Thursday, May 15, 2008

Jacqui Smith Admits She Shouldn't be Home Secretary

Do listen to THIS clip in which a Radio 5 Live listener ties Jacqui Smith in knots over her use of cannabis.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

She does NOT 'admit she shouldn't be Home Secretary' and it is a travesty to suggest that this is the case.

She DOES however, I concede, tie her self in knots [or should that be 'nots'..?]

Anonymous said...

Comes up as not available Iain. Has Jacqui made sure we can't hear it?

Anonymous said...

I heard it yesterday and I thought it said more about New Labour imposing criminal records on ever increasing numbers, thus making them unemployable as CRB checks litter the workplace.

I think most would say (leaving 42 days aside) that Smith is doing quite a good job. I feel it would have been a waste of her talents if a Criminal record had prevented her from taking the job and believe an element of forgiveness should exist.

Having said that, shouldn't the police act if someone confesses to a Crime?

Slightly off topic, there must be thousands of people who do NOT want to give their fingerprints for the ID card. It has alreasdy been stated that the polices will have access to the ID card dabs, in order to clear up unsolved crimes.

Anonymous said...

Far out, man.

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Jacqui Smith, but her accuser is such a boring sod I actually sympathise with her.

O/T There should be a law to ban Labour politicians from using the glottal stop.

Chrome Diplomat said...

I thought the caller made his point very well, however, I think if you concede his point that Smith shouldn't be in the role of Home Sec due to a past drugs of offense and attack her on it, then you must accept the exact same principle towards Cameron's claim to be worthy of being PM (not just Cameron obviously, a lot of people on both sides of the house, but his is perhaps most relevant). Unless of course he is willing to say he would downgrade cannabis (and indeed in his case, cocaine) to a non-arrestable offense...something that I don't think would go down to well with the law and order vote...

The Fully Clothed Civil Servant said...

Chrome Diplomate is right - far better that for once in publiv life a MP tells the truth about their past. as opposed to the normal response whereby their student days should remain a guarded secret. The same would apply if Druggy Dave had the balls to come clean about his misguided activities.

Unsworth said...

Yes but she has not admitted guilt for her other - heinous - crime of being an incredibly boring bint.

Too much Botox. It's penetrated the cranial cavity. On second thoughts maybe that's not where she keeps her brain - as she always seems to be talking out of her arse.

Anonymous said...

Incriminate the Brits then get some immigrants whose convictions overseas do not count to do the work! Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

The point she is making is the correct one that there is only one crime - being caught.

Don't like the waffle about new stronger cannabis.

Anonymous said...

It's as if the Government is run by the Liberal Wing of the Provisional Labour Party! They are being so self-destructive with the wrong people on the front bench!

I've just seen John Reid, MP, on Sky News with Dermot M discussing the late Tommy Burns and Reid's demeanour & control discussing Mr Burns as well as the current issues with the Government made me wonder why he wasn't Party Leader and PM because, as a natural Tory, Reid made me feel that he was a man in control and astute integrity. Labour's loss and all that....

Rantman.

Vox Populli said...

Can we hope that the "Supreme Leader" will actually admit to being "not fit for purpose" at his monthly press conference ?

one night in bangkok said...

Legalise it!

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Well, the caller's argument here is she'd have a criminal record under the measures she now proposes, had they existed shen she was a dopehead.

Had those measures existed at the time, however, and had she received an initial warning knowing that it was caution next and prosecution after that, then presumably she'd have jacked it in at that point or short of it. And consequently would not have a conviction.

In other words she could and should argue that what she's proposing now would have deterred her then.

She's still a stupid cow, of course.

Anonymous said...

Glass Houses and Stones come to mind here Iain...

As you know, neither Dave, George nor many, many of their friends can afford to get onto this territory!

Pure Innovation said...

Chrome Diplomat: I think the point that Jacqui Smith was forced to concede, is that by her own rules, the rules that she is putting through parliament, that someone currently making the same mistakes as she made when she was young would now get a criminal record and therefore be unable to become Home Secretary no matter how responsible they may be by the time they reach her age. By her own ruling she should not be in her job.

Now this is not to say that these new rules are not correct in theory, but is perhaps an argument that perhaps some offenses, at the discretion of a judge, should be removed from someones criminal record after a set period of time. For example smoke cannabis, get a criminal record for 20 years. Harsh enough to act as a deterrent, but would allow someone like Jacqui Smith to hold the position she does in later life.

Boyce said...

