Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Charles Clarke - obfuscatory incoherence

In attempting to address the tidal wave of critical commentary that Government policy has triggered, Charles Clarke has accused the media of introducing a pernicious and even dangerous poison into their discussions of politics and politicians. To back this up, Clarke notes that journalists:

routinely use language such as "police state", "fascist", "creeping authoritarianism", while words such as "holocaust", "gulag" and "apartheid" are used descriptively in ways that must be truly offensive to those who experienced those realities.

Fighting talk. But obviously those who seek to characterise the policies of HMG are making

ridiculous assertions, unsupported by any hint of understanding of the balance of powers that exist in our society.

Clarke thus accuses these journalists of intellectual laziness and a lack of adherence to professional journalistic standards. But that is all he does. There is no attempt in this article to refute any of the claims made against him and his policies, merely to deny them.

There are serious points to be made here. This Government has restricted the right to trial by jury, selectively removed the old 'double jeopardy' rule, massively increased the role played by summary judgment through the use of ASBOs, increased the length of time a suspect can be held without charge (and tried to increase it be more), introduced laws that allow for restrictions on personal liberty on suspicion of involvement in a crime (habeas corpus anyone?), created approximately 700 new criminal offences and introduced legislation that fundamentally alters the balance of power between the citizen and the state. Oh, and they've put out a Bill that effectively bypasses the legislative role of Parliament itself.

All of these are indicative of a Government that is careless of its responsibilities to maintain the rule of law. All of these strengthen the Executive at the expense of either the Legislature or the individual. All of these are issues that deserve a serious response. None of these are addressed by the Home Secretary in his speech. If Charles Clarke is unhappy that critics are pointing out the inherent illiberalism at the heart of the New Labour project there is a simple solution. If he can demonstrate the allegations to be false then he should do so. If he cannot, then he should admit the truth of the assertions. And then he should resign.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deportation Island: New Reality TV Show in the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Tony Blair announced today his cabinet would be launching a new reality television show. The reality TV show entitled “Deportation Island” will mark the Prime Minister’s directorial debut and represents a direct public relations offensive to combat sliding approval ratings. A poll conducted by The Telegraph places the Prime Minister’s personal approval rating at just 36%.

Executive producers of “Deportation Island” include Home Secretary Charles Clarke and Lord Levy. “Deportation Island” will be an unscripted quest series that will feature teams of foreign and British convicted criminals who will be provided with a series tasks, aimed at getting them deported from the United Kingdom.
Click on link below to view full comment.

1:18 pm  

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