Labour MPs real opposition to Blair

IN the propaganda brinkmanship currently being deployed by the Prime Minister over a plan to lock up terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge, Tony Blair keeps blaming “the opposition parties” for threatening to vote it down.

IN the propaganda brinkmanship currently being deployed by the Prime Minister over a plan to lock up terrorist suspects for 90 days without charge, Tony Blair keeps blaming “the opposition parties” for threatening to vote it down.

He fools no-one by his disingenuous tantrums. He has a Commons majority of 66 - in effect 71 because Sinn Fein MPs don't turn up - and it's rebellious Labour MPs who will derail the legislation, not the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Nationalists.

Emboldened by a YouGov poll for Sky News which found that 72% supported the 90 days, Mr Blair yesterday addressed the parliamentary Labour Party and Home Secretary Charles Clarke met the main opposition home affairs spokesmen David Davis and Mark Oaten.

Mr Blair told his monthly media conference that the 90 day incarceration was need “to track complex trails of evidence, through highly coded computer records, to piece together terrorist networks spanning continents, languages, dialects, to break through the cover provided by false identities and to secure and analyse sites requiring often the most extensive forensic examination.

“All this work is required . . . to marshall the strongest evidence, to be used in interview, and crucially it has to be achieved with the police preventing attacks first, even though that means gathering more detailed evidence after an arrest than they would otherwise do. The challenge of this type of terrorism is not one that can be met by the policing methods of the 1990s”.

So why didn't Charles Clarke make this case when he set out to shore up support among Labour Party members by e-mailing them Friday evening and pleading for support to face up to “the challenges of the new terrorist threat”.

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The e-mail directed members to www.labour.org.uk/yourviewsonfightingterrorism - where strangely there's no mention of 90 days. It meekly asks: “Do you think police should have time and opportunity to complete their investigations into suspected terrorists?” In other words, a complete cop out because he knows party members won't back the change.

MOST Conservatives have never heard of them. But leadership hopeful David Davis has made a pitch for the “wristband generation” whom he believes are vital if the party is to have any chance of winning the next General Election.

In a speech last night in Maidstone, Mr Davis said the Tories needed to appeal to young people who demonstrate their support for various causes by wearing coloured wristbands.

“I want to win the 'wristband generation' for the Conservative Party. This is the generation which wears the 'make poverty history' wristbands. They display their intolerance of racism with their white and black bands. This generation wants a government that heats injustice as much as it does. It doesn't just want a government that helps them - it wants a government that also helps its neighbour.”

But if that's the case, why is Mr Davis pledging billions in tax cuts if he were to become Prime Minister? The unselfish wristband generation might want to help its neighbour by paying taxes for decent schools, hospitals, public transport and third world aid.

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