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by RAY FLEMING
l A POLICY a day seems to be the prescription of the British government at the moment. Whether or not it will keep the terrorists away remains to be seen. After the Prime Minister's pre-holiday package of measures last Friday, Monday brought talk of charging terrorists with treason and yesterday the news was of secret preliminary trials of suspects before habeas corpus could apply. To some, this activity may show that the government is keeping on top of the terrorist threat. To others it may look more like panic. ne of the latter is the Labour MP John Denham, a former Home Office minister and currently chairman of parliament's influential Home Affairs select committee. esterday he said: “What is worrying is the sense of slight panic that seems to be emanating from the government over the last few days. The flurry of announcements, many of which haven't been developed fully, gives the sense that the government is not fully in control of events and that's unfortunate.” At the moment the government rather resembles a headless chicken running in all directions. If treason could be levelled at Muslim clerics why was it never used against the IRA? If incitement to hatred is to be alleged against Muslims, will it also be used against the British National Party? And so on. The government should have thought through its anti-terrorist ideas more carefully before launching them. Perhaps Mr Blair wanted them out before he started his holiday but if that is really the reason then he is to blame for the current confusion which, it must be said, is confounded by the extraordinary spat between Mr Prescott and Mr Blunkett over the not unimportant matter of who is actually in charge of the nation's security while Mr Blair is away. On Sunday Mr Blunkett gave the impression in a television interview that because of his previous Home Office experience he was at Mr Blunkett's right hand in “necessary” security decision-making. But yesterday a Downing Street spokeswoman dismissed the idea, saying: ”David Blunkett is the Work and Pensions Secretary: The Deputy Prime Minister is in charge while the Prime Minister is on holiday.” It is disgraceful that ministers jockey for position while the nation worries about its security. In this case Mr Blunkett is at fault.