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Crocodile tears won’t help Gary McKinnon July 4, 2009

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", Comment & Opinion, Treatment of the proles.
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“Sarah Brown’s tears for Gary”, runs the Daily Mail headline today. I feel nauseous.

British man Gary McKinnon is on the verge of being extradited to the states for hacking into US government computers in the search for evidence about aliens. The US has branded him a malicious hacker and wants to jail him for up to 70 years, when it appears that he simply has an obsession for aliens and has Aspberger’s syndrome – a form of autism. He has openly admitted what he did, and why he did it, acknowledges it was wrong and has apologised, but points out that it hardly needed a genius to make the hack as he used readily available software.

My own opinion is that the US want to punish this man simply because they are highly embarrassed at how insecure their systems were; if he had hacked a Seattle IT corporation instead of the government, they would probably have offered him a job.

What makes me sick is the part about “Sarah’s tears”: instead of crying and hoping for some timely PR points for her husband’s moribund political party, why doesn’t she find some guts and berate him and his cowardly self-centred Westminster colleagues for not standing up to the US and seeing a great injustice averted? And that goes not just for the Labour Party, but those in the House of Lords who turned down McKinnon’s appeals that the case be dealt with in the UK on health grounds.

Shame on Gordon Brown, his Cabinet and our parliamentary representatives in general. If indeed it can be said that they still function as our representatives.

More knee-jerks than the Ministry of Silly Walks May 3, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue".
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Tony Blair says he wants all overseas criminals convicted of serious crimes to be deported immediately.

Horses and stable doors come wearily to mind; so do babies and bathwater, sledgehammers and nuts. But wasn't it ever thus, with this government?

Speaking of doors – please shut the door of No. 10 behind you tomorrow, Mr Blair, after the voters have turned off the lights.

It’s Sunday, Mr Blair: start praying April 30, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", Political cock-ups, Sex and drugs etc.
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Blair admits: I might be forced to sack Clarke

Tony Blair last night admitted that he may be forced to sack his Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, as rebel Labour MPs issued the Prime Minister with an ultimatum to declare an early departure date or face a humiliating leadership contest.

Hardly unexpected: things start to look hairy for Blair himself and suddenly his brass balls metamorphose into cotton wool balls and the "absolute confidence" he repeatedly showered on his floundering minister goes flying out the window like a philandering deputy prime minister's underpants.

Mr Blair confessed that he was "pretty angry" that 1,023 foreign criminals who should have been deported were allowed to slip through the net by the Home Office and said there were "no excuses" for the debacle. In an interview, Mr Blair suggested that Mr Clarke's future now depended on what was discovered about new crimes committed by the ex-prisoners, whom police were trying to track down this weekend.

Only "pretty angry"? How restrained of you, Mr Blair. Ah, but of course: you get 24-hour protection and an armoured car to ferry you the several hundred yard dash between Downing Street and the Commons. Thus you aren't one of the public individuals randomly and violently attacked by the convicted criminals your blundering Home Secretary and his minions released onto our streets unsupervised without a second glance. Perhaps if you were, you might have a damn sight more to say about it other than that you're "pretty angry".

I really don't know what's more unsavoury to the mental palate this morning: the Mail on Sunday wallowing in their very expensive exclusive with John Prescott's very unofficial bird (and he's just a tad dischuffed about it), or the fact that Blair gave an exclusive interview to the News of the World (Lifejacket is relieved not to subscribe to either). Mind you, NOTW is a Murdoch rag and he still appears to be clinging on as a back-slapper of Blair's. Say no more.

Mr Blair bares his priorities April 29, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue".
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Prescott is absolutely vital to party, says Blair

"While he stopped short of guaranteeing that the Deputy Prime Minister would remain in post in an expected reshuffle, Mr Blair described Mr Prescott as 'absolutely vital' to the Labour Party.

'John is someone of great value to me. People don't know the true value of what he does because it is so often behind the scenes,' Mr Blair told the Daily Mirror."

Call me a pedant, but the issue under question at the moment is whether Mr Prescott is fit for his post. As a public servant, the only relevant measure of his usefulness should be that in relation to how he serves the British public in that post; and as Deputy Prime Minister of this country, the example he sets as our "second-in-command".

In this context his usefulness to the Labour Party is utterly irrelevant, as is his personal value to Tony Blair. Once again Blair shows us his priorities: himself, party, country, in that order.

Five foreign prisoners reoffended April 28, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", Political cock-ups.
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Five foreign prisoners reoffended

"At least five of the foreign prisoners freed without being deported have gone on to commit more serious crimes.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said the five had been convicted since release for offences relating to drugs, violent disorder and inflicting bodily harm.

One of the five had also been accused of rape but there had not been enough evidence so far to prosecute."

Tragic, and inevitable.

Yet Mr Clarke has stated once more his refusal to resign:

"I believe I have the ability, knowledge and talent to lead the Home Office in the best way to deal with those issues and that is what I intend to do,"

Hold on, let's re-write that so it reads rather more truthfully:

"I believe I have the ability arrogance, knowledge ignorance and talent utter incompetence to lead the Home Office in the best way to cling onto my job despite the total pig's ear I've made of the whole shebang since I took over from the last bloke who was forced to leave under a cloud."

