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Golden past, dark day

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No one wants to risk a horrific attack from terrorists. When asked whether they would rather risk an attack or keep a terrorist in jail uncharged, many British people say, keep him or her in jail.

But is holding people in prison who have not been charged with any crime - holding them for up to 42 days - going to make us safer? Is the challenge so immense and the police so inefficient that we are going to destroy our long-held right to habeas corpus? Do we really want to lose our right either to be charged of a crime or freed because there is no evidence to support a charge? Are we sure that the label terrorist won't be used to destroy people who never have been and never will be terrorists - including ourselves?

The first piece of bleak news is that the House of Commons has just passed the 42-day terror law.

The second bleak news is that the House of Lords voted 280 to 218 to reject the promised referendum on the EU constitution.

Ah, but for sure the Lords have realized that the British Constitution does not allow for Britain's rule by foreign powers (Declaration of Right 1689) and therefore no referendum is necessary; it is only necessary to reject the EU constitution (the Lisbon Treaty), take Britain out of the EU and free us from foreign rule.

We can't help dreaming.

It took years for knight-barons, clergy and Londoners dreaming of reform to rise against King John and win Magna Carta. The struggle for freedom continues.

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