The answer to life, the universe and everything was 42 according to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The same number, dubbed the ultimate answer by Douglas Adams has opened up the ultimate question among security services, the police and many Labour party supporters.
Why the government is so eager to raise the already excessive 28 day detention without trial limit to 42 days appears to be a much sought after question that even Deep Thought would struggle to answer given the current lack of evidence.
Gordon Brown outlined his proposal, writing in the Times that “42 days was a fair solution” in answer to the increased amount of time required to trawl through several hundred computers per bomb plot.
The EU Human Rights chief has directly attacked the governments proposal, stating in an open letter to Gordon Brown that “keeping people detained for such long periods before prosecution is excessive and will prove counter-productive.”
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty stated that: “when the Council of Europe human rights commissioner has cause to intervene in Britain, we should be ashamed. The commissioner has endorsed Liberty’s view that 28 days is way out of line with the rest of Europe.”
Despite having met with Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty twice in one day, Gordon Brown is steadfast for the requirement of 42 days detention without trial forming the icing on New Labour’s anti-terrorism legislation-cake.
There is a theory that states that if ever anyone actually discovers the reasoning behind why the Universe is here and determines the Ultimate answer, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. Perhaps this is what Ann Widdecome and the DUP really fear when they vote with the government next Wednesday.