The current debate about the new anti-terror bill can be boiled down to one simple question. What is worse, the possibility of an innocent suspect being held (despite all the safeguards) for 42 days or the possibility of a guilty suspect slipping through the net at the 28 day point because there is insufficient time to gather the essential evidence?
Those who oppose any extension obviously consider the infringement of liberty to be the key factor. Indeed, the campaigning group, Liberty , are currently running a highly emotional ad showing a young lad with a ball tucked under his arm looking into the distance, with the caption WHERE'S MY DADDY? The sub-text reads:
Under current anti-terror laws you can be locked up and questioned repeatedly by police for 28 days, without being charged. The government is proposing to extend this even further. Imagine spending 42 days away from your home, your family, your life - and try explaining that to him.
To which those favouring an extension can respond by running the same ad, except the sub-text would read:
Under current anti-terror laws you can be locked up and questioned for only 28 days. Imagine a terrorist being released because there has not been enough time to make the case against him, and then blowing up this boy's Daddy and many others. Try explaining that to him.
I know which course of action is the lesser of the evils for me. How about you?