Against indefinite imprisonment

One of Nicolas Sarkozy’s worse ideas is the retention de securite, a change to the law that would allow for prisoners who complete their sentences to not be released if the government thought they were of “particular dangerousness” – this being an executive decision and hence very likely to be taken for reasons of low politics. There is a campaign about it that’s made a film, part of which is below:

More film is here. And there’s a petition to sign here.

The Lafontaine Factor.

In a state election (Landtagswahl) in the Saarland that was widely considered another benchmark for the approval of the German federal government’s reform efforts, particularly of the labour market deregulation programme known as “Hartz IV” – these elections are, often to a significant extent, second order national contests – the Social Democrats have been dealt the predicted crushing defeat, gaining likely just under 30% of the vote, losing about 15% compared to their 1999 result, according to early, but usually very reliable exit poll data from Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, broadcast by ZDF television (German labelled graphics here).

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