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October 13, 2008 1:48 PM   Subscribe

A bunch of writers (42 to be exact), having decided civil liberties are important, have launched a website with poems, essays, and short stories protesting the extension of the pre-charge detention period in the UK from 28 to 42 days. Of course, Not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

Sadly, Douglas Adams is not one of them and is unavailable for comment.
posted by cjorgensen (22 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tell me you did not just include an American wingnut's error-filled hateblog as a valid counterpoint.
posted by genghis at 1:52 PM on October 13, 2008


This is an odd time to post this protest, since the thing they're protesting — the 42-day detention without trial — has just been defeated in the Lords and abandoned by ministers.
posted by matthewr at 1:54 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


The longest held detainees at Guantanamo have been there around 2500 days. The only way they can bear it is to close their eyes and think of England.
posted by stavrogin at 1:59 PM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]




Well Artw's link makes this obsolete, but certainly not irrelevant. I like the calendar writings - great variety, and many of them are quite poignant.

Re: Jules Crittenden: I don't understand how it is so difficult for so many people to understand the distinction between suspects and terrorists. That distinction is the crucial element that distinguishes a judicial system from an angry mob. It just seems so intellectually irresponsible to describe pre-trial detainees as terrorists.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:15 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hows the ID card thing going?
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on October 13, 2008


I don't understand how it is so difficult for so many people to understand the distinction between suspects and terrorists.

First, it'd be wrong to put innocent people through that so they must be guilty. Or the government is both bad and wrong.

Surely they'd tell us if there was a problem, wouldn't they?
posted by codswallop at 2:36 PM on October 13, 2008


Government forced to drop 42 day detention plan

I guess it worked.
posted by rhymer at 2:38 PM on October 13, 2008


I don't understand how it is so difficult for so many people to understand the distinction between suspects and terrorists.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets shot in the head repeatedly for taking the tube.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on October 13, 2008


Artw Hows the ID card thing going?
I think we'll need at least 50 writers to stop that one.
posted by davemee at 2:54 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hows the ID card thing going?

We are promised a "tough" spending round shortly, to pay for the recent banking unpleasantness. I hope that ID cards are starting to look like a expensive luxury to HMG - not to mention a political nightmare.
posted by WPW at 2:59 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh bloody hell, their wasting tehir time and money on pot smokers again? It's out torying-thetories time isn't it? Pity they'll still lose.
posted by Artw at 3:17 PM on October 13, 2008


(The world is going to be a very weird place if in a year I’m over here in America looking back over at the UK and despairing the horrible government. Not that the Blair years were amazing or anything)
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on October 13, 2008


Say, as long as you're all discussing British politics, maybe you can help me out with something here.

I can't seem to find it at the moment, but I remember seeing a map of the UK based on political parties (this one is similar). Liberal Democrats tend to do well in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. What are the reasons behind this?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:53 PM on October 13, 2008


Oh bloody hell, their wasting tehir time and money on pot smokers again?

But if that photo in the Guardian is any indication, the quality of weed in the UK seems to have improved dramatically since the days when I used to smoke it, so clearly the War on Pot Smokers is being decisively won -- by the pot smokers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:00 PM on October 13, 2008


Liberal Democrats tend to do well in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. What are the reasons behind this?

Conservative protest votes.

Those places tend to be areas where the Conservatives don't do that well, so people will vote Lib Dem in the hope of mounting some kind of possible challenge to Labour. Wales and Scotland in particular are almost three party systems, where the divide has traditionally been between Labour and a Nationalist Party, with Conservatives making no showing at all, so Lib Dems attract the traditional Conservative vote.

Less sure about Cornwall. Large parts of it are rural and relatively poor, but while they don't like the Conservatives, they don't like Labour either -- often because of dumb things like the ban on fox hunting. On the other hand, lots of them are probably dog lovers too, but that doesn't seem to stop them voting for the party of Dog Shooters, so who knows?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:09 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Government forced to drop 42 day detention plan

It's not dead. They've pulled it out of the current bill and placed it into a future bill, which they've explicitly stated they *will* introduce after the next terrorist attack.

The fix is simple. Stop holding your nose and voting Labour.
posted by eriko at 5:29 PM on October 13, 2008


genghis: Tell me you did not just include an American wingnut's error-filled hateblog as a valid counterpoint.

Pretty sure I made no judgment on the value of his argument. It was difficult to find anyone who was for the idea besides Gordon Brown, and unfortunately, I couldn't find a site for him with info about the legislation on it.

matthewr: "This is an odd time to post this protest, since the thing they're protesting — the 42-day detention without trial — has just been defeated in the Lords and abandoned by ministers."

It made the paper here this morning. I thought it was a cool idea, a decent site, and no one had posted anything about it yet. I am a bit miffed I missed the actual vote. I am an idiot for not checking, since I would have had it been US politics.

And, Artw: "Government forced to drop 42 day detention plan"

Thanks for the save.

This is my first FPP! I was afraid it would get deleted, or someone would beat me to the punch by seconds, or that it would be a double that I missed in the search, or that the first comment would be a call out. Whew! Made it. Oh, wait. Never mind.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:20 PM on October 13, 2008


Thanks for the post cjorgensen - might not have heard about this for a while if you hadn't posted.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:44 PM on October 13, 2008


There once was a man from Nantucket
In his backyard he peed in a bucket
The camera spied him
and the police zoomed in
and when he ask for counsel they said "suck it"
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:07 PM on October 13, 2008


Strangely timed post.

Pity they'll still lose.

I'm not so sure now. The whole financial shitstorm is, weirdly, working in Brown's favour - the Tories have been forced to just trot along beside him saying 'Yes, yes, we agree with what you're doing' while he gets to look decisive, competent and eminently re-electable. If an election was called tomorrow, Labour wouldn't have too much trouble winning it. (Much as I dislike them, this is still a good thing when the alternative is the Tories.)

Liberal Democrats tend to do well in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. What are the reasons behind this?

It's a much older phenomenon that PeterMcDermott suggests, and it has at least as much to do with tradition as it does with protest voting over contemporary issues. There's been a 'Celtic Fringe' of Liberal support since the 1800s, dating back even further to the Whigs, which was all tied up with dissent and non-conformism, a preference for parliament over the monarchy, rural interests (as opposed to Tory court interests), the temperance movement, then more recently early Labour was strongest in urban and industrial areas and they failed to gain ground in traditionally Liberal areas. Plus lots of other stuff I can't remember because it's been a very long time since I did history at school.
posted by jack_mo at 4:35 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


A bunch of writers (42 to be exact)

Well, since they're out to solve all the big problems at once, they sure picked the right number.
posted by rokusan at 9:44 AM on October 14, 2008


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