Three Cheers For Ken Clarke 128


I am an unabashed fan of Ken Clarke, and long have been. He was stating a simple truth when he created a furore by noting that some rapes are worse than others, a truth denied by politically correct feminist idiots who see rape not as what it is – a sordid and vicious crime of violence – but as a metaphysical act, incapble of degree, like the Eucharist. Murders can be aggravated or mitigated, but not rapes. What bollocks, and good for Ken for speaking sense.

He has now quite rightly castigated Teresa May’s claim that cat-owners cannot be deported as “childish”. Actually the frothy mouthed racist bigots cheering on their poster girl are much more dangerous than childish, but Clarke is right again. Doubtless a sacking offence.

Over 55,000 people were deported from the UK last year, and just 112 managed to stay here by using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – that is one in every 550 deportees, or 0.18%. Article 8 reads:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

How the Tories manage to disagree with that is beyond me. Bunch of xenophobic idiots – apart from Ken Clarke, who as a young man plainly wandered into the wrong party.


128 thoughts on “Three Cheers For Ken Clarke

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  • writermna

    Craig,

    Your well-argued and rational posting is in stark contrast to the populist political rhetoric of May and other rabid Tories, who like the Republicans in the US are increasingly evolving into an anti-rational and anti-knowledge cult.

  • mary

    More on the escape from universal jurisdiction of Tzipi Livni. I did not know that there was a warrant out for her arrest.
    .
    Today, 6 October 2011, former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni visited the United Kingdom.
    .

    Ms. Livni was Foreign Minister during Israel’s 27 December 2008 – 18 January 2009 offensive on the Gaza Strip (Operation Cast Lead. OCL). Significant evidence was collected indicating her individual criminal responsibility for war crimes and other international crimes committed during this period.
    .
    In December 2009, after reviewing this evidence at the request of a civilian victim of OCL, a warrant for her arrest was issued by a senior district Judge in London, UK.
    .
    In advance of Ms. Livni’s current visit, a Palestinian civilian war crimes victim, represented by lawyers from the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) and Hickman & Rose Solicitors, invited the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to authorise the arrest of Ms Livni to enable an urgent decision to be made by the Attorney General to charge her for war crimes. Alternatively, the victim requested the DPP’s permission to apply to a judge for an arrest warrant for Ms. Livni.
    .
    At lunchtime today, the DPP made a statement that he has been blocked from any arrest decision or giving his consent to an application for the issue of an arrest warrant – BUT NOT on the basis of a lack of evidence. The only reason given by the DPP is the retrospective grant of diplomatic immunity to Ms Livni by the British Foreign Secretary on the basis of a ‘Special Mission’ (which is not accepted by the victim).
    .
    Ms Livni and the Foreign Secretary have claimed this week that the recent change in the British law on arrest warrants (requiring the consent of the DPP before a magistrate could issue a warrant) has spared Ms Livni from arrest. If that were true then no certificate was needed from the Foreign Secretary. Rather, it was the issue of a certificate of diplomatic immunity that allowed a war crimes suspect, Ms Livni, the subject of a previous arrest warrant, to escape due process.
    /….
    http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7768:new-legislation-fails-to-give-tzipi-livni-protection-from-arrest-&catid=36:pchrpressreleases&Itemid=194

  • mark_golding

    Ken Clarke – Light into Darkness – who knows?

    ” I think that the decision to go to war in Iraq was the worst military decision taken by this country since the Suez invasion, and history will judge that it poses several of the same issues:”

    Ken Clarke 22nd Oct. 2004

    Ken Clarke is bringing forward a Green Paper next summer which will prevent in any trial any disclosure of evidence which might be relevant about the nefarious activities of MI5 and MI6.(Torture)

    Michael Meacher Nov. 18th 2010

  • KingofWelshNoir

    @Mark Golding

    Surely the decision to invade Iraq was the worst military decision of all time, not just since Suez?

    Can anyone think of a worse one?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    i think some of the right of the Conservative party object to the idea that foreigners should have any rights at all, let alone the right to asylum or refugee status if they have different coloured skin.

