Saturday, 28 July 2007

BAA Injunction

Oh dear. It seems that if BAA get their way on Wednesday, I shall be considered to be a subversive under the Terrorism Act 2000. Too late now, I fear, to tear up my National Trust membership. If I suddenly stop posting, please consider visiting me in Belmarsh!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Iraqi civilians assisting British forces, etc

Justice, of course, is far wider than simply what courts of law do. It also encompasses how we treat other people. Whatever your feelings about the invasion of Iraq (I was opposed to it), the plight of those Iraqi citizens who came forward to assist British troops, security companies, diplomats and the like, mainly by acting as interpreters or drivers should be of concern to us.
By their actions these people have placed themselves and their families in very great danger, even of death at the hands of those who see them as collaborators. The British government has rejected the suggestion that such people should be entitled to find asylum here in the UK, arguing that they are not our responsibility. I disagree. If you also disagree, there is a newly opened petition on the Downing St website which you can sign (if you are a British citizen), and which calls on the government to grant asylum to these people.

Friday, 20 July 2007

I know it's only suppose, but all the same.....

IF the government took political corruption as seriously as it takes terrorist threats, and IF ACPO had its way on detention without charge, THEN Lord Levy, Ruth Turner, Des Smith and Sir Christopher Evans would only now be emerging blinking into the daylight after spending most of the last 15 months banged up in Belmarsh. Fortunately, they were able to keep their liberty and now of course, we discover there's nothing to charge them with.

What makes them so different from the innocent person suspected of terrorist involvement?

Thursday, 12 July 2007


Whilst it was reassuring to hear no great hoo-haa about cracking down on miscreants, etc, in Gordon Brown's sneak preview yesterday, there are two measures which have the potential to backfire.

Withdrawing the ability of magistrates to suspend prison sentences for summary offences will more probably increase the prison population than reduce it; see my earlier posting on this measure for the reasons why (Suspended Sentences; 9th May 2007).

Additionally, raising the school/training leaving age to 18 is likely to lead to more youth offending. It follows from this move that it will become illegal for an employer to take on anyone under the age of 18 except on a part-time basis for a small number of hours each week. However, disaffected youth - especially male - will be drawn to truancy rather than attend school or a training place. We already know from painful experience that truancy is a fast track route into offending, the devil as they say finding work for idle hands. I suggest that the proposed measure will dramatically increase the pool of adolescent males drifting around the streets looking for something to relieve their boredom, and most likely they will find that something in antisocial behaviour, use of illegal drugs, shop theft, mugging and the like.

I hope I'm proved wrong on both matters if they go ahead, but I have my doubts.

Monday, 2 July 2007

From the heart!

Just a short plea to Gordon Brown, Jacqui Smith and Jack Straw; please, just for one parliament, so far as the judicial system is concerned, accept that we already have enough laws available to deal with all the offences that come our way. We'd just like time to familiarise ourselves with them before a new set comes along.