Thursday, 3 July 2008

Tim Collins warns that we run the risk of turning terrorists into martyrs

Tim Collins, made famous for this pre-War speech to his troops before the invasion of Iraq, has written a thought provoking article for the Daily Telegraph ( here ). Below is a small extract:

    ... Prosecutors, policemen, the security services and special forces soldiers - those on the frontline - have no idea of the reasoning, let alone evidence, behind 42 days. So much for clarity of mission. Let's hope the House of Lords makes a stand when it debates the matter next week.

    One person who has been over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb is David Davis. When I discussed 42 days with him recently, I was interested to hear that he had in effect audited the previous police counter-terrorism investigations - checking his facts with the police and prosecutors involved - and found that, in the words of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the police had coped "comfortably" with 28 days.

    Davis fears that repressive measures, such as the unnecessary extension to 42 days, risk doing the terrorists' job for them. He is right. ....

He outlines the importance of what he calls the propaganda war - I would go further and say its the battle for ideas and ideals. 42 days is all about losing both.

He also makes clear the careful level of investigation David Davis has been through before taking the step for forcing this issue at a by-election.

He is perhaps too generous to Gordon Brown's government in suggesting they are making a mistake. The other possibility is they know full well what they are doing and the motives should cause concern to us all.

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