Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tough on Freedom, Tough on the Causes of Freedom

Listening to Prime Ministers Questions today, its easy to see why its not called Prime Ministers Answers. Actual answers to the questions asked are rare indeed.

Blair and Cameron had another of their long pantomime "I'm tougher than you" sessions. In the midst of this, Blair revealed the true extent of his thinking. This, in his most gleefully accusatory tone:
He tried to suggest that the Sentencing Guidelines Council was the reason he voted against the 2003 [Criminal Justice] Act. Actually... the reason they voted against the 2003 act was because of the withdrawal of the right to trial by jury, which incidentally they were also wrong on. It [Tory opposition to the act] was not because the measures were too soft. It was because they were too tough.
[Transcribed from the BBC player]
Blair is proud of it. The withdrawal of the right to trial by jury.

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 withdrew the right to trial by jury in specific circumstances. There are very good reasons why it might be a good idea to oppose setting such a precedent.

What does it say about the current political landscape when defending the right to trial by jury is open to mocking ridicule and scorn? To me, it says today's political landscape is a malaria infested swamp. But it's not mosquitoes which are causing disease. It's Blair, his cronies and their borderline proto-fascist posturing.

I think Blair might have got on quite well with Il Duce. Blair might not share a penchant for "outright violence" against his political opponents (well, not domestically anyway), but he would surely approve of the intimidation tactics Il Duce employed.

Seriously, he and his cabal are becoming dangerously deluded and increasingly detached from an understanding of the consequences of their policies and actions. I shudder to think what they're going to propose next.

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1 comment:

. said...

The restriction is meant to be used only in complicated fraud trials, but it does set a very worrying precedent. It's also laughable that we can't conduct a fraud trial when they can convict Ken Lay within a few months over in the states.

The problem is with the way the trials are ran, both with the judges not being strong enough to step in when lawyers are taking too long, and with the obsession with the tiny details in such cases, which can take days to go over. The prosecution in such cases needs to shape themselves up, rather than judges being relied upon to be the only ones intelligent enough or indeed, available to hear the case for such a length of time, rather than getting rid of juries.