We never thought we'd miss David Blunkett but we're sorry to say that new Home Secretary Charles Clarke makes us look back on the fuzzy faced fascist with renewed longing. Say what you will about Blunkett but at least his guide dog liked him.
Mr Clarke, after running into the same silly laws that used to wind up his predecessor, has decided to try and ram home his new "extreme measures" to stop those pesky terrorists blowing us up.
The argument revolves around a bunch of people that we don't seem to have enough evidence to hold in jail or even bring to trial but for the time being are locked up anyway. This is the country we now live in - eleven people are currently being held at Belmarsh prison without trial and to hell with their human rights.
Now in an effort to foil the lawlords, who have said the whole thing is unacceptable, Clarke has decided that these eleven people (and anyone like them) are a greater threat than the Provisional IRA and the likes of Nazi Germany and anyone else that has had a pop at us over the last 300 years or so. Hence the the newly drafted powers to keep anyone he likes under house arrest.
The new control orders will include curfews and restrictions on use of telephones and the internet.
That's right. Mess with Mr Clarke and he'll have you grounded.
Sounds funny until you're on the receiving end I expect.
If Clarke and Blair had any faith in the legality of their position they would allow the current laws to stand. London has survived threats of attack many times before without resorting to this kind of nonsense.
Back in 1984 the then Conservative government survived a 100lb bomb explosion in Brighton during their party conference. Did we feel the need to throw the law away then? This is what Thatcher had to say:
"This attack has failed. All attempts to destroy democracy by terrorism will fail."
Except it seems when those attacks on democracy come from within the government itself.
Clarke intends to publish his Prevention of Terrorism Bill later today, tomorrow MPs will debate the bill and next Monday it will be put before the House of Lords.
We're hoping someone has the good sense to kill it because we never ever want to have to resort to quoting Margaret Thatcher as a defender of civil liberties again.