so offensive.

I'm not a Conservative nor am I a Lib Dem. I'm a member of no political party and I am disgusted by the fringe parties (BNP, UKIP and the like).

In the interests of clarity, Luke, and in the interests of your showing the very obvious courage in your convictions that Mr Davis has shown, I'd recommend that you take yourself up to Mr Davis' constituency and you fight him.

It's bad enough taking orders from an organisation as craven as your party, Luke, but the thought of more spineless incompetence and kneejerk reactions as 42 days makes my blood boil.

In closing I would remind you that the Police don't want 42 days, the security services don't want 42 days - that begs the simple question which is this - who of relevance does?

Think on that, Mr Akehurst.

2:40 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Craig said...

:EDIT

I've just noticed in the prior commentary by you, Luke, of the threat of NBC attack.

For one, the current abbreviation for the quaint, 1980s, NBC is CNBR.

Second the only organisation who have ever used chemical weapons in a terrorist context were the Aum cult in Japan, who generated Sarin and killed a number of Japanese commuters.

The thought that people operating out of garages or their own spare rooms would have the nous to generate nerve agent or - even worse - build an irradiating device is so improbable as to be almost laughable.

Nation states maintaining chemical weapons - the only possible weaponisable agent that could sensibly be used in these circumstances - are led by our great ally, the US.

Iraq didn't have them when we invaded and, had your former party leader not slavishly followed the ideologically flawed logic of Mr G W Bush, Mr Blix would have been authorised in continuing to detect them.

As a professional soldier, the only time in my life that I ever felt disgust about what I was being asked to do was in 2003 in the invasion of Iraq (TELIC).

We (the British Army) had to that point been an Army of defence, acting against invaders of third countries (GRANBY being a case in point).

On TELIC we were, quite simply, invading a sovereign land for politically dubious ends. Soldiers are not cannon fodder, we have brains and we know that we are instruments of foreign policy - however, I am glad that I and my colleagues worked for Her Majesty and not for "the party", a truly Stalinist construct if ever there was one.

2:55 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Just for clarification, only one actual 7/7 survivor has posted. I was merely relaying the views of another one that I happen to know.

But otherwise I agree with Dave entirely.

3:14 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I think Rachel's position just goes to show that experiencing something first hand doesn't necessarily lead you to come to the right conclusions about how to deal with it.

I disagree with her stance but at least it's more sincerely held than that of most Tory MPs who just saw this issue as a cheap chance to inflict a defeat on Gordon Brown.

I simply do not understand why the "civil liberties" of people suspected of terrorism would be considered of more value than the civil liberty of the rest of us to go about our lives safely.

The "limits of the role of the state" have been mentioned. I am more interested in the duty of the state to protect its citizens.

4:49 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

I'm more interested in what actually works. I've yet to see evidence that this does, and plenty that it doesn't.

What matters is what works

5:12 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke: "Personally I think it's "vile" that this man didn't do his duty as Shadow Home Secretary, which on issues of counter-terrorism is to ensure they remain above party politics by supporting the Government."

Yeah, right, it's vile not to support the Government on counter-terror, no matter how vindictive and stupidly they act.

Some of us think it is a duty not to support them when they trash our liberties in order to cling to office a little longer .

5:14 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Luke I served in Northern Ireland and so did my dad. I also served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I witnessed some of the worst bombing campaigns and lost a very good friend who was gunned down by the IRA in a derby car park after returning from his job in the local army careers office.

Yet I still think the 42 day detention is wrong. If I honestly thought this bill would make us safer I would support it.

Look at the facts Luke,despite the threats the reality is that Britain is still very secure and very safe. We lose more people from knife crime than we do from terror acts. Yes terrorism is evil but this is not the way to tackle it.

This act will not get through the House of Lords and the result will be more pressure on Brown to go.

Mike is completely correct in his analysis. You are not going to gain any votes from this legislation but you will lose thousands. How many Labour voters do you think oppose this legislation? I will bet on thousands. How many people who were going to vote conservative or liberal will now vote Labour.....very few I think.

5:27 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think Rachel's position just goes to show that experiencing something first hand doesn't necessarily lead you to come to the right conclusions about how to deal with it."

How Orwellian. And what makes you so superior that only yours can be the "right" conclusion?

5:32 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Personally I think it's "vile" that this man didn't do his duty as Shadow Home Secretary, which on issues of counter-terrorism is to ensure they remain above party politics by supporting the Government."

Clue's in the job description: SHADOW. If he doesn't criticse the government then he's not doing his job.

Anyone who's actually had experience in decisions of national security will know that the decisions are not black and white. You however seem to think that there's only one solution, and that's whatever the Dear Leader spouts.

Would you be uttering the same garbage if a Labour SHS came out in opposition to a proposal to inter all Muslims in concentration camps in the name of Counterterrorism?

I'll leave that as a rhetorical question so you don't have to embarass yourself by answering.

5:38 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Council House Tory said...

I began scanning various blogs a few months back, but I have never read anything as disturbing as this.

That there is an authoritarian streak to new labour has been clear for some years now, there is also a fringe of the tories that is inclined to authoritarianism.

Yet this article and some of the follow up comments by the author are a clear denunciation of any liberal policy, the road to serfdom for modern times.

As someone who was on the tube that morning, served in Iraq courtesy of Blair and whose parents are Irish Catholics, I find such blatent authoritarianism in someone politically active disturbing.

Clearly the battle for liberty must be joined.

ps. my father is a labour man through and through and his disgust for new labour's alliance with murdoch is total.

5:55 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

Luke, my balanced, non-emotional, rational, non political position was formed after spending 3 years talking to people on the front line of terrorism.

This includes 3 Home Secretaries, numerous police officers, ex senior police officers, security service and ex security service officers, journalists, ex jihadis, prisoners, distingushed commentators and thinkers, families, survivors, soldiers and terrorism experts from Europe and the US and UK and lawyers, religious leaders, ordinary Muslims, academics, ex diplomats, politicans of all 3 main parties including Mr Davis and Mr Clegg, and the Home Affairs Committee.

I listened and learned from them all. Not all of them agree with the position I eventually took. Many, many do. I came into this with an open mind, as an ordinary person. I put aside my fear and my anger about terrorists and what they do, and of course I understand why people are afraid of terrorists. But I choose to try live in a way that demonstrates I prize freedom over fear. I will not live in a way that is terrorised and terrified; I will not do the terrorist's job for him.


Your stance appears to be driven by knee jerk tribal party politics, or perhaps by fear of terrorists. I think cherishing life and liberty is more important than politics and fearfulness.

My position is practical, not idealistic.

