Jack Straw and the Rule of Law 117


You would expect Jack Straw as “Justice Minister” to support the rule of law. But not only has he personally just flagrantly breached the criminal law on treating in elections, he has supported the astonishing idea that troops serving in Afghanistan should be exempt from law while off duty in the UK.

A soldier from his Blackburn constituency was caught doing 143mph – yes, 143 mph – on the motorway. The judge let hom off because he was a soldier shortly to return to Afghanistan.

Minister of Justice Jack Straw commented:

“It seems to me that the judge has shown appropriate mercy for someone risking his life for the rest of us.”

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/blackburndarwenhyndburnribble/8121789.Blackburn_soldier_driving_at_143mph_escapes_ban_as_he___s_off_to_Afghanistan/#commentsList

Anyone driving at 143mph on the public highway is a real threat to kill members of the public. So the Justice Minster believes soldiers should be exempt from such laws? What else will the principle be extended to? Rape? “Yes, he raped her, but he is doing important work protecting the nation in Afghanistan”.

Straw is an absolute disgrace.


117 thoughts on “Jack Straw and the Rule of Law

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  • tony_opmoc

    I think I should mention this for entertainment purposes…though Craig Murray will probably delete it

    I also know one of the original members of Spinal Tap – though I know his Sister Much Better.

    Their Uncle Taught Me To Fly.

    He is Sir Derek Piggott

    He is AWESOME

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derek_Piggott

    Tony

  • tony_opmoc

    It doesn’t matter how old you are so long as you stay fit and healthy and work hard and don’t panic

    Even I took up Diving at the age of 46 for the first time….

    And though I am a crap swimmer – I found it incredibly easy and just totally

    MAGNIFICENT

    But do this first

    So long as you don’t weigh much more than 16 stone there should be no problem.

    If you are a fat bastard then get fit and lose some weight first..

    Even YOU can do this and – its as easy as learning to drive a car – and you can learn how to screw thermals in the air

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmik9RKQpAY

    Tony

  • mary

    Main Entry: gaffe

    Pronunciation: \’gaf\

    Function: noun

    Etymology: French, gaff, gaffe

    Date: 1909

    1 : a social or diplomatic blunder

    2 : a noticeable mistake

    According to a contributor on medialens –

    Apparently it was a Sky News microphone (owned by Rupert Murdoch) and they just left the live feed running to air – but Rupert is supporting ‘call me Dave’ this time. One of the dangers of media-driven oligarchy I suppose. Blair did suck-up to Rupert to get the support of his media empire – it enraged Kinnock who called him a sell-out, which he was. Still, it got Brown plenty of coverage on the media and the Jeremy Vine interview was priceless.

  • Tony

    We have to ask: is it a condition of employment at Sky News that everyone wants David Cameron to be the next Prime Minister and will do anything to please the boss Rupert Murdoch?

    This “bigoted woman” incident was a set-up from the beginning. That Gordon Brown fell for it and none of his aide team saw it coming is foolish, but the fact that it was a set-up is beyond dispute.

    I am a sound-man by profession and I have enough material spoken ‘off mike’ to embarrass many people – but I would not think of doing such a thing because I am a professional and need to be trusted in order to get work. The same is just as true for photographers who come away from shoots with hundreds of discarded photos which would embarrass and annoy.

    This is yet another part of the desperation of Rupert Murdoch to decide this election for us.

  • angrysoba

    “Apparently it was a Sky News microphone (owned by Rupert Murdoch)”

    Yes, but Murdoch didn’t script Brown to call her a bigot and he didn’t force Brown to do a televised chat with possible voters.

    “This “bigoted woman” incident was a set-up from the beginning. That Gordon Brown fell for it and none of his aide team saw it coming is foolish, but the fact that it was a set-up is beyond dispute.”

    See above.

  • ingo

    Have not much time, please accept this press release.

    the lancashire telegraph is now really digging up stories for jack straw, a chap calle Shuaib is writing all sorts of rubbish, the main reporter Tom Mosely can’t get Bushra’s name right, he is confusing voters as her previous name was Aear and there is a Bobby Anwar on the ist of candidates, they are trying anything for Jack.

    Bushra Irfan condemns today’s Labour party dishonesty

    Today’s incident showing up Labour as insincere and dishonest towards voters provoked a strong reaction from Bushra Irfan of Blackburn, the challenger to Jack Straw.

    She said, ” I am appalled at the insincerity and dishonesty the Labour party has shown today, just as they had to smooth over the farce they started in Blackburn over Islamic garments yesterday, today’s remarks showed up their two faced campaign. Why should voters trust Labour when they are so out of touch with the electorate, whether it is Tony Blairs ‘shredded expenses’, or the backtracking by Jack Straw over the attack on Iraq, there are no core values left after 13 years in power.