I thought she dealt with this idiot well enough. I would have just told him to fuck off. It's such a stupid point. Would this guy want a transport minister fired if they'd ever got a speeding ticket? I think on the contrary - on what grounds can someone with no experience of drugs be expected to have an idea of what policies would and wouldn't deter someone?

Adrian Yalland said...

Jaqui Smith is all over the place on this issue.

Firstly, she has admitted to doing something which, at the time she did it, was illegal - therefore, presumably someone could make a complaint to plod, who would be duty bound to investigate it and potentially issue some legal proceeding.

Secondly, Labour's endless attempts to introduce ever more offences onto the statute book means that ever more people run the risk of being criminalized for activities which were once perfectly legal. Hunting, smoking cigarettes, driving....I am sure others could add more points. Labour is a party whose philosophy is to answer potential problems by introducing laws to restrict personal freedom, thus making more criminals. This, coupled with police targets (meaning plod chase the easily winnable offences - like a lad with a spliff) means we will all have records before long!

Yet real criminals, real thugs and real hoodlums seem to be treated ever more leniently, and get away with far more than they should.

This is entirely the wrong approach. Labour and plod should stop busting a gut to go after the little 'crimes' and concentrate on the hardcore criminal who make life a misery for the rest of us.

Thirdly, the U-turn over cannabis classification was stupid. The only answer is to recognize that there are now two types of cannabis. One is the kind which was smoked when I was a young lad, and is fairly weak, makes you giggle a bit and in the grand scheme of things is fairly harmless, and the other is the stuff which fries your brains and turns you psycho.

The only answer is to legalize the varieties of weaker stuff, regulate it (via licensing the commercial growth of acceptable strains of cannabis) and tax it at the point of sale – which would be via newsagents just as tobacco cigarettes are. This leaves plod free to police rigorously the stronger stuff which turns the brain to putty, and which would be the stuff sold on the black market!

This would raise money for No.11 to waste, doesn’t criminalize those who like a recreational spliff of a weekend, but says that the really hard stuff is not socially acceptable.

I think that is a good balance, pragmatic and easy to enforce.

Therefore, it has zero chance of being made into law!

Bob's head revisited said...

Jaqui Smith always reminds of a mediocre HR manager - the type you might find faffing around in a packaging firm on an Industrial Park somewhere near Wokingham.

You'd see her walking by sometimes in a bloody awful two-piece on her way to a meeting about about the last meeting about that other meeting last week. And you wonder: what does she actually do, that woman? And what is HR, exactly?

I don't know how she came to be Home Secretary. I can only assume there was some sort of administrative error, a bizarre typo, and no-one has spotted it yet.

Anonymous said...

Never mind Jaquie Smith, what about the ridiculous claim from Gordon Brown that he can save the economy "again" ? (see BBC website). Could anyone tell mne when he saved it before? (or is he again confusing his policies with those of the conservative party and in this case Ken Clark's success in laying the foundations for economic growth and recovery)

strapworld said...

I agree with chrome diplomat.

I know I will be in the minority. We will never beat the menance of illegal drugs until someone somewhere grabs the initiative and says loud and clear that PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK! all it does is create another vast income stream for criminals.

The major barons and pushers are rarely caught and they live lives of luxury whilst the ones that are caught live lives of abject misery (mostly)!

WE should prescribe drugs for those that need them. We prescribe drugs and services for those hooked on alcohol and tobacco- which kill far more of our people!

Such a way would ensure that the young people today who are stupid to dabble with drugs will not be criminalised and would be able - when the grow up - to become, should they wish to, a politician.

I am a minority but one day our thinking will become the policy of a party with guts!

What this radio interview showed quite frankly was a young man who should be a parliamentarian and a silly woman out of her depth!

norman said...

So many Labour apologists are frequenting this blog! I would have thought that they would keep their head down given that Brown their economic wizard is really like the Wizard of OZ- a coward and Ms Smith who is scared to go out and let all us face the knife wielding gangs in the street. Some one said in 1978 Winter of Discotent:'Labour Party has no shame'

Colin said...

There's a moderately serious point here that merits debate about the extent to which someone's former actions and record should impact on their ability to hold political and public office. It sems to me that we could sensibly take the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act as a starting point, which provides that some (but not all) convictions can be regarded as 'spent' after a period of time. This Act, however, is to a great extent negated by the current requirement for standard or enhanced CRB checks whereby the latter(I think I'm right) bring to light spent convictions as well as those which are not within the Rehabiliation of Offenders Act. This effectively means that some people, convicted or (relatively) minor offences in their youth may find themselves ineligible for certain jobs etc for their lifetimes. There's a contradiction here which I think needs resolving.

