Friday, March 30, 2007

Bye Bye Lord Falconer

The Sun speculates that Gordon Brown will make Geoff Hoon the new Secretary of State for Justice if he becomes PM. John Reid made clear yesterday that the holder of the office would need to come from the House of Commons, so it's bye bye Charlie Falconer. The gossip around the House of Commons yesterday was that Jack Straw would be favourite for the job.

Of course the big question is how long John Reid will stay in his job. He thinks he's going to be the long term National Security supremo. My prediction is that his tenure in the job will last a matter of weeks.

58 comments:

penlan said...

The political demise of that ludicrous fat disaster area is one of the few reasons in favour of Gordon Brown.Can anyone recall any thing useful and not hashed up which he achieved?

Mark said...

Give the speed at which the EU is moving on abolishing the veto on Justice and Home Affairs, apparently supported by "Buff" Hoon, there might well not be a Dept of Justice left by the time he gets the job!

Anonymous said...

anyway.... what do you makeof the news that David Cameron and nine other Tory MPs have been found to have mis-used Commons dining facilities for fundraising purposes.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Good God! Hoon, Secretary of State for 'Justice'? Are they having a laugh or something?

Hoon wouldn't recognise 'Justice' if it came up and smacked him round the head with a brick, far less anything to do with 'Truth'. What a completely grotesque appointment that would be.

Admittedly it's 'The Sun', and you can never really tell, but even so...

This concept of a 'Ministry' for 'Justice' is total doublespeak. We should all recognise that this is yet another means of oppression by a control freak government.

The fact that it's now been decided to bust up the Home Office is an admission of abject failure to govern properly. Ten years in office, ten years out of control. They can't get the machinery to run properly even after ten years of tinkering around. This government is simply not competent - or 'fit for purpose'.

hatfield girl said...

Shortly befor the publication of last year's Pre- budget report there was some discussion of Gordon Brown's plans for 'the breaking up the Treasury as one of a series of changes to Britain's machinery of government that cumulatively will define him as the architect of a new British state.'

These typically grandiose visions included 'an elected House of Lords, taking the prosecution role of the attorney-general out of politics , and a formal ministry of justice to run the criminal justice system accountable to a minister in the House of Commons. .. so that the Lord Chancellor' will cease to exist.

If the great offices of state, that of the Lord Chancellor, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Home secretary and, as well, various other lesser offices and ministries, are to be broken up, hived off or direct answerability to Parliament abolished, then there is a case first for absolute openness of intention and, second, the opportunity for a vote on such fundamental changes at a general election when the Prime Minister leaves office.

i spy strangers said...

God help us if 'Buff' gets the Justice job! Now we have a Ministry of Justice, it's surely only a matter of time before the Ministry of Truth appears ...

Anonymous said...

The sooner they lose Charlie Falconer the better. Although going to Buff Hoon is scarcely an improvement.

He was the guy who, when asked why Saddam had not used WMD on invading troops said we had surprised him.

He was the same guy who, excusing the lack of WMD in Iraq said 'Saddam has had plenty of notice and time to hide them'.

Challenged over this contradiction he said "Hey, I'm a lawyer!"

Indeed he is, indeed he is...

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, Iain, but what are these comments about David Cameron ? There doesn't appear to have been coverage of this on your blog ? These people are coming here with 'half a story'.

Perhaps you could enlighten us on the 'whole story' ?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Falconer will have to lose Justice, but does that mean he will be out? After all, if Peter Goldsmith goes (surely) there's a vacancy for A-G. And Peter Riddell this morning says something will have to be done about constitutional affairs. Could Brown (who has more of a feel for constitutional affairs than Blair, who thinks it's the same as law) give Falconer constitutional affairs, devolution, maybe even SoS for Scotland? He'd be a bit put out on Lords reform, I guess!

Anonymous said...

penlan - I must disagree and ask that Gordon reconsiders this dangerous idea immediately ! There is pending danger that this imbecile will be handed a job somewhere near the Olympic Delivery Authority with the 'remit' of schmoozzzing politicians and pouring oil on troubled waters when the money sh!t hits overspending fan - for the sake of our sanity this madman must be restrained within the institution of Government until at least 2012...

Anonymous said...

No more 'Buff Hoon' - step forward..

Judge Dreddful !

Anonymous said...

Any chance of a 'Caption Contest' ?!

jailhouselawyer said...

