Anorak News | Guilty Secret

Guilty Secret

by | 6th, April 2005

‘HABEAS corpus is a funny, old-fashioned sort of phrase, isn’t it?

”And his ears to be boxed until he atones for his sins. Next!”

It brings to mind an era long before New Lawyers like Tony Blair, when stuffy old men used Latin phrases and old-fashioned words like liberty and freedom.

Thank goodness those days are behind us. As Tony reminds us in his personal election letter to Daily Mirror readers, we must move forwards, not back.

What he doesn’t mention is habeas corpus. But the Sun does, albeit not by name. Instead, it honours it in the breach by revealing a top-secret Labour plan to lock up more criminals. Or, to be strictly accurate, to lock up so-called criminals, since these people won’t actually have stood trial.

Detention without trial used to be associated in the public imagination with repressive foreign regimes. Even New Labour wasn’t particularly keen on it – although that was probably because it was centuries out of date.

But now Tony has had a rethink, and come up with a shiny new twist on the concept. The idea is that people who fail to appear in court will be jailed automatically.

“BLAIR BLITZ ON COURT DODGERS,” the Sun announces approvingly, revealing “hush-hush” plans to tackle “yob suspects”. Or, as Lord Chancellor “Charlie” Falconer puts it: “Justice has to be seen to be done and be done quickly without the accused stringing out the proceedings.”

Or, to take it to its logical conclusion: Kill ’em all – let God sort ’em out.

It’s a disturbing thought, but there is of course an in-built check. Most of these “yob suspects” probably wouldn’t be jailed anyway; instead, they would receive an ASBO or an electronic tag.

Given that the attendance rate for ASBOs is about the same as that for holy communion on a Sunday morning, and that even Lord Falconer can’t fit tags in a person’s absence, it seems unlikely that our streets will be washed clean of the scum by Travis Bickle-Blair in the near future.

Ed Barrett’

Posted: 6th, April 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink