Tuesday, October 17, 2006

David Davis Accuses Government of Being Economical With the Truth Over Control Orders

The Government has again played fast and loose with our security - and this time it's John Reid who's to blame. I'm not saying that he was responsible for the escape of the two terror suspects who are sibject to control orders, but he has been at the very least economical with the truth. David Davis has raised the subject as a Point of Order in the Commons this afternoon.

"You will have read in the newspapers that two terrorist suspects restrained under Control Orders have absconded, one some months ago. You will remember, Mr Speaker, that the Control Order legislation was only passed, after the longest ever sitting of the House of Lords, when the Home Secretary gave an undertaking to report back on the operation and effectiveness of the legislation. Accordingly statements are made to the House on a quarterly basis. When an Act of Parliament is passed on the basis of such undertakings, and when it effects matters as important as the liberty and safety of our citizens, it is incumbent on the government to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. On September 11th, the statement from the Minister for Security said, "There are fifteen control orders currently in force, six of which are in respect of British nationals." It then outlined details of applications to modify those orders. No mention of a breach of the orders. No mention of an escapee. No mention of the risk to the public. This statement may be true, Mr Speaker, but it is not the whole truth. I am sure that the Home Secretary would not wish it to be thought that he had in any way misled the House, and would seek to correct any misunderstanding immediately. Has he indicated to you, Mr Speaker that he intends to come to the House to correct this statement, and explain why this information was withheld? If not, what can you do, both as guardian of the public record and protector of the rights of this House, to put this right; to allow us, the Members of this House, to protect both the liberty and safety of our citizens?"

What an appalling state of affairs. John Reid makes great play of talking tough and helping people feel secure. This has blown that strategy to pieces.

36 comments:

griswold said...

Are we shocked? No.
Our sensibilities and expectations of politicians have been inexorably eroded to the point where we do not care. It all began with the 'I am a pretty straight kind of guy' mantra from the amoral Blair guided and encouraged by that most evil of influences Campbell(the one who felt Dr Kelly's pain). We can only hope that HMO stick to their task of holding Govt accountable on each and every breach.

Anonymous said...

DD giving a lead yet again and "on the money" as always.
Proves once again that leadership is a bit more than just having your pici taken!!!

Anonymous said...

On my live bookmark it just says "David Davis accuses the government of being economical".

Words I thought I'd never read.

The Druid said...

Para 1.5 of the Code of Conduct for Ministers of the Crown is crystal clear:

"-Ministers have a duty to Parliament to account, and be held to account, for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments and agencies;

- it is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the Prime Minister;

- Ministers should be as open as possible with Parliament and the public, refusing to provide information only when disclosure would not be in the public interest which should be decided in accordance with the relevant statutes and the Freedom of Information Act 2000;"

For ministerial accountability to mean anything ministers must provide accurate and truthful information to the House. New Labour is habitually "economical with the truth". But misleading the House by omission is a serious matter especially in the case of national security. The public interest in detaining these individuals overrides any duty of confidentiality which arguably fell away when the control order was breached. A man hunt cannot be conducted in secret, unless of course organised by the jokers who constitute HMG.

This issue cuts across policy, operational matters and administration where there have be manifest failures on every level. The policy is exposed as ineffective. Operationally there has been a serious failure to control individuals who are dangerous. And then there has been what on the face of it looks like an attempt to conceal the failures by hoping as ever with New Labour simply to hope it doesn't come up and then to brazen it out. It won't wash. A thorough explanation is the least we can expect. But surely if accountable government means anything then the Minister should resign?

bt said...

Just another example of the utter contempt that this bunch of corrupt, lying, incompetent, anti-democratic, snide, power-crazed, self-justifying, shitferbrains slimy twats have for
a) parliamentary accountibility
and
b) the public.

But you have to admit, they're consistent.

Ken from Gloucester said...

I agree.In order to form a Government we must be seen as a strong and effective opposition and we are not.

We must go for the throat and tear this Government to bits and show them up for what they are.

We must OPPOSE and PROBE this useless Government and I have seen some rare examples of this in the last nine years.

David Davies does a solid job and I can tell you that a life time Conservative voter ( my wife and I ) are on the verge of voting against the Conservative party for the first time in our lives .

No not labour or Lib Dem, or the BNP Got it?.Just tear this Government to bits.I can do it in the comfort of my own home.They are a corrupt bunch of liars.

kingbongo said...

