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Dizzy Thinks has an interesting post this morning on the travesty of justice that is the CPS decision not to prosecute a policeman for causing the death (according to the evidence of two out of three experts) of an innocent, if intoxicated, bystander at the G8 protests a couple of years back. He goes through all the various legal scenarios and outcomes studied and predicted over 16 long months by the strangely unimpressive Keir Starmer and his Crown Prosecution ‘Service’. Dizzy’s post is pretty comprehensive so I won’t go into it in too much detail. Better you read it for yourself here. Suffice to say, he sums up his explanation of the CPS’ decision and why he thinks it’s the right one as follows:

Think about it for a moment. It would, frankly, be absurd for the Crown to attempt to prosecute someone and then have their own witness testify that their own case wasn’t water-tight and that the defendant might in fact be not guilty.

That’s why the CPS didn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t go ahead with a trial, and screaming “whitewash” or “cover-up” is little more than a jerking knee inspired by those who have prejudged the case and have a committed held view on the officer’s guilt already. If this had gone to trial, and the result would’ve been not guilty, I imagine there would be theories and speculation about Jury nobbling too.

I’m very uncomfortable with these comments for two main reasons – and several minor ones. The main reasons are that, first, no one is shouting ‘whitewash’ on this blog and it is silly – if not self-defeating – for Dizzy Thinks to characterise everyone who disagrees with the decision not to prosecute the policeman concerned for anything at all after the death of a human being as either Lefties or conspiracy theorists. It’s just not true, and suggests a rather unbalanced view on his part, frankly.

Second, the decision itself. To me it was desperately wrong for a reason of principle, namely, that the CPS was not set up to adjudicate in criminal matters. It was set up to organise prosecutions. It’s up to a jury in a trial to determine guilt or innocence and advocates to make the case, or defend the defendant, as best they can.

The reason why the CPS is wrong is because the decision should not have been up to the CPS – or Keir Starmer – to decide whether there was a case for the suspect to answer in the first place. No one seems to doubt that there was, even if it were one of common assault, not even the police themselves.

This is just one more instance of so many others that indicate the CPS is basically out of control. Reform seems to me to be the next logical step, so we at least can try to get back to trial by a jury of our peers – and justice – instead of non-trial by evidence review by a glorified quango – or injustice.

Update
I was quite pleased to read Gerald Warner’s comment in the Telegraph just now:

If there are “fundamental differences” of medical opinion, as cited by the CPS, surely that is all the more reason to resolve them in a court of law, rather than to kick this life-and-deathquestion into the long grass.

Dizzy can hardly describe Warner as a Lefty or a conspiracy theorist. Warner simply understands what an awful lot of other people do too: it should be up to the courts to decide whether a person is guilty of a crime, not the CPS and certainly not Keir-bloody-Starmer.

It’s probably worth adding that Warner’s article mainly concerns the probability that the police’s image, already quite thoroughly tarnished for a large number of pretty shabby reasons over the past decade, has just taken another hit thanks to Starmer’s extremely puzzling decision. Is that really what they wanted, one wonders? Do they even care?
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There’s Dave…

Sky News’ Jon Craig has posted an interesting piece on the latest Brown-sighting this evening. After Cameron’s highly adroit – even deft – performance in the US, it’s becoming pretty clear that, in absolute fact, Britain is far better off, both at home and abroad, now that she is finally being represented by a prime minister that isn’t either a) a hopeless attention-seeker obsessed with his own image rather than concerned with the needs of a country he laughably purported to lead or the world that he generally preferred to start wars in, or b) a socially inept weirdo with terrifying delusions of grandeur and a pathological inability to recognise, much less tell, the truth.

