Who, say 15 years ago, would have thought we would have a British Labour government, yes, a Labour government scuttling round begging for the votes of Ulster Loyalists, a Tory mouthpiece of Catholic reaction and a recent convert to the hard right populism of UKIP to get passed a bill to introduce in Britain the possibility of 42 (yes 42!) days detention without charge. Strange Days indeed. An appropriate moment, perhaps, for some of the last remaining principled and civil libertarian holders of Labour Party membership cards to tear them up and resign (as commentator Conor Foley announced in the Guardian yesterday that he was doing).
So the ratchet of reaction, corporatism and authoritarianism moves up another ratchet. (Although it could happen that the dogs breakfast of moves and concessions that this new detention legislation represents could get into all kinds of trouble once it moes out of the Commons into the Upper House and the Courts) We await the result of the Irish vote on the Lisbon Treaty to see whether any obstacles are going to be thrown in the way of this authoritarian corporatist process on a larger European scale.