    Ken Clarke is certainly more reasonable and progressive than they are, though i’m a bit dubious of him given him taking money for a directorship from British American Tobacco while they were operating in Burma

  • Duncan McFarlane

    p.s i saw a piece in one of the newspapers (maybe the Independent?) in the last couple of weeks showing the popularity of different Coalition ministers among Conservative party conference delegates – Danny Alexander the Lib Dem got quite a high positive rating with them, while Ken Clarke got a negative one.

    In the 1980s he was viewed as a Thatcherite put into the Treasury to carry out cuts. Today most Conservatives view him as too liberal for their party. That’s one measure of how fast the centre has shot off to the right, partly due to Labour leaderships’ attitude that the way to win elections is to adopt most of the Conservative party’s policies rather than go to the effort of criticising them and offering alternatives.

  • John Goss

    Mark Golding, I doubt the green paper you refer to ever saw the light of day, let alone the white. I can understand it being wishful thinking on Meacher’s part, since he supported wholeheartedly the invasion of Iraq, and opposed an investigation into Iraq. Coming from a Labour background myself I think Meacher has sold out, while Clarke has kept his integrity.

  • glenn

    Duncan McFarlane : With reference to your post about Clark being on the right wing back in the 80’s, and being far to the left of Conservative mainstream today. A fine observation – Clark is no more of a softy wuss now than he ever was. It just shows how far the centre has shifted.
    .
    Dennis Skinner noted during the hay-days of Blair, that the fastest way of becoming a left-winger in “new” labour was to hold one’s political ground for six months.
    .
    Recently, Obama has been quoting (and accurately compared to, in his policy statements) Reagan. Despite Reagan being assigned Holy Prophet status among every Repug and teabagger, they would no longer give his policies the time of day – he’d be booed off the stage as a hated “liberal”. This is the term given to anyone to the left of Mussolini, and being called a “liberal” is a terrifying charge – particularly to anyone in MSM. It places one slightly below child molesters on the social acceptability scale.
    .
    There are no real Conservatives any more, just as there are no real Republicans in or running for office. We’ve got a bunch of swivel-eyed reactionaries who’d denounce their supposed idols (Churchill, Reagan) as hopeless, anti-business, dangerously naive pacifists.

  • mark_golding

    KingofWelshNoir – agree whole-heartedly.
    .
    John Goss
    .
    I am not a fan of wet paper towel Mr Meacher although I note he said ‘..it was the biggest political mistake’ of his life to vote strongly for the Iraq war and of course he was a close ally of Tony Benn; obviously he likes to run with the hares and the hounds in my opinion so I’ll leave him ‘pending’ in my ‘add friend’ folder.
    .
    Clarke I believe has a close relationship with our secret services, hence the green/turning white paper.
    .
    I am struggling to oppose deep-rooted secrecy still lurking in the UK, except obviously in war. At the extreme end of the spectrum we remind ourselves why Annie Machon left MI5. Yes, they are prepared to assassinate anyone the Peerage agrees and where false-flag still remains on the table despite growing evidence of collusion. That is of course an extreme view that some will pooh pooh – so be it. At the other end of the spectrum we learn the paper has triggered some national security debate; Sir David Omand for instance describing national security as:
    .
    “..a state of trust on the part of the citizen that the risks to everyday life, whether from man-made threats or impersonal hazards, are being adequately managed to the extent that there is confidence that normal life can continue.” Urrrgh!
    .
    He went on to say:
    .
    “Intelligence and security agencies cannot escape back into the shadows, nor adopt a Cheshire Cat position of trying to appear when convenient and disappear when not, leaving only the grin behind.”
    .
    I remind him that the statutory framework that the intelligence services are supposed to operate under, bends like steel girders in office fires!
    .
    Sir John Sawers said, “Torture is illegal and abhorrent under any circumstances, and we have nothing whatever to do with it…
    .
    I would call him a liar to his face in the same way I would accuse Clark of perpetuating ‘shrouded secrecy’ a force against liberty and freedom.

