Thursday, September 27, 2007

Straw Tries to Snare More Blue Brownites

Rejoice! Jack Straw is a hero. The four occasions in which he has been a 'have go hero' have inspired him to want to change the law to ensure that people who tackle intruders in their own home won't be prosecuted. Having called for just such a strengthening of the law, you'd imagine I would welcome such a move, wouldn't you? Well, I would, if I thought he was being genuine.

But I have just listened to one of the most cringeworthy interviews I have ever heard on the Today programme. It's clear that this is yet another cynical piece of spin and an attempt to hoodwink Tory voters into thinking Gordon Brown is really one of them. You have to admire the audacity, but I suspect people are already seeing through it. Sadly Sarah Montague didn't ask the killer question, which is what has changed since Charles Clarke carried out a review of the law in this area three years ago and concluded that no change was needed?

Of course, Straw had the opportunity to change the law himself when he was Home Secretary for the first few years of Tony Blair's government.

It's almost as if Gordon Brown has issued a decree to his cabinet ministers o each come up with something to appeal to Tory voters, isn't it? But that could never be. After all, we're in a new era of politics where these cynical things just don't happen, aren't we?

43 comments:

Ted said...

I noticed that following the interview the BBC commentator ended his summation with something like "Brown is talking hard on Law and Order while Cameron is talking about hug a hoody."
Lazy journalism and yet another display of the BBCs (perhaps unwitting) bias.

Peter North said...

Dale, you're just plain daft. Who cares if it is designed to appeal to Tory bvoters, it helps *all* of us.

Anonymous said...

She did ask the killer question but did not quote Clarke. You should listen again. She has a had a good week at the Labour party conference. Her interview with Balls yesterday was superb.

Ned said...

On News 24 at 1730hrs 26.Sept' 07..

Quite disgusting how you(Huw Edwards) allowed Ed Balls to give ..what is /was a Party ,without title, a Political Broadcast.This is normally only acceptable with normal challenges from the Presenter.
Will you do the same next Wednesday for the Conservatives... The BBC must/should be apolitical

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that this is a "new" government and everything they did for the past decade was wrong; the war was wrong;the passing of the HRA into UK law was wrong: EVERYTHING was the Non-Person Blair's fault - nothing to do with them. They never believed a word of it but they were forced into passing those policies by him. "Gordon is a GREAT admirer of Lady T and we are all really Tory at heart(whatever you do DON'T mention Blair or the War)"

John Sandell said...

All of his hero moments were more than 10 years ago. These days he'd be more likely to get a knife in his ribs.

And why has this review become urgent just this week?

Madasafish said...

I listening to Jack Straw: "law isOK, clarify it" and then read the Daily Torygraph headlines.."New laws to protect have-a-go heroes"


Which of course is simply not what Straw said...

Seems like the DT's journalists are smoking weed or living on another planet.

Now I don't think journalists are bright but even they ought to be able to see they've swallowed a porkie pie.

Muppets...

Ned said...

New-ish, New Labour's hypocrisy stinks! ...Typified by Quentin Davies .. sycophantic, unprincipled, treacherous, untrustworthy...ugh!.

Are the Electorate really bamboozled by rehashed rhetoric ?...cannot they see beyond NL's present theatrics & remember the last 10yrs.!

AnyoneButBrown said...

I know the BBC is biased but what is going on is straying far into serious bias territory.
On the issue of "have a go" as it is called.
Is this the same Labour government how have not allowed parliamentary time for three conservative private members bills allowing householders rights of self defence against intruders? Isn't Stephen Pound a Labour MP who famously refused to table the a similar parliamentary bill that won a competition on the Today programme one Christmas.

Jack Straw is an ocean going hypocrite.

David Boothroyd said...

When a Conservative starts talking about how they believe in the NHS and want to improve it, are they:

a) Expressing a longstanding commitment to improving public services, and demonstrating the Conservative Party is once again in tune with the voters, or

b) Indulging in yet another cynical piece of spin and an attempt to hoodwink Labour voters into thinking David Cameron is really one of them?

Brian Tomkinson said...

Verdict on Brown - lifts his syntax from the Domocrats and his "new" ideas from the Conservatives.

Man in a Shed said...

Peter North - it won't help anyone if its just a review to draw in gullible people.

Will they repeal the human rights act ? If not they are just talking b******S.

