News…

28 11 2008

I don’t know which bit of news has annoyed me more today, the sentencing of the seven members of the gang who killed Gerry Tobin, or the interrogation and arrest of Damian Green for revealing information about various immigration blunders by the Government. At this stage I wish to add that I am not in the best of moods, and so am unwilling to be sympathetic or indeed impartial.

Anyway.

My problem with the first story is this. All seven members of the biking gang were sentenced for killing Tobin. The judge admitted that he did not know exactly who pulled the trigger. In horse racing this is called “hedging your bets”. Obviously the murder was appaling, as is the back story to it. But at the end of the day, the judge has sentenced six people for killing someone when they didn’t do it. I would be willing to bet that in say, five years, at least two of them have appealed this sentence on the grounds that they didn’t shoot Tobin, thereby giving the name of the guilty man. I thought it was the job of the police/ detectives et al to work this stuff out? I know it might be hard, but surely that’s their job? As it is, they have come to court unsure of the real killer, and so the judge has had to “hedge his bets” and sentence them all.

This though trifles in comparison to the Damian Green story. Arrested by counter-terrorism officers, interrogated for nine hours, whilst having his home and office raided; it sounds like something more fitting in Stalinist Russia than 2008 Britain. And all because he brought some information which painted the government in a bad light into the public domain? Really? I agree with good ol’ Dave Cameron here, the public have a right to know this sort of information. It has been indicated that immigration policies were proving poorly handled, and Green merely brought this to our attention. Ok, it makes the government look bad, but that’s the oppositions role in this thing called democracy. They are there to seize upon mistakes of the party in power in order to bring about change. There has been something seriously flawed in governmental operations, but instead of worrying about that, arresting the guy who brought this to light was the choice made. Whilst the government, and now the police force too, are insisting that the Labour party had nothing to do with this there is likely to be an element of doubt (although conspiracy theorists are already relating it to the departure of Sir Ian Blair) as in my mind the whole incident paints both Labour and the Metropolitan Police Force in bad light.

Reading through some comments about this on Nick Robinson’s blog, there is one very interesting comment made. The writer DistantTraveller asks three questions:

I think we are entitled to ask if Sir Ian Blair and Jaquie Smith knew about this in advance?

If not, why not?

If so, how do they justify it?

Either way, this is not looking good for the two groups. It is interesting how this could maybe work positively for the Tories following, what, on the surface, looks like a bad revelation.

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