    I am looking forward to represent all of our local community here in Blackburn.”

    End of press release

  • mary

    Ingo – anything there (Lan. Telegraph) yet about Craig swearing an affidavit alleging Straw’s treating? I bet not.

  • Tony

    Are you trying to tell me that David Cameron has never once let off some steam off-mike? I would be very disappointed in him as a human being if he has not. If the (off-)microphone is anything to do with News International then what Cameron says indiscreetly off-mike will go straight in the trash-basket you can be sure of that.

    This is a juvenile unprofessional school-boy nasty trick on the part of a juvenile unprofessional school-boy sound-man who should be ashamed of himself because he has made our profession look very, very grubby.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    I reiterate the prediction which I issued at the start of this election campaign (for what its worth!):

    The Conservative Party is likely wo win, with an overall majority of around 25 seats. Quite a few Labour voters will switch to the Lib Dems so that the Lib dem vote will rise, as often is the case, yet it will not rise adequately for them to prevent the Conservatoive party from gaining an overall majority.

    I think that tonight’s debate will ‘reveal’ that Cameron has ‘won’ and thereafter we will have many fatuous articles penned by well-paid courtiers on the way in which he has ‘grown’ into the role of PM during the course of the debates and other such rubbish. Clegg will not do as well as before. Brown will look like a defeated man, fighting but going down.

    Essentially, then, ‘Middle England’ will vote Tory. The SNP will not do well in Scotland, partly because of their lack of national exposure in the mainframe discourse and partly because they are the current Government in Scotland.

    On that note, please note that I think all this panic about a ‘Government of National Unity’ is overblown. We in Scotland have had nothing but coalitions and minority governments since devolution was introduced: first, two Lib-Lab Coalitions and then an SNP minority government. We’ve also had proportional representation. The sky has not fallen in.

    I understand the concerns about corporate government (a sort of Mandelson-Clarke-Cable axis of Euro), but really, I think that all three of the main parties are esentially parties of big business – the Lib Dems less so, perhaps, largely because they’ve not been anywhere near power for a long time in the UK context – though let’s not forget the Lib-Lab pact of the late 1970s. Remember Jeremy Thorpe? ‘They’ got him, didn’t they? He’s been completely silent for the past 30 years. Strange. Anyway…

    I’m not saying it makes no difference who gets in – that’s patently not true. I think that for the majority of ordinary people in this country, Conservative government would be measurably worse. But overall, over the past couple of decades, we have moved towards government by EU Council of Mininsters’/ IMF/ G8 et al and it is likely that this process will continue. It is important to note that when people attack the ‘EU’, the European Parliament – the directly-elected democratic body – can only debate and amend legislation; it cannot introduce legislation; the real powerhouse, then, is the Council of Mininsters. The European Commission is the ‘civil service’ which then implements the decisions made by the Council of Ministers.

    We all know and many of us have known for a very long time, that the UK’s rubbishing of its own manufcturing sector over the past three decades represents a major systemic weakness. Unless this is tackled expeditiously, any government will simply be juggling with fewer and fewer balls (and I use the term, ‘balls’ in both of its senses!). Back to mules, then.

  • angrysoba

    “Are you trying to tell me that David Cameron has never once let off some steam off-mike?”

    No. I expect he has. But are you telling me that Murdoch made Brown wander around Rochdale, told him who to talk to (perhaps “Sue” works for Murdoch?), made Brown incapable of switching off or removing his mic and then made him call a woman he was talking to a bigot?

    Well, don’t worry. John Prescott has also donned the tinfoil, here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/28/bigot-gaffe-murdoch-john-prescott

  • ScouseBilly

    Tony, it was delicious – paranoia, hubris, contempt, deceipt, blame culture.

    We stopped work and tuned in to as many news channels as possible.

    It made our day 😉

  • Tony

    Sorry. Apparently I have not been sufficiently specific.

    I do not think Rupert Murdoch scripted the whole event like an episode of EastEnders. He didn’t need to. All he needed to do was to get a lackey to bug Gordon Brown’s car and wait for an indiscretion sooner or later if the Gordon Brown team was not clever enough to anticipate that they would have been bugged. http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/50347,news-comment,news-politics,rupert-murdochs-news-of-the-world-paid-off-victims-of-phone-bugging-stings He just lit the blue touchpaper and waited for the bang.

