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Internment (the 90 days issue)

The amendments on this issue have been "selected by the speaker". He has selected a committee amendment to replace three months with 90 days then 60 then 28.

There is a tactical aspect to this. If the 90 days amendment passed then the others would fall. Strictly the 90 days is an improvement on three months. However, there is a need to vote tactically on this.

The underlying issue, however, remains the same.

If we introduce Internment in England we are likely to see an increase in violence. This could arise from a range of sources. The new laws will apply to Animal Rights Activists who may not kill people, but do damage. They will also apply to a wide range of other fanatics.

There are issues that need to be looked at like the resources available to forensics and issues like facilitating an early charge (even if on a lesser offence). There is nothing in law that prevents a reinterview after an initial charge. The matter that confuses me is why Blair is driving this particular route when there are quite straightforward solutions to a problem that do not cause the same difficulties.

In early morning discussions in the tea room (over breakfast) it was felt that they key issue on the votes will be which way the tory rebels go.

Whatever happens today the real problems will remain. I will be liaising with the Police and the legal profession to find a way forward. This will be necessary as even if the 90 days is brought in the same problems will remain. (and the 90 days will generate its own substantial problem).

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