Jack Straw also did his Scottish master bidding by telling the English they don't deserve devolution like he gave the Scots and Welsh.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Actually I too thought Montague did ask that question - not exactly as you have phrased it but essentially the same. In any event and true to form the Straw response was unintelligible dissimulation.

But the whole charade seems to have been overshadowed by events abroad - no bad thing in my view.

Marquee Mark said...

anon 8.49 - Sarah Montague is a particular pile if uselessness. She let Balls walk away yesterday looking little more than a prat, when he could have been hung out to dry by anybody half-way competent.

She is part of the reason that New Labour has had such an easy ride in recent years. It hasn't been called to account for its actions by journos with jaws, that can tear flesh from bones. Instead, an interview on The Today Programme is like being hit with soft furnishings from fifty paces.

golfwidow said...

So Jack "Superman" Straw has been secretly and singlehandedly policing Britain for the past 10+ years. Why boast about it now? Couldn't possibly have anything to do with a forthcoming election could it?

Chris Paul said...

Er, Charles Clarke is gone for starters. Too damned liberal by far. Bring back hanging. Farmer Martin is my hero. No mistake.

And yes, sad/glad to say the Tories will get a similar easy donkey ride during next week in Blackpool.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why your a complaining that Gordon brown is trying to win votes from Conservatives. That is what democracy is all about. You try and win as many seats as possible.

If you think that they are not going to actually hold a review, that is a different matter entirely.

In principle there is nothing cynical about trying to win as many votes as you can - that is the point of democracy!

David Lindsay said...

Opening the Fabian Review when I got in last night, I was startled to see an article by Iain Dale.

Welcome to the Big Tent, Iain. Your Ministry awaits you. But then again, since you really are one of the talents, probably not.

Facing Iain's article was one by Mark Oaten, in which he referred to his own party as "the Liberals" over, and over, and over again. On the radio last week, his Leader talked about "the SDP and the then Liberals", with no mention of "the then SDP".

Something is going on here. But what is it? Now that the Wilson-Callaghan-Healey-Hattersley-Smith-Brown Succession is at last restored, I think that we can all more than guess. I give the Lib Dems a year.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of cringeworthy interviews, did you happen to hear Boris being interviewed by Naughtie just before 8? Boris made a complete hash of it, criticizing Livingstone for trespassing on the London boroughs' authority but going on to say that he would intervene in the way they manage planning applications. He also let slip that he'd quite like to remain an MP if he can get away with it (though he criticized Livingstone on that score too). He's a compulsive double-jobber. If he keeps putting in performances like that, Livingstone won't need to crush him - he'll destroy himself long before polling day. Another misjudgment by Cameron, I fear.

simon said...

With a potential GenElec coming oop the Parties have a knack for choosing 'poptastic' tunes for their four week coma inducing 'campaigns'. With Brown becoming a Blue Labour man- and Straw doing the same- may i suggest the PSB's classic 'Shameless' for their campaign. Ooh, and for ours...erm...how about 'Right said Fred' by Bernard Cribbins!

Guthrum said...

She did ask the killer question, and she strung him out on the barbed wire to be shot to pieces.

He was doing his usual spluttering and urmming when he was caught out.

Superb, she exposed him for what he is, adept at clinging onto the greasy pole by whatever means or contradiction.

Londoner said...

Straw has become a contemptible vicar of Bray - from arch Blairite to arch Brownite at just the optimum moment (having previously been Barbara Castle and NUS leftie). Funny that some Blairites, who remained so to the end, got promotion, and he only moved sideways.

Wait for him to say that he didn't agree with his own previous policy. He has already said that he didn't agree at the time with Blunkett's downgrading of cannabis - a new doctrine that when there is a new PM collective responsibility for the previous Government no longer applies, even if you are still in office.

The man is so past his sell-by date as to risk the mould spreading to the other patients in the asylum. (Oh yes, asylum - wait for his disagreement with the previous policy on that next.)

PSJ said...

We all know this will be another eye-catching initiative which makes the headlines for a day or two, and then is dropped once it becomes clear it's impractical and/or offends a core Labour constituency, namely casual criminals.

This government's cynicism and opportunism are breathtaking.

BJ said...

Agree with anon at 0849. It was a superb interview. Straw, however, made me want to vom.