Jon Craig writes of the latter’s latest noises well-off performance:

So what did Gordon Brown do after his brief appearance in the House of Lords?
(See previous blog.)
Speak in the Commons during the third reading debate on the Finance Bill?
Er, no.
Pop down to Strangers’ Bar or the terrace for a few beers with old comrades?
Er, no.
The former Prime Minister, I can reveal, had already invited new Labour MPs elected for the first time on May 6 – about 70 in all – for a chat at 4pm in his grand and spacious new office on the top floor of Portcullis House.
An audience with Gordon.
Aah. So the room was packed, then?
Er, no.
Apparently, so my informant tells me, only about 10 turned up to listen to the former PM.
I’m also told that some of the bright young things turned up hoping to ask him worthy questions about the Alternative Vote referendum and other current topics.
But they were disapppointed to hear him talk at some length – no change there, then – about how the Tories kept trashing his record in power.
Oh dear.
In denial?
That’s what some Labour MPs are claiming.

Where’s Wally Gordon?

I’m quite surprised to be writing this, but Cameron is actually beginning to look great. Now that could just be because he’s normal compared to the two contemptible Labour has-beens this country and the world have been forced to tolerate for over a decade in unequal shares until very recently.

But he did look and sound great today – a real independent force. Having seen some of the clips of his performance with the latest incarnation of the US president, compared to the rather brittle-looking, slightly spiteful-sounding Barack Hussein Obama, he was, well, just great.

Hang-on, I know it’s early days, but it is possible Cameron is great – as in an unusually gifted statesman and leader (at least in the making).

One day maybe it’ll even become a famous quotation: “Andy Burnham [or whoever], you are no David Cameron! (You’re actually a bit like Tony Blair – but not quite as bad as Gordon Thingumyjig),” says someone or other who’s fairly famous in politics .

Hmm. Maybe not (yet). But he’s clearly better than Blair. And way, way, way better than the unspeakable (and nearly vanished forever anyway) Brown. We might still be in the ‘thank God for small mercies’ stage of Cameron’s premiership, but there can be no denying it: there were one or two glimpses of greatness there today.

What a contrast!

Quite aside from all his other disastrous decisions, mainly on foreign policy, it seems perfectly fair to me that Blair be blamed for not seeing while he was Prime Minister that Britain wasn’t saddled with a successor he himself thought was unfit to govern. This is, according to Andrew Rawnsley in his extraordinarily excoriating assault on virtually the entire Labour administration, the thing for which Blair, ultimately, is most guilty. It’s a heck of a read and should be disastrous for all Labour’s leadership candidates, tainted as they are with the charge of cowardice, arch and chronic dishonesty and, simply put, self-interested misgovernance. Anyway, here’s a taste of something which, if you haven’t already read it, is well worth a look:

If Blair thought that Brown was unfit to be prime minister – and there’s now lots of evidence that this is precisely what Blair thought – he had an obligation to his party and his country to do something about it. At the very least, he should have, as he could have, ensured that there was a contest for the succession in 2007 rather than allow Brown to be crowned without proper scrutiny. It was one of Blair’s most selfish acts and a gross dereliction of duty to swan off to make his millions while leaving his party and country to cope with the consequences of a Brown premiership.

The implication from this is that by the time he had finally given in to the forces of hell unleashed by Brown in the form of Balls, Wheelan et al in 2006, Blair simply didn’t give a toss about what happened next. A more damning indictment of the man as Prime Minister is simply inconceivable, even one involving his misleading the House of Commons, the country and the world over WMDs in Iraq. It’s actually quite difficult accurately to describe a person like that, whose self-interest and vanity is only trumped by his greed and dishonesty. In some ways if one views it in the light of this unforgivable dereliction of duty, as Rawnsley rightly calls it, Blair ends up as an even worse national leader than Brown, difficult though that might be for some (like me) to swallow.

If you do accept Rawnsley’s characterisation of Blair, it is, however, perfectly possible to argue that he was worse than Brown as a man and as a leader. The only difference between the two frauds being, therefore, that Blair was a far better con man than Brown ever could be, which meant that Blair was able to trick the country into believing him and then voting for him. By contrast, Brown was just Brown: paranoid, delusional, vicious, incompetent even in disguising his many falsehoods and, ultimately, a total electoral liability and a catastrophe for the nation.

