Sunday, July 22, 2007


Damage done

Alas, we have passed through the looking-glass once again. After Hutton, Lord Butler et al, we now have the CPS tirelessly helping to protect Blair's image by craping out of a prosecution of anyone involved in the Cash for Honours thingy. Now, we all know that they were renting out peerages to those that kept their Frankenstein's monster of a party afloat. We know they would help those who shored up pet projects like academies and Millenium Domes. We know that Levy and his ilk were part of a conspiracy of silence on the matter that went all the way to Blair, but the CPS has decided that the evidence is not there. Fine.

What isn't fine, however, is this little period after the fact. This is the point after Lord Hutton's enquiry where Alastair Campbell got to glower and gloat from a podium like some small-time mafiosi who'd scared a jury into getting him off a racketeering charge. It was here that Greg Dyke was forced out of his job and the BBC started a period of navel-gazing that still with us today. With Cash for Honours we are getting arsehole articles like the one in today's Observer by Sarah Helm, wife of Jonathan Powell, himself the ex-Chief of Staff of Tony Blair. She writes:

"I know one shouldn't make these comparisons, but I was writing about Nazi Germany right then and I couldn't help think: Gestapo tactics! Pick on the vulnerable, preferably a single woman, living alone. No matter that you may have nothing on her that will ultimately stand up in court - give her a scare."


"At best we saw just sloppy, bad reporting, and at worst, cheap sensation and vindictive lies."

Brilliant. She accuses the police of "Gestapo tactics!" and then the press of "cheap sensation"; it's good to see that New Labour consistency still on display. Perhaps someone should speak to Ms Helm about the Gestapo and what they actually did. The Gestapo was a secret agency that operated outside of judicial control and so was able to lock people up without trial. The Gestapo were used to control those in Germany and occupied countries by means of arrest and execution, often in very large numbers and, again without any oversight by a court. They would often work on leads or "denuciations" by members of the public who were encouraged to inform on their fellow citizens.

Inspector Yates woke Ruth Turner up and arrested her because he felt she may have perverted the course of justice. She was taken to a police station, charged, questioned and released. Her file has gone to the CPS and they have decided she should not be prosecuted. Case closed, as they say.

On June the 2nd 2006, Mohammed Abdul Kahar and Abul Koyair were arrested in a 4am raid on their home in Lansdowne Road, Forest Gate. Kahar was shot in the shoulder during the raid, which involved over 200 police officers. The men were held for over a week without being made aware of the charges against them, but could have been held for up to 28 days without any charge under anti-terror guidelines introduced by the Government (who, along with the police, would have preferred 90 days). The raid was prompted by information from Mohammed Abu Bakr Mansha, a 22 year-old with an IQ of just 69, a full 31 points less than the national average. Reports indicate that Scotland Yard was not happy with the quality of the information and were prompted to act upon it by Sir Richard Mottram in the Cabinet Office. The full cost of the raid was over £2,000,000. Blair said he supported the police action "101%".

So here we have:

- 200+ police officers.
- Pre-dawn raid.
- Use of extreme force.
- A weeks detention.
- Use of sub-standard informants and information.
- Governmental intervention.

Now, I could get over-excited like most of the maniacs of the left and accuse the police and Government of Gestapo tactics (although I wouldn't add the tabloidesque exclamation mark that Sarah Helm feels inclined to use), but I won't. They were pressed into a untenable position and felt compelled to act. I would however say this: next time you are writing a piece for a Sunday newspaper and want people to take your position seriously, don't make ridiculous accusations and over-blown statements about police brutality that don't hold up. Don't bandy around comparisons to the Nazis when a friend of yours gets a taste of something that your husband and his cronies have helped to spread. Oh, and please don't push your luck too far by doing your best Campbell impression and gloating over the bruised body of your opponent; hubris is a terrible thing, you know.

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