I explained in my two articles, in the Sunday Times and the Guardian for example, that M16 have for the last decade battled international weapons and drugs cartels with witnesses in different continents, speaking different languages, evidence cached on hundreds of computers, their own legal and security muscle and frequently the assistance of corrupt officials. yet they not have and have not asked for 42 days.

The DPP does not think it is needed, not the ex Attourney General, nor many others whose job it is to protect us and prosecute those who mean us harm.

Our best intelligence comes from co-operative communities and a public who trust the police and judiciary to do their job.

But you know this.

I would respect your decision more if you could explain why I, after all this time and energy bothering to work through all this, am still 'wrong' to cherish liberties and freedoms that protect us, that we have valued for 1000 years, and why a mess of a law whipped through for political purposes which there is no present need for, is 'right' - yet not so right that Labour can find one man or woman to stand for it and put it to the people to vote on.

6:20 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

I simply do not understand why the "civil liberties" of people suspected of terrorism would be considered of more value than the civil liberty of the rest of us to go about our lives safely.

Do you understand the concept of fair trials? Innocent until proven guilty? Do you understand that even if a man has previous convictions, he still has the right to a fair trial and a robust defence? You can't start deciding whose liberties are worth defending and whose aren't.

This is getting very Brass Eye Paedophiles now. Terrorists do not have different DNA to the rest of us. Terrorist suspects are just that - men or women suspected of offences under the terrorism act. Look at how the terrorism legislation has been applied to pensioners, protesters, students, clerics, poets and pranksters and think about what you are setting in place.

Once a terrorist has been found guilty of plotting murder and mayhem after a fair trial by a jury opf their peers, then I'll be cheering as he is led away to spend a long time behind bars.

This is not about being soft on terrorism. It is about being tough about standing up for the things terrorists attack. Democracy. Freedom. The right to walk about without fear.

People have died to protect our freedoms. You should think on what you throw away so lightly.

6:36 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Jackart said...

Can I mention the fact that Just as internment was a recruiting sergeant for the IRA, this will do the same for Al Quaeda so It will not make us any safer

That is why Benjamin Franklin said "he who would trade freedom for security deserves neither"

You sickening little vulture. How dare you seek to use victims of terror for your own petty political ends.

7:21 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Excellent posts, Rachel.

A State which thinks its duty to protect us involves trampling all over basic liberties such as the right not to be locked up without charge is a state which is overly authoritarian.

9:18 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

Well done on undermining your own argument Luke. You've just said that 7/7 victims possess no greater qualification over any other citizen to discuss the issue of detaining terrorist suspects without charge thanks to your patronising exchange with Rachel. You have thereby defeated the central idea of your post.

Well done.

9:18 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Iain Coleman said...

Some posters have suggested the BNP might stand against David Davies. In fact, the BNP are against 42 days detention. See http://www.bnp.org.uk/index.php/2008/06/freedom-rip/

That's right: Labour - and Luke here - are more authoritarian than the BNP.

9:32 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Rich said...

Call me paranoid but I think this is just the start of a big brother state. Next going on strike will be classed as terrorism and they'll be locking up shell lorry drivers for 42 days.

Where does it end Luke.

9:45 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Alex Fear said...

Now let's all not pick on Luke, he's clearly hoping to make one of those blogger-to-journalist transitions and hopes for a job sucking Rupert Murdoch balls, like all Sun "journalists" do.

9:54 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Sentinel said...

Well, I must thank you for one thing, after having read your original post and your responses to the comments. I'm not even a political animal. I'm average bloke personified. In fact, I'd always wavered over how to vote before now.

But now, having read your post, it's clear (although I thought it was satire at first). I will never vote for your lot again.

Let me break it down for you.

I. Will. Never. Vote. For. Your. Lot. Again.

Did I say it slowly enough, Luke?

10:38 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Rachel said...

Well done on undermining your own argument Luke. You've just said that 7/7 victims possess no greater qualification over any other citizen to discuss the issue of detaining terrorist suspects without charge... You have thereby defeated the central idea of your post.



Exactly. Duh.
FFS, 'terrorism victims' are just random ordinary people: that's the whole point. Why should anyone assume they have the time, inclination or energy to fight a by-election against the Shadow Home Secretary for the next 3 weeks?


If Labour thinks 'the people' support 42 days, then why can't they get out there and field a candidate from the Labour party and meet principle with principle, argument with argument, point with point, without bullying, bribing or backroom bartering to get the result?

Surely someone can be spared.
Why should busy coppers and random members of the public be expected to make the case?

11:09 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the strange world of Labour, Civil Liberties = doubleplusungood.

I take it Rachel, not being a burnt/facially scarred/limbless survivor of terrorism (and an intelligent, curious, pragmatic one at that) wasn't the kind of poster child you were thinking of anyway.

Who would Alasdair Campbell choose? Better to get a visual reminder, eh? One who looks more like Simon Weston, or who will cry on the stump when asked about civil liberties rather than counter the argument, maybe? Why deal with the argument at all when you can get the front page of the Sun; everyone knows a picture is worth a thousand words.

Why stop there? You have galloped so far over the line of decency with your suggestion. Keep scrapping the bottom of the barrel whilst wondering why Labour have lost the respect of their membership and the nation and hemorrhaged votes.

11:10 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

Luke,

You want to outflank the Tories on national security, yes? OK, but people vote for political parties on a whole raft of issues and impressions do count. The notion that you can get back the urban working class with 42 days after having treated them with contempt for over a decade strikes me as a long shot at best.

Furthermore, DD is a hanger & flogger, so you cannot outflank him on issues like this. His explanation for the by-election is going to be the one that people believe, given his pretty authoritarian values.

To make matter worse, you are helping Nu-Labour to lose all those nice, liberal types who were brought into the tent by Blair.

This is all too wonderful for words. You put forward a policy which by itself will not help the party recover its lost working class votes, but which will ensure that liberal types continue to desert the sinking ship.

It's wonderful to watch the death of Nu-Labour.

11:16 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Anonymous AngryVoter said...

"Call me paranoid but I think this is just the start of a big brother state. Next going on strike will be classed as terrorism and they'll be locking up shell lorry drivers for 42 days"

Actually I did hear the For Sec David Miliband on my local radio station [Touch FM, Who's news is run by SkyNews] saying that any attempts at blockades, as in 2000.

Will see terror charges placed against the blockaders.

That's right folks, people who stop fuel getting through because of the despicably high taxation this government has brought against us, now means we can be banged up for a full 42 days, while the "evidence" is found.

11:44 pm, June 13, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Exile: this is exactly the point I have been making to Luke for weeks.

Liberal/left voters have been appalled by Labour's decline into right-wing authoritarianism, yet such policies have been an abject failure in winning back other voters.

But, then, Luke thinks that seats like Castle Point are natural Labour constituencies.