Accepted, it's bye, bye, Lord Falconer, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

However, Geoff Who? Nah! Jack Straw? Nah, he's already had a crack at the prison crisis and made it worse.

My political betting is on Hilary Benn being the Minister of Justice. In this case it's not the Sun wot wun it, because this dark hole of politics is a place where it don't shine.

mike said...

This is the one guy in the government who comes across as a nice chappie,no matter his views he really does have a pleasant personality.I feel as a Labour supporter that is the problem with the existing crowd who rule the roost.They do not come across as very nice people,we just don't like them.The voters vote for "nice" not policies you know,and your man is in with a chance.I have no idea what his policies are but he does have a pleasant way about him.Pleasant,nice, that's what makes voters jump ship,not blogs and certainly not policies.How our parents vote or voted still gives us cause to ponder though.

Man in a shed said...

What - no more Charlie Falconer on radio and TV telling the English how they don't want a Parliament or fair representation ?

Roger Thornhill said...

An end to Charlie and an end to the post and powers of Lord Chancellor are two separate things and in peoples' rush to slice Charlie they will throw the baby out with the turd in the bathwater.

AnyoneButBlair said...

I'm not quite sure what Blair and now Brown see in "Buff" Hoon. The guy is totally useless, one of the least competent NuLab ministers and he has a lot of strong competition in that area.....

pensioners rule said...

hatfield girl said...

Hi, saw you posting your fulsome support in the comments section of Guidos' blog, and praising his performance on the Newsnight program.Always found your postings long,interminable long,boring in the extreme whines but am interested as a "hatfield girl" are you not offended by the mindless obscenities which are continually in use over at Guidos'.If you reply keep it short and keep it clean.

Nicky said...

Iain, what's your take on the news over at ConservativeHome that Norman Tebbit has become a Patron of Better Off Out?
http://conservativehome.blogs.com/torydiary/2007/03/lord_tebbit_bec.html

Anonymous said...

nice ! nice ? the man is the most mendacious, untrustworthy shit ever to walk on these shores ! Do you not remember the Millennium Dome ? How he got the job because he was one of the Mandy crony army ? You are obviously a man since you can't feasibly have anything approaching female intuition

Anonymous said...

Mark @ 10.55 am: the EU is moving precisely nowhere on the JHA passerelle at the moment, as the Germans won't have it. So much for that theory.

Anonymous said...

I think, anon@12.52, the "nice" was meant to refer to Hillary Benn.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

nice ! nice ? the man is the most mendacious, untrustworthy shit ever to walk on these shores

I thought the posting made by Mike was interesting, thought your posting was abysmal.

hatfield girl said...

What I offered to Guido's blog was this:

hatfield girl said...
Many have access some of the time - it's blogs like this that give the chance to use it.

I added:

Protection of 'access' by an individual journalist - the cossetting of their stock in trade - leads to obscuration of fact and interpretation of fact.

Accessing an entire population of contributors to lay bare a political act, or policy, in all its aspects and consequences, both intended and unintended, is immensely threatening to both the individual journalist's worth and to the current establishment's control freakery.

It's just as true of Iain Dale's blog.

Obscenity is in the mind of the beholder.

xerxes said...

Ah,I see. Not enough hoodie hugging for the new liberal, soft on crime Conservative Party.

Unless of course, a lot of you would rather see Cameron be a lot tougher on crime? Hmmm, but that might make you unpopular again, that whole 'nasty party' thing. Best keep quiet, forget your principles and hold your noses while Cameron replaces conservatism with liberalism. Maybe you should say something? No, best keep quiet, he knows what he's doing, and I'm sure if he wins the election he'll be much more conservative. Probably. Maybe. Well, I hope so for your sake, otherwise you'll have all wasted a lot of time supporting a man who hates your values. Maybe you shouldn't have got so carried away at the leadership election, Davis's speech wasn't so bad...

No, it's fine, not a trace of doubt... umm.

pensioners rule o.k said...

hatfield girl said... Obscenity is in the mind of the beholder.

Well said, then to prove your point pop over to Guidos' blog and find postings made by "shotgun",a good selection are available to pick from,then copy and post one here that contains the most expletives,I dare you,I double dare you.

justice demands the vote said...

So what happens to the role of Lord Chancellor? Now there is a Lords Speaker and a Commons based Secretary of State for Justice, will the post be removed entirely, or retain the judicial bit?

