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  • Black Wednesday Part 2: Local Election Watch

    by SajiniW
    27th April, 2006 at 9:29 am    

    Increased BNP support with the Tories hot on their trail: the timing couldn’t be worse for the current cabinet to experience mishap after mishap.

    The past week has seen Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, getting booed universally in response to massive job losses at the UNISON conference earlier this week. The Deputy Prime Minister has added a mistress to his list of ministerial faux-pas and not wanting to be left out, the Home Secretary has found himself begot with his own incompetence.

    I’m very much in agreement with the Times, which says the scandals have “left the collective impression of a government that is out of touch in the first case, astonishingly incompetent in the second and morally unhinged in the third“, and the Guardian lead article.

    The Home Secretary’s admissions will damage the Government’s record on law and order and immigration but Mr Clarke insisted that he would not resign over the 1,023 foreign national offenders who were freed without being considered for deportation.

    “We simply didn’t make the proper arrangements for identifying and considering removal in line with the growth of numbers that were there,” he said.

    Among the total were three murderers, nine rapists and five paedophiles. Another seven had served time for other sex offences, fifty-seven for violent offences and two for manslaughter. There were also 41 burglars, 20 drug smugglers, 54 convicted of assault and 27 of indecent assault.

    Boris Johnson has asked the question on everybody’s lips:

    “How can such unbelievable lassitude afflict a government that is supposed to be tough on crime? The answer, of course, is that the Government is not so much interested in being tough on crime, as in being seen to be tough.”

    Comments on how to help the cabinet would be most welcome.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Party politics

    15 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. leon — on 27th April, 2006 at 10:18 am  

      How to help them? Easy answer, pass em the noose.

    2. Sunny — on 27th April, 2006 at 2:28 pm  

      I think Charles Clarke has singularly managed the near impossible - to be more hated than David Blunkett.

      Even my mum is saying they should get rid of the government! And she doesn’t even follow politics much. How Blair can claim that the people still back him is beyond me.

    3. Rohin — on 27th April, 2006 at 2:36 pm  

      OK I admit it. I had an affair with John Prescott.

    4. NorahJones — on 27th April, 2006 at 3:14 pm  

      Just why? Why would anyone sleep with him?

      Gone are the days when politicians lost face for sleeping with people other than their spouses. Edwina Curry on the ITV news last night… dear me.

    5. soru — on 27th April, 2006 at 3:30 pm  

      I bet if you rearranged the article a bit you could make it seem as if Boris Johnson is criticising Prescott for having an affair.

    6. Lord Melbourne — on 27th April, 2006 at 3:42 pm  

      As I said nearly two hundred years ago, things have come to a pretty pass when they start dragging morality into the sanctity of private life.
      To compare Prescott’s private life, which affects no-one but the people personally involved, with Clarke’s and Hewitt’s incompetence which could have lethal effects on any of us is absurd.

    7. Sunny — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

      I have to agree with Lord Melbourne.

      Prescott’s affair may come at an opportune time for Blair because it takes the heat off Charles Clarke’s supreme stupidity and incompetence. The tabloids will naturally prefer the former scandal.

    8. Al-Hack — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:18 pm  

      Rohin - was Faria Alam involved?

    9. j0nz — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:25 pm  

      I’ve never seen Prescott has happy as he was in that photo on the front of The Mirror

    10. Sid — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:31 pm  

      Lord Melbourne? THE Lord Melbourne?

      As in Viscount Melbourne, of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, a title created for Peniston Lamb, 1st Baron Melbourne in 1781 in the Peerage of Ireland?

      Previously been created Lord Melbourne, Baron of Kilmore in the County of Cavan, in the Peerage of Ireland, in 1770, and was further created Baron Melbourne, of Melbourne in the County of Derby, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, in 1815?


    11. Average White English Person — on 27th April, 2006 at 4:48 pm  


      I haven’t been back to the UK for a couple of years so it’s worrying to see these “rise of the BNP” stories. I remember the NF from the late 70s and hope that the BNP follow them into obscurity as soon as possible. I’m somewhat reassured when I read items such as this piece by Aakash Chopra:

      This was the first time I’d seen an Indian wedding in England and it was quite an experience


      What was nice to see were English faces, not only in attendance but also obviously living it up. It says a lot about their attitude now as far as Indians here are concerned. It’s not just their acceptance of a “foreign” culture but also how they’re trying to be part of that culture as and when needed.

      Lord Melbourne:

      You also have your own cricket ground down here in Australia. Far more important than all those fancy titles.

    12. Amir — on 27th April, 2006 at 10:22 pm  

      I propose a Cabinet reshuffle. Here’s my new, improved, sleaze-free Labour party:

      Health: David Clarke of Orion

      Education: Jurgen Habermas

      Transport: Some big thinkers at the TRL.

      The Environment: Thomas Homer-Dixon

      Bioethics: James J. Hughes

      Animal Rights: Peter Singer

      Gender : Martha C. Nussbaum

      Sexuality: Peter Tatchell

      Economics: Jagdish Bhagwati, and Amartya Sen, and Philippe Van Parijs

      Science and Technology: Feryal Ozel and Lawrence Lessig

      Foreign Policy: Kanan Makiya, and Christopher Hitchens, and Azar Nafisi

      International Relations: Fareed Zakaria and Michael Walzer

      Culture and Identity: Brian Barry, and Kwame A. Appiah, and Khaled M. Abou El Fadl.

      Democratic Justice: Cass R. Sunstein, and David Miller.

      National Security: Martin van Creveld and Michael Ignatieff

      Crime and Punishment: Shelly Kagan

      Oh well, a guy can dream can’t he?

    13. Amir — on 27th April, 2006 at 10:28 pm  

      If some of the links aren’t working…
      Just delete the slash (/) at the end of the Web address.

      Feel free to abuse my selection.

    14. Sunny — on 28th April, 2006 at 12:12 am  

      Economics: Jagdish Bhagwati, and Amartya Sen, and Philippe Van Parijs

      Now you’re talking! Though I’d rather have Amartya Sen in foreign Policy than Hitchens thanks. Amartya Sen may just end up being the next Indian President.

    15. SajiniW — on 28th April, 2006 at 8:47 am  

      Just had a quick thought - we could do a ‘one-in, one-out’ policy, whereby we scan asylum seekers and potential immigrants the way Australians do, keep those with potential and deport an equal number of criminals as and when they’re found.

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