Friday, April 28, 2006

That Friday Thang

As I understood it, Charles Clarke's announcement on the status of the foreign ex-cons who should have been considered for deportation was due at 3pm today. As I've been going about my business today and waiting for news on this, I speculated to myself that the later it was, the worse it would be. Friday afternoons, as we know, are the dead spot in the 24 hour news cycle. New Labour under Blair have attempted to use this spot to release bad news any number of times.

Now, finally, at 5.47pm, the BBC has got some news. There's not much to go on yet, most journalists are already in the pub (which is entirely the point), but based on what's there, I think Clarke's finished.
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.
We're talking about victims having suffered violence and bodily harm because of his and his predecessor's incompetence. I doubt even the Friday afternoon dead spot can save him now.

More information is now available from the BBC page above as well as the full text of Charles Clarke's statement. He said:
The work of putting these decisions into effect and consideration of further cases is proceeding energetically and will continue over the weekend.
Proceeding energetically over the weekend? As opposed to last August when he actually learned of the problem? Glad to hear he's got his priorities in order. Remember, it's only a problem when its in the news. What we don't know, the incompetant git doesn't care about.

On C4 News, Clarke's just said he won't be resigning and that the "honourable thing to do" is to stay to put things right. If he'd tried that last August, perhaps, just perhaps mind, he might have a point. But now? Nine months later and with 288 new cases since he learned of it?

Clarke wouldn't recognise the "honorable thing to do" if his own incompetence allowed it to cause him grievous bodily harm.

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