In this case the Home Sec has, in effect, admitted an offence but was not 'caught' or charged. It's like admitting a drink driving offence as a young person while being Transport Secretary. How far back do we trawl to determnine suitability?


My own belief is that all politicians and holders of public office should be completely transparent about past offences, convictions and transgressions; but that we should be more tolerant of what happended 20 or so years ago and not exclude people from office on the basis of tabloid hysteria.

Anonymous said...

clip removed by bbc censors 1219am?

Dave H. said...

(odd thing about previous comments is continuous use of Anonymous. There's a risk of it progressing into a form of misuse. Can't think what the recovery group'll be called though)

The clip was quite funny. His point was so unexpected it knocked her completely off balance for a few seconds. She did begin to recover after a while.

Pity, as CD says, this is not safe ground for Iain because of DC's consumption of Coca-Cola (his frequent trips abroad mean Guido couldn't run this clip either, so he may go silent for a while).

Anon @10:10
Ask the police if JS is doing a good job. They hated her guts even before the gov. reneged on an arbitrated 2.5% rise.

danny said...

Yawn. What a load of rubbish from the politicians-should-somehow-be without-sin-brigade. I thought you would know better than that, Iain. If you want to follow this line (geddit??),then 'Sniffer' Cameron should give up all ambition to become PM for a start... next!

Matthew Chorley said...

I'm glad most people have been pretty reasonable on this.

There's absolutely no reason why Jacqui Smith shouldn't be Home Secretary because of what she did in the past. There's always this tendency to think politicians should be somehow better than the rest of us, and I can't think why this should be. And as time goes on, the law needs to change to be relevant; you can't judge somebody by today's standards when things were completely different a few years ago.

Having said all that, Jacqui Smith's not a great Home Secretary, and I completely disagree with the reclassification of cannibis. I'm in favour of legalising all drugs anyway, but in this case it just seems obviously the wrong thing to do, going against all the advice received.

By the way, does anyone know of any studies that actually show cannibis these days is stronger than it used to be? It seems to be all anecdotal to me.

Auntie Flo' said...

Anonymous said...
Comes up as not available Iain. Has Jacqui made sure we can't hear it?


I had the same problem accessing the BBC's videos of Cameron and Clegg's questions to Brown at PMQs yesterday. These were 'not available' either, yet all the videos of Brown were available.

Most odd.

These selective failures of news that presents Brown and nulab in a bad light happen far too often to be coincidences.

James said...

Adrin - "plod should stop busting a gut to go after the little 'crimes' and concentrate on the hardcore criminal who make life a misery for the rest of us."

Presumably you're against Boris Johnson's policy then?

I'd like to see zero tolerance given a chance personally, eventhough I didn't vote for the Bullingdon Rabbit.

I agree with Colin, but I'd add that there's a big difference between sharing drugs in a middle class garden and doing them in the middle of a crime-ridden housing estate. The plods shouldn't be knocking on the doors of the middle classes, they should be going after the suppliers at the scenes where most crime occurs.

Unpalatable and "classist? maybe, but true. Illegal drug taking is delinquent activity, whoever does it, but we need to work on the consequent crime where it happens, and that is not generally in The Avenue.

Apologies to the victims of middle class dope-heads for my generalisation.

Anonymous said...

Works every time I try it. Must be your computer set ups.

Dave H. said...

Auntie Flo and others,
the clip still seems available to me, so either no conspiracy or a very strange one.

It seems Guido's blog may not go silent after all.

Anonymous said...

Auntie Flo' said...
"These selective failures of news that presents Brown and nulab in a bad light happen far too often to be coincidences."

The clip worked for me at 10.30 am and again at 4.00 pm.

No conspiracy.

Paul said...

Jacqui Smith: How To Take Drugs And Get Away With It

http://www.anorak.co.uk/reality-tv/183915.html

Unsworth said...

@ Boyce

"on what grounds can someone with no experience of drugs be expected to have an idea of what policies would and wouldn't deter someone?"

OK. Does this argument hold with reference to rape, murder, bank robbery, GBH etc?

Oscar said...

What I don't get about this cannabis regrade is that, apparently, skunk weed is still not as strong as the hash thats been around since forever.

Is it too late to charge the hypocrite? Its a maximum of 5 years in prison now for possession of even the mild stuff.

Anonymous said...

She is a clueless incompetent inept Moron who couldnt run a sweet shop!.

She'll go far in McLabour!

Anonymous said...

Why is it every time I see Jaqui Smith I am reminded of the woman who was the computer in the early episodes of "Red Dwarf". "Holly" was she called there?