I wonder how much success the Lord Chancellor has had fighting off a challenge from undesirable men in Hackney, which is one of the most-crime ridden areas in London? The Bow and Bethnal Green districts in particular.

Newmania said...

Great bit in Private Eye Iain comparing the Brown moves to those of Blair ten years ago . Identical in every detail. Also some interesting thought in New Statesman backing my theory that he will wait well into next year and noticing that Blair lied ten years ago. They hope Brown is lying too and form the sniggering it looks likely that the emaculate conception of New Brown is somtehing rather more traditional.

Lying to get elected

Pascal said...

Is that a tory policy ?

You have me fooled.

Ed said...

Putting right what once went wrong*

1997-

Anonymous said...

As Nick Robinson has just announced on BBC News 24 that he has discovered that Labour are recruiting staff for a general election campaign and that those applying have been told they must be available from next Monday something is obviously afoot.

Bang goes the Conservative Conference coverage on Monday then !

Lord Higham- Murray said...

It's more than audacity - it's contempt for zero opposition. It's shaming for our side.

bebopper said...

I enjoyed Simon Carr's piece in the Independent today about Brown's ghastly duo with Marriella Frostrup.
It's headed; "Gordon would like to be seen as Mr Substance, but he talks a lot of piffle".
Sorry I can't give you a link.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

ted [8.44] No, I heard this and I don't think it was a case of bias. He was saying, this is Brown's game, and this is what he wants us to think.

The Hitch said...

Was one of those "have a go " moments when he turned his own son in to the police?

Vile little reptile

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

At present the law allows a householder to use 'reasonable force' in defence of himself or his property. The argument against strengthening the law is that it would licence a householder to use unreasonable force.

What is needed, and what I think was suggested in the private member's bill, was a provision licensing any use of force which is not 'wholly disproportionate.'

But on one view, even that would not go far enough. It is said that in some parts of the USA burglary is virtually unknown. The reason is, would-be burglars know that some householders are armed and will shoot intruders on sight, and that if they do so they will have the full backing of the law.

Anonymous said...

Iain, if you're going to use comment moderation you need to moderate more quickly/frequently, otherwise your loyal readers will lose interest!

Anonymous said...

And what exactly has dave been doing for the last eighteen months?

bebopper said...

The Conference speeches have been mind-numbingly boring so far, but they're planning to go out on a high with speeches from, er, Jacqui Smith and Harriet Harman.

Anonymous said...

He's actually a five-times "have-a-go hero", though number 5 was a little easier than most - he marched young Will Straw down to Kennington nick . . .

The Last Boy Scout said...

It's strange that he's not attempted to be a have a go hero since his party came to power (the last was in 1996). Perhaps that speaks volumns at just how safe it has become being a "have a go" over the last ten years.

Anonymous said...

3 words.
Cynical little toad.

Oscar Miller said...

Bang goes the Conservative Conference coverage on Monday then !

September 27, 2007 11:25 AM


And that's what all the election hype is about. It will last long enough to dominate the headlines through the Conservative Conference. Then it will be killed off until further notice. Brown is playing games - he has no intention of a 2007 election. I'm laying bets on it.

Anonymous said...

"But I have just listened to one of the most cringeworthy interviews I have ever heard on the Today programme"

er, no, it was about half an hour earlier actually when some charmless apparatchik defended Labour's god-awful record on the care of the elderly in hospitals. Oldies left to starve and sit in their own excrement in wards - doesn't that make a mockery of personalised health service? "Oh no" came the answer, "we're working on sorting it out so don't worry". You've had ten bloody years to sort it out and it's got worse.

G Adonis Amor Un said...

Jack Straw takes it up the arse.

Shambolic said...

I thought it was a robust interview, leaving Straw looking like the fool he is. However ...

a BBC journalist "BJ" writes [at 11:05 AM]

"Agree with anon at 0849. It was a superb interview. Straw, however, made me want to vom.

I wonder how much success the Lord Chancellor has had fighting off a challenge from undesirable men in Hackney, which is one of the most-crime ridden areas in London? The Bow and Bethnal Green districts in particular."


With respect, the BBC journalist might like to note that both Bow and Bethnal Green are in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and NOT in Hackney.

The problem in crime-ridden Hackney is that much of the criminal activity goes on - not in the streets but within Hackney Town Hall.