We all know Gordon’s rather good at pretending the economy’s doing better than it is; I must, however, admit to having been duped into thinking he was better than the usual Charles Clarke/David Blunkett/John Reid New Labour bullshitter. Apparently not:
“The chancellor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that ID cards were necessary in the fight against terrorism and would prevent identity fraud.”
Utter crap, Gordon, and you know it. But hey, you’re not unofficial joint Prime Minister, are you? Oh no! It’s long been traditional for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make policy announcements in areas outside the Treasury’s control:
“Mr Brown is set to announce a raft of new security measures, which are expected to include a public review which will focus on counter-terrorism and security.”
Joy. Rapture. ANOTHER review of counter-terrorism nonsense being announced just before a major vote on ID cards, which the government is desperately trying to tie in to terrorism, despite all evidence to the contrary, and despite senior government ministers themselves having admitted that ID cards would have done little to prevent the 7th or 21st July attacks?
But wait, what’s this? A day after the papers were full of Brown’s denials that he’s now jointly in charge of the country (despite not having been invited to this lofty position by Her Majesty, the only person with the power to do so), it seems he’s changed his mind already:
“the chancellor said he was taking decisions alongside Mr Blair on a range of issues including security, the environment and housing.”
So which is it, Gordon? Are you unconsitutionally co-running the country or aren’t you? Was Charles Clarke wrong when he admitted that ID cards wouldn’t have prevented the 7th July attacks, or are you wrong now? Are you deluded, misinformed, or simply stirring up shit when you bring up the “ricin plot” again, despite there having been no evidence it actually existed?
Note to all those (including me at one point) who hoped Gordon would bring Labour back to being a party they could vote for again: not a chance. The guy’s just as tainted as the rest of them. The only respectable Labourites are on the backbenches, and will be easily identifiable by voting against the government this evening.
Note to Labour party chairman Ian McCartney: you ask the right question –
“If some Labour MPs are determined not to vote Labour in Parliament, how can we expect our supporters to be determined enough to vote Labour at the ballot box?”
But you come up with the wrong solution. The Labour rebels have no obligation to support the party leadership no matter what. They have no obligation slavishly to vote for every single policy in the breeze-block of a manifesto you churned out before the general election. They have an obligation purely to their constituents’ best interests and wishes. The fact that they feel that their obligation to their constituents is in opposition to your party’s policies indicates one thing only – Labour’s leadership, apparently including the leadership in waiting, is in opposition to the best interests and wishes of the country.
Update: Talk Politics on why the ID Cards bill “compromises” are anything but.
Update 2: Bugger off, Brown:
“Over the last few years the major terrorist suspects arrested, typically, have had up to 50 false identities each”
Yes, and they have, typically (the July lot were anything but), not been British nationals, so wouldn’t be covered by the ID cards scheme anyway. And what’s this nonsense?
“If we withdraw glorification from the definition of indirect incitement, or from the grounds for proscribing organisations, as is being proposed by opponents this week, this would send the wrong signal that we could not reach a consensus on how serious this issue of glorification is”
Erm… If we managed to covict Abu Hamza without the “glorification” nonsense, why is it necessary? We already have incitement laws. No more are needed.
In any case, if you bring in specific laws to clamp down on this particular aspect of free speech, all it will do is make them more careful not to say things that will lead to prison terms – cf. BNP leader Nick Griffin, who is far too canny to risk getting done for race hate following anti-racism legislation, so instead uses euphemism and innuendo. Allowing the buggers to “glorify” acts of terrorism simply allows them mre rope to hang themselves with, as they won’t be as careful with their wording and, like Abu Hamza, are more likely to slip into outright incitement, on which they can be done.