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.”


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.

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117 thoughts on “Jack Straw and the Rule of Law

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Funny how, one way or another, immigration always ends-up becoming the main course in the long lunch that is the general elction.

    Not the wars, not the banks, not the state of manufacturing, not pensions, not jobs, not education, not…

    Just how many ALIENS are invading today.

    And suddenly, we’re in the Tardis, whirling backwards to 1968.

  • Richard Robinson

    “And suddenly, we’re in the Tardis, whirling backwards to 1968. ”

    I disagree. In ’68, we thought things were improving. And describing the ‘they come over here, they take our jobs’ ranters as bigots was the way of the future …

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Tony Rogers: In the name of… are you a pal of Jimmy Giro? Exactly how many Marxists are there in the current government? What exactly have the neo-liberal economic labour/ capital policies of the fundo capitalists who run the world economy got to do with Karl Marx? He’s just a convenient whipping-by, isn’t he? Along with ALIENS. FOREIGNERS. 1968, or 2010. Easy, easy targets. Lazy, lazy thinking.

    Time to wake up.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yeah, I know, Richard. That’s a very good point.

    Why is Brown having to bend-over backwards to apologise? Because the souped-up crack-driven media will crucify him if he doesn’t. A soap-opera. What rubbish!

    This is what politics has become. Soap opera. Reality TV. Shipla Shetty versus Jade Goody. Rubbish.

  • Parky

    yes Suhayl and that’s why Gordy was so cross. He had to deal with real people with real lives and with real pertinent questions. It was never supposed to be like that, supposed to have been all planned and staged. Sadly his handlers let him off the lead for the day and look what happened, a quick run round the park and then off to bite the locals. I bet Mandy was sooooo angry…..

  • Tony

    Thank you for the technical clarifications, Parky

    My business is not news, it is music so the rules of engagement must be different. We normally shut off radio mics as soon as a show is over because of the dreadful noises they make when people rip them from their clothes and/or pull plugs out with loud bangs and thumps. A programme ending and being shut down when the talent has literally ‘left the building’ is hardly editorial judgment when the only audio remaining to be expected is crackles, bangs and thumps from such microphones. So I guess you are saying that the editorial judgment was made back at Sky HQ where the news editors are based – quelle surprise what happened then.

    I have to say as an old time professional I do not accept this argument. Sound engineers are heavily depend on the good will of those with whom we work. If we pass on every bit of off-mic conversation we hear, we’ld be run out of town and rightly so.

    Last year for example we did several Albert Hall concerts and off-mic on our audio multi-track in the post-production I overheard one of the presenters in his dressing-room bragging about the good luck he had had in the car-park the previous night. A soprano soloist was on her mobile phone in her dressing room talking to a friend about wearing no knickers. Are you telling me it would have been ok to leave this sort of rubbish in just to make them look stupid?

    This was a set-up and I remain unconvinced otherwise.

  • Richard Robinson

    “This is what politics has become. Soap opera. Reality TV. Shipla Shetty versus Jade Goody. Rubbish. ”

    Yes, quite. “Britain’s Got Politicians” – halfway between a “talent” show and a soap advert.

    99% of all known image consultants say that the pale blues are perceived as likely to wash even whiter than the pale reds’ whiter than white.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yeah, Parky, but what happens is that we get the feeling that ‘everywoman’ has confronted power with pertinent questions, when what really happens – the way it’s used by the same society of the spectacle cultivated by the cocaine media and the PR consultants of the political parties – is that the event itself becomes yet more propaganda pandering to the lowest common denominators in populism.

    And so, the PM has to apologise for calling someone a bigot! If he thought she evinced intolerant views, that’s his right as much as it was her’s to express them. Maybe she’s right, maybe he’s right. Fine. Let’s have a debate. But the heaving, emetic requirement for constant apologies is eviscerating of thought and of political discourse. Let’s stem the tears, the sobs, the choking emotion and begin to learn to think again.

    The economy is in crisis, the armed forces are engaged in two foreign wars, job cuts are scything through our communities. We have a fundamental seismic shift in the role of the UK in the world and the standard of living at home. Manufacturing has been the lavatory of successive governments. And all we get – grateful tug of the forelock – is this souped-up, essentially manufactured spectacle. The original encounter was not manufactured, but the spectacle to which we all have access has been.

    Real debate thus has been replaced by idealised moving portraits of politicians and soap-opera rebelliousness which can draw only on visceral emotion – race-hate, cultivated fear of aliens, etc. That is not democracy. That is the type of information world associated with polyarchy and worse.

  • Vronksy

    “Tony, I think I could grow to like soprano soloists.”

