British PM Gordon Brown’s “government of all the talents” wheeze has backfired.
Lord West of Spithead, “simple sailor” and former head of the navy, now the security minister, appeared on the airwaves this morning where he answered truthfully a question on detention without trial.
No, he had not seen any evidence that extending the current 28 day limit on detaining suspects in anti-terror investigations. Fair enough, you might think. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been forced to admit as much in the past.
Later in the day, after a meeting at Number Ten, Lord West had changed his tune. He’d got it wrong, and there was acutally a compelling case for extending the period of detention.
Choppy waters for Gordon Brown, then, who had planned on winning this weeks Prime Minister’s Questions tussle with opposition leader David Cameron by reheating old ideas from the Blair era on tackling “extremism”.
No such luck. This affair, a non-politician in a government job telling the truth, has shown that to get ahead in bourgeois politics you need to be good at lying. It’s also demonstrated that the government’s case for internment is so thin that the Tories are being forced to oppose it vocally…