It's clear Mr Clarke will not go willingly (he is a New Labour minister, after all), but I shall be keenly watching the Parliament Channel in the hope of witnessing the moment when he is dragged screaming and kicking from his post, through the large vat of tar and feathers that has been simmering in anticipation for the last three days.

Anonymous backbencher unmasked April 26, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", ID Cards & the Surveillance State, Political cock-ups.
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Ah, so here's the ID-obsessed culprit from today's Commons session (hat tip to Dr_Wibble at NO2ID) :

Stephen Pound (Ealing, North) (Lab):
No one would deny that this is a damnably serious business. […] Secondly, does he not agree that the case for identity cards has now been made?

Mr. Clarke:
As it happens, my hon. Friend will be shocked to hear that I agree with him on his second point. He is quite right, and I am confident that wisdom will spread across the House on those matters.

(On Hansard's "Today" pages)

ID cards seem to be New Labour's viagra: if your political performance stinks, have a dose of ID-cards and everyone will be smiley and agreeable again.

I really can't find any lucid or even vaguely non-offensive comment to make about the above Commons exchange. Perhaps the less said the better.

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.

“source of light” Condi blinds Bishop of Blackburn April 15, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue".
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to Lancashire was "a source of light in a dark world", the Bishop of Blackburn has said.

The Rt Rev Nicholas Reade will compare her visit to "a parable of hope at times of national and international crises" in his Easter Sunday sermon.

A parable of hope? Eh? And crises? Ms Rice and her employer have certainly created one in Iraq, but the only national crisis we have here is that we still have Tony Blair squatting in Downing Street, and New Labour kitting itself out in jack-boots.

He will say Jack Straw invited Ms Rice despite opposition to her arrival from anti-war in Iraq campaigners.

An ambiguous statement (but this is a Blair Broadcasting Company report, so quelle surprise). It implies that the Bishop thinks,

a) That Jack Straw shouldn't have invited her, because there's so much opposition to the war

or

b) That Jack Straw was right to invite her, despite all the pesky protestors.

If the latter, then surely this can only mean that the Bishop places himself as pro-Iraq …? Or at least, that nobody has any business protesting against the war and delaying politicians.

"Here, below the painting of Christ bound in the tomb, foreign secretary and secretary of state joined Dean Christopher for prayers for global justice and lit candles for peace.

Gut-wrenching hypocrisy.

He will praise how they lit candles for peace at Blackburn Cathedral … "To any, these might have looked quite fragile lights, particularly when set against global conflict symbolised by the protesters' slogans and the stormy weather of that morning."

Global conflict caused in large measure by the American administration Ms Rice so unflinchingly serves. And as for the anti-war protestors …I tip my hat to them for turning out in such weather to make their point. In fact, if I'd lived locally I'd have taken them a tray of tea.

Perhaps the Bishop of Blackburn is more than happy to lick the boots of liars and warmongers who are insincere enough to mutter prayers for peace in a Christian "House of God" whilst blowing someone else's country to smithereens, but most of the good people in this country aren't. And the Church wonders why it's losing followers.

Your political scaffold awaits, Prime Minister April 7, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue".
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More shameless self-publicity on the part of Mr Blair

… and just in time for the local elections in London in May.

When will this man (or his puppeteers) learn? He is finished. Discredited. Detested. Unwanted. As it stands now, he could find a cure for cancer tomorrow or set up 100 orphanages somewhere through the most altruistic motives, and people would still dismiss it as a publicity stunt. He is irredeemable.

Live by spin, die politically by spin. Every strand and fibre of that symbolic rope around Mr Blair's neck was woven over nine years, lie by lie, cover-up by cover-up, smile by disingenuous smile. It's time to pull the lever.

What is this man smoking? I want some. March 28, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in "Politician he speak with forked tongue", ID Cards & the Surveillance State.
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Andy Burnham today, quoted by The Guardian [1]:

"I take the view that it is part of being a good citizen, proving who you are, day in day out."

… and Andy Burnham two days ago, in his own letter to the Observer:

"The scheme will not track your life's activities. ID cards will be used when it is important to verify identity. That is not an everyday occurrence for the majority …"

God give me strength. I'm losing track of the number of pointless and contradictory statements this twonk[2] has come out with. I could start a whole new blog just to chronicle the bumbling antics of the Safety Elephant's[3] comedy sidekick.

———
[1] Original source was Radio 4's Today Programme: Real Audio link here. Relevant stuff is around 20' in)
[2] As a pedantic so-so, I believe that if I'm going to publicly call politicians silly names, then I should at least prove that I know what they mean. This also makes me feel pleasantly superior, as nobody in the current government seems to have a bloody clue what they're talking about themselves.
[3] Speaking of silly names, I wish to God I could lay claim to that particular epithet, but I can't. Google "Charles Clarke Safety Elephant", and see what I mean.