1:12 am, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

Mersey Mike,

I looked up Castle Point, as I had never heard of it. This Essex council has 41 councillors and 25 are Tory. 15 are Canvey Island Independence Party and just one is Labour. I think a by-election is pending for one seat.

Even if places like that were Labour soil, would the good burghers vote for some smoothie-chops in advertising?

4:15 am, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger anticant said...

The biggest laugh here is this prat describing himself as "firmly on the moderate wing of the party".

6:58 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not as much funny, as tragic.

It's come the point where the "moderate wing of the party" has to rely on Ian Paisley to prop up it's Bill in the Commons, Kelvin Mackenzie to argue it's corner in an election, and Norman Tebbit to vote for its legislation in the Lords.

7:44 am, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Kris said...

"patronising muppet"

lol Rachel and welcome to bizarro Hackney Labour world where Jules and Luke know what's best for us all.

9:15 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous passer by said...

Are you a member of the STATIST RAVING AUTHORITY PARTY? You seem to have the CV for it?

Lets get this right, Brooon is in trouble, Brooon decides to band the big drum of terrorism, dakrie is a nice easy target, be he guilty or not, who is going to speak up for the unspeakable is the calculation.

I call that racism, and I dont care one jot if DD is pulling a stunt or not, anything that draws attention to the statist sickness of this so called progressive government has my full support.

9:35 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Moira Davenport said...

And to think that a good row in the Labour Party used to be about whether or not to abandon Clause 4.

Ah, how things have changed. The most vocal representative of left-wing Labour in Hackney - the MP for Stoke Newington & Hackney North - declares an annual income in excess of £250,000. And a marketing director struggling to pay his mortgage supports Australian-Americans campaigning to lock us all up without charge.

Where did it all go wrong?

10:05 am, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger ranger1640 said...

Luke you say you are a Public Affairs consultant (specialising in advising defence and aerospace companies). Spin this; give our serving low ranking service personnel a proper wage, accommodation and equipment. I hope your dear leader is happy that his 10p tax hike hit the young low paid soldier fighting on the front line, not that’s what I call a moral booster!!!

Save us all form Nu-Labour and Luke, the last thing we need a professional spinner potential Labour MP. For all our sakes get substance and a back bone and tackle the real problems that affect our society, and try telling the truth for a change.

When did Nu-Labour or Labour ever give a fig for national security? They and using the pretext of 42 day detention as another means to hood wink and control the UK public, another removal of our liberties.

If this gets through and past into law it will be only a short time before some grandmother on a shopping trip to Tesco’s, who is doing 42 mph on a duel carriageway will be detained under these laws for alleged speeding and using her car during day light hours curfew brought in by Labour to save the planet.

I am an Ulster Unionist and I am disgusted that the Democratic Unionists voted for Gordon Brown on Wednesday. If an efficient police force can’t find evidence of terrorist activity with in 28 days then they should be sacked and better police brought in.

Labour sicken me and are taxing me into the 70’s.

10:11 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps we could make the wording something other than your idea which is currently
"Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects"

and make it something like,

"Independant for jailing potentialy innocent people for 42 days without charge with only a 50% conviviction rate at the end of it"

Not as snappy but much more honest

10:18 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous BenSix said...

"If this was only about conventional bombs I would be more sympathetic to arguments that we should incur some increased risk in order not to compromise civil liberties."

Yes, or that dreadful "risin plot" that could have killed us all but...but...what happened to that, Luke?

11:29 am, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

DD is a hanger & flogger, so you cannot outflank him on issues like this. His explanation for the by-election is going to be the one that people believe, given his pretty authoritarian values.

That's what makes his arguments all the stronger. Those who favour strong punishment know that the system under which they are brought to justice must be above reproach.

12:24 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benjamin Gray :

It's hard to spin anyone as soft on terrorism who's army nickname was/is "Double Tap"

David Davis constituency info (just had an email from them)

1) Email address “conservative@haltemprice.karoo.co.uk”
2) Cheques to “H&H CA fighting fund”
3) Address “Haltemprice & Howden Conservatives at 32, Main Street, Willerby, Hull. HU10 6BU”
4) Campaign website will be up on Monday.

1:22 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"or a survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack"

My family live in Israel and are victims of all the horrid stuff you can imagine. They believe in democracy, though and would be horrified if their country went the way of Iran or Syria. I note that you describe yourself s a supporter of Israel. Does it bother you that your precious Labour party would come up against all kinds of resistance if it tried its tricks on a population like that of Israel, where the principle of freedom is fought for, literally, all the time?

You and your ilk are a disgrace to our shared heritage of Anglo-Saxon law and freedom.

1:36 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Andy D said...

I feel genuine sorrow for someone whose mind is so warped that he makes suggestions such as this.

Get help, Luke.

1:44 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,

i think i misheard someone when they said you are a banker

nulab are going to spend a long time in opposition with ideas like yours

1:44 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke,

i think i misheard someone when they said you are a banker

nulab are going to spend a long time in opposition with ideas like yours

1:45 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I think Rachel's position just goes to show that experiencing something first hand doesn't necessarily lead you to come to the right conclusions about how to deal with it............I simply do not understand why the "civil liberties" of people suspected of terrorism would be considered of more value than the civil liberty of the rest of us to go about our lives safely....The "limits of the role of the state" have been mentioned. I am more interested in the duty of the state to protect its citizens.'

I have watched this Government systematically dismantle, on the pretexts of fear and moral panic, the freedoms that I had as a citizen of this country, in a manner that is creating a framework that will imperil my children and ALL the citizens of this country in their future relationship with the state

If you cannot see what this will lead to, you lack vision and ignore history

As someone who formerly voted Labour, it's this sort of condescending, authoritarian effluent that emanates from, and is the signature of, Mr Akehurst and his ilk, that forms the reason why I shall be sending Mr Davis a cheque

2:21 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Dave Hansell said...

Luke,

Does the name Ceausescu mean anything to you?

2:25 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Pooter said...

You odius little insect.

There has never been a case where a terrorist suspect has had to be released because the 28 day limit has passed. This was a purely cynical exercise to make the Tories look soft on terror. It will only serve to further alienate and marginalise the muslim community and act as a recruitment tool for extremists.

Now you want to parade a victim of terrorism in the worst form of knee jerk politics in order to further compound the assault on the civil liberties of all british citizens. For what reason? To make the Tories look soft on terror.

You disgust me.

3:56 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to hold civil liberties - the rights of ordinary people to go about their lives without arbitrary interference by the state - in very low regard. To understand why they are so important you only have to look at populations that have none - try North Korea, Zimbabwe and Iraq under Hussein. All countries where people live and die at the whim of the state and its minions. I can hear you saying "could never happen here"... almost certainly true, but ask yourself why.

