Three months for change
Thinking about it, I jusy don't get it. I mean, how could the police be pissed off that they didn't get three months detention last week? They must be pretty chuffed with the outcome, which saw thei ability to arrest people from two weeks to one month. As a friend suggested to me, going for three months was probably a bargaining chip, so one month is a good result for them.
But if that was the case, why did Blair push it to a vote? Charles Clarke managed to get the one month deal and was on course to get that through until Blair intervened. I can only assume that he's taken it to heart, rather like his decision to stand by Bush come what may. All of us who thought that he was changeable with the political wind during his first term discovered in his second that he had taken on 'convictions'. Maybe it was the same with the police powers.
Or as a former MP I spoke to recently suggested, it could be a way of ensuring defeat on one issue so that Labour MPs don't sabotage his other key policies including education and health reform. If so that's quite a cynical and long-term game, considering they aren't due for debate until next spring. But it may well be true.