Time to follow the Political Betting approach and ask Betfair to open a market on how long before DD scalps another Home Secretary. Has he set some sort of record for getting rid of useless government ministers?

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Where O' Where shall we look for the Needle on the "Moral Compass"
when Blair departs?

Who Among You Is Man Enough to
shoulder this awesome, vicious,
thankless Responsibility in the
Nuclear Environment.

Well? Drop a nasty comment on
our Weblog, and we'll have your
answer. We are not unprepared.
We have our own brand of back-
stabbers here in the colonies!
reb

www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

best not push this one.
everyone knows the Govt wanted tougher stuff.
No winner for the Tories

Anonymous said...

Two unconnected points:

(a) it should have been David Davis. He's making the running while that silly ass Cameron and whiffles and chunters and burbles on the sidelines, and

(b) what a relief. A post on Iain Dale's Diary which doesn't draw attention to his various television celebrity appearances. How very unusual these days.

Watching Them, Watching Us said...

Why would John Reid bother to resign ?

It is Tony "Teflon" McNulty whose name is on the Written Ministerial Statement of 11th of September 2006, which fails to mention the British subject of a Control Order, who was at that time , presumably, known to have been missing for a month.

He was in charge of the Immigration, which caused Charles Clarke to resign, but now he is in charge of Policing, Security and Community Safety.

It would be a record if McNulty remained in place, whilst John Reid resigned because of scandal in this second area of McNulty's Ministerial responsibility.

John Hirst said...

In law the principle is the liberty of the subject that is inviolate. Control Orders not only violate this principle but also violate the liberty of the subject. As those being the subject of Control Orders are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, they are free to walkout of what amounts to State false imprisonment. David Davis is merely seeking to embarrass this government, an easy target since Iraq, why does he not tell the truth himself on matters of Criminal Justice?

siralf said...

As the resident BBC hater around here may I say that I BLAME THE BB f...ing C.

How can the shadow Home secretary make anything stick to this abismal government when the BBC would rather report on its own opinions rather then do the job we are forced to pay them to do?

Untill the BBC gets its head out of its own pan national socialist arse, this lot could get away with selling off our children before a very small but very important amount of the British people will sit up and take notice.

It does not even matter if this was on the front page of the Daily Mail for a week. Untill issues like this get PAXMAN'S and others gander up at the BBC, it will not seem important enough to floating voters. Which is the only thing this current corrupt bunch of useless wankers in government give a flying f..k about.

The Druid said...

John (12:54) the liberty of the individual is not inviolate. Check out the text of Article 5 of the ECHR. Its a qualified right. Moreover, its a right that is subject to derogation under Article 15 in time of emergency.

Control orders represent a balance between the individual on the one hand and the wider interests of society on the other. In this case the right to be protected from acts of mass murder such as 7/7.

One alternative to these orders is GITMO or Belmarsh. Another is as you suggest letting suspects wander the streets doing heavens knows what. If control orders are failing then it looks like administrative detention is back on the cards. Your option looks way too risky in the age of suit case nucs.

Chuck Unsworth said...

It's yet to be properly tested in Law as to whether Control Orders do constitute illegal State Imprisonment. So far, the legislation stands relatively unchallenged.

The fact that the Government wished to introduce more draconian measures does not negate the responsibility for this failure of its own systems. Or are we in the position of allowing the (incompetent) Government to introduce - unopposed - whatever restrictive and oppressive measures it chooses to ensure our 'safety'?

We are beset with erosions of our liberties by incremental legislation. Does anyone seriously believe that society is more free now than it was ten years ago?

Look at the huge raft of legislation and petty restriction which New Labour has introduced across all aspects of society. Almost without exception those measures have been failures.

It's asinine to blame this on the Opposition. This Government has operated with a very comfortable parliamentary majority since its inception. It's clear that it can Legislate but it cannot Manage. Any damn fool can write the rules, but it takes real ability to effectively implement them. Most of the past nine years' work in Parliament has produced a series of pious hopes and vast cash expenditure, rather than real benefit to society.

That 'Dr' John Reid has chosen not to mention these 'escapes' is completely unsurprising. When did he ever tell the whole truth about anything? The man is a liar and a scoundrel, as are his colleagues.

AnyonebutBlair said...