    The person for whom I feel the most sorry is Mrs. Duffy whose life has been invaded for no good reason and spoke very well in 100% good faith.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In my view, the stupid spectacle of the Prime Ministerial debates resembles the ‘Britain’s Got Talent’/ ‘Dragons’ den’ and all the other idiot shows that pass for life in our increasingly dissociated state.

    So, as in the football (soccer) World Cup, we have the dark horse, maverick team (Clegg) doing well in the first rounds, beating Germany/ Argentina (Brown), beating Italy/ Brazil (Cameron). But then, as the big teams began to hit their stride, the old warhorses begin once again to dominate. And we end up with a very boring, careful, risk assessed final between Germany and Italy, or Brazil and Argentina.

    And – dare I mention – let’s not forget the archetypal Scottish image of the ‘gallant loser’.

    Just as ‘machine’ football has become increasing boring over the years, with no room for dissonance or real brilliance, so too with national politics.

    In different ways, both have been ruined by ‘big money’.

  • ScouseBilly

    Suhayl Saadi,

    Be careful. You touch on my favourite suject. What exactly is “machine” football? Do you think Liverpool’s 4 – 1 win at Old Trafford last season was “machine” football? Or my side’s 4 – 0 demolition of Real Madrid at Anfield?

    Please…..

  • angrysoba

    “All he needed to do was to get a lackey to bug Gordon Brown’s car”

    You are saying it wasn’t the mic that Gordon Brown himself was wearing?

    According to this, it was a radio mic he was wearing that had been requested by Labour Party officials. Maybe the Torygraph is lying, of course. Being Tory and all that:

    “Sky News was the pool broadcaster at yesterday’s event in Rochdale, and they gave Gordon Brown a radio microphone at the request of Labour party officials.

    A small microphone will have been clipped to Mr Brown’s lapel, with a wire running to a battery pack on his belt, which in turn transmitted the audio back to the camera crew.

    The alternative is to use a large boom microphone, but this requires an additional technician to carry it around and results in patchier sound quality.

    Sky News said yesterday that Mr Brown left in his car before the microphone could be removed and switched off.”

    http://tinyurl.com/37d49gc

    If they bugged his car then it is probably a criminal act. If Brown was wearing a mic that his party members asked for and then he badmouthed a voter he was smarming up to a minute before then Brown has only himself to blame.

  • Tony

    I am not being clear enough this morning, I am sorry.

    In this case the car was bugged using the microphone on Gordon Brown’s lapel. Lawyers could argue for years whether Gordon Brown was complicit by omitting to turn the mic off, when it should have been a duty of care of the sound man to remove it before he got into the car. These mics are not cheap and would have been an important part of the location kit. It certainly was a duty of care on the part of the sound man to have acted professionally and to have suppressed the output of the microphone. We always switch them out because apart from anything else these mics make horrible loud crunching and clunking noises when the wearer is moving around. The interview was over.

    It is useful to have a mic like this rather than pointing multiple booms at events like this. One of my colleagues worked on an event with the US President and he was pre-wired with an audio output to plug directly into news-gatherers’ systems.

    The talk about turning it off is idle, because the evil deed was to record the private conversation then to broadcast it. The evil deed was not Gordon Brown leaving the mic switched on, it was just more than a bit silly not to have thought twice about it – especially if it was a News International microphone.

    What is done is done, and it is amazing that an experienced politician like this would not have thought twice about having a microphone on his lapel. I am sure he won’t do it again.

  • angrysoba

    Well, it’s a good thing he didn’t say:

    “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”

    Or

    “Yo Blair! Let’s get Syria to stop Hezbollah doing this shit!”

    Or

    called members of his cabinet “bastards”

    Or

    called a reporter an “asshole”

    Or

    flipped the bird to a camera that he thought was off

    Or

    expressed admiration for a rapist

    Or

    “He’s what’s known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick ******.”

    Or any of the other countless gaffes made by politicians or others who thought that they were entitled to two-faced behaviour.

    Of course, most of those politicians simply admit they were wrong or stupid and don’t start casting about trying to pin the responsibility on someone else for their stupid remarks.

  • Vronsky

    A gaffe is when a politician in an unguarded moment tells the truth. Example: Edwina Currie nuking her political career by announcing that there was salmonella in eggs.

    Suhayl is right to point out that the Scottish sky has not fallen in as a result of PR, coalitions and minority government, but neither have the grey clouds blown away. The choices are between the Lab/Lib/Con gang – welded into a single party with a single-issue agenda, preservation of the Union – and an SNP minority, enfeebled by its fiscal dependency on London and heavily constrained by the reactionary and outnumbering opposition. Still, I suppose we have a choice where others have only the gang.