  • Quelcrime

    Worse military decisions – Soviet invasion of Afghanistan? Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? German invasion of the Soviet Union? Napoleonic invasion of Russia? Each led directly or indirectly to the ruin of the invaders.

  • alan campbell

    May is being supported by the real power in the country – Paul Dacre – editor of the “Forger’s Gazette”.

  • carl

    Its amazing how often the ability of the sleaziest, most unscrupulous, most careerist politicial operators to appear in public and to the media as populists and regular blokes can help that politician to get away with the same nasty frothy mouthed racist bigoted anti-populist policies as their supposedly less populist more careerist counterparts.

    Despite his image as a regular bloke and despite his intolerance of chumps and blowhards like Teresa May, Ken Clarke has both supported and been a member of every single anti-populist slash and burn Tory government there has been since he was first elected to Parliament under Edward Heath. And that’s despite smoking pipes, listening to jazz and wearing Hush Puppies.

    Actually Ken Clarke never said that some rapes are worse than others. What he said was that date rape is no big deal and that we should save the courts money by giving rapists 12 month sentences and/or a 50% discount in their sentences if they plead guilty (as if that was ever likely to happen in real life).

    Saying the crime of rape can be “mitigated” may sound like the simple truth, but the actual truth is that the way men accused of rape actually plead mitigation is to say that the woman consented, or that she asked for it.

    If you actually know Craig of cases where a man accused of rape has pleaded “mitigation” because he woman didn’t resist or because he didnt hit her or pull a knife on her before or during the attack then let’s hear about them. If Dominique Strauss-Kahn had gone on trial, would you have advised him to plead “mitigation” on the basis that he didn’t use a knife and only (allegedly) used his superior physical strength to hold his (alleged) victim down while he carried out his (alleged) attack?

  • ingo

    What do you reckon are the odds on Tzivi, I bombed Ghaza’s women and children, Lipni addressing the House of Commons on a serious issue of …. lets say Syria, or Iran?
    Is it not a full on slap in the judiciaries face?, who is seemingly overuled by the consideration of Catnip No. 1, spanky Osborne, and his fellow nose rubbers in the totalitarian cabinet.

  • Steve

    Craig

    I have to disagree with your figures and statitics. I see it from the sharp end every day. Your figures are based on tribunal figures not real stats.for example If a student who has overstayed his or her visa is caught and interviewed by immigration. All they have to say is I have a long term girlfriend or a wife or friend that I care about alot. The UKBA then do not even bother to pursue the claim as they know the tribunals will not deport them subsequently they give them further leave to remain and give them reporting conditions until they get their claim approved. So a small number of judgements can have a disproportionate effect on the over all situation. An analogy I will give is A judge decided that police cannot be insulted by swear words so overnight police stopped arresting people for sec5 Public order act. Letting everyone stay just because they are in a relationship also is slap in the face for people who come to this country legimately paying thousands of pounds in visas and solicitors. Being an overstay or a illegal entrant is a CRIME that leads to exploitation and other forms of criminality. People should stop romantisising it and either decide on an open door policy for this country with no visa controls or we should start enforcing the ones we have before we sink under the Birmingham sized numbers that enter this country each year. I work in a London Borough that has 2.5 x the number of residents that it is officialy credited with. What kind of strain do you think that puts on the public services. Behind the shops illegal compounds are built in the style of pakistani or indian homes where up to 20 or thirty people live hotbunking sometimes 6 or more to a room the only time they come to light is when a fire happens and someone gets hurt or tempers flare and someone gets seriously injured.
    The council turns a blind eye needing the votes and support from the rich paraite landlords. People in middleclass comfortable suburds who think immigration is a jolly good thing because they can exploit them as cheap builders,nannys or do a good car wash dont see where they crawl back to or have to wait 16 hours in the local casualty because of the huge overdemand for services. If you did you might not be so liberal with your views.