I see everything through the prism of the Labour leadership and deputy-leadership campaigns. Straw bashes muslims, another point in his campaign to be deputy. Escaped would-be terrorists under control orders "leaks" out and Reid bashed over incompetence and potentially misleading the house. Another point to Brown....
Watch for Reid's retaliation...something negative about Brown/The Treasury and terrorism will "leak" soon?
What a great government we've got.

UK Daily Pundit said...

One of your colleagues on 18 Doughty Street last night suggested that David Cameron would make a good Mayor of London. Is there an opening for a new leader of the Conservative Party?

filth from fulham said...

appalling is right, iain.
but as griswold says - are we shocked? hardly.
this government is made up of people who have never worked in a proper job, or who are pr specialists, or who lawyers who deal in the abstract, not reality.
hence we get government by spin and event management.
as an ordinary bobby, i can tell you that the potential for the sh1t really hitting the fan some day soon is enormous.
we are stretched to breaking point, whatever blair and the rest of them say about police numbers - in the old days, we'd have been out with bloodhounds looking for this pair on dartmoor. now we're too busy filling in forms, setting up speed traps and meeting diversity targets.

on a related theme, i don't know if you've seen that another blogger - pc david copperfield of coppersblog - has had a book (called 'wasting police time') published?

it's currently being devoured by every police officer i know - finally, a book about the police that tells it like it really is. i urge readers to beg, borrow or - well, no, don't steal it - a copy. it will give you some hints as to why the above situation has developed.

Anonymous said...

Are these idiots in charge, at the moment, SATANISTS??

Any study of such people reveals many of the features displayed by these people.

Anonymous said...

Ian, you omit the role of the Minister McNulty in this. He was moved from Immigration and now things are getting mishandled in his new area. No surprise there. Of course McNulty may have been instructed to leave out the news on the missing suspects. But he may have to carry the can for with holding essential information to parliament. Would the Speaker tackle his own party?

newmania said...

Filth SAID:"this government is made up of people who have never worked in a proper job, or who are pr specialists, or who lawyers who deal in the abstract, not reality."

Unfortunately the Conservative Party are not doing much to alter this . Our Mayoral Candidate is supposed to be Nic Boles the lifetime Think Tanker Etonian DC chum and Homesexualist . Great news for struggling families groaning in London`s peculiar tax/mortgage hell


DRUID - If you happen to spot this I would interested in folowing up your remarks . Where can I get a full, background on both your posts.Or where is a conveinient place to access such information. Most impressive


Thanks
( check out new blog anyone)

The Druid said...

Newmania - Where can you get this info. I'm afraid its mostly rattling about in my head! I can pull something together on this on my blog - if it works! - probably tomorrow evening or over the w/e. Slightly choca until then. I will delay my critique of Dave's bill of rights. There are times when I wonder who is advising the party. Like you say too many people who have not done something other than politics. Career politicians are not healthy. You can see alot of them feel untested and have something to prove. We need some people with "hinterland" as Denis Healey calls it, not just policy wonks.

Indigo said...

Given Tony Blair's predilection to follow where George Bush leads, may I draw your esteemed readers' attention to this: yesterday, George Bush and Congress curtailed the law of habeus corpus for "suspects" (not convicted criminals, just suspects") in the US and, thus, the last safeguard of individual freedom against arbitrary state action.

The new law says, No court, justice or judge shall have jurisdic tion to hear or consider an applica tion for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined ... to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.

So, now, not only can the US have "suspect" people extradited from the UK without supplying evidence of any wrong-doing but also, when they arrive in the US, George Bush can decide their fate with a lettre de cachet. If Dubya says that you are an international terrorist, then you are.

All our nightmares are coming to life at once.

Vienna Woods said...

Everytime I read a David Davis article or hear him speak, I ask myself , just what made David Cameron so attractive for anyone to elect as a leader. David Davis speaks so clearly with an efficiency of words and an overwhelming authority which David Cameron can only dream of achieving. It’s not just the way he presents himself, but what he says that makes absolute common sense. David Cameron may be a nice guy but he would be better placed in a University Debating Society than representing us as a leader in Parliament. I cannot, for the life of me, see how we can possibly win the next election with Cameron. He appears completely divorced from reality, which is not what we need at all. In fact I am now of the opinion that unless we dump him PDQ, the only way for us to win the next election (just) will be purely on the anti-Labour ticket.

Anonymous said...

It looks now as if it was an Iraqi who has been "missing" since August, and the British citizen has been gone for "only" 2 weeks.