Mr. Davis stand is not just about the 42 day issue but also about the myriad of ways the state can now interfere in peoples lives.

Please keep posting your ideas. I say this even though I disagree with them strongly.
- the authoritarian groupthink mentality you demonstrate makes Mr. Davis point for him oh so eloquently.
- you are (for the time being at least) free to say what you think.

4:36 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Katabasis said...

"You can always tell a debate is on shaky ground when the protagomists start calling their opponents Nazis/Fascists, swearing, or invoking Mandela or Gandhi (plus in this case Magna Carta)."

You mean, in the same way you swore at us in the comments on our blog?

"Boundaries of the state... blah ... ancient liberties ... blah... Magna Carta ... blah ..."

Says it all.


"I think Rachel's position just goes to show that experiencing something first hand doesn't necessarily lead you to come to the right conclusions about how to deal with it."

How utterly contemptuous and shameless. Are your labour overlords aware that you are writing this guff?

4:55 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

Time for a fisking

or a former copper/soldier/spook to beat the tosser.

David Davis is a former soldier. SAS at that.

Does anyone have Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Tim Collins number? He'd be the perfect indpendent for national security candidate.

He's a Tory. He spoke at their Party Conference.

You can always tell a debate is on shaky ground when the protagomists start calling their opponents Nazis/Fascists, swearing, or invoking Mandela or Gandhi (plus in this case Magna Carta).

What if it's a debate with a Fascist? Your argument is the one on shaky ground as it's been almost entirely ad-hominem.

Unfortunately there are non-conventional threats around use of NBC by terrorists that wouldn't just cause mass casualties like 7/7, they would cause loss of life on a catastrophic/apocalyptic scale.

Rubbish. Nuclear = dirty bomb. The casualty rate wouldn't be much higher than a conventional bomb, and the effect is largely one of panic rather than harm. That panic is caused indirectly by scaremongering by people such as yourself.

The last recorded chemical attack was Sarin on the Tokyo subway, and that was less fatal than 7/7.

Unconventional attacks are not attractive to the low-tech terrorism that al-Qa'eda favours (let's not forget that 9/11 was done by 19 men with boxcutters). In cold terms (and we must be rational when we examine terrorism rather than running away with our emotions, as you would have us do) the risk is not worth the return. Acquiring a CBRN weapon is too risky, complex and elaborate compared to the relative ease with which one can inflict mayhem conventionally.

That is the conclusion of numerous researchers and experts. I may provide citations later if I'm feeling generous.

The "complex" terrorist plots are precisely the ones that do not need internment, as their very complexity means that the police will already have sufficient evidence to press charges by the time they arrest people.

5:00 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous g1lgam3sh said...

" Rachel said...

As a 'victim of a terrorist attack', I spit at your repellent idea.

And if I was standing on a political platform I'd be standing right behind Davis.

I've met him, I back him, even though he is a Tory.

He stands up for freedom against fearmongering.

That's my own personal opinion, because, guess what, getting blown up on the way to work on 7.7 didn't affect my ability to think rationally,have opinions and care about freedom and democracy. If anything, it mademe even keener on preserving the freedoms that lunatics seem keen to destroy.

As to the other passengers on my train, and their families, they have their own opinions about politics, much as the passengers on any train do.

Al Qaida do explosions, not mass personality transplants

and terrorist 'victims' are actually just people like anyone else you know.

*rolls eyes*

Sheesh, you patronising muppet.

8:50 PM, June 12, 2008"

*Pwned*

Rachel...always been one of my favourite names...Respect!!!

5:20 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Jackart said...

This post is going to cost you a seat in parliament, you revolting vulture. Unless of course you retract and apologise... over to you.

6:02 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous g1lgam3sh said...

Read the whole thread and a couple of other pieces by Rachel.

I'm glad to discover that my initial impression was totally confirmed.

I'll say it again...Respect!!!

6:18 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

There appears to be more than a little faux outrage here.

I mean, let's get it straight, I completely disagree with Luke about this, but some of the comments are over the top.

It's no more of a cynical suggestion than finding a relative of a dead soldier to stand as an anti-war candidate (for example) - so, yes it's cynical, but it's not particularly out of the ordinary.

Why I disagree with the proposed strategy is that I don't think Labour should be fighting a campaign in favour of 42 days, nor supporting one. I think we should reject the policy.

So the two possibilities from my point of view, re: this by-election, are: fight it with the PPC we have (who, I'm given to understand, is opposed to 42 days detention) and move the focus onto Davis wasting everyone's time and money rather than 'vote for us, we're more illiberal than a pro-death-penalty Tory'. Or we say, 'this is a stunt' and ignore it 100%.

I don't see any other strategy as being on the table.

Anyway - 121 comments, Luke! Good going!

6:59 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous pooter said...

@Duncan Hall

"move the focus onto Davis wasting everyone's time and money"

Hmmm unlike 3 Billion wasted to try and buy a by-election, or 200 million to buy 9 DUP votes.

"Anyway - 121 comments, Luke! Good going!"

What, 121 people think you are a total twat and would rather saw their own legs off rather than vote labour. Yeah, really good going.

9:07 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My, my you are a kind, generous soul aren’t you Duncan. Although there is some faint praise in there: cynical but no more cynical than others!?!

Faux outrage, maybe some – but Luke didn’t half invite it. Sane people know that this sort of decision is about striking a balance between security and our rights. Maybe there is a case to be made for 42 days but frankly no-one has made a good one.

Certainly Luke didn’t. When you pretend that those rights aren’t important (or are so stupid and ignorant that you actually think they don’t) and you couch your argument in such sneering, offensive terms it is not surprise that people take umbrage (see, I can be generous too – pretending Luke actually made a case).

At least I know why the real Luke Akehurst packed it in – this Luke is beyond satire – he has become as self parody.

9:16 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Graeme Archer said...

I wondered, reading this, reading not just your original piece so much as your responses to your critics, if you realised how much it revealed about your view of life and other people's place within it, with respect to yourself? I'm glad so many people have responded to the substantive points in your piece, because words fail me.

As indeed they appear to have failed you, or, perhaps more accurately, you appear to have failed words:

Personally I fear for our survival as a society if weaponised anthrax or small pox, or radiological devices got used.

"Personally" I fear for your dictionary. You might want to look up radiological. Is this another New Labour security scare from another dodgy dossier? We have to lock you up for six weeks without charge, because we're only 45 minutes from the attack of the scary dental X-ray machines. What next? The teapots of doom?

9:52 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would just go to the devils kitchen
http://devilskitchen.me.uk/. I totally agree with him. What did Orwell say about the future "Imagine a jackboot kicking you in the face, forever."

