The Home Secretary does not know the meaning of “consultation”

No wonder people are cynical about many politicians.
The Home Secretary finishes a consultation where 90% of the respondents tell her they do not want to see any increase in the 28 day period of detention without charge or trial.
As a result, she concludes she must press ahead with legislation to allow detention for up to 42 days.
All the Consultation has done is to persuade her to use a softer tone of voice, and to dress it up as a contingent arrangement. The truth i sthat it still remains the same underlying proposal – to lock people up for up to a month and half when there is insufficient evidence to bring any case to court.
Just as the government is unable to understand "No" to regional government in England – which was shouted loudly enough when they lost a referendum by 80% to 20% – and unable to understand the passionate wish that they keep their word to hold a referndum on the latest EU Treaty, so the Home Secretary is unable to understand "No" to longer periods of detention without trial.
When I and my colleagues were on IRA death lists – and when 3 of my colleagues were murdered by terrorists
– we did not see the need to turn Parliament into a fortress or to extend detention without trial in Great Britian. It is now generally agreed that changing the rules in Northern Ireland did not help bring the troubles to an end.
Think again, Home Secretary. Many of us are scandalised that you can lock someone up for 28 days without charge or trial. We will never accept 42 days. We value our freedoms.


  1. Letters From A Tory
    January 24, 2008

    Well said, John. No future government of this country will ever be able to conduct a consultation without being tarnished by Labour’s attitude towards them.

  2. APL
    January 24, 2008

    “we did not see the need to turn Parliament into a fortress”

    Well said Mr Redwood. You illustrate another difference between the last Tory administration and this government. You were not afraid of the population, I think Blair was, and I fancy Brown is too.

    ” or to extend detention without trial in Great Britian.”

    Detention without trial is (in my opinion) the signiture of a totalitarian regieme.

    Oh, and “Ministry of Justice”, does anyone form those words in their mind and not think of Orwell?

  3. mikestallard
    January 24, 2008

    In two of the instances you mentioned, the EU is certainly to blame. The problem, i think, is that people make promises they cannot keep when out of the country. I reckon that the Iraq invasion was one, the constitution fiasco another and the regional governments and John Prescott another.
    When the parliament was in charge of detention, as you say, things were much more democratic and sensible.
    Am I paranoid in suspecting either Europe or the US to be behind this 42 days business – or is it a smokescreen to be used by the Government when things are going badly wrong (as Ken Clarke suggested on Question Time?)

  4. JonnyMac
    January 24, 2008

    Oh lawks, I agree with John Redwood. This is a sign of impending civilisational collapse.

  5. Adrian Peirson
    January 24, 2008

    We do Value our Freedoms, but as Westminster has recinded our right to bear arms, What exactly can we do.
    Can you imagine Westminster behaving the way it has over the past few decades if we still had that right.

  6. newmania
    January 24, 2008

    I think you are touching on a crucial subject here which is the increasing sophistication wherby the executive uses knowledge of the electorate to obtain nominal mandates for unpopular measures. One of these is of course returning to the subject ina variety of ways but the most insidious is the phased implimentation of change so as to present oppostion with a partial fait accompli. This has notably been employed to extend powers of the EU but ID cards which are to be slid in via passports and Student bribes and a voluntary basis is worse.

    When do we ever get to say No?

    The misues of Consultation to provide data for representation operate viciously at alocal level as well on CPZ`s and the like . ID cards and detention periods unite Conservative and the weaker Liberal Libertarianism and the majority against is overwhelming. From around the time of the Poll tax the Executive ceased to put their polcies forward and began to play a complex game of multidimensional chess with the public's opinions. The technology and experience of the private sector have made this easier and we are in danger of aquiring all the freedoms of a battery chicken by this stealthy management of opposition

  7. Abdul-Rahim
    January 25, 2008

    What is shocking is the concultation itself. Smith was never interested in what people think, simply in staving of the issue for as long as possible. Yeah, the NorthWest rejected regional government emphatically, however the government seems to keep alluding to regions as a future unit of political structure.

  8. […] emotive and highly effective intervention from John Redwood, this time on the government

  9. Susan
    January 26, 2008

    Thank you Mr Redwood – I feel you, and many of your colleagues on the Opposition benches, have instinctively caught the fundamental nature of Britain and I applaud you for standing up and speaking out to defend our country. You are 'rays of hope' in what seems to be a rather bleak landscape.

  10. g w face
    February 1, 2008

    I would like to advise john redwood that like many others I am insenced by the revelations regarding MP conway who has been cheating the public by paying his two sons and their hangers on illegally out of Taxes that the working man has worked hard to earn. Even when I have paid my due taxes I am accused of underpaying by innefficient Tax Clerks, at this point in time as a pensioner I have to spend days corressponding with HM Customs and Excise to try and reclaim nearly

  11. Ferron
    October 23, 2010

    than youu

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