It is interesting to see how the Government are claiming that their hands are tied because of the Anonymity applications to protect them from harassment, which all of the people subjected to Control Orders have been granted under the legislation.

How convenient for the Government.

Presumably they, or a future Government could use this excuse to hide the fact that, say, people under Control Orders had been shipped off to another country for interrogation a la "extraordinary rendition" - how would we the public know ?

Tony McNulty should have resigned in May, as Iain commented on at the time:Tony McNulty: It Woz The Sun Wot Done It

Can he really survive as a Minister this further scandal ?

The jabberwock said...

Anonymous 9:38 AM said...
Are these idiots in charge, at the moment, SATANISTS??

Any study of such people reveals many of the features displayed by these people.


I am afraid the pantheist Greeks had the best word on the subject: "Whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." (Euripides - http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Euripides )

You don't have to be a fully paid-up devil-worshipper to be of use to his infernal majesty. However, some of this lot come pretty close: TB + CB allegedly undergoing a New Age 'rebirthing' ritual while on holiday in South America, CB indulging in every possible kind of kooky New Age nonsense (), Peter Mandelson having a curse put on s/one (have a close look at his behaviour when speaking after being re-elected at Hartlepool - something very wrong there methinks), allowing Wiccan 'priests' to conduct pagan rituals aboard her Majesty's ships... Need I go on?

As G K Chesterton is supposed to have said through his character Father Brown "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, but rather in anything". But this is already straying into Cranmer's territory. Perhaps he could be persuaded to do some digging?

David Boothroyd said...

Before you go criticising the government for having failed in its policy, remember that these control orders are only here because the best policy was ruled illegal by the Judges. If there is anyone to blame in the policy writing department it is the lawyers of 1950 who wrote the European Convention on Human Rights. I blame David Maxwell Fyfe, personally.

The reason the Home Secretary was unable to respond to David Davis was that Davis was out of order in raising the matter in Parliament, so ruled by the Speaker.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't we really like to believe that Mr Davis would not have tried to pull the wool on this one if he'd been in power, just like John Reid?

Of course, what we'd like to believe and what we DO believe. . .

Anonymous said...

mc Nulty is just SO dire. He was on the box the other night and the interviewer was batting this way and that to try to get him to answer the question (about why no one was informed about the control order breaches). The poor interviewer gave up eventually because the penny dropped that McNulty was not 'bobbing and weaving' to avoid it, he just could not understand. He makes Hazel Blears seem like Carol Vorderman!

verity said...

When are they going to dump the insipid, self-regarding Dave and make David Davis the leader?

He will win the next election for the Tories. He is magnificent.

John Hirst said...

Druid: My reference was to the Court of Appeal decisions when the liberty of the subject is at stake principle comes into play. We have a right to life and we have a right to liberty, and neither should be taken away lightly.

The problems occur when politicians knee-jerk and come out with vague terms like protecting the public and war on terror. Freedoms are removed supposedly to protect freedoms. Suspects become guilty without trial. It is dangerous to seek extra-legal solutions (in effect illegal) for legal problems. These acts are taking the law into ones own hand. Nothing then separates the law-abiding from the terrorist.

Anonymous said...

Indeed verity, but in the words of the song:

"We don't need another hair - do....!"

verity said...

You know, John Hirst, this scares me: "These acts are taking the law into ones own hand."

Why not? It is my law - as a citizen. It is MY law. Capice?

billy said...

The Druid said...
John (12:54) the liberty of the individual is not inviolate

Dear Druid,
There are only 50 verses in John 12.
As a druid, should you be using the good book?

MayorWatch said...

Those people who rightly point out control orders were only introduced after indefinite detention wihtout trial was ruled illegal are missing the point.

The Government has refused to bring these men to trial even though all opposition parties and the likes of Liberty have indicated that they'd support the use of intercept evidence in trials.

Many other countries use wiretap evidence yet Blair insists we can't.

Given what we now know about the pre-war intelligence and the fact that at least one July 7 bomber was missed by MI5 surely we're right not to trust Ministers to simply assert that someone's guilty and require them to produce evidence which the accused can challenge.

Terrorists should be in prison (although Blair has a different idea about CONVICTED Catholic terrorists who he let out) and suspected terrorists should be preparing for their trial if sufficient evidence exists to charge them.

verity said...

Mayorwatch says: "Terrorists should be in prison".

No, terrorists should be pushing up the daisies. We've got to resile from this "human rights" crapola.