Detention without charge proposals
26 June 2008
Letter to the Editor of the Birmingham Evening
Your correspondent Leslie Griffith (19 June) is
wrong when he says that only law-breakers and terrorists are affected by measures like
detention without charge for 42 days. The
provision to hold people without charge for 28 days have been in force for just 23 months,
yet of the 6 people held for this length of time so far, 3 of them (50%) have been
released without charge. Think of the
devastating consequences of such detention for an innocent person's family and job!
I would also take your earlier correspondent,
JS Parkes (Rebels ignoring voters, 17 June) to task for his opinion that MPs don't have
the right to vote against the wishes of their constituents.
I take the view that I am not a mouthpiece for opinion polls but a
representative, elected to use my judgement. As
Sir Edmund Burke put it in 1774 (before women had the vote), the wishes of an MP's
constituents "ought to have great weight; their opinion high respect; their
business unremitted attention....But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgement, his
enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men
How could I forget the bombings in Birmingham?
I was 23 and thankful that I was not in the Tavern in the Town that night. My judgement is that the Government's 42 day
detention measures are counterproductive in the fight against terrorism and I would
certainly expect anyone still under suspicion, but released after 28 days through lack of
sufficient evidence, to be carefully monitored either covertly or overtly through the
imposition of a control order.
LYNNE JONES MP
postings on detention without charge