42: The meaning of [insert own comment here]

I try, largely, to avoid politics on here these days. I also try to avoid hyperbole. In the light of yesterday’s narrow victory (if, indeed, you can use such a word) for the 42 days issue, avoidance is difficult, nay impossible.

Politics has, for me, long stopped being about any idea of governing, having descended into a mixture of bearpit shouting and self-serving interests of those in charge. Yesterday was another day further down whatever slope we’re slowly sliding down into.

There’s never been a decent argument put through for 42 days other than it might be useful at some point in the future and the police would quite like it. It feels more like Gordon Brown’s desire to look tough and reinforce his Premiership than any particular matter of national urgency or necessity, and he failed on both account. It’s just made him look both overly authoritarian and hugely incompetent.

Essentially, we can now been thrown in prison for six weeks if the police feel like it and the government says its necessary. As a matter of interest, even China’s number of days you can be held without charge is lower. Do our elected representatives feel proud of the fact that we now have a more repressive law on the books than that bastion of liberalism, China?

To quote Justin:

“It really doesn’t seem to have occurred to Gordon Brown in his scramble to look hard that if he had a rock solid, utterly convincing, based in evidence case for 42 days he’d have little opposition and none of this tawdry haggling and dragging politics through the shit once again would have been necessary.”

And what really sticks in the craw – and what I suspect will put even more people off politics – is the way the vote was won. I have no problem with votes being won that I disagree with if people are voting because they genuinely believe change is for the better. Take Boris – I didn’t vote for him, but he won the election fair and square, even if you may disagree with the result and despair and the reasons why people voted for him.

But to offer a series of costly concessions isn’t democracy – it is, quite simply, buying votes. And to all those who brought it, I hope you feel proud that you’ve sold out your principles just because somebody dangled a large wodge of cash in front of you in exchange for your support. I hope, whatever you got the money for, it was worth it.

I’m now going to crawl back to my media world and hope to God that the majority of the electorate and politicians see this for what it is, and that this proves to be the last throw of the dice for one of the most illberal governments we’ve ever experienced, who came to power promising so much and will leave doing more damage to their party and ideology (whatever the hell that may be, I’ve no idea anymore) than any piece of investigative journalism or opposition attack ever could have done.

See what they’ve made me do? I’ve lapsed into hyperbole again.

UPDATE: When, as Vee points out on Twitter (which is where I first got the news from), when David Davis finds a Labour policy too right-wing, you know something’s wrong.

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1 Response to “42: The meaning of [insert own comment here]”


  1. 1 Andy June 13, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Nevertheless, 3 grand a day for every extra day that they hold you (after 28 days) sounds pretty good to me. That’s 42 kilo pounds for two weeks work/inTERRORgation. That’s bloody brilliant. Obviously you have to do the first month gratis, but that’s like most jobs. Jihad! Where do I sign?


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