  • mary

    Ingo I am trying without success to find out what the cost of security for her visit was. Here is this photo boy Hague is holding out his bloodied hand to her even more bloodied one.
    .
    In the video at the bottom here and half way through, you can see she has a group of heavies just like Bliar. Note Sky News’ slimeball Adam Boulton gave her house room.
    .
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4132091,00.html

  • ingo

    Steve, should immigration not be ruled on a case by case basis? What of those who seemingly rob their countries blind and stash their ill gotten gains in bullwarks like Britain, evade justice at home or come here, just to wash their dirty linnen, be they Russian, Uzbek or whatever. What of those who are wanted in their countries for crimes against humanity, or have an arrest warrant hanging over their head and come here knicker shopping, just as Tzivi Lipni?

    What of those who are from the EU, are happily married but unemployed and who do not get any benefits, but opay VAT and import taxes with everything they buy?

    What off those tradesmen from Poland, Sweden or Hungary, exhibiting fast and efficient work, clean up after themselves and leave a satisfied English customer, who had enough of cowboys and ripp off merchants?

    As long as Governments cannot guarantee every school leaver a job, further education, civil or military service, as long as apprenticeships are mere pilot projects and not mandatory requirement for any business, the state of youth unemployment in this country will not change.

    Politicians have to be removed from playing around with education to suit their own ilk, this is the result of pendulum politics, when one party destroys what the other implemented, only to erect their own legacy at great cost and wasted energies. Tribal totalitarian politics, rather than communitarian, unmandated gung ho careerists and media tarts who can’t live without the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
    To blame immigrants for the state of the economy and unemployment is facile, a diversdion from the ineptness of those in charge pandering to the establishment. Those talking about immigration never take those seeking work abroad into account, the expats who make a living in eastern Europe or Russia, those who would be returned in a reciproke reaction to this false argument, a mere target to dive3rt from thweir iabilities to make capitalismn work for all, bretton woods has failed and 70% of world economies will feel it until something else, more sustainable emerges from the financial rubble.

    If you want limited protectionismn, do not start with the workers, but with the goods that are manufactured cheaply in SEAsia, those non doms who play Dixie with tax laws and preach to us about globalisation. 1.2 million companies are not paying taxes, large companiesm, such as NI, alledgedly, pay far lower tax rates than required and our revenue services are cut to the bone. This system has to crack, its long overdue and it will happen, diverting the anger into futile arguments around EU immigration is akin to pissing in one’s shoes, these are our most valuable and nearest markets and whatever happens in future, we need each other.

    I’m proud to be an immigrant citizens of the EU and would not want to be nationalised into a British subject.

    btw. I hope you included those who are never mentioned by our immigration sirens Steve, the incessant immigration from the US and Australia? not to speak of the irritating behaviour of politicians copying insufficient and wastefull policies from non EU countries. Immigrants who should have far less access to these shores and their jobs than EU countries?

  • ingo

    should read: ‘a mere target to divert from their inabilities to make capitalismn work for all, Bretton woods has failed and 70% of the worlds economies will fail and fall, until something else, more sustainable emerges from the financial [email protected]

  • Anon

    Carl
    .
    “What he said was that date rape is no big deal”
    .
    I very much doubt it.
    .

    “Dominique Strauss-Kahn…his superior physical strength”
    .
    I doubt he was stronger than her. A short fat old man with a desk job and a taller, strongly built young woman with a physical job?

  • mary

    The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to three people. The first two for their work in Africa and the third in Yemen.
    .
    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Leymah Gbowee
    Tawakkul Karman

  • mary

    Liberian, Yemeni women win Nobel Peace Prize

    Published: 10.07.11, 11:06 / Israel News

    Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, who mobilized fellow women against their country’s civil war, won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, along with Yemeni women’s rights and democracy activist Tawakkul Karman.
    .

    The award will be seen as a strong signal in favor of the empowerment of women, especially in the developing world. (Reuters)

  • Gadfly

    Less to do, perhaps, with xenophobia than with political interests. They disagree with Article 8. because they’ve been breaking it and need to continue to do so.