You need to grow up young man, this is about peoples lives, not some petty political posturing.

10:06 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

I have to disagree with you on that last point. Mr. Akehurst I feel would be only too happy for us to live in a teapot dictatorship.

Or maybe I misheard that one.

10:14 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger The Great Simpleton said...

" Andy said...
Spot on Luke, ignore the weak minded liberal cretin commenters. This is the perfect opportunity to spank the tories on an issue of principle. Does anyone have Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Tim Collins number? He'd be the perfect indpendent for national security candidate."

You really are in cloud cuckoo land if you believer the people like Tim Collins will support this vile move. He has spent his life preparing to fight, and fighting, regimes that that treat the people with such utter contempt. He and his fellow officers understand that life has to be sacrificed to defend freedoms.

10:29 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sick fuck.

It's emabarassing when a man hides behind a skirt; but when the Prime Minister of Great Britain hides behind a Rupert Murdoch stooge, it's downright shameful. How the hell do we get rid of him? How the hell do we get rid of you?

10:59 pm, June 14, 2008

 
Blogger Wat Dabney said...

Luke, my position is that we should not only intern terrorist suspects without trial but, in addition, give them a right good kick in the balls.

Are you with me on this or are you, like Davis, just another pontificating posturing liberal, soft on national security?

12:34 am, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

People, Nu-Lab may take Luke's advice and run a stooge candidate. The name of John Smeaton is being tossed around as the front runner, but I have no idea if he is interested or not.

I am giving up my weekend to blog about this and there is more at The Exile.

You couldn't make this shit up, could you?

3:09 am, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If YOU want to play fascist then Labour should pay the full political price for it and be eviscerated at the polls for being soft on defending our ACTUAL FREEDOMS.

9:13 am, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I simply do not understand why the 'civil liberties' of people suspected of terrorism would be considered of more value than the civil liberty of the rest of us to go about our lives safely."
Because it is 'the rest of us' who are the ones who will be locked up for 42 days. It is 'the rest of us' who will be falsely accused. It is 'the rest of us' who are in danger from an emerging police state.
Do not take our liberties for granted.

9:54 am, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

Ooer, our Luke wants to play at being hard. Read his comment at this blog if you don't believe me.

He's hard, isn't he? Hard as shit that is. And the little prick is losing it!

Pile it on!

9:57 am, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Reversepsycology said...

Luke:

Heres another "Idea"!!!

This one requires - A noose - A branch of a tree - and your own worthless neck!!

You may think this "A little harsh" - but what else can I prescribe for a brain dead zombie???

How anybody can still actively campaign for this corrupt, immoral, third rate shambles of an alleged government, is beyond the realms of my feeble little mind...

You and your beloved Nu liebour party, bring shame to the word "Democracy".

10:18 am, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

The problem with your slogan is that they wouldn't actually be "for detaining terrorism suspects". Nobody has a problem with detaining those suspected of terrorism.

The issue is that under the legislation they wouldn't be detained on suspicion of terrorism. If they were, you could charge them. This proposed law is about rounding people up off the street, holding them, then finding something to stick on them later. It turns "looking like a shifty arab with a backpack" into a custodial sentence.

They aren't terrorist suspects until they're charged.

11:04 am, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Guthrum said...

Looks like a very large shaft of light has been let in on the bunker group- think that passes for Labour Party 'thinking'.

God help us if this is the 'future' of the Labour Party, drones who put Party above Country.

1:29 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Quink said...

I can't believe you could propose such an odious idea. Vile, sickening and repulsive. I think you should accept how revolting it is and apologise unreservedly.

6:55 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

Pooter - I agree with you about the 'buying' of DUP votes. I haven't seen categorical proof of what the deal was, but it's obvious that there was one, and I find that appalling.

The first few criticisms of Luke on this thread were perfectly reasonable (even some of the strongly-worded ones, like e10rifles, Rachel, etc.), and I was just going to add my voice to them, but some of the criticisms - particularly some of the anonymous comments - are over the top.

7:24 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous John A Thomson said...

Here was me thinking Nu Labour were only a bunch of selfish, self serving parasites that would deal with the devil to stay in power and then I'm introduced to your blog post! OMFG!

You really are the scum of society and should never be allowed to hold a position of high office or be responsible for sweeping the streets with views and ideas like this.

Smeato's name has been suggested as a front runner. I've already sent him a strongly worded email on why this is such a bad, bad idea for his standing and affection with the people of Britain.

I've got another suggestion for your compaign. If you manage to get a member from a victim's family to stand then why not dig up the victim and show what happens when we don't bang up people for 42 days. Harry Enfield did something similar with Mr Dead!

I only hope Rachel goes along to Halteemprice and Howden to show support for DD and show up you and your masters for the power drunk authoritarians that you so obviously are.

It is clear that you don't understand that DD is making this a campaign on the bigger erosion of our civil liberties, not just on the 42 days vote. My cheque is in the post to DD and I'm not even a Tory voter, never have been and never will. Until this week I thought he was just another one of the 600+ sleazy folk that hung around Westminster... but now my view has been changed.

I'm so angry that I could write something here that would get me banged up for 42 days!!!!

7:57 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick post

8:20 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Citizen Stuart said...

Nothing like a bit of Dunblane-style shroud-waving to get the unthinking to support more restrictions on their freedom in return for false promises of security, eh? The trouble with that is, if you do it too many times people start to catch on.

People seem to be catching on now, and after over a decade of Labour mis-rule, I fully expect you lot to be chased out of office at the next general election, partly because of all this police state garbage. It's a pity you'll be replaced by the Conservatives, but it's an imperfect world. One day we'll get a Libertarian government, and then we'll see some reforms.

Happy Magna Carta Day, by the way.

9:08 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

I tend to agree, Duncan.

As much as I disagree with Luke, its clear enough that the blog has been targeted by members of the Libertarian party, whose ideas I think would be in very different ways, every bit as damaging and certainly as harmful as those of new labour. The unfettered free market, abolition of income tax, and freedom to carry guns or any other so called 'defensive weapons being three examples. No, thanks.

9:34 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yawn. Some people are very self-righteous.

9:55 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

And easy to wind up.

9:56 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

Better to be wound up than strung up by your cronies.

11:08 pm, June 15, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Twats like you Luke remind me constantly why I made the right decision to never ever vote for Liebour again. Carry on make the Liebour Party unelectable. It's fun to watch.

"42 days was a cheap political stunt with nothing to do with national security." Exactly.

1:02 am, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy said...

"Spot on Luke, ignore the weak minded liberal cretin commenters. This is the perfect opportunity to spank the tories on an issue of principle. Does anyone have Lieutenant Colonel (retd.) Tim Collins number? He'd be the perfect indpendent for national security candidate."

