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NEWS: Blair Suffers Defeat Over Terror Laws

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posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:37 AM

Tony Blair has suffered his first defeat since his election in 1997 after MP's voted no to new terror laws. MP's rejected the plans to allow police to hold suspects for 90 days by 322 votes to 291. MPs later backed a compromise detention time limit of 28 days.
MPs rejected the plans by 322 votes to 291 - a bigger than expected majority of 31. It is Mr Blair's first defeat since Labour came to power in 1997.

In his final plea for MPs to back the plans, Mr Blair urged MPs to take the advice of the police who had foiled two terrorist plots since the 7 July attacks in London.

In heated exchanges at prime minister's questions, Mr Blair said: "We are not living in a police state but we are living in a country that faces a real and serious threat of terrorism."

Labour has a majority over other parties of 66 but the defeat does not mean Mr Blair will have to stand down as prime minister - something he has said he will do before the next election.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This will be seen as a massive blow to Mr Blair...

It is the first time since he came to power that MP's have rejected his proposals.

Is this the start of his downfall...and the rise of Gordon Brown???

[edit on 9/11/2005 by MickeyDee]

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:45 AM
Note to the citizens of the U.K. -- Watch your butts!!

I'd say your odds of a terrorist attack in the near future just went up.


posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 11:56 AM
What? *stops humming imperial march* Just when i was looking forward to a return of the British Empire

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:01 PM
3 months incarceration without charge is ridiculous.

Now wait and see what happens with the Trident issue. Interesting times in Washington and London both.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:12 PM
Fresh from the rumour mill, two things will happen;

Blair will resign or call for a general hearing alot of crazy things fly around at the moment. but some are talking of an election being called cause Blair has lost support of parliament

[edit on 9-11-2005 by infinite]

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:27 PM
Well im behind Blair all the way...

If the intelligence services believe any person to be a threat they should be able to detain them for any amount of time that they see fit!

Blair was right to want these laws passed and i hope the MP's that rejected the proposals dont feel too guilty when the UK is hit by another terrorist attack!

If the UK is ever attacked by a person that has been detained and released there are going to be some VERY red faced MP's in the UK!


[edit on 9/11/2005 by MickeyDee]


posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:38 PM
Totaly agree with you here Mic! They can't win whatever they do, it often takes a lot longer than 28 days to get concrete evidence once you have that inkling that a suspect is up to something. If the security services feel the need to have longer so as to exhaust all avenues and ensure they are not releasing someone who maybe a threat to the country, then so be it!
If a suspect was charged on very weak evidence they'd only moan.

In this day and age you'd have thought all the MP's would have backed this one

If you were doing nothing wrong in the first place then it's unlikely you'll be of interest to the security services anyway, well hopefully. No smoke without fire and all that


posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:46 PM
I think this is great. I have no idea how politics work in the UK but it's time to stop the governments (including the USA's) running roughshod over the people's rights.

I wonder if people on ATS would support Blair so heartily if they were thought to be a terrorist threat because they belonged to a conspiracy website and posted about government conspiracies... maybe something they posted was misunderstood by the government.

Would you still be so supportive if it were YOU they wanted to hold for 90 days?

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 12:56 PM
I agree with MickeyDee too, this should have passed. In France, they can hold you on terrorism for years without charge. This decision will decrease the safety of all people in the UK (except, of course, for the terrorists).

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:03 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77 (except, of course, for the terrorists).

What about those that are falsely accused?

3 months incarceration without charge is ridiculous.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:04 PM

These "anti terror" laws in the US, Australia, etc. exist solely to do away with due process, and in reality have little to do with terrorism. What I find amusing is that here in the US, where the right (correctly IMHO) went crazy when Clinton tried to pass similar legislation, now they all support it because it's Bush pushing it. If I really belived these laws would be used solely to catch terrorists I could see their utility, but in reality I suspect they will mosly be used to harass political opponents of the powers that be.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:06 PM
I have to agree with MickeyDee as well.

The London bombings show there are people out there who are willing to commit murder against innocent civilians. 90 days detention is a small price to pay if it prevents even one bombing taking place.

I hope those MPs who voted against this do not rue their descision.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:08 PM
Come on, I thought people on here knew how the system works. 90 day was never to intention. Blair knew he'd never get that. So he asks for 90 knowing that he'd face a backlash. The Government wanted 28 day from the start but if they'd ask for that it would have also been rejected. So they ask for 90, gets rejected and they get the 28 they wanted all the time. So Blair hasn't lost a dam thing. Only us poor Brits have.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:13 PM
Holding a suspect for 90 days will not prevent a terrorist attack.
In fact, when laws like this are passed it is a win for the terrorists. You country becomes so afraid of terror that it passes laws that take aways your freedom.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:19 PM
Watching Blair on channel four just now, he made the point that the 90 days detention was to give the police time to gather evidence against the detainee.
Now, maybe I'm missing something here, but shouldn't the police actually have evidence of wrongdoing first, in order to make an arrest?