Surely Parliament should have a vote on such a huge change?

Xerxes... just because your party sold its principles to get into power doesn't mean it applies to the Conservatives.

Cameron's right that we have to challenge the old hang and flog mentality, and do more to stop people going to prison in the first place, but that doesn't mean we're soft on crime. We just won't expect policemen to sit there filling out forms to satisfy the Stalinist Treasury. And we have Davis to be tough, anyway.

nadders said...

Iain

as now doubt it is us tax payer lot who are funding the repositioning of Brown from boring stalin like scot to almost english nice guy, which in reality is all party political and of no benefit to the taxpayer, is there anyway of finding out how much it all costs?

He's clearly had a vast amount of voice and body language coaching. Who paid for the dental work. All the "nice" events with kids and animals etc set up solely to change his media image.

Looks like a lot of our money going up in smoke

Anonymous said...

nadders said...as now doubt it is us tax payer lot who are funding the repositioning of Brown

The thread is "Bye Bye Lord Falconer" so why are you rambling on about Brown and his teeth ?

Anonymous said...

justice demands the vote said...
Xerxes... just because your party sold its principles to get into power doesn't mean it applies to the Conservatives.

You will,you know you will,power is all,look at what happened to Blair and his little band of travellers.

machiavelli said...

Sounds like Brown is going to have a good clear-out.
After the bogey business I don't think I've got the stomach for it...

Labour supporter said...

xerxes said...

Ah,I see. Not enough hoodie hugging for the new liberal, soft on crime Conservative Party.

Enough of the hoodie hugging garbage it's been done to death,post comments that folk want to read,don't preach.I am a Labour voter and I find your ramblings very boring, so I feel that the Tories who post here will find them even more boring if that's possible.

Anonymous said...

machiavelli said...

Sounds like Brown is going to have a good clear-out.
After the bogey business I don't think I've got the stomach for it...

Well your comments certainly added to the debate on "Bye Bye Lord Falconer" I feel.

Ed said...

Is Brown going to be a purveyor of institutional revolution?

Bring on the Ministry of Love.

Mark said...

Anonymous @ 1:17
"the EU is moving precisely nowhere on the JHA passerelle at the moment, as the Germans won't have it. So much for that theory."


Erm so it was a different Angela Merkel in the FT in January who said:
"The threat of terror has strengthened the conviction that we must work closer together in the fields of justice and home affairs, something that many considered unthinkable only 10 years ago. There are ever more areas in which joint action is needed. For such action, we need the necessary institutional arrangements."
was it?

Mark said...

Sorry, the link's here:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/fd3d430e-9a5b-11db-bbd2-0000779e2340.html

Andrew Zalotocky said...

Surely there would be a significant overlap between the functions of the Security and Justice departments, and a requirement for them to co-operate closely on many issues in order to be effective?

So there is likely to be a wasteful duplication of functions. They are also likely to be competing for power and funding, and then trying to blame each other when something goes wrong. That will make them even less effective than the Home Office, not more so.

I don't see any positive benefits from this proposal, other than to the politicians and civil servants for whom it would create new career opportunities.

Newmania said...

Why is your running on emplty article not up ?

Stone the crows said...

What with Guido off to a wedding this afternoon and only the prospect of Charlie Falconer getting the (well deserved) push at last, it's a bit of a quiet Friday afternoon - isn't it?

I wish someone would come out with something truly offensive to liven the afternoon up.

Hitch?

Anonymous said...

Great story on the Torygraph 'spy' column today about 'Private Eye' getting loads of irate phone calls saying their 'Stephen Fry reading the Yellow Pages CD' is missing from the magazine...

Chris Paul said...

Hi Iain

Thought Straw had the Treasury instead of wotsit, one Scot too many. Oh yeah. MOVE OVER DARLING as we sang to him after he continued to prevaricate on our tram while rubber stamping one in his patch of edinburgh the local people didn't even want ...

Anyway ... aren't you going to blog The New Hazel?

the ghost of francis drake said...

Pity it didn't say bye bye New Labour. As this egregious government goes through it's long drawn out death throes,I am reminded of Sir Francis Drakes' drum,held in Buckland Abbey.The legend goes that if England was ever in peril the drums would awaken the ghost of Drake to come to the rescue once again.I can't help thinking that those drums started drumming in May 1997,but some apparatchik threw them down a deep,deep well.

