On liberty…..

The Evening Standard reports that “Civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti threatened to sue Cabinet minister Andy Burnham today over “smears” about her links to Tory David Davis.” Story

Briefly… Burnham, regarded as bringing a degree of humour to what seems to be an otherwise humourless Brown led Labour government, made unfortunate remarks about Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty and David Davis who resigned as an MP and was promptly replaced by WebCameron as shadow home secretary.

The Evening Standard report indicates that – “Culture Secretary Mr Burnham triggered the row last night by claiming that Mr Davis had shared “late night, handwringing, heart-melting phone calls” with Ms Chakrabarti as they opposed the Government’s anti-terror plans.”

Chakrabarti has demanded an apology – read the story for details.

While Burnham is “aghast” – it was both tactless and rather naive to comment in such a way. Labour MP Diane Abbott made the point that if the director of Liberty had been a man, Burnham would probably not have made the remark.

Ridiculous nonsense on the part of a government minister. MPs should leave the one liners to the professionals.


Off-pissed Update 11.45 pm: This Week, an amusing politics programme, has been delayed until 12.15 because of the f*****g football coverage. Why do we have to have so much bloody football on TV?…. the football hooligans are all out at this time of night keeping the police busy….. I may have to write to the BBC to complain…

The only interesting thing, from my point of view – I can’t stand football – about Euro 2008, is that the Swiss played the Nazi version of the German National Anthem the other night as part of their coverage. Switzerland … nil points…

The football bores are still droning on…. I can’t seem to see Ingerland or any other British team taking part in this competition. Did we vote “NO” to participating? … or were our footballers just F*****g useless and not qualify? I shall consult Google tomorrow and find out the answer.

Further update: It is 12.01 pm. Charon is in the Diary Room over refreshed. Football bores are droning on about dribbling…. some Scots guy has been boring for Edinburgh or Glasgow about the finer points of something. They are not even showing footage of footballers footballing and committing fouls… just bores droning on. Where has that guy with the moustache and big chin gone? You know the one?… Jimmy Hill who looked remarkably like not to be knighted Bruce Forsyth.

“Switzerland 1 – Turkey nil” shouted some hyperventilating commentator… I don’t care…. … drones are back on… I give up…. I’m going to use my remote control and flick over to The Parliament Channel for the next ten minutes …. at least, provided they are showing something from the Commons, I will be able to listen to elected bores droning on…

9 thoughts on “On liberty…..

  1. And yet so many comedy writers and stand-up comedians have a period of writing jokes for political speeches in their c.v.

    I guess that explains why there are so many dubious sitcoms around nowadays!

  2. Andrew: Surely not?

    I’m now watching Question Time with a glass or two of Rioja – I particularly enjoy it when some bufffer comes on, goes off piste, misunderstands the points being made, and talks absolute nonsense….. that is what democracy is all about…. And the guy from UKIP is beginning to bore me…. he doesn’t seem to be particularly articulate … but he has a loud voice and ‘angry of middle England’ facial expressions….

    Politics… sophisticated?… one person… one vote?… marvellous idea… but what if a high percentage of people who do vote haven’t got a bloody clue what they are voting for beyind tribal loyalty….?

    It is called Britain… eccentric… marvellous… daft… and inspiring… long live uninformed, bloody minded, bufferish, democracy.

    I’m a bit over refreshed now… so I am going to go and watch This Week… which has been delayed because of the fucking football…

    Why the fuck is there so much football on TV…. ?

    That is all I have to add this night…. Sorry… I’ve not answered your question….

    Apart that is… from saying that I have got to wait up until 12.15 to watch This Week… I shall – and in the meantime I am going to go onto to some football blogs and chuck verbal bogrolls about…. or write a letter to the BBC saying “Why oh Why is there so much fucking football on your channel?…. the hooligans are all out getting pissed at 11.15… smashing up town centres…. so who the fuck is actually watching football highlights to a match they already know the result of at 11.35 on a Thursday night.”

  3. What I find interesting in our so-called democracy is how many ex-Home Office wallahs take up positions to protect our rights. I recall that the present Prisons Ombudsman, Stephen Shaw, the former Director of the Prison Reform Trust, used to work for the Home Office. Shami Chakrabarti is a former Home Office barrister.

    It may be that they become reformed characters. However, I do recall reading how pressure groups had not to be too radical if they expected to get the ear of the Home Office to push for reforms. I suspect that this too cosy relationship could lead to the accusation that those involved become part of the problem rather than a cure.

  4. Jailhouselawyer.

    Hi. Listened to David Davis and Hilary benn on Question Time last night. Although a lifelong Labour voter – I am beginning to tire of the stridency of the present cabinet ministers.

    For the moment, until I hear what Davis really has to say in his hustings leading to the by-election – I am encouraged that he had the courage to resign. certainly – he will not, he says, be invited back into the shadow cabinet.

    I am disappointed that Labour did not have the sense to put up a candidate. Benn’s comment that parliament is the proper place to debate the issue – and the issue was debated – was not entirely convincing. Intyyerestingly, Tony Benn (Hilary benn’s father) is assisting Davis in the by-election!

    We shall see. It is an important issue -as is security. But the ‘mission creep’, abuse of RIPA by councils, the gradual erosion of civil rights / liberties is something we should all be concerned about.

    Terrorism is a real and present threat and issue – but we seem, through law, to be achieving a degree of restrictionon our lives, our freedoms, our rights, which must delight those who engage in terror.

    Perhaps this by-election will bring sensible and interesting debate. I hope so.

    Brown claims that 70 % of the British public support the extension from 28 – 42 days. That may well be so in statistical terms. Are they all well informed?… Hopefully the by-election will provide thoughtful coverage of a highly complex issue.

    Davis is to be appaluded, at least, for that.

    I try to be as objective as I can when it comes to issues – and do not tend to think along ‘tribal political’ lines.

    An interesting summer ahead with Europe, the Davis by-election and the current economic instability.

    It will be interesting if politicians – from all parties – are able to step up to the plate. Listened to Osbroene being questioned on newsnight following Darling / King speeches at the mansion House – not that impressed by his responses. Not a lot of meat on the bone that night from Osborne.

    Time for politicians to really earn their money !

  5. “Did we vote “NO” to participating? … or were our footballers just F*****g useless and not qualify? I shall consult Google tomorrow and find out the answer.”

    No need Charon, I’ll tell you now it was option B. There was an umbrella involved as well.

  6. The Chief: Ah yes… umbrellas. I remember talking to Dr Paul Knapman, the coroner in the Markov case, years ago about that unusual use of umbrellas.

    I don’t have any umbreallas – friends have nicked them all from my hall stand. I use a copy of the independent held over my head!

    On that note… I shall return to my day job of writing sensible stuff.

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