The Prevention of Terrorism Bill has finally passed, after the government compromised by allowing the bill to be reviewed in a year's time. But they have not compromised on the substantive amendments to the bill regarding judicial oversight and the burden of proof - meaning that the UK is now the only western democracy which allows its citizens to be imprisoned in their own home on "reasonable suspicion" solely on the word of a government Minister. It's a stunning victory for Al Qaeda, and one that did not require a single terrorist act on British soil. Instead, all it needed was for politicians to sacrifice the very thing they are supposed to be defending in favour of a sordid bidding war about who can be "toughest" on terrorism.
The bill has yet to receive the Royal Assent, but it will - and this should thoroughly disabuse local Monarchists of the notion that the Queen is somehow "the defender of democracy". No bill has been rejected since 1707, because to do so would spell the end of the British monarchy. As a result, any power the monarch might have to defend democracy and human rights is effectively neutered. So why keep the fiction?