    You surely could. I once had a most unexpected collision with a Queen of the Night. Ah, memories…

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Anonymous poster: Blair will die at an advanced age of natural causes in his bed at one of his many homes. Evil bastards usually do. It’s only the good who die young. I can see the obituaries now…

  • Parky

    Tony, but in the position you describe you have a duty to the client and/or the talent to make them look good, if you don’t then they won’t hire you again. In the case we are discussing, NuLabour/Cons/LibDem are not the client and as far as we know no money is changing hands between political parties and broadcasters. The broadcasters are under no obligation to make the parties look good. They should present what they can which is legally obtained.

    The main point here I think is Brown’s hypocrisy. He said those words of his own free will. One moment he was patronising the pensioner and then in the very next moment slagging her off behind her back. It is this kind of dual standard that needs to be exposed and I am glad it has been and Brown shown in his true colours.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    That’s a central point, Parky. If he’d disagreed with her, he ought to have said so to her face, gently if he didn’t want to be seen to be ‘bullying a pensioner’. And not felt obliged to apologise. You’re right, it exposes the hypocrisy that is the presentation of politics today. Yet the virus is in the mechanism itself, so that the expose becomes merely another part of the artifice.

  • Tony

    I agree that GB managed to make a bit of a fool of himself, so no dispute with your 2nd para..

    Re. the 1st para., I have been doing my job too long to run with this one. If real professional audio engineers were not on the ball with muting radio and lavalier microphones when they are no longer required for the content, you would hear so many clunks bangs scrapes and crackles all the time – not just indiscretions. Most of the time you don’t hear these terrible clunks, crapes and bangs, because real audio professionals mute them. The other side of the coin is that these loud extraneous noises from microphones would kick limiters, or even blow up viewers’/listeners’ loudspeakers and would deafen anyone wearing headphones.

    The only reason this scurrilous chat from GB was not muted was because Sky News had an editorial agenda to entrap GB to make him look a twit. There are loud crackles included in the GB ‘extra’ content and any self-respecting engineer would reach immediately for the mute button if he had not been told to keep it live for another purpose.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    In any case, as angrysoba I think may have been suggesting, the whole thing has been blown out of all proportion, deliberately so. Don’t we all say things in private about (the sometimes obnoxious people one meets) people which we would never dream of saying in public? I certainly do! That’s what privacy means. So long as it’s not public servants being overtly racist, etc., it’s a fundamental right. Or at least it used to be. Now CCTV, etc. undermines it. Our culture of paranoia. No wonder politicians have become afraid of saying anything to anyone that means anything. Of course, to some extent they have themselves to blame. PR is at the root of much of this malaise – the death of discourse.

  • angrysoba

    “In any case, as angrysoba I think may have been suggesting, the whole thing has been blown out of all proportion, deliberately so.”

    No, my point is that Brown has only himself to blame and anyone trying to make out it’s a Murdoch conspiracy such as John Prescott is making themself look foolish.

    Then Brown made himself look even more foolish in his inept attempt to apologize.

    The problem is that if he really believed what he said he shouldn’t have apologized but stuck by what he had said.

    If he thought he had made a mistake then, fine, apologize. But don’t start making excuses. Her question was “annoying” or make a mockery of the apology by saying he didn’t know if it was rude but if it was then he apologized. You cannot apologize if you don’t know what you’re apologizing for.

    And when you do apologize you don’t emerge from the apology grinning as if you’ve done a great thing.

    And clearly it wasn’t only the “Murdoch media” stoking this but other media such as the BBC did too.

    I agree with ScouseBilly and Parky.

  • angrysoba

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

    Mary’s thought processes: The Jooooooooos!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    A vermiculate vowel series, angrysoba: “…ooooooooo…”

    It reminds me a litlle of… he who would not get on the bus.

    Actually, I agree with you about Brown’s havering utterances. In general terms, I think the politicians and media have constructed this edifice of emperor’s clothes. They’re so afraid of someone ponting-out that they’re naked, they pile the clothes even higher. A Tower of Babel, built not of bricks or even words, but of invisible couture.

  • angrysoba

    “Actually, I agree with you about Brown’s havering utterances. In general terms, I think the politicians and media have constructed this edifice of emperor’s clothes. They’re so afraid of someone ponting-out that they’re naked, they pile the clothes even higher. A Tower of Babel, built not of bricks or even words, but of invisible couture. ”

    Thanks, and I have always thought of you as one of the most intelligent and interesting commenters here.

    I will say that, even if nobody likes the way that Brown’s remarks became publicised I do think that most people seeing this as a set-up would ordinarily favour closer scrutiny of a politician’s real beliefs.

    And, just to be perfectly honest here, I would still much rather a Brown victory than a Cameron one. I hate the Tories.

  • Tony Rogers

    “Exactly how many Marxists are there in the current government?…” – Suhayl Saadi at April 29, 2010 4:50 PM

    Harman et al don’t strike as neo-Marxist in the least? Are you for real? And you want an “exact” list. If you’ll make an effort to produce an exact list of all the players in your evil-capitalist conspiracy then I’ll think about it. Hells bells.

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