    For guitar, try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9jmKREAUKQ&feature=related

  • Jim Figgerty

    I wish people would stop blaming poor Rup for everything. Rupert had his doubts about supporting Cameron and only relented after much persuasion from his son and mad Beckie Wade. Wade worked closely with Coulson, who is Cameron’s spin doctor.

    The idea is that the son and mad Beckie are getting very desperate now that their boy Cameron looks to be a dud. So if it’s a case of “It’s The Sun wot lost it”, Rupert might begin to think that the son and mad Beckie are duds themselves. A bit like Coulson really.

  • mary

    One for Straw to learn while he’s waiting for the trial!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUBHq5ErVCg&feature=related

    I’m standing in the dock

    With my innocent hand on my heart

    I’ve changed my plea

    I’ve changed my plea to guilty

    Because freedom is wasted on me

    See how your rules spoil the game

    Outside there is a pain

    Emotional air raids exhausted my heart

    And it’s safer to be inside

    So, I’m changing my plea

    And no one can dissuade me

    Because freedom was wasted on me

    See how your rules spoil the game

    Something I have learned

    If there is one thing in life I’ve observed

    It’s that everybody’s got somebody

    Ooh no, not me

    So I’ve changed my plea to guilty

    And reason and freedom is a waste

  • Parky

    @ Tony I think you mis-understand about the radio microphone. The receiver for it would be attached to the ENG camera and would pickup anything that came from it and in turn send it back to the satellite truck nearby and then back to Sky HQ. It is very unlikely there would be a sound man as such because of the nature of the event, basically a scrum where the sound man could easily be seperated from the camerman in the heat of the moment. It makes for a more flexible operation. You may be confusing location recording where a shoot would be well organised and controlled.

    You seem to speculate on a Murdoch conspiracy, this is foolish. Gordon exposed himself for what he is, a hypocrite and a liar.

  • mary

    No wonder Brown is a patron of the Jewish National Fund. He definitely has chutzpah.

    ‘Yesterday was yesterday’ he says as bold as brass. ‘I want to move on’.

    Most of us would be lying low for a day or two.

  • Tony Rogers

    The encouragement of millions of foreigners to settle in England illegally springs to mind as an example of New Labour’s respect for law. The law in the UK should be an instrument for protecting the life, liberty and property of free citizens. Instead it has become an instrument of plunder, condescending social-engineering and bitter personal vendettas (by every brand of neo-Marxist conspiracy nut) – the very things it was set up to protect us against. The three-headed Westminster beast must be slain if we are to prevent further destruction to our way of life and also escape the suffocating clutches of Leviathan.

  • Tony

    I am a sound-man. We use radio mics which feed to a clip-on receiver on a broadcast camera or camcorder as you mention.

    However, in this case my understanding is that the radio mic would most probably have been picked up by a rack-mount receiver in the scanner truck. Thence the audio from the one microphone was redistributed to all the cameramen and to radio people from the various other news companies present at the event. The objective was to avoid a scrum of multiple microphones, boom-poles and cables all over the place. The Sky engineer at the controls was in a perfect position to mute the radio microphone as soon as the interview was over and GB had left the event – but he either chose or was instructed to leave it live, which is not what should have happened.

    That you and many others believe GB exposed himself as a hypocrite and a liar is an issue separate from News International’s ambitions to pull any stunt they can to undermine anyone in this election apart from David Cameron.

    News International’s team of McCain and Palin did not make it in the States, and Cameron is certainly not looking anywhere near as ahead as one might have expected. Still a week to go, one wonders what banana skin will come next.

  • angrysoba

    “Still a week to go, one wonders what banana skin will come next.”

    Osama bin Laden will endorse Nick Clegg as “the right man for the job”!

  • Parky

    @ Tony the guy in the satellite truck works for SIS and not Sky. SIS is contracted by Sky to deliver technical services not editorial judgement. It would be more than his job’s worth to start editing the feeds in the way you describe. They act merely as a relay to get the sound and video sources from the location and back to Sky HQ where the news editors are based.

    If as you said the sound sources were distributed locally by the truck then all the people in the field would be aware of what Brown had said and given the importance of the news events leading up to a general election, these comments could not be ignored, especially as they directly reinforce the view of him as a bully and someone who gets upset easily and does not react well under pressure. If anyone was to blame about the technical cock-up it would be Brown’s aides who should have been well aware of a live microphone on his lapel. Interesting even the BBC have gone with this and Brown was played the tape live on air during Radio 2 Jeremy Vine programme. Normally the BBC are very pro Labour, but in this case they could not let his hypocrisy go unnoticed.

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