The impact of these realisations on the Labour leadership campaign as I said should be massive. All the candidates are as discredited as each other for failing to make the decision Blair couldn’t be ar*ed to make and stopping Brown once it was crystal clear he was utterly hopeless. As Rawnsley says, quite fairly and quite mildly in truth:

Andy Burnham was one of the nodding dogs who would declare to TV cameras that the cabinet had every confidence in Gordon Brown when the reverse was the case. Ed Balls ran the thuggish Brownite machine and the decade-long insurgency against Tony Blair to put his master in Number 10. Ed Miliband makes pious noises denouncing “factionalism” as if he is a saintly figure who never had anything to do with it. “The emissary from Planet Fuck” – as he was known among Blair’s aides during the civil war – was at the heart of the Brown faction.It is a bit tricky for David Miliband. He was one of the senior members of the cabinet who knew Brown was taking them to defeat and failed to act before it was too late.

So they all should be screwed – and rightly so. For all his hypocrisy, Mandelson doesn’t really matter because he’s not a leadership candidate. So, assuming (and this is a big assumption) the MSM ends its own version of Labourist dishonesty and begins to treat the rest with the contempt they should have coming to them for their pathetic behaviour in propping up Brown, the only untainted candidate in the Labour leadership race is, hilariously, Diane Abbott!

Either way, and this is essentially Rawnsley’s conclusion, Labour is truly, deservedly and royally buggered. And in the end, of course, they themselves are the ones who are to blame for it. After all, Blair only gave us Brown because he’d given up, and that’s how history will judge him. But the Milibands, Burnham and Balls (and Mandelson) are the ones who propped the disastrous loser up. That was unforgivable – and the country isn’t going to forgive them, ever.

Now, thankfully, their past seems finally to be catching up with them. Soon there’ll be nowhere left for them to hide any more and no amount of continued lying will save their collective political bacon. If the PLP is stupid enough to elect one of them, (and it’s almost certain that it is that stupid) then they should prepare to be out of power for decades, if not forever. Mind you, exactly the same thing will happen if they choose bonkers Abbott.

Catch 22 for the Labourist wreckers – and music to my ears!

Just watch this video and realise that not only does English football urgently need a man like Brian Clough, British public life generally does too. A sense of fair play, a respect for authority, a deep understanding of genuine priorities – what’s really important (like taking the initiative when someone’s being an idiot and stopping them!) – and a healthy contempt for the BBC’s po-faced, self-important, self-appointed, misplaced, half-baked didacticism. Best man never to have managed England, obviously, and rightfully regarded by those who knew him or supported football clubs he coached as a legend. Wish I’d been one of them!

Marvellous.

My word he would have made a team out of that bunch of overpaid airheads and losers we sent to South Africa. He makes Don Fabio look like precisely what he is, only a half-decent manager, and John Motson look like precisely what he is: a complete idiot.

Where are this nation’s Brian Cloughs, with all that flair, individualism and inner steel, when we so desperately need them!

Not a moment too soon it actually looks like the BBC’s cosy world of unaccountability, an appallingly cavalier attitude to income it does not earn but extorts from the general public for whom it has constantly shown nothing but contempt in recent years, and a severe political bias that has penetrated every level of the organisation over several decades, is about to come to an abrupt end. It certainly looks like Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative culture secretary, has actually been listening to people like me (and there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people like me) and has bravely, recognising the urgent necessity, decided to be the one to stand up to and take on the monolithic social, economic and cultural parasite that our national broadcaster, in its current form, has become.

If we are to believe what Hunt has told the Daily Telegraph, then the skids really are finally under the BBC closed shop. Furthermore, if its managers refuse to budge on certain issues, including Hunt’s very reasonable proposal that there be a significant reduction in the ridiculous licence tax given the Labour-generated current economic climate, then it could, finally, finally, herald the moment when long-overdue and massive reform comes to the creaking, unfit-for-purpose, throwback-Soviet organisation.

