Monday, April 24, 2006

Bully Boys

Oh Lordy. Here comes the bully Charles Clarke. Apparently, the policies of the Blair government are not in any way authoritarian or damaging to democracy; this notion is, according to Charles, nothing more than a myth created by the pernicious media. How very neo-conservative.

As usual Tim is on the case with some excellent points of order.

It's worth comparing part of Clarke's speech with a statement made by his boss just a few short days ago.
Charlie boy today: And let me conclude with one of the more ridiculous statements: "The presumption of innocence is no longer a fixed legal principal". This is complete nonsense. In this country that you are innocent of an offence until proven guilty.

His boss last week: I would widen the police powers to seize the cash of suspected drug dealers, the cars they drive round in, and require them to prove they came by them, lawfully. I would impose restrictions on those suspected of being involved in organised crime. In fact, I would generally harry, hassle and hound them until they give up or leave the country. [my emphasis obviously]
These powers already exist to some extent (note Blair's use of the word "widen"). And Blair is on record as saying that he wants to "harry, hassle and hound" people who have not been proven guilty of any offence.

Blair, undeniably from his own words, does not believe that the presumption of innocence is a fixed legal principle. Does this stop Clarke from ridiculing others for having the audacity to accurately report the patently indisputable position of the Prime Minister? Does it f*ck.

How can you argue with people who refuse to abide by the most basic rules of honest debate? Is that not the very essence of the problem? Is that not the very reason why so many people now believe that Blair and his cronies are a danger to British democracy?

The cause of the increasingly strident language used to describe this government is easy to discern. It's certainly not the fault of those in the media who have the courage to stand up to the bullying and the spin and the lies. No, it's the bullying and the spin and the lies themselves which are a large part of the problem. That and the policies they need to bully and spin and lie to try to defend. There's an obvious irony in Clarke doing exactly that here. It's certainly not an amusing irony though.

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