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Ivory tower is no defence April 25, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", Political cock-ups.
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"The home secretary has said he will not resign after it emerged 1,023 foreign prisoners had been freed without being considered for deportation.

Charles Clarke said he did not know where most of the people, who include three murderers and nine rapists, were.


'It is unreasonable to expect ministers to know what is going on in every nook and cranny in their department,' said Mr Blair's official spokesman." [link]

God. give. me. strength.

Nook and cranny? FFS how on earth can the overlooked deportation of 1,023 violent offenders be something so trivial that it might possibly be hidden in some cobweb infested corner of the Home Office?

Besides the fact that any manager worth their salt knows exactly what is going on in their department (else they shouldn't bloody well be in the job), this is not a trivial matter of who forgot to order the stationary, or who used the last of the milk in the office fridge.

This is a matter of 1,023 convicted foreign murderers, sex offenders, drug-dealers and thieves being released post-sentence onto Britain's streets when they should have been considered for deportation or removal. Indeed, in many of these cases the sentencing judge had firmly recommended that the offender receive a helping hand to the airport upon release.

True, those released had duly served those sentences; but British law dictates that foreign nationals committing serious crimes in our country should forfeit their rights to be here. That they should no longer be allowed to enjoy any of the particular social benefits of living in this country (or whatever remains of those benefits, in the nascent police state which is New Labour Britain).

For a moment this voice piping up on the sidelines flummoxed me, as at first glance I thought he was venting sour grapes against Mr Clarke:

Former Home Secretary David Blunkett called the problems "astonishing". "My view is that heads should roll," said Mr Blunkett.

… until I read further …

"There are too many people in the system who simply don't care. I fully support Charles Clarke in getting to the bottom of this."

Ahhhh … so heads should roll, but not Mr Clarke's. Because of course he isn't remotely responsible for the running of his own department unless the tide of publicity is running in his favour. He's more than willing to smile at the Press and put his name to numerous New Labour instruments of state control under the flaky and over-used banner of "fighting terrorism"; but when his department makes a monstrous cock-up that could (and the odds are, probably will) affect the safety of law-abiding British subjects, and indeed other, law-abiding foreign nationals living in our country, then it's nothing to do with him, it's the fault of some poor sap in the back office who, according to Mr Blunkett "simply doesn't care".

Is being an utter twonk a prerequisite for the job of Home Secretary, or does the incumbent get special training? Or perhaps twonk-ness is a peculiar genetic trait that skips from one Home Secretary to the next.

And anyway, who the hell is David Blunkett to comment? He resigned as Home Secretary after breaching the ministerial code of conduct.

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