I remember back to last year with all the police raids, amid much media fanfare, all across the country. Out of nearly 600 arrests, nearly every single person detained was quietly released again due to a complete lack of evidence against them. Of course, the media didn't make such a big issue of that as they did with the initial arrests

So, it looked more like a roundup of innocent people to give the impression of extremists in our midst, rather than a real threat to anyone.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:24 PM
This is a major victory for freedom and human rights. I hope that some day the U.S. legal system will make similar corrections and put an end to the erosion of the Constitution.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 01:33 PM
If they have suspicions then they can currently hold someone for two weeks without charge.

As it stands after that they can currently let the suspect go, or they can charge them with a lesser crime.

If during the two weeks they cannot find evidence to warrent the suspect being 'monitored' by MI5, then that person should not have been held in the first place. If they are still suspicious, then the funds should be there, along with a warrant form the courts, to monitor every single aspect of that suspects life.

Holding someone for the equivalent of a six month sentence is going to do nothing except lead the persons held into the arms of terrorist 'gangs'. If I was held for 3 months without charge, I would prolly want to 'vent' my anger.

Glad this was not passed.

I do not think Tony will quit, or call for an election......this was an issue that wanted to radically change a fundamental liberty, it is not a major surprise that he lost, although I am a little concerned about how close it was; and am very thankful that MPs do not always vote according to their constituants wishes, but at what they know will benefit them in the long run.

Increase the funding for surveillance, and grant the powers to allow closer observations - dont lock people up for 3 months because their name turned up in someones phone etc.

Internment did not work in the fight against the Irish terrorist, why do they think it will now!!???

All this imo of course.

[edit on 9/11/05 by Strodyn]

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 02:25 PM

Originally posted by xmotex
These "anti terror" laws in the US, Australia, etc. exist solely to do away with due process, and in reality have little to do with terrorism.

Originally posted by Britguy
Now, maybe I'm missing something here, but shouldn't the police actually have evidence of wrongdoing first, in order to make an arrest?

Just thought I'd boil the mix down to get the resin. Well said both.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 04:58 PM
I am very glad these laws have failed.

1: It has denied terrorists a recruiting ground. Imagine you are on the edge of 'society'. Imagine you are held without charge, then quietly release because they have to admit they have nothing on you other than the fact you disagree with the UK Government's ideas. Do you think you will simply just turn around and say "Don't worry guys. No hard feelings about me being locked away for three months for no reason." Anyone who tells me they wouldnt mind is a bloody liar quite frankly. And who do think will be ready to welcome you with open arms should you snap and seek revenge?

2: It has shown Tony Blair he cant get his way all the time anymore. This guy has ignored everyone else's thoughts and opinions in his time in office. His government have ignored massive peace demonstrations, started illegal war, has moved to crush independant and critical media. He denies we are heading toward a police state? How can we trust him after the lies and the spin? And how can we trust these anti terror laws when they are misused like in the example of the elderly Labour Party member who was detained under terrorism legislation for saying "Nonsense" in a speech?

3: Other members have said it already, but isnt it the case where the Police have to gather evidence before the arrest?

4: I would also like to remind everyone, that the UK would not be a 'target' if Blair wasn't getting us involved with illegal war. Afghanistan, maybe. Iraq however was illegal, and now the UK is seen as a bad guy around the world, just like the US. The British used to enjoy good relations with the Arabic nations. Let's take bets on whether or not we still have such favour.

posted on Nov, 9 2005 @ 05:02 PM
Good for Britain!

Terrorist suspects need to be held for 90 days to gather evidence? Huh? So after 90 days of searching and the police still havent found any evidence then these people should be let go? Do you realise how arbitrary that is? Do they cease to become a suspect terrorist because 90 days has elapsed?

I really cannot believe there are people that want these measures, I really cant. Just think about it and ignore what you've heard from MPs and the mainstream press. How do you suspect some one of terrorism without any evidence? You just dont get a gut feeling and then arrest some one for 90 days. In Britain you are alerted to some one being a criminal because you SEE CRIMINAL activity, hence you can arrest them and have enough evidence to charge them. You are basically allowin for 'gut feeling arrests'. Do you really want that? Obviously the majority of our government DOESNT, thank God!

DJ you said France has legislation to hold terror suspects for years. Thats only half right, France can hold ANY suspected criminal for years due to the layout of their legal system. Its not a special clause for terrorists, the same applies to thieves, murders, rapists etc.

Also our legal system faces thousands of crimes that might be prevented if we could hold people for 90 days. How about an abusive husband who beats his wife? The wife doesnt want to press charges becasue she is petrified that when he gets out he'll kill her. If the Police could hold him for 90 days without charge the woman could get her life together, move or change her mind and have him sent to jail after 3 months consideration. Or how about 90 days lock up for a suspected murderer? The police think they have a suspect in a serial murder case so they lock them up for 90 days just to be safe. Why do we have people calling for 90 days internment for suspects only for terrorism? It would work equally as well for the entire criminal spectrum. Oh wait, thats stage 2 if these laws got getting ahead of myself.

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