  • DLJ

    Jeremy Bentham once described the human rights as ‘nonsense on stilts.’

    The American Declaration, big on rights, states that ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident.’

    Locke, Hobbes and Rousseau wrote about ‘natural’ rights but in Hobbes and especially in the republican Rousseau these are dissolved in the political community in favour of political and civil rights.

    The whole debate about this issue is based on philosophical ignorance. People are swimming about in an empirical soup, throwing facts here and there, and neglecting the underlying distinction between ‘natural/universal’ and ‘civil’ rights. The problem is this: rights need to be tied to political community. The ECHR, for example, should be about the rights of European citizens and the British Human Rights act the Rights of British Citizens. What we have now though is a situation where the courts are attempting to uphold human/universal rights, as these are the rights that have been stupidly written into law, whereas the protection of these rights is really a matter for politics and international relations, as well as the rights systems of other states. Thus, to take an example, the universal right to family life in the Human Rights act can be used by non-British nationals as a way of gaining the British national right to family life, which is back to front. If there was a closer to to citizenship the court in denying the British right would not be denying the universal right as THE UNIVERSAL RIGHT IS A PROPERTY OF THE COLLECTION OF UNIVERSAL STATES. In practice, the right could be upheld elsewhere. Think of it like this: the universal right not to be subjected to cruel and inhuman punishment has been suggested as a reason not to deport someone with multi-drug resistant TB to a country where there is no guarantee of appropriate treatment. If the court upholds the universal right in this country then, because of the implications about residency, in effect, the judgement entails that the right of British citizenship can be granted, roughly speaking to anyone who can make it to shore of the UK who has TB, and who is from a country with poor medical care. That this is obviously absurd is clear from the fact that this judgement would it means, in effect, that literally millions of people could claim British citizenship in this way, with the all the consequent implications.

    Everyone has a universal right to, say, medical care but this does not imply that anyone particular actor has a obligation to uphold/provide for this right.

  • John K

    No cheers for either Clarke or May from me – they are both politicians playing the media for their own interests.
    *
    In any case it turns out (as is often the case when the hysteria dies down and one delves into the facts) that although May seriously exaggerated the circumstances, for political purposes, there was an element of truth in her example.
    *
    It seems that the ownership of the cat (can you own a cat? I though they owned you…) WAS cited as a factor in determining whether a “family” existed between the man and his partner.
    *
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8811968/Immigrant-in-pet-cat-row-was-shoplifter.html

  • Clark

    Steve’s comment above deserves serious consideration. Steve wrote: “I work in a London Borough that has 2.5 x the number of residents that it is officialy credited with. What kind of strain do you think that puts on the public services?”. Compare that with Craig’s comment here:
    .
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/09/disgusting-war-criminals-squeal/
    .
    “Did you know that in Stratford and in Tower Hamlets, either there are many people there who officially do not exist, or they produce over half as much more sewerage per person than anyone else?”
    .
    We know that resentment of “immigrants” is running high, and this resentment is used for propaganda and political point-scoring. Canspeccy has repeatedly implied that there is uncontrolled immigration to the UK, which is not true at the legal level, but seems to be true at the practical level. (Note: I’ve put “immigrants” in scare quotes above because this catch-all term means different things to different people.)
    .
    Steve wrote: “All they have to say is I have a long term girlfriend or a wife or friend that I care about alot. The UKBA then do not even bother to pursue the claim as they know the tribunals will not deport them subsequently they give them further leave to remain and give them reporting conditions until they get their claim approved. So a small number of judgements can have a disproportionate effect on the over all situation.”
    .
    I cannot accept that Article 8 is responsible for this; as Craig wrote: “Over 55,000 people were deported from the UK last year, and just 112 managed to stay here by using Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights – that is one in every 550 deportees, or 0.18%”. Such a small proportion cannot be responsible for inaction on so large a scale. On the other hand, 55,000 deported seems like a rather small proportion in itself.
    .
    Maybe the real cause lies elsewhere. Maybe it is yet another example of complacent or corrupt people in comfortable jobs who can make an easy life for themselves by constantly pushing forms between departments rather than engaging with a challenging task.
    .
    Ingo’s comment is also relevant; maybe case-by-case assessment is being bypassed. At the highest level, we can see this happening with undesirables like Usmanov and Tzipi Livni, actively encouraged into Britain. At the other end of the social scale, I suspect that there are people who can arrange that “overstays” and illegal entrants get overlooked by the authorities; this would be very lucrative work for someone who knew enough people vulnerable to being deported. How many officials would it take in the appropriate departments to be the collaborators with such “fixers”? Such officials would be being bribed for doing less rather than more.
    .
    Such unofficial “extension of stay” would be very detrimental to the standing of proper immigrants. Since all that would matter would be knowing and paying a “fixer”, the proportion of dishonest people would be higher in this group. They would also be outside the official system, and thus unable to integrate in many important ways.

