Daily Archives: July 4, 2007

Usual Service is Resumed

It was unedifying to watch Cameron and Brown at Prime Minster’s questions trading stupidities on security which they hoped would impress the electorate, presumably via the Murdoch press.

Cameron pressed for the banning of Hizb-ut-Tehrir, on the basis of an old quotation allegedly from a Hizb-ut-Tehrir leaflet in Germany, which HuT have always denied. Brown sensibly queried whether this was sufficient evidence.

HuT believe in the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate to unite the Muslim lands. That is a strange thing to believe in, but I can see no reason why the belief should be illegal. Certainly driving them underground would be a great deal more dangerous. HuT arguably function as a safety valve, providing a non-violent outlet for fundamentalist Muslims in the UK. To ban them is tantamount to saying that fundamentalist Muslin belief ought itself to be illegal.

Brown then decided to outdo Cameron in useless but hopefully populist proposals. He regurgitated Blair’s favourite about needing to be able to deport people to countries where they are liable to be tortured or killed (which would involve resiling from Article 3 of the UN Convention Against Torture). He also proposed identity cards. This time Cameron made the sensible response that compulsory ID cards did not stop the Madrid bombers.

In fact, there is no reason to believe that any of these daft proposals would have had the slightest effect on the events of the last few days. Predictably, nobody suggested that we stop invading other people’s countries and killing their people. Now that might make a difference.

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The Caring Face of New Labour

One of the endearing features of the British political system is that a constituent can always turn to their MP for help with any difficulties, particularly involving relationships between the individual and any organ of the State. Perhaps remarkably, in the vast majority of cases the MP does indeed do what they can to help.

Now read this reply which an astonished constituent received from their MP, Harriet Harman, Deputy Leader of New Labour:

Dear ….

I am very sorry to hear of the immigration difficulties you have been experiencing . I have today written to the Home Office on your behalf and I will contact you again as soon as I receive a response. I am not prepared to make enquires or representations on behalf of constituents with criminal convictions. I have therefore informed the Home Office that if you do have criminal convictions, my enquiry should be considered withdrawn.

If you have not previously disclosed any criminal convictions on behalf of yourself or other individuals included on the same application, please contact me and let me know.

In the meantime if I can be of any further help or assistance in this or any other matter please do not hesitate to contact me again.


Harriet Harman

The constituent in question has no criminal convictions or associations whatsoever, but even if they had, that does not cancel your civil rights for the rest of your life, despite Ms Harman. Has she never heard of rehabilitation? Or of wrongful conviction?

This was in fact the third time this constituent had written to Harman on this issue, and the third time they had received this same standard reply. The promised future contact never happens.

New Labour really cares about individuals.

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