As Jonathan Freedland asks:
The prime minister has been treated like some swooning French peasant girl given to seeing the holy mother in her sleep: everyone wants to hear about his "vision".
So, err, what about it? We can, of course, judge by what he\’s actually proposing:
Then there\’s anti-terrorism. As expected, the government wants longer detention without charge – probably 56 days (up from 28, already the longest period in Europe). They also want to be able to continue questioning suspects after charge, and allowed to draw adverse inferences from silence when questioned. No more habeas corpus then, and no more right to silence.
Freedom of expression is in trouble too – possession of "extreme" pornography not covered by the Obscene Publications Act will be a crime. And freedom of speech gets another kicking, with a new crime for inciting hatred against gays, lesbians, the transgendered, and disabled people. Not that I\’m in favour of hating anyone, of course, but people should be free to express their opinions, repugnant or not.
And to top it all off, there will definitely be no referendum on the EU Constitution Reform Treaty. That will mean more national powers to Brussels now, and no chance of preventing more powers being taken away in future.
So, from that we can deduce that G. Brown\’s vision is the destruction of freedom in this country. How lucky we are, eh?