Sunday, July 19, 2009

Johnson Ditches Smith Policy on Publishing 'Undesirables' List

Alan Johnson is reported to be ditching the "UK Least Wanted" List trumpeted by his predecessor Jacqui Smith. As well as banning a whole host of Islamist extremists, she also banned the US shock jock, Michael Savage, prompting him to threaten to sue if he didn't receive an apology. I asked her about this in my recent interview, although this section didn't make the final cut (and it is unedited)...
ID: The exclusion of that American talk show host Michael Savage. That seemed to be to be completely and utterly preposterous. What had the guy done?

JS: I got quite a lot of challenge from the opposition, rightly, to strengthen the approach that we took to the exclusions, so we changed the presumption so that those people who had basically expressed views that were likely to promote hatred to promote inter-community violence to glorify terror images that that would be a justification for excluding some people from their country then they would have to effectively recant that in order to get that exclusion lifted. Over a period of time we took decisions on a variety of different people and we published, as we said we would to be more open, the names of 22 of them and I am glad that I had made that decision. The vast majority of it was people who were Islamist extremist who were expressing views like support the jihad or were expressing the view that suicide attacks particularly against Jewish people were legitimate. Michael Savage had numerous public statements including one in which he explicitly said and called for the killing of Muslims. Frankly, had they been transposed into the mouth of a Muslim extremist with a change of faith in there people would have been up in arms and would have been demanding that we excluded him, so I think there’s a certain amount of hypocrisy that because someone’s a white U.S shock jock that it’s alright for him to say these things.

ID: You could have picked any number of them. Why him?

JS: And I suspect there are more in the public. It wasn’t just him, there were others that weren’t Islamist that were also excluded. He chose to make a big thing of it, that’s what he does. I still don’t think it was the wrong thing to do, in fact it identified , not a completely level handed, but a consistent approach across those that needed excluding and it made the point as well that I wanted to make pretty clearly, which is that it’s a privilege to come to this country it’s possible for us to exclude people and frankly we should do if they’re not willing to live by the values that we live by.


The Mail on Sunday reports that Alan Johnson is ditching this policy, although it has to be said there is no quote from the Home Secretary confirming it. One consequence of a reversal would be that Michael Savage would win his case by default, thereby costing the taxpayer a packet.

23 comments:

VotR said...

It's a fairly obvious thing to state that Jacqui's judgement was always questionable. And most usually in error, grievous error even.

She could cost the taxpayer a fortune with the court cases mounting against her. Thanks Labour, annoy the yanks for merely stating an opinion and making a big political mess. Never gain power again.

Anonymous said...

JS: Michael Savage had numerous public statements including one in which he explicitly said and called for the killing of Muslims.

If the above isn't true could Savage sue Jacqui?

GGaann said...

I am no longer angry, just so upset that we can have ministers of such shallow intellect.They are given a huge responsability at the key ministries and are clearly not up to it.

We have the rule of the majority translated into populist legislation by dumbass careerist politicians - we need the protection of the law, a written constitution - bring it on

Expat said...

If Jacqui is convicted of fraud she will presumably be denied access to the US!

neil craig said...

"including one in which he explicitly said and called for the killing of Muslims"

She doesn't say what or when this was & very strongly doubt if, beyond saying our soldiers should shoot at the Taliban or something similar, it is at all true.

Haviong visited his site he is by no means extreme by US radio standards & his main "extreme" position seems to be denying that we are currently suffering catastrophic warming. I suspect it was for this & because he changed his name to Savage years ago, that he popped out of the ministerial list as a token American to bam.

Cynic said...

Jacqui was targetting " those people who had basically expressed views that were likely to promote hatred to promote inter-community violence to glorify terror images".

But wasnt she part of a Governmnet where Tony was busy courting Sinn Fein? And wasnt she allowing into the UK some radical Islamist preachers who supported Jihad against the West while keeping others out. And werent we allowing the politcal wings of a number of terrorist groups in Asia and other countries to openly base themselves in the UK while their comrades were busy murdering at home?

Am I missing something here or were some people who glorified terror acceptable and others weren't?

And why is a right wing US Radio Shock Jock - no matter how mad or repugnant - a priority target in front of some of those who advocate killing people?

Oh I do know the answer to tthoe questions but just thought that I would ask them anyway.

Thatsnews said...

More of Brown's friends (his real friends?) are telling him how it is. Will he listen? It's very doubtful. Plus! Army bans Brown from Afganistan

I mentioned Johnson on my blog. Is this a genuine policy ditch, or another of his "I am ditching the ID card scheme: But not really!" gags?

john miller said...

What a load of burbling rubbish which just goes to show what a hopeless minister she was.

The opposition told her how to do her job, so she changed her policy? Really? Would Brown or Mandy really have let that happen? I don't think so.