  • JJB

    Jay says: “I suspect many thousands or tens of thousands remain cause the article 8” . Care to elaborate on what is that you base your suspicions?

  • Clark

    Regarding my assertion that 55,000 is a small proportion, the boroughs of Newham (which includes Stratford) and Tower Hamlets together have an official population of about 500,000 people. Considering the figures “over half as much” (Craig) and “2.5 times” (Steve), and taking a guestimate between them of about 2, this yields about 500,000 people unaccounted for in just these two boroughs, whereas 55,000, I assume, is a national figure. Of course, this doesn’t include people that leave who are not deported, but it leaves a huge grey area.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    @KingofWelshNoir

    @Mark Golding

    Surely the decision to invade Iraq was the worst military decision of all time, not just since Suez?

    Can anyone think of a worse one?
    _________________________________

    Decision not to invade Germany in 1938 could be good example, do not you think?

    With regards to Iraq, I think the worst decision for British Government was not to invade it but to draw its borders earlier, when British Empire was crumbling.

  • OldMark

    Mary’s assessment of Theresa May as a ‘dangerous woman, a bit potty but very ambitious’ is spot on. Also, the impact of the HRA on our capacity to deport people is probably exaggerated; as other have pointed out, the judicial authorities in other EU countries seem to grasp that public safety should as a rule override article 8, and they get on with the removal of foreigners convicted of dangerous driving or violent crime without demur.

    However I’d like to know where Craig sourced his figure of 55,000 deportations from. I’m sure it must include arrivals at airports turned back before admittance by the Borders Agency, and not just the removal of visa overstayers (such as the cat loving Bolivian)or failed asylum seekers already here . The numbers in the latter categories are far lower.

    The easiest groups for the Borders Agency to deport are failed asylum seekers (because NASS pays their benefits & sources their accommodation) and convicts (who are already in custody). The Borders Agency website states that the rolling total of removals of failed asylum seekers has in recent months varied from a low of 1351 (or 2702 per annum) in December 2009, to a high of 3177 (or 6354 per annum) in March 2009. The total number of foreign convicts in UK jails is currently around 9000 (or 8000 if Irish citizens, who are never deported, are excluded). Let’s assume from these figures a total of 4000 asylum seeker deporteees in 2010, and that 10% of the deportable foreign convict population (or 800) is expelled each year. That is less than 5000 deportations.

    Visa overstayers (students, ‘tourists’ etc) are hardly ever found, let alone deported, unless they come to the attention of the police, or unless the ‘college’ they attend, or the unscrupulous employer they work for, gets busted. The implication from Craig’s statement however is that nearly 50,000 illegal immigrants in these categories are actually forcibly returned to their own countries every year- a ludicrously high figure.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    It looks like the government (current government) using fascist tactics to serve its own purpose (and yet many here turn against New Labour).
    Fair to say that Home Office (and UKBA in particular) is bright target for criticism from both rights and lefts. While rights criticise UKBA for allowing too many immigrants in lefts criticise it for being too harsh to them. As one wise man once said (or it might have been a women) ‘Keep both sides happy and they might make you happy’.

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