Anonymous said...

each time i think my life is a bit shit, I console myself with knowing that I never have to tolerate being with Chris 'Interesting' Paul...

xerxes said...

labour supporter...

Actually, I'm not a Labour supporter, have never voted for them, largely due to the suspicion they are all drab little dunces like yourself. :)

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Mike [12.26 PM] You say: The voters vote for "nice", not policies.

Not sure I agree. What the left never understood was that people voted for Margaret Thatcher not because they thought she was nice, but simply because they thought she was up to the job.

Anonymous said...

Hoon? That incompetent, mendacious twit? Well that tells us all we need to know about the new Ministry of Injustice.

Brown's clearly trying to give a bogus appearance of 'Englishness' to his bully boy government.

But it's too bloody little and too bloody late, Jimmy Broon. You've kicked the people of England in the crotch one time too many - and we're not going to tolerate this, or you, any longer.

Go sling your hook, Broon and cronies!

Auntie Flo'

Casual Observer said...

None of these cretins are fit for the job...

mike said...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Mike [12.26 PM] You say: The voters vote for "nice", not policies.

I was referring to the people (the majority) who only think of politics when the general election comes round,we don't remember policies just sound bites and the "nice" people.We sure ain't gonna vote for a person we don't like the look of,no matter what he has to say.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

each time i think my life is a bit shit,

Well you made laugh,thanks.

Voyager said...

So do the devolved regions now mimic this split ?

What is Labour inteding to do with the Lord Chancellor then ? He has dropped off being Speaker of The Lords, packed in running the Judiciary; and cannot head up the Justice Ministry; and the office cannot be abolished

The Justice Department must be run by a lawyer who will conflict with both Attorney-General and Lord Chief Justice.

What we should do is copy the German Bundeswehrbeauftragter and create an Ombudsman for The Armed Forces answerable directly to Parliament

Anonymous said...

"What we should do is copy the German Bundeswehrbeauftragter......"

Do you know, voyager, I was thinking much the same thing myself...

This stuff is beyond satire..

paige said...

chuck said
Good God! Hoon, Secretary of State for 'Justice'? Are they having a laugh or something?

Hoon wouldn't recognise 'Justice' if it came up and smacked him round the head with a brick, far less anything to do with 'Truth'. What a completely grotesque appointment that would be.

I came across this today, which I find rather startling.. this is an excerpt to protect copyright, but you'll get the picture.

The only feasible alternative is:

A) a return to full-fledged intergovernmental collaboration, i.e. the de-institutionalization of TREVI, while investing it with a robust mandate, or
B) the creation of an alternative multilateral CT forum (e.g. TREVI, Club of Berne, Kilowatt Group or PWGOT, or ideally a UN CT organization) or independent or semi-independent institution (e.g. FATF, ITC > international terrorism court), both of which are politically exclusive (a “club”)
Practical experience suggests that institutionalization of European CT collaboration may offer accountability and be more democratic, but precludes the requisite flexibility offered by informal case-by-case bi- and multilateral collaboration (legitimacy vs. efficiency), i.e. on the intergovernmental level.
Institutionalization of European CT presupposes unprecedented political will and a broad consensus to abrogate sovereignty and accept restrictions on the expression of national interest with respect to “internal” security issues

Full EU think tank here: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/pubs/studygroups/_doc/EU_CT_EconTerr_250506.ppt

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"What we should do is copy the German Bundeswehrbeauftragter......"

I only come here for your funny comments and to read my postings,I assume the "each time i think my life is a bit shit," is down to you.

paige said...

www.isn.ethz.ch/pubs/studygroups/_doc/EU_CT_
EconTerr_250506.ppt

Sorry full address did not come out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"What we should do is copy the German Bundeswehrbeauftragter......"

What do you think of "paige"s posting ?

wonkotsane said...

The government is allowed to have 2 unelected Lords in the cabinet, they won't lose one. There's a poll on my blog - http://www.wonkosworld.co.uk/wordpress/2007/03/29/what-next-for-charlie-falconer/

David Lindsay said...

The Home Office is being split up in order to give even greater prominence to the attempts to scare us into surrendering the very liberty that is allegedly under such grave threat from the non-existent "global terror network", especially "Al-Qaeda".

