Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Terror Laws

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has scored both a strategic and tactical victory in his attempt to outlaw the glorification of terrorism.

With a perfectly healthy majority of 38 - more than twice the size of the majority the first time it came before MPs, the British House of Commons reversed the House of Lords decision to remove the glorification section of the Terror law. This victory without opposition from Labour backbenchers who have caused problems for the Prime Minister in the past help position the public perception that Labour is more concerned about national security than the opposition. Though the Tories claim the prime minister was playing politics by deliberately picking an argument in order to suggest that they were soft on terrorists, perception or illusion is, for the moment, accurate.

This was a tactical victory for the prime minister as well. He had the vocal support of Chancellor Gordon Brown who is seen as adopting an increasingly prime ministerial role. This victory indicates that Tony Blair is still in control of his party in Parliament, still a viable leader on the national scene, and that it is the wrong time to try and undermine him.

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