Friday, December 28, 2007

In passing

The usual Christmas media slowdown has hit with a vengeance, meaning I have little to blog about. But here's a few things noticed in passing:

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's plans to extend the period for which suspected terrorists may be detained without charge to 42 days has been dealt a fatal blow, with a survey of MP's showing enough Labour backbenchers will revolt to ensure it fails, on top of the Director of Public prosecutions joining the chorus and saying that the extension is unnecessary. The UK already has the longest terror detention limit of any democracy (check out the graph here), for no real reason than a desire from successive New Labour PM's to whip up public fear and appear "tough on terror". Civilised counties treat terrorists under the same rules as ordinary criminals - which usually means they must be charged within a couple of days, or released.

Paul Krugman points out that even though opinion in the US has turned thoroughly against Bush and his war in Iraq, Serious Foreign Policy Professionals are still in denial, and regard those who opposed the war from the outset (as opposed to those who jumped on the bandwagon when the sheer stupidity of the idea moved from being obvious to irrefutable) with suspicion. No doubt they'll come up with a label for us, just as their forebears came up with "premature anti-fascist" to describe those who thought that Hitler was bad before 1939.

And over at Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty, Maia reminds us why we shouldn't shop at Bunnings this xmas...