I'm sure that both Andy and Luke will be delighted to learn that Tim Collins is going to be campaigning in this forh comking by election. The only slight downside is that he'll be campaigning for David Davis according to the Indy (see http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/iraq-veteran-to-join-davis-campaign-847838.html)

8:56 am, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Oxbridge Prat said...

From the Indy: "He [Collins] is going to come and talk about how you defeat terrorism without using repression".

But the thing you have to remember about people like Luke is that they don't see repression as a necessary evil; they see it as desirable in and of itself.

9:25 am, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Scott @ loveandgarbage said...

"Some people are very self-righteous."
"And easy to wind up."

Mr Akehurst, is this last response an indication that your original idea was a joke? If so, it wasn't a very funny one.

My grandmother and two sisters (then pre-teen) were in Lockerbie on the night of the air disaster - the largest terrorist atrocity in the UK. My family and I travelled the nine or so miles there a day or so later - to bring my sisters home. Even a day and a half later I saw bodies in windows, limbs hanging from trees, watched young soldiers removing body after body from the house two doors from my grandmothers, watched them lying belongings in a children's play park. I witnessed the obscenity of journalists harassing locals - asking how they felt. I can't begin to imagine what my sisters and grandmother saw. When they got home they couldn't sleep. They woke in the night screaming. I'm still haunted by what I saw. My sisters have PTSD - one is still badly affected 20 years on. However tangentially I have experienced the aftermath of terrorism. My sisters and granny were cuaght in the midst of it. And I and my family found your suggestion very offensive. I am not a libertarian (in the sense some on this post have used it). I have voted for Labour in the past. In fact the only major Scottish party I've not voted for is the Conservatives. However, I am a liberal. And I find your "idea" that the Labour party should seek to manipulate some victim of terrorism to advocate legislation that would have been thought of as illiberal in the eighteenth century, never mind today, very offensive. I wrote a reply to your idea on my blog the other night - thinking that matters might die a death after Rachel's replies to you above - where she responded to your highly patronising response. But still you come back with more. Well, shame on you Mr Akehurst. Shame on you.

I'll leave you with some words from a great man writing 200 years ago. Baron Hume wrote,

"As indeed it is obvious, that, by its very constitution, every court of criminal justice must have the power of correcting the greatest and most dangerous of all abuses of the forms of law, - that of the protracted imprisonment of the accused, untried, perhaps not intended ever to be tried, nay, it may be, not informed of the nature of the charge against him, or the name of the accuser."

His words were approved in the House of LOrds decision in the Belmarsh case - and that 42 day pre-charge detention (with however, long subsequent to the charge); and the even more abominable SIAC contravene this principle (enshrined in Scots common law for centuries) is a constitutional outrage. And your manipulative protestations to the contrary ill serve you personally, and the party you proclaim to support.

Scott

9:27 am, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duncan Hill said:
There appears to be more than a little faux outrage here.

I mean, let's get it straight, I completely disagree with Luke about this, but some of the comments are over the top.

It's no more of a cynical suggestion than finding a relative of a dead soldier to stand as an anti-war candidate (for example) - so, yes it's cynical, but it's not particularly out of the ordinary.


There is a huge difference, in that the relatives of dead soldiers who stand are doing it for themselves, through a deeply held conviction, which may or may not be to your taste. It is "grass roots" politics.

What Luke suggests is Labour, the party of government "Maybe instead of Labour fielding a candidate in Haltemprice & Howden we should find a Martin Bell type candidate - preferably a recently retired senior police officer, or a survivor or relative of a victim of a terrorist attack, to run under the following 5 word candidate description: "Independent - for detaining terrorism suspects".

That is cynical and reprehensible, using someone else's tragedy for your own political gain; the party of government finding a candidate for another party, to fight by-election and try to win an argument you previously failed to make using the politics of fear, so promptly bought off. If that is not playing party politics - using a disguise! - I don't know what is.

The Sun is appearing to loose the will to fight Davis on his full agenda, as Kavenagh sides with Davis against the surveillance society.

Additionally, your last two comments "Yawn, Some people are very self-righteous" followed by "And easy to wind up" just show how churlish, immature, and out of touch both yourself and your party are with your own natural voters. Are you now suggesting your post was a joke????

10:21 am, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

No it wasn't a joke. David Davis has sought to fight a by-election as a single-issue referendum on his stance on counter-terrorism so it's wholly reasonable that someone with a professional or personal experience leading them to disagree with his stance should run against him. Whether that's the best way forward for his opponents I don't know, but it's worth considering.

There have been a handful of serious comments here from Rachel and other people with direct experience that has led them to share Davis' position. There has also been a lot of tiresome, repetitive and self-righteous ranting, accompanied by swearing and personal insults, from rightwing libertarian fruitloops who if they lived in the US would be camped out in a bunker in Idaho waiting for the federal/UN black helicopters to start the final reckoning.

They obviously don't like me or the Labour Government - I don't like them or what they stand for. I suggest they find another forum to vent their spleen.

10:50 am, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Alexander said...

If you have a blog and make stupid and offensive comments Luke you should expect to be critisied - if you don't like it shut yourself down.

11:44 am, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

But there are plenty of commentators who are not from the wild fringes of libertarianism, Luke. I simply think that the government have failed to make a convincing case for a measure which sets a worrying precedent and appears to me to challenge very basic ideas about custody before being charged.

For me, your wish for security is not worth the authoritarianism it requires, and moreover, the sort of community based intelligence needed to tackle terrorism will be threatened given the unpopularity of this measure amongst Muslims. Thus, it will not work as a tactic.

11:52 am, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Mike

I don't have a problem with the way you put your arguments, because you don't resort to name-calling.

11:56 am, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Exile said...

Mersey Mike,

It is not about security, it is about trying to ensure that a gang of sewer rats continue clinging on to power.

Look, you are a Scouser - do you remember Big Jack and Bessie Braddock? Jack was as right wing as they come, but he made damned sure that council houses got built and that the municipal buses ran to schedule. When Churchill had his 90th birthday, Bessie was about the only MP that refused to stand in his honour.

Right wing Catholics, the pair of 'em, but they knew what Labour was about - and it isn't about pretty little boys like this git.

12:09 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Benjamin Gray said...

The only way to ensure absolute security against al-Qa'eda is to capitulate to their every reprehensible demand. That would however make us less secure overall.

Draconianism likewise is the other side of the same coin. Capitulation and repression are two extremes of political behaviour, both informed by the utopian ideal that you could ever have an absolutely secure society. Both are surrender: of our liberties, of our self-determination.

