Cynical calculation or principled stand?
Brown’s Payola Government trashes
the idea he has a moral compass

A couple of weeks away and little changes. Or does it? Our lame duck Prime Minister lingers like a bad smell. For him one thing has certainly changed. There were those who, whatever other defects he might have, adhered to the notion that Brown is, in his conduct of the nation’s affairs, principled, high-minded and competent. That notion is, this morning, irrevocably exposed as the nonsense it has always been.

Brown is presently lumbering his way through his monthly press conference. It is an embarrassing affair. Time and again sceptical journalists return to the issue of what deals have been done to secure ‘victory’ in the matter of the Counter Terrorism Bill and the desire to introduce internment without trial, albeit for a limited period of forty-two days. Brown insists that no deals have been done. The universal incredulity of the hackery is palpable even through the dead medium of television.

It was probably not helped by Brown starting his conference with a peroration of such stultifying leadeness that even a hyperactive child stuffed with large doses of tartrazine would have been rendered utterly comatose. Many call for him to change in all sorts of ways, but his Congress of All The People style of delivery is one thing he cannot change.

But it is the nature of and fact of the concessions that Brown has made which reveal how weak he has become. More than that, those concessions reveal just how lacking in principle and high-mindedness this Prime Minister is.

Firstly there is the so-called ‘compensation package’ for those detained but subsequently not charged. It is to be set, apparently, at £3000 per day. So instead of doing all he can to secure his release, the detainee now has a cast-iron incentive to play cat & mouse with the Police once he has gone beyiond the intial 28 day period of detention. Please make the cheque payable to O.B. Laden if you would be so good.

Then there is the little matter of bunging £1.2 billion to Northern ireland at the behest of the DUP. Though Ulstermen have more reason than most to fear terrorism, they ought also to have the capacity to remember how self-defeating the last attempt to introduce interment in these islands was. It is not difficult to see how being detained for six weeks on suspicion might yet become a badge of honour for the aspiring terrorist, a sort of junior martyrdom which will enhance the prospects standing with his fellow-travellers: ‘Look at me! I survived without breaking!”. If anything it will make the suspect a hero to his own kind, and a wealthy one at that.

And then there is the business of having Parliament vote on the matter in hand. It is difficult to believe that sane men and women have actually voted for Parliament to find itself effectively embroiled in the question of the propriety of invoking the legislation in individual cases. Quite apart from the wholesale abandonment of any notion of the separation of powers, in itself deeply corrosive of the rule of law, can anyone imagine that in the aftermath of some outrage our lickspittle politicians would have the courage to vote down such a proposal? It is precisely for those reasons that such decisions have, until now, always been left to the courts. Now it will no longer be a case of justice being done and being seen to be done but a case of politics being done and being seen to be done and the devil may take the hindmost.

Let us now move to Cuba. Cuba is a vicious communist dictatorship wherein people are, at the behest of Castro’s secret police, detained without trial for, in some cases, several decades. Yet the freedoms which Englishmen have won over nearly eight hundred years have now been sold to a couple of Labour fellow-travellers for their votes so that the UK will now soften its policy towards Cuba and the issue of the all too footling sanctions against Cuba the EU maintains as a fig-leaf. The irony of the UK abandoning its stand against internment without trial so as to give aid and comfort to a brutal dictatorship will be lost on no one other than those Socialist MPs besotted with Castro’s dictatorship.

Diane Abbott: a pity a good speech is
tarnished by her enthusiasm for
Castro & Castro’s Soulmates

There’s more. Deals have been done, it is said, to enhance compensation deals for a variety of industrial ailments. Bob Spink, a Tory reject and shiny new UKIP MP destined for oblivion at the next election and thus otherwise irrelevant, is said to have been squared somehow or another.

And so it goes on. There may well be other deals of which we are to be kept ignorant. They even had a go at Diane Abbott who must have been as non-plussed as any other ordinary citizen to receive a telephone call from Our Dear Leader. She at least managed to remain unmoved. Though her track record on the education of her own children suggests that she is perfectly willing to be a good Socialist hypocrite when family needs must, at least on this occasion she rose to the challenge with a thoroughly decent speech that attracted the plaudits of David Davis which must have surprised her as much as getting a tinkle from McStalin did. Unfortunately Ms. Abbott is also one of those who evince enthusiasm for the likes of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, so one must, in the end, look askance at her words.

Finally there was Tony Benn on the steps of Parliament expressing his shame at what Parliament had just done. I am no fan of his. But on this occasion his shame was entirely justified.

Has victory done Brown any good? I think not. The public may, on paper, approve wildly of locking up turbaned beardies and throwing the key away, but one doubts profoundly if they will care greatly for the means by which this victory has been achieved, by the squalid pork-barrel politics which have been required to wheedle enough votes to get this measure passed. Most will recognise it for what it actually is, which has nothing to do with the Defence of the Realm and everything to do with short-term political calculation and the saving of Our Dear Leader’s unlovely neck.