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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 19 June 2008
Attack on our civil liberties

• PRIME minister Gordon Brown has narrowly won the vote over the Counter-Terrorism Bill but he is no more popular as a result.
The increase in the limit under which terrorist suspects can be held without charge, from 28 to 42 days, is yet another attack on our civil liberties.
The 28-day limit is already longer than in any other comparable democracy but the 42 day limit is draconian and unnecessary.
The victory was won in parliament by nine votes, which came from the nine Democratic Unionist MPs.
In return, they have been promised positions in parliamentary bodies and £100 million in infrastructure projects.
While 36 Labour MPs opposed the legislation another 25 had serious doubts, but voted for it anyway.
Analysts say the bill is unlikely to be passed in the House of Lords, and should it come back to the Commons, it could be defeated.
Ex-shadow home secretary David Davis has announced his resignation over the bill on the grounds that the result had no parliamentary authority. His resignation has prompted a by-election. The Tories claim the vote cost the government £1.2 billion in deals with politicians who supported the bill.
Mr Brown is in such a desperate situation that the Tories can pose to be defending civil liberties while New Labour wants to roll them back. If the House of Lords and the Human Rights Commission challenge the bill, it will mean further embarrassment for Mr Brown.
My party Respects/ The Left List is completely opposed to the legislation.
The extension to 42 days is dangerous because it will become routine once police have the powers to use it.
It will serve to increase racism and fuel further antagonism against Muslim communities.
Chalton Street, NW1

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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