The principled stand is not to retreat to the bunker but to stand for the ancient liberties that are part of British society. It is the difficult option, but it is the right thing to do.

Notwithstanding that the CBRN terrorist threat is grossly exaggerated.

12:29 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Exile

I have been called many things in the past but "pretty" is a new one.

12:47 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Krippers said...

Well, this is a little bit repugnant isn't it?

In summation of your initial article and subsequent remarks:
You want a victim of a terror attack to stand against Davis but not a victim who does not share Labour's personal view attempting to reflect the worst of tabloid scare reporting?

When actual victims state that your perspective is representative of the warped sense of what is required to defend liberty by removing it and this is in opposition to their own views you are of the mind that they are what deluded? Stupid? Plain unintelligent? Ill-informed?

To make statements such as this seems quite in line with Labour philosophy that the only correct thing is any damn thing it dreams up over breakfast.

I look forward to the next election where the electorate will get the opportunity to marginalize such crass views as your own and the rest of your party.

I suspect you are not.

3:01 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This suggestion is exactly the kind of quasi-Tory thinking that made me and many others leave the Labour party for good. It is also the kind of thinking - arrogant, out of touch, utterly contemptuous of the electorate - that will get the party deservedly hammered at the next election. Sadly that will leave us with the actual Tories in power, but now there is no longer a difference between the Tories running the Tory party and the Tories running the Labour party it really doesn't matter that much.

3:09 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

It does seem rather odd me trying to explain my earlier comment. After all I vehemently disagree with Luke, both on the substantial point, and his proposal for this by-election. But when I made the comparison with the families of dead soldiers standing on anti-war tickets. Yes - you're right, those that have have done so because of their strongly-held political convictions. Presumably, any terror victim Luke (or the Mirror) could find to fight a pro-42 days campaign would do so because of their strongly-held political convictions too; I don't think Luke implied that he was intending to coerce a terror victim to stand against Davis against their will! So in both cases, if the people wanted to contest an election then they're entitled to do so. In both cases, the person it occurred to as a strategy was being a tad cynical, and seeing how you could add emotional impact to your arguments.

Now I am anti-war and anti-42 days. So from my perspective I can much more easily forgive the cynicism in the one case than the other, but I do maintain that it's actually quite similar. (The fact that Martin Bell once got shot was a fairly big factor in his being the right candidate for Tatton, that time - it didn't mean that he didn't believe in the campaign he fought).

On the substantial point. I suspect Davis doesn't want us to contest the by-election. Partly so he can paint it as cowardice on the part of the government, but more particularly because if frees up the extent of his 'national debate'. It stops it being Tory against Labour, and makes it libertarian (of right or left) against authoritarian (of right or left), allowing Labour rebels to appear alongside Liberty, Tim Collins, etc, etc. to make a much wider point. He's not so much trying to win an argument within conservativism here as - if we're to take him at face value - have a national debate about the anti-terror laws which he feels didn't happen before the Commons vote.

He could claim something of a victory - polling evidence seems to suggest that public opinion is changing very quickly on this. In the end, the result in Howden is fairly insignificant; it's all about the 'result' in the country as a whole, regarding people's opinions on this sort of legislation.

The options for Labour are either to contest the seat with our PPC (who, I understand, is opposed to 42 days). In that case we take the wind out of Davis' sails somewhat because we neuter the 42 days issue and make the by-election about other things. (We'd lose, because it's a safe Tory seat, but we might take some shine off Davis, Cameron and Clegg in the process). Or we stay out of it. In the latter case there will be quite a big, public campaign about civil liberties which I suspect will be quite popular and the government will have to take the hit. (Any attempt at a significant pro-42 day candidate against Davis would simply make the campaign bigger and more public - and hence the same could be said about the hit.

5:03 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger The Great Simpleton said...

Duncan,

A good post until you get to the point about Labour's PPC.

If he does stand every question he is asked will be along the lines of - if you are against 42 days why are you standing for Labour, will you be a rebel? Then it will be why are you against it. There will be no dodging this debate at all.

If the Labour Party truly believes that we need 42 days then why doesn't it take this opportunity to argue the case, perhaps with some better evidence than we have seen to date?

5:19 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Duncan Hall said...

You may or may not be right about that, from the government's point of view. Obviously - as an anti-42-days Labour Party member - I don't want us to keep arguing the case. I want us to ditch it.

5:32 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Bill said...

Luke, you seem to be a member (albeit a minor one) of the Political Class: that peculiar group of 20-45 year olds, distributed either side of the political centre, who have never done anything with their lives except work as politicians, work for politicians, write about politicians, or, as seems to be the case with you, advise people about politicians.

One of the reasons David Davis is so popular with us mere mortals out in the provinces is that we're pretty tired of the Political Class running our lives.

We don't feel you're real, or have any experience of real life outside politics and outside London. I think Davis might be about to give you all, so-called left and so-called right, an almighty kicking.

11:05 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger urko said...

42 days locked up without trial is not the mark of a civilised society. Not the mark of a country we can be proud of. You (Luke), Brown and all the others who are trying to abolish our rights and freedoms are the ones who really need to hang their heads in shame. You do the work of the terrorists for them - they scorn democracy and freedom, just like you.

11:14 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Bill, I do apologise for having chosen to devote my work time to a subject I enjoy and my spare time to public service (having been brought up, out in the provinces as you put it, to believe this was a good thing). I obviously should have gone and done a job I didn't enjoy and wasn't qualified for, not lived in glamorous Hackney, and spent my evenings enjoying myself down the pub or in front of the TV, rather than doing advice surgeries or helping in a minor way to improve local schools and housing.

However, I've made my bed and must lie in it, as I in your view, rather than the former Shadow Home Secretary who has been a full time MP since I was doing my GCSEs, represent the political class.

PS your website seems to suggest your job isn't in an industry a million miles from mine doesn't it?

11:25 pm, June 16, 2008

 
Anonymous John A Thomson said...

Luke wrote:
"However, I've made my bed and must lie in it..."

But Luke, your not supposed to shit the bed then call it chocolate!

Luke, you'd be better not digging the grave any deeper... stop commenting for your own sake and concentrate on some new blog posts to help out your party, which is going to take a complete hammering at the next election.

p.s. I'm an SNP voter and believer in a free and independent Scotland, but still I've sent DD a cheque to support his campaign for freedom. Respect DD and Rachel.

1:06 am, June 17, 2008

 
Anonymous Rory Meakin said...

luke akehurst: "There has also been a lot of tiresome, repetitive and self-righteous ranting... from rightwing libertarian[s]"

So the people who do not want government to have arbitrary powers over the individual, who oppose detention without charge or trial... these are now the "rightwing"?

Has this word now lost all its meaning?

