Left Out Liberal

A left-wing/liberal look at the UK's General Election of 2005.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

This bill will now self-destruct

After the Lords had a jolly old second day of amending the bill it has left a lot of people wondering: why did the government propose this legislation in the first place?

It's a good question when you think about it. Now I look back, there was never any doubt that the bill was going to fail in the Lords. The surprise to all was just how high the strength of feeling was there, and the unusual names we saw rebelling. All good news, of course.

But if that's the case, surely the goverment also knew it? I'm convinced Charles Clarke and chums, with their continued "There will be no concessions!" rhetoric (while silently amending the bill) must have known that the Lords were not going to fall for it. They must have known they were going to have to eat humble pie at some point. I refuse to believe that New Labour would be that naive as to think this would go through with no trouble.

So what was it all about? Mere political grandstanding, giving them the chance to say the Tories and the Lib Dems are "soft on terror"? Perhaps they have planned this all along and intend to crash the bill in the next few days, releasing the Belmarsh detainees on March 13th and blaming the Tories and Lib Dems for not getting legislation in place to hold them, once again claiming that they are soft on terror?

The bill returns to the Commons tomorrow. That, and possibly even PMQs, should make it an interesting day.


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