If you thought Parliament’s latest palpitations about votes for prisoners might – at last – be the death throes of this interminable debate, I’ve got bad news.
As a community activist in an area like many others where residents are seeing the impact of national cuts trickle down to local decision making, the words ‘judicial review’ seem to be the most frequent ones I hear. I don’t know what that says about me, or where I live, but there we are.
Yesterday, Jason Beattie at the Mirror revealed a massive cut to the Crime Prevention budget, funds that would have been used locally by elected Police and Crime Commissioners. This massive shortfall in funding means that many of the elected police chiefs will not be able to properly fulfil the role set out for them.
In these weeks of political rebirth as all the parties put on their serious voices and try to spark our interest again, the Tories have been talking tough justice. Last week at conference, Chris Grayling has made clear his desire to bring a harder line into the Department of Justice.
The present Coalition government is considering, in its new Justice and Security Bill, a fundamental and undemocratic change to the way in which our justice system is run. The existence of secret hearings has always been controversial.
The last Labour government’s treatment of asylum seekers left a lot to be desired.
It’s not surprising when a certain section of the media cast the most vulnerable in society as good-for-nothing scroungers.
There have been a few stories on our boys in blue these last few weeks. The march by off-duty officers was received with a sort of curiosity by much of the union movement, as was their treatment of the Home Secretary. It’s like seeing the beagles start growling at the huntsmen.
A firm and unequivocal commitment to standing up for civil liberties will not win Labour the next election. But, they should make one anyway.
If there’s one issue which the party badly lost its way on, it was this one.
There is no problem. Go back to bed, Britain. We have enough police, and we’re freeing them from paperwork! They’ll be out on the streets in no time. That’s if we haven’t taken an axe to their jobs.
So goes the new rhetoric on police cuts.
Eleven of the fifteen teenagers who were murdered in London last year were stabbed. One of those was only fourteen years old. If this doesn’t provide testament to the fact that youth violence is still a problem in this country then it is unclear what ever could.
The announcement that James Murdoch is to step down as chairman of BSkyB will have provoked sighs of relief in offices all over Westminster.
His continued presence has lingered over British politics like a pungent cloud.