Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The government in a mess over criminal justice

The problem with the Tories has always been a lack of principle. Their driving force is to get into government and stay there. However, this lack of principle does have an upside. Unlike the ideologues of Labour, they will bend in the wind of public opinion, this being consistent with holding power. Unfortunately, public opinion, represented by the shrieks of the tabloid press, is not always very enlightened.

Thus we see the government retreating from Ken Clarke's announced 'hug a rapist' policy, but the result is unlikely to improve the woeful state of criminal justice. Exihit A -according to the Mail:

The Prime Minister today assured homeowners that they will not be prosecuted for defending themselves against intruders as he outlined proposed changes to the criminal justice system.

David Cameron said those who use ‘reasonable force’ to protect their families would not face the ordeal of being hauled through the courts themselves.Although the current law allows a similar provision, the Premier said he would clarify which defence actions would be legal and which not.
Aha! So the PM is offering us something we already have - the right to self-defence - but with added clarity. In other words, the general principle will be attacked and prescribed. This is hardly progress.

On top of this, there is the usual mish-mash of knee-jerk measures, which are hardly likely to improve matters.

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