Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sent For Re-Education?

Spot the difference:

8:20 am: Labour Security Minister Admiral Lord West tells the BBC that when it comes to detention limits for terrorism suspects, he still needs "to be fully convinced that we absolutely need more than 28 days".

9:30 am: After a meeting with Gordon Brown following the above interview, Admiral Lord West seems to have been fully convinced, saying that: "I personally, absolutely believe that within the next two or three years we will require more than [28 days] for one of those complex plots".

Here's the transcript, courtesy of Gallery News, from this morning's Lobby Briefing. I don't envy the press officer trying to argue here that 2+2=5, that black is white and that the earth is in fact flat. Surely, though, this sort of bilge just demeans every intelligent adult?

The spokesman was asked, " Does the Prime Minister have full confidence in Security minister Lord West."

He replied, " Yes. I think Lord West's statement speaks for itself. It was necessary to ensure that his position was properly understood."

What had made him change his mind, he was asked.

" I am not sure he has changed his mind, " he replied. " There is no contradiction. Lord West has given his views quite clearly in the second statement. He said on radio that it was possible to build up a good case for extending the detention period beyond 28 days. That is Government policy as long as it is accompanied by stronger and tighter parliamentary and judicial oversight."

He was asked if the Prime Minister's 'powers of persuasion' had been employed in encouraging Lord West to issue the second statement. The spokesman replied, " Lord West made clear his potion in his second statement. I will let Lord West's words speak for themselves."

It was put to him that the way Lord West had been treated by the Government had 'destroyed his credibility'.

He replied, " I do not think that is the case."

He was asked if there were 'any induction courses' for ministers who were not formerly politicians.

The spokesman replied, " Lord West is a very experienced individual, a former First Sea Lord and a security expert. He has a lot of experience of speaking in public."

Were there any plans for Lord West to give further interviews today.

" Not that I am aware of, " he replied.


ZanderLibra said...

Mr West is probably doing some homework on how to explain why he changed his mind (explaining the "I don't think so").

There must have been some amazing stuff going down in that 70 minutes… or a great incentive offered.

I would like to know but no doubt the government will never reveal.

If you cant explain why a terrorist is a terrorist in 28 days, surely there is some slacking or incompetence somewhere.

Richard Thomson said...

Yes... I'm doing my best to keep an open mind, but surely if you have evidence of someone's involvement in terrorist activity, you arrest them but if you don't have evidence, you've no business locking them up.

'Trust me, I'm a Home Secretary' doesn't really carry any ring of authenticity for me any more, I'm afraid.

ZanderLibra said...

I totally agree with you here, and I think your blog post highlights a lot of unanswered questions.

Its basically just an extension to a jail term... and a jail term that people who may have done nothing may end up getting trapped in.