Our theory that all the fuss about "42 days" internment without charge would lead to the rest of the controversial measures in the Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008 being smuggled through without any effective opposition seems to be proving true.
The vote on the controversial "Coroners Inquests nobbling" section of the Counter-Terrorism Bill:
i.e. the Government has beaten the Opposition amendment which would have preserved Coroners' Juries in Inquests in all cases. Now the Government will be able to arbitrarily appoint specially vetted Coroners, who will hear "national security" evidence in secret, without a jury.
As has been pointed out in the debate, the vast majority of Inquests held by Specially Appointed Corners without Juries will not have anything to do with terrorism cases e.g. like the inquests into the death of Princess Diana, or Dr. David Kelly, or "friendly fire" British military casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Is this legislation directly a result of the embarrassment of Secret Intelligence Service MI6 officers and managers having to creep out from the shadows and give evidence before a Coroner's Jury (albeit anonymously), to dispel the conspiracy fantasies about their alleged involvement in the the death of Diana, Princess of Wales ?
There is also a Coroners Reform Bill which has been announced, which would have been a more appropriate place to consider the whole of the Coroners system, than in this Counter-Terrorism Bill.
This section of th Counter-Terrorism Bill pre-empts the Chilcot Implementation Group report into the whole question of intercept evidence and terrorism cases - so what is the pressing need for it in this Bill right now ?
The smarmy Home Office Minister Tony McNulty has vaguely promised on the floor of the house (i.e. a promise not worth the paper it is not written on) that there might be "sunset clauses" added to this "Coroners Inquest nobbling" legislation in the House of Lords , if this Labour Government lasts long enough to go forward with the Coroners Reform Bill.
With his usual technique of exaggeration and arguing against a fake straw man, McNulty claimed that this legislation would not result in "secret inquests", and that most of such inquests would still be open to the public.
So what ? It will just result in Inquests which will not fully satisfy the need for public accountability when, not if, there are deaths, partly or wholly as a result of genuine mistakes or malice or incompetence by secret public agencies of the state.
The relatives of the deceased will still have questions about exactly why their loved ones died, and there will be a suspicion of conspiracy and coverup.