In fact, the only "global terror network" is the one directed from the American Enterprise Institute and related institutions or organisations, and including (among others) Likud, Forza Italia, the Partido Popolar, the renaissance of the Australian Liberal Party under John Howard, the Irish Progressive Democrats, the courts of Sarkozy (or, indeed, Royal) and Merkel, the governing faction in Canada, ACT New Zealand, and, of course, the New Labour Project.

That last includes New Labour ordinarily so called, centred, of course, on Blair, who hates the Labour Party certainly more than anyone else alive, and probably more than anyone else ever. But it also includes, among others, the Cameroons (led even officially by the New Labour Project's real new Leader, Blair's favoured successor as Prime Minister), the Orange Book Tendency, The Henry Jackson Society and the Euston Manifesto.

And yes, that real "global terror network" certainly is doing a very good job of destroying our way of life.

As for "Al-Qaeda", no firm connection has ever been established among the many organistaions and movements, in numerous parts of the world, fighting to organise the State and wider society in accordance with an ideology technically called "Islam". The only connection is Islam, and the only way to counteract them is to counteract Islam, simply as such.

Not that that is the attitude of the global terror network above. On the contrary, it supported Wahabbism in 1980s Afghanistan and in 1990s Bosnia, and still supports it in Kosovo, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Chechnya today. It removed one the Arab worlds two principal bulwarks against it, and is threatening to remove the other one.

Furthermore, the splitting of the Home Office is to have knock on effects on the Department of Constitutional Affairs, even to be renamed "the Ministry of Justice", such as to give yet further effect to the attempt to import into this country the dangerous, and wholly foreign, theory of "the separation of powers". What of the Law Lords? What of the Home Secretary’s role in determining sentences? Or of the numerous quasi-judicial functions of Ministers? Or of the fact that all members of the Executive are required to be members of the Legislature? Or of the fact that the judges make the whole of the Common Law?

This "separation of powers" line was also put about when the position of Lord Chancellor was abolished overnight in favour of something apparently sketched on the back of a beer mat. But the House of Lords is still chaired by someone in much the same outfit, which was actually presented by Blair as a serious, and even conclusive, argument for abolition. It is just that Baroness Hayman is not the Lord Chancellor. But so what, from that point of view? Meanwhile, there is still no Cabinet Minister accountable to the House of Commons either for the major front-line public service that is the Court Service, or for the enormous Legal Aid budget of public money.

Like the other examples given above, the office of Lord Chancellor was often described as an "exception" to "the separation of powers". Quite apart from the fact that such a doctrine cannot, by definition, admit of exceptions, so that their very existence disproves the doctrine itself, there do seem to be an awful lot of these "exceptions", and they do seem to matter rather a lot.

In reality, the "powers" have never been "separate", nor can they ever be so. One of them has to win in the end. In Britain, we have decided that it is to be Parliament, and thus the elected House of Commons within Parliament. Would we rather that the Prime Minister always had the last word? Or that, as in the United States (among other places) an unelected judicial body of lifetime appointees could simply rule that any matter it liked was "constitutional", and thus reserved entirely to itself?

This is why, as is their wont, judicial theorists and constitutional lawyers habitually engage in more than a spot of wishful thinking where "the separation of powers" is concerned. They wish to see an American-style krytocracy in this country, where the judiciary is still drawn (unlike the Bar generally these days) from a very narrow social, socio-economic and educational base indeed. Presumably, that is what makes it so attractive to them, including to our own dear Voice of Reason, drawn as they are, and no doubt as he is, from that same very narrow social, socio-economic and educational base indeed.

The wretched Human Rights Act has been a major step in that direction. But mercifully, we still have instead the supreme legislative, executive and judicial authority of the Crown (i.e., of the nation embodied, regardless of party or anything else), exercised either by Parliament itself or by Ministers drawn from and accountable to Parliament. Within Parliament, the House of Commons has come to be elected by universal adult suffrage and, since the Parliament Act of 1911, to be supreme.

The Crown is the ultimate contradiction of the Franco-American, and in no sense indigenously British, theory of the separation of powers. And it is thus the ultimate guarantee that the United Kingdom (and each of the 15 countries with which we share the Crown) will remain a democracy, unlike either absolutist and historically coup-plagued France, or krytocratic America, to name but two.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay said...The Home Office is being split up in order to give

Your havin' a laugh you are !