Have a guess who said this, before clicking the link:

“The home secretary, Charles Clarke, is transforming Britain into a police state”

George Monbiot? Tony Benn? An ordinary citizen, tired of being stopped and searched three times a night on the basis that his DNA is not of Caucasian origin?

No – George Churchill-Coleman, former anti-terrorist police chief.

That’s right, a police chief. A police chief with extensive experience of working with terrorists and terror suspects.

The police aren’t generally renowned for their compassion towards suspects, or commitment to human rights. When even the police start going public with statements like:

“I have serious worries and concerns about these ideas on both ethical and practical terms. You cannot lock people up just because someone says they are terrorists. Internment didn’t work in Northern Ireland, it won’t work now. You need evidence.”

then you know the government’s policies must have already slipped past the point of reason.

If a member of this famously conservative section of the establishment is sufficiently moved to denounce Team Blair’s unilateral policy-making, would this not suggest that it is dangerously out of control?

I fully expect to hear next that Margaret Thatcher has written a column for Guns & Ammo complaining that Blair’s bloodthirsty warmongering has gone too far.