Paul Pinfield said...

"Yes, I did take drugs which would amount to a criminal offence, thereby preventing me from becoming Home Secretary...

No I should not be prosecuted for admitting to a criminal offence, thereby preventing me from becoming Home Secretary..."

How very New Labour...

Adrian Yalland said...

Paul Pinfield's point is the knub of the matter (is that how you spell knub btw?).

Whilst her honesty is refreshing, the point is she did something illegal. Given that many crimes are prosecuted years after the crime, there is a sound argument for saying that she should at least get a warning from plod - just as anyone else caught with a spliff today would. Afterall, these are her rules - why should she be immune from them?

James - zero Tolerance. Tricky - I suspect that I am oppossed to the idea of plod coming down on everybody for everything! Society - and the law in particular - have lost both a sense of proportion and a sense of humour.

When you can now get a criminal record for leaving your dustbin open perhaps things have gone to far?

I think the police should focus attention on hardcore repeat perptraters of low-level crime, not chase around in panda cars issuing £75 on the spot fines because someone drops a crisp packet!

If you see someone drop a crisp packet - pick it up and either embarrass them by giving it back whilst saying lousdly "excuse me, I think you accidently dropped this", or put in a bin yourself. This kind of 'low level anti social behaviour' is not the kind of thing that plod should be worrying about - not when there are motorists doing 34mph in a 30mph zone!

We will end up like Singapore. Zero crime, but the most sterile, boring, lifeless and souless place on earth! Living in Singapore is horrid because you spend your entire life looking over your shoulder in case you fart in a 'no farting' zone!

Labour want us to be like Sinaporeans - easy to control, all doing what big brother orders us to do without questionning it!

some bloke said...

Is there a Statute Of Limitations for the offence of smoking cannabis ?
If not, why have the Police not arrested Ms.Smith given her on-air confession of her criminal behaviour ?

Congratulations to the caller btw, kept his cool in the face of this professional politician.

( Legalise the lot says I )

Steven_L said...

They should all just take a leaf out of the Clinton/Boris book and 'admit' they did/didn't sneeze/inhale surely?

This is why we think they are out of touch, their almost inhuman lack of humour and failure to recognise we're not completely incapable of reading inbetween the lines, puts us off.

Does she sound like the kind of person you'd want to have a long afternoon meeting with, or a drink after work for that matter.

No, she doesn't, that's the difference between heavyweights like Bill, Blair and Boris and these losers Gordon has surrounded himself with!

Anonymous said...

why didn't thyey fine cameron for going through red lights? He should have a criminal record for his drug use too.

Adrian Yalland said...

Anon@8.59.

1 - Cameron has not admitted to taking drugs - he simply refused to comment on the matter. Somewhat different to Ms Smith's 'mea culpa' moment!

2 - If plod chased every cyclist who goes through a red light, they would not get anything else done. However, perhaps a stiff letter from plod to him wouldn't be a bad idea. Cyclists in London do seem to act as if they won the road - and some of them are dangerous!

James said...

I'm pretty sure he'd admitted doing it it at school and was threatened with expulsion.

Personally, i'd fine everyone caught with drugs the equivalent of five years salary.

I think we agree that plod should be chasing the real criminals - in this case the suppliers of illegal drugs, but I'd love the streets of the City to be policed by community officers - just stopping them as they cross junctions through red, and inconveniencing them for five minutes would do the trick.

By the way, have you ever tried berating some-one for dropping litter in,say, Brixton at night?

James said...

From the BBC last year :

"Mr Cameron, then aged 15, was one of several boys caught smoking cannabis at Eton.

He confessed and was grounded. Some of the other boys were expelled. "

If his teachers and the police had done their jobs properly, maybe we'd have been spared this nonentiy's attempts to out-Blair Blair in his vasuous, inane approach to leadership.

Anonymous said...

Steven_L said...
"Does she sound like the kind of person you'd want to have a long afternoon meeting with, or a drink after work for that matter."

No, but then neither do Cameron or Osborne. David Davis maybe. Theresa May? ugh!

Anonymous said...

some bloke said...
"Is there a Statute Of Limitations for the offence of smoking cannabis ?
If not, why have the Police not arrested Ms.Smith given her on-air confession of her criminal behaviour ?"

Because the action of the Oxford police at the time of the offence (25 years ago) would simply have been to give her a ticking off.

The same as with Cameron at Eton, though there the school authorities covered up for him when he was caught smoking cannabis and made sure that the offence didn't come to the attention of the police.