The Telegraph reports Hunt as saying, among other things:

There are huge numbers of things that need to be changed at the BBC. They need to demonstrate the very constrained financial situation we are now in

All the concerns I had in opposition about executive salaries and use of licence fee funds for things many people thought were extraordinary or outrageous – that (next year) will be moment when I express them

Now, I know this won’t lead to the kind of breaking-up of the corporation I want to see, with the selling off of all but the core radio and TV channels (R4, R2, Five Live, BBC1 and 2), the abolition of the jurassic licence fee (to be replaced by a central grant, charitable status and fundraising powers), but I certainly recognise that this is far more than mere gesture politics at a ripe moment. Hunt means to force the BBC into putting its house in real order, or else.

Never thought I’d see the day. Well done Jeremy Hunt. Let battle commence!

Inside the Bunker

Iain Martin has provided, presumably from his sources inside the civil service, a fascinating and chilling insight into Brown’s autocratic, paranoid and hopeless (mis)management of day-to-day Prime Ministerial business. If you haven’t already read it, click through here.

It will take a lot of effort to work out just how much damage three years (or 13 years if you include his time as a diabolical, serially disloyal Chancellor) of Brown’s weirdness and chaos in Downing Street has done to this nation. The litany of disasters that can be traced directly back to Brown’s bunker door are emerging daily, of course, so the process could take less time than we think.

Quite frankly, I think how such a man was elevated to the level of the highest office in the land in the first place, without even the pretence of any form of democratic election, should also be a source of deep and urgent study. Why? Because it must never, ever be permitted to happen again and if that means radical alterations to the rules governing the way Prime Ministers are chosen, then so be it.

In the meantime we can be happy about a couple of things, and Martin alludes to these in his excellent piece: stable, reasonable, elected people are back in charge, cabinet government appears to have returned and the principles of ministerial and collective responsibility look like being rigorously reinstated.

We shall see, but after the cocksure, cowboy, sofa government years of Blair and the mentally disturbed, incoherent, mafiosi years of Brown, it certainly feels like accountability, professionalism and, crucially, normality have returned to Downing Street, Whitehall and, perhaps (just perhaps), even Westminster.

Well, you might disagree. But God help us all if I’m wrong!

Just remember, Brown’s chief hit man, Balls, is still around, waiting in the wings, shamelessly spewing his poisonous politics of propaganda, division, dishonesty and fear. He’s on This Week right now lying through his teeth about, in this case, his many crimes against Tony Blair on behalf of his boss, Brown, to whom he remains fanatically loyal. The chances of the evil Balls becoming leader even of his own party are pretty slim, I admit, (oh I do hope he wins!) but there’s still that chance, however slight, and the frailties of our system, exposed by the Brown 2007 coup d’état, mean that at that point, he would be a hell of a lot closer to Number 10 than is sanely conceivable.

If Iain Martin’s revelations reveal just how very, very, incredibly bad Brown was, just imagine what life would be like under Prime Minister Balls.

That would be a nightmare from which we might never wake up.

New Labour Spin Twins: currently out-lying each other

Hardly surprising, I know, but since they have not been entirely well-received by his own party it was necessary for Mandelson to spin his memoirs for all he was worth upon their publication today in the face of what I predict will be pretty poor sales – and some reasonably tough questioning from Evan Davies this morning.

Even so, to hear Mandelson actually trying to spin his own, printed words from his own, conceited book – to hear him attempt the epistemologically impossible and wriggle and squirm as he did so – was a source of some pleasure for me as I battled my way into work through sheets and sheets of West Wales rain.

Doesn’t he realise we stopped believing anything he says long ago? Davies made the point quite well: something like, don’t you think the public will find it quite annoying that only three months ago you were telling them to vote for what you now call a ‘dysfunctional’ prime minister and party. Mandelson had no convincing answer to that, at least, not convincing enough for any potential readership, I would say.

But is this a case of one spin operation too far for the Prince of Spain (sic)? I suppose it’s inevitable, actually, that spinners end up spectacularly but stubbornly contradicting themselves. After all, ‘spin’ is merely a euphemism for ‘lie’. And Mandelson, after Alistair Campbell, is the biggest spinner of them all.

The only important thing about this book of Mandy’s is that it represents the first shot in Labour’s latest civil war, a war which, with enough luck, should keep them away from office – and us – for a generation.

So well done he. Sort of.