Then to say that the media only noticed Savage made a fuss "because that's what he does". So in one sentence she insinuates being banned from entering this country is no big thing and that whatever she decided should just be obeyed with no questions asked.

The latter is endemic in Labour politicians. Adopting a different view is a thoughtcrfime to be punished accordingly.

And if the former were true, why the hell didn't they stop an awful lot more people coming in?

She's a pretty poor secondary school teacher promoted wildly above her ability because in modern Labour governments Number 10 rules all the important departments of state.

Anonymous said...

I hope he wins a packet and that British taxpayers realise whose fault that was. It's not as if Labour hasn't wasted millions on their PC causes anyway.

Anonymous said...

Iain,

Could you include quotes such as this in a larger font in future. I find it terribly difficult to read such small type!

happyuk07 said...

"Michael Savage had numerous public statements including one in which he explicitly said and called for the killing of Muslims."

I'd like to see some proof of this. I've have often wondered about the outcome of his exclusion.

It's one thing to come out with statements like these and quite another to back them up with hard evidence.andy-uk@tiscali.co.uk

Verity said...

Iain, "thereby costing the taxpayers a packet". Iain, Iain, Iain, did you not read that Savage, being a good conservative thinker, has consistently said he is is not after British taxpayers' money. He is suing Jackie Smith PERSONALLY and singly. Not the British government.

Tch tch tch.

Nell Craig, a very astute post. Thanks for mentioning this interesting point.

Cynic - Michael Savage is outspoken, as is the way with talk radio hosts enjoying freedom of speech in the United States. He is not mad or repugnant. Go to his site. He holds strong opinions. So does Jacqui Smith, except her are bonkers. Like kowtowing to "Lord" Ahmad who threatened her with "bringing round" 10,000 angry Muslim boys if she didn't ban Geert Wilders, a respected and legally elected MP in Holland, from entering Britain.

Again, Michael Savage has the intelligence and the nous to realise that the slur against his name did not come from the British people, but from one wildly over-promoted, over-mighty, deeply ignorant individual, and it is that individual, as a private citizen, who he is suing.

It's nice that she brought herself to the attention of US Immigration. Let us hope they're keeping an eye on her.

JuliaM said...

"...Savage, being a good conservative thinker, has consistently said he is is not after British taxpayers' money. He is suing Jackie Smith PERSONALLY and singly. Not the British government."

He is..?

Well done that man! I hope he wins.

Norton Folgate said...

Will this mean Geert Wilders will be allowed in or does the threat of Lord Ahmed of car crash still holding the Govt to ransom?

Verity said...

Norton Folgate - In the terribly unlikely event that Geert Wilders would be interested in setting foot in Britain, I would imagine Johnson is sane enough to revoke, or already have revoked, this Fascist order. The Dutch already saw enough of Fascism during WWII, so Wilders may be inclined to say, "Denk u, nr."

Dick the Prick said...

Gotta feel sorry for Lee Westwood - come on Tom!

The Grim Reaper said...

Alternatively, Alan Johnson could just make everyone happy at a stroke by making it a criminal offence to be Jacqui Smith.

VotR said...

The home office announced they will stand by Jacqui Smith when the letter from Savage's lawyer arrived on her desk. Effectively, they were bankrolling her at the time.

I wonder if they will now she has resigned?

Gallimaufry said...

Any chance that dear Jacqui could be extradited (kidnapped given the asymmetric treaty agreed by Nulab -human rights must have been on holiday then) to face Mr Savage under the US legal system? The thought of her in orange overalls and shackles makes me smile.

Newmark said...

Anonymous said...
"Iain, Could you include quotes such as this in a larger font in future. I find it terribly difficult to read such small type!"

Why don't you just increase the text size on your screen?

Anonymous said...

who the hell is this"shock jock" feller?

I am all in favour of abolition of the barnett rules and an English parliament
in fact for complete English self rule

but actually banning Scots from England for being jocks sounds a bit much

after all, they can't help it.

Thomas Rossetti said...

Jacqui Smith says,

"Michael Savage had numerous public statements including one in which he explicitly said and called for the killing of Muslims."

Could the former home secretary possibly identify one of these "public statements"? I very much doubt that she can and hope that

1. Savage sues the "ass" of her, and

2. The private prosecution against her goes ahead.

Anonymous said...

I follow American media and to be honest Iain I think we're better off maintaining this list - over the last couple of weeks alone Fox News has broadcast two "analysts" views, one calling for al-Qaeda to detonate a nuclear device on American soil, saying "it's the only hope we've got", and another calling for the Taliban to execute the American soldier who was taken hostage because they think he may be a deserter.

These people are just as bad as the terrorists who threaten to blow us up.

Incidentally, will Rupert Murdoch be questioned by the select committee about the endemic illegal activities going on within his businesses?