PREMIER to be, Brown, yesterday told the world, five days before the outgoing Home Secretary Reid is to introduce his counter terrorism measures into the House of Commons, that his intention is to bring in further security measures when he is premier.
Reid, who is resigning as Home Secretary on June 27 when Blair resigns as Premier, has already vowed that the government will consider suspending some parts of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) so it can impose tougher control orders over terrorism suspects.
He wants to bring in detention without trial.
His boss Blair has also announced where he stands on the issue of a troublesome foreigner who says that if he or she is returned home they will be tortured.
He commented: ‘If a foreign national comes here, and may be at risk in his own country, we should treat him well. But if he then abuses our hospitality and threatens us, I feel he should take his chance back in his own home country.’
Brown is now seeking to show that he is just as tough if not tougher than his two colleagues of the last 10 years of Labour governments, and, moreover, he intends to do what they couldn’t.
He has announced that he will bring back the Blair-Clarke proposals that were rejected by both Houses of Parliament, for the police to be allowed to hold a suspect for 90 days without charge, and get them through parliament.
Not just that, he also plans to give the police new powers to continue questioning suspects when they have finally been charged.
The zealous Brown, we are informed, is also going to summon the Privy Council to review the case for allowing telephone taps as evidence. Blair and Reid refused to allow telephone taps to be used as evidence out of fear that some of the state’s agents would be unmasked.
Brown is also to ask judges to take account of any alleged links between a convicted person and terrorism, in order to impose heavier sentences.
As if this is not enough Brown intends to bring back the old sus laws in a new anti-terror guise.
They were used in the past to victimise, stop and search black youth. The police are to have the power, if Brown has his way, to stop, question and search any person that they wish to on the streets, without having any evidence that they have committed any crime.
The police are to have a licence for victimising, in particular, Asian workers and youth and any person that falls foul of the ‘profile’ that the police have been issued with of a current ‘terrorist suspect’.
For good measure, Brown, on Saturday called for: ‘stronger measures to be put in place to give the authorities the power to intervene at earlier stages of an investigation’, adding ‘That’s why I support, for terrorist suspects, post-questioning interviewing.’
Former civil liberties campaigner now Constitutional Affairs minister, and ardent Brownite, Harriet Harman, one of six Labour MPs vying to be Brown’s deputy, yesterday said she thought MPs would back new laws – including 90-day detention without trial – if Brown could ‘prove they were needed’.
She is clearly of the opinion that MPs who will have just got jobs off Brown, or are hoping that he will aid them keep their Westminster livings at the next general election, will vote for anything that he wants passed, however hostile it is to people’s rights and liberties.
She added: ‘I don’t think there will be a huge problem if there is a proper debate about it – if evidence is brought forward about why current powers are inadequate and what the safeguards will be.’
It is clear that there are no policy differences between Blair, Brown and Reid. The trade unions will have to bring down a Brown government in order to defend basic rights and go forward to a workers government and socialism.