Although Samizdata concerns itself with more important things than mere politics (thankfully for our collective sanity), it seems wrong that we should pass let without record the government’s announcement of its intention to introduce indefinite executive detention for UK citizens. For those who missed the vigourous Parliamentary debate (which must have lasted at least 15 minutes), in future anyone may be locked up indefinitely in their own home on the say-so of the Home Secretary, based on evidence known only to him.
The Daily Telegraph appears to blame the Human Rights Act, noting that this decision is ostensibly being taken because the Law Lords said that it was illegal to empower the Home Secretary only to detain foreigners arbitrarily. This view is advanced notwithstanding Lord Hoffman’s ditcta that applying such a equally rule to British citizens is no more defensible. But it is an absurd idea that such unlimited arbitrary power of arrest and detention is something the government reluctantly finds has been thrust upon it.
On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I am tempted to wonder about the timing. Is this just a good day to bury bad news? Is it some kind of sick joke? Is the government double-daring libertarians to announce the beginning of the police state on the day we remember the ghastly outcome of arbitrary rule? Whatever the truth, it is a black day.