According to the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Sun, the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has got it all wrong and is ‘soft on crime’.
With headlines quoting a ‘charter for criminals’, ‘get out of jail free’ and all the other cheap, thick nonsense spread all over their various front pages, they have made it very clear that they – like the Conservative Party in general – are totally incapable of moving forward and are permanently stuck in a past that exists no more.
The idea that ‘prison works’ is a view supported only by vindictive, self-serving idiots – MPs mainly. If prison really did work, those leaving prison would not re-offend; in reality they do. The argument that those behind bars cannot commit crime is only worth anything if they are kept in prison until they die. That is unacceptable to most people and in the vast majority of cases would be wholly unlawful.
The views of Michael Howard who came up with the phrase ‘prison works’ are outdated and completely irrelevant to the modern world. He may not have moved on but the rest of the world has. Generally speaking, those who advocate longer sentences either have a personal experience of crime or work in an area that requires them to show that they are ‘tough on crime’; people like probation officers, prison warders and policeman – and of course, Home Secretaries.
David Cameron, who is fast becoming an exact replica of Tony Blair, was apparently ‘furious’ that Clarke had ‘rewritten’ penal policy. TheOpinionSite.org does not believe for one moment that control freaks like Cameron and Blair have ever allowed anything to be published without their explicit permission.
If Cameron was using Clarke to test public and parliamentary reaction to the new policy, then he came firmly unstuck and has only himself to blame. Cameron won’t last long whatever he does; he’s too weak and dishonest. His own forces are starting to doubt him and the likes of the ambitious Home Secretary, Theresa May are waiting to stick the knife in as soon as they can. She proved that yesterday when she started to criticise Clarke’s proposals.
By the way, that is all she did. She did not ‘slate’ Clarke as suggested by the rather pathetic Daily Express that seems to think it is still a real newspaper and can take on the Sun and Daily Mail at their own game, which it can’t. It should also be pointed out that May is not responsible for prisons even though she might like to be. She should mind her own business and concentrate on sorting out the police who seem rather too keen to provoke violence on the streets rather than prevent it.
TheOpinionSite.org believes the truth of all this is much more simple. The Conservative Party cannot get it into their right wing heads heads that they did not win the election. They think this is a Conservative administration; it isn’t. They think they rule; they do not.
Worse than all that, their rants and ravings show that they are not remotely interested in doing what is is best for the country and are only interested it maintaining their ‘tough on crime’ image in order to placate their traditional supporters, most of whom are either dead or dying. As we said, the world – and the country – has moved on.
Nick Clegg needs to get off his financially well-padded backside and start standing up for Liberal principles once again, especially having rather stupidly allowed himself to take the flack for the tuition fees disaster when most of that should have fallen on Cameron. Then again, Cameron is Head Boy and Clegg only the senior prefect.
Cameron should watch his back as well. If the likes of May are out to get him, disenchanted others will not be far behind. Chris Grayling and the outcast David Laws just to mention two of them. They have little to lose by mounting an open attack in the near future.
As for Ken Clarke, he won’t go without a fight and he won’t go without causing as many problems for the Tory Right (which he detests) as he can.
Clarke said in his statement on the Sentencing Green Paper that this was ‘a once in a generation opportunity’ to put right and correct the backward penal policy of this country. An opportunity to learn from European systems rather than blindly following the failed policies of the United States. An opportunity to help those people who do not want to re-offend and an opportunity to help them rejoin the community and once again make a solid contribution to our society.
Instead, thick, selfish, ignorant, self-seeking, vote hungry and idle right wing conservative MPs are prepared to waste that opportunity for the sake of retaining their own comfortable positions.
MPs are despised in this country and it is not hard to understand why. Those who stay stuck in the past and who fail to progress will ultimately pay the price, just as Blair and his lot did. The question is, how much more damage will they do to the country in the meantime?
TheOpinionSite.org believes that Theresa May in particular should remember that Howard is despised, Blunkett was sacked for taking advantage of his position, Reid couldn’t hack it, Charles Clarke was sacked and the £60,000 expense-fiddling Jacqui Smith who got us to pay for her husband’s porn videos was kicked out by the voters.
All the above people were Home Secretary, they all made matters worse and they all had a lust for power. They all, in the end, got what they deserved.
The Conservatives should back Ken Clarke and support his proposals. If they do not, they will pay a heavy price when their arrogant, selfish party dies – along with its ‘traditional’ supporters who get older by the day.