3:02 am, June 17, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

I think Rachel's position just goes to show that experiencing something first hand doesn't necessarily lead you to come to the right conclusions about how to deal with it

In that case, Luke, why did you want to have a 'victim of terror' contest Davis? If their views are irrelevant if they disagree with you, why are their views suddenly relevant if they agree with you?

9:16 am, June 17, 2008

 
Anonymous Bill said...

Luke,

I'm not disputing the fact that you may have done some good in the world. Good on you. You've probably done more good than me. I'm not claiming to be Mother Theresa, George Washington or Cato.

You're dead right that my job isn't a million miles from yours. I'm part of the Bullshit Economy. If I'd wanted to hide that, I wouldn't have left a link.

But just because I'm like you in many ways doesn't mean I have to think the same way as you or share your view of the world.

I think some of the stuff you've said above is inhumane. I bet you're not, basically, an inhumane bloke. In this instance, you're partly shit-stirring, and partly you've dug yourself into a difficult position for the sake of an argument.

I think it's time to admit that you've gone a bit far. I'll think much more of you, and take your arguments a lot more seriously, if you do.

9:25 am, June 17, 2008

 
Blogger Jackart said...

They obviously don't like me or the Labour Government - I don't like them or what they stand for. I suggest they find another forum to vent their spleen.

No. Luke, You are getting the trolling you deserve. Your post represents your party in all its cynical partisan spite and you're copping the lot. Your comments are also beyond parody. Muddled, incoherent and deeply wrong. You've got a reaction to the post, people early on in the thread suggested a retraction and apology, but you ploughed on.

You're an idiot, and this post will haunt the rest of your political career.

I think my description of you as a "vulture" is apt

9:34 am, June 18, 2008

 
Anonymous Simon Jester said...

Colonel Tim Collins has now added his contribution to this debate:
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/article3805238.ece

5:32 pm, June 18, 2008

 
Anonymous An annoyed Labourman said...

What's that going into the distance...oh it's Luke's political career.

What a sick thing to write about terrorism, you don't deserve the right to call yourself human.

3:47 pm, June 24, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 60.... I have voted Labour ALL my life....I never will again.

This government has sickened me...it is inept, untrustworthy and dangerous.

Britain is in grave danger. Does ANYONE have the foggiest idea of where SO much of our finances come from to help pay for the mislakes Brown has made? Well, it comes from ISLAM. Brown is so tied up in Sharia financial packages he is unable to take as much as a breath againsy Islam in other areas.

We have been sold out, and we are in great danger here.............
NEVER again will I trust this Marxist government.

2:52 pm, July 02, 2008

 
Anonymous late to this, but hey ho... said...

I've voted for 50 years.

I went to H&H on my pensioners bloody railcard and on my way up I chopped up my Labour membership card.

I saw Mrs North speak, and I have used my limited technical skills to find her blog and to copy this off it,

and I must say, you are damned to high bloody hell, and rightly so.

Just read this, and weep - as you youngsters and my grandparents are fond of saying.

And fuck you, Akehurst.



Three years ago I was on the way to work when a 19 year old British man detonated a suicide bomb in the carriage I was travelling in, killing 26 innocent people and wounding over a hundred more. So I understand first-hand how terrifying terrorism is. But I now know that the real aim of the terrorists is not to kill hundreds but to terrify millions. To terrify us so much that we forget who we are and what we stand for and become like frightened children begging only to be kept safe. To use our own nightmares against us and to amplify them through the media and news cycle's endless feedback loop of fear. But as any parent knows, it is not always possible to keep those you love safe, and a person who is always safe is a person who never knows freedom - and who has no life.

Tony Blair once said that the freedom not be to be blown up on the way to work was the most important freedom - and that sounds temptingly true, until you unpack it. For no government can keep us safe, even if they watch over us and film us and listen to us and check our emails and internet use and hold our most intimate data and fill hundreds of prison cells with people who are merely suspected of - but not charged with - any crime at all.

When terrorists attack us, they try to divide us. They want a panicked reaction and a divisive, draconian response. It plays into their propaganda machine and by deeming them our terrible enemies against whom we must wage all-out endless, limitless war, we dignify and glorify their hateful - and hopeless - cause.

But what I learned on 7 July was that we are each other's best security. We are the guardians of each other's liberties and lives. I learned this when the bomb exploded and on each carriage of the train, trapped underground, despite the terrifying darkness and choking dust and screaming, men and women still took each other's hands and comforted and calmed each other, shared water, passed tissues, whilst other men and women ran into dark tunnels, into unknown danger, to rescue the injured. Further horror and injury was only prevented by people's calm and altruistic response. And in the darkness, you could not know if the person who reached to touch your hand was male or female, or what race or religion or sexuality they were. Just a stranger in the dark on whom your own sanity and survival depended.

I have held on to that lesson ever since.

I expect terrorists to attack our way of life and to try to use fear to divide us and change our behaviour. I do not expect our government to do the same, nor do I expect us to collude in giving up our ancient liberties and thus to do the terrorists' work for them.

Make no mistake, this is not about being soft on terrorism. I have no empathy for terrorists and I will cheer loud and long when one is convicted by a jury of his peers of plotting murder and mayhem and is locked up for a very long time indeed. But it is simply not right that we should support laws where people merely suspected of terrorism should be locked up for 42 days and nights without being charged with any crime at all. More than half those arrested for terrorism so far have been found to be entirely innocent, and terrorism laws have been used to harass and harry ordinary people: poets and protesters, chefs and pensioners, students and parents and priests. Ordinary people like you or me.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, the ex-Director General of M15, in office during 7/7, many senior police and the ex Attorney General, and numerous others whose job it has been to protect us, and prosecute those who mean us harm say 42 days is not needed nor is it workable, and I support them. How can I not?

Sometimes an issue is so important that it transcends politics and party lines. We have a choice: whether we focus on our fears or our freedoms. To defy the terrorists by standing together, strong in what we know ourselves to be, looking at what unites us. Not to tolerate political posturing and base attempts to cajole and frighten us. I pray that we have the courage to stand up for the freedoms our enemies want to destroy, and older generations died to protect; whatever our party politics, whatever our background. To say that our liberty is our security and our freedoms the key to unlock our fears, and so let us breathe and live and love and work as we want to, as humans, as is our right. Our birthright, our human right.

I am not a Tory, but I am passionate about the debate that is playing out in David Davis' constituency and all over the UK. They say if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything, and I am glad to stand shoulder to shoulder with people from all across the political spectrum, knowing that freedom is something worth standing for, worth fighting for, worth dying for. I stand today asking for freedom. I ask you to stand up, and stand for it too.

11:43 pm, July 10, 2008

 
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