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Wednesday, 9 May, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 9 May 07, 05:30 PM

By Carol Rubra, programme producer

justice203.jpgIn an attempt to make the Home Office "fit for purpose" it has been split into two separate ministries - one will focus on counter-terrorism and the other will manage the prison and justice system. Yet the architect of this makeover, John Reid, has announced he's leaving before the job is done. Will the Home Office ever be "fit for purpose"? In a special programme, we examine the key issues facing an incoming Home Secretary and new Prime Minister.

Security
Will the newly restructured Home Office, with its greater focus on counter-terrorism, ensure that the mistakes made leading up to the 7 July bomb attacks never happen again? With four people arrested today in connection with the London bombings we have been in Beeston. The man who warned West Yorkshire police about Mohammed Sidique Khan two years before the attacks tells us that the police failed to respond to his warnings. Could they have intervened earlier and prevented the bombings?

Prisons and the judiciary
The challenges facing the newly formed Justice ministry are just as pressing. The prison population is rapidly approaching capacity and some senior judges have severe reservations about bringing prisons and courts into the same department. Today, Lord Falconer has unveiled his blueprint for his ministry - but will it work?

Asylum
Can the asylum system ever give protection to those who need it while preventing the thousands who seek to abuse it from doing so? Paul Mason has the story of a Zimbabwean Trade Union activist whose two adult children applied for asylum in the UK. One was granted asylum, the other was refused. What does this say about the state of the asylum system?

Blair
And it's possibly been one of the most stage-managed departures in political history. David Grossman takes a look at some of the preparations which are under way ahead of Tony Blair's much trailed announcement of when he is stepping down as Prime Minister.

Jeremy presents Wednesday's programme - on which comments are welcome below...

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:23 PM on 09 May 2007,
  • David Butler wrote:

Do we really need to focus on counter terrorism so much? I can understand why the government is so concerned about terrorism. If there were another 7/7, it could suffer the same fate as the Spanish government after the Madrid bombing.

Could it be that the government's response to the current terrorism is much more extreme, than it was to the IRA violence, because it knows that it has done a lot to incite the violence itself?

The ordinary citizen is much more likely to be killed or seriously injured as a result of ordinary crime.

Personally I would like to see the focus more on street crime and the drugs problem.

  • 2.
  • At 10:29 PM on 09 May 2007,
  • The world is safer with investigation wrote:

The Nation needs an investigations minister not a justice minister...

Justice has failed and justice mongers have increasingly valued criminality with sympathy as a way of life!

Justice can madden any social intelligence into bizarre blame and complain lives of syllogistic wishful enforcements extremism...

No one can compete with it...

The public should want investigation not justice...

The nation needs an Investigations Minister ...not a Minister of Justice... top quality investigation should be the aim... the public have paid their council tax and deserve at least a days work for their £145+ a year ....

Criminal justice vying with lawful justice leads to wars of ethnic believers...

Only conscientious who dunnits and practical investigations should be allowed...

All moral socialist motives must be repositioned into a framework of rectified understandings and headmastered experience...

The pursuit of investigation: is Thorough Objectivity ... Rectification... and multi partite political correction..putting people right ...through correction of failure and misunderstanding within the confines of protective custody....

But the pursuit of justice: is the retribution of others into defeat!

We all recollect the popularised words of great leaders and a workable world of the many pasts we look to for inspiration...









  • 3.
  • At 10:48 PM on 09 May 2007,
  • Observing the miracle of Blairite Justice wrote:

Observing the miracle of Blairite Justice....

People can get even with their own prejudice based on they want you to seem

People can get social justice with their own imagination...of the kind of careactor they want you to represent...

No-one can have their own intelligence..no!? No! we all live in peril of the empire in their heads and have to agree with their believers!

But the real miracle is...when there is no objectivity only obedience, and no honesty only belief, no consequence only economic triviality, no respect of human life only deservence, and no police only uniformed inmates earning the money doing what they feel like..then no-one supports the victims the wronged the angry, or those trying to intervene to stop it anymore and Blairites see only the evidence for their defences!

The number of victims per Blairite runs into hundreds per Blairite...up to a severity of justified death health and safety accidents, ripping off money, raping, car sabotage, drugs GBH, and deliberate psychiatric distressing ...

All let off because they don't like people cos they want to like themselves better and it shows fight for life which they deserve...and their victims don't because they thought other approaches and other company were worth more...

  • 4.
  • At 11:14 PM on 09 May 2007,
  • Iain Brodie wrote:

Paxman said a Ministry of Justice was a "Funny Continental thing - now Britain has one".

Duh!

In Scotland we've had a Minister for Justice for the past 8 years.

Scotland is still part of Britain.

Throughly outstanding Jeremy tonight (20/10) particularly with David Davis & David Hanson the new Justice Minister and also with Adrian Fudge. Can't wait for Thursday's top drawer guests on Tony Blair's farewell!!!!!

We are measuring the "Consequences of Blair"
but what of the "Causes of Blair"? Ireland or Iraq - and all that lies between. Was Blair working for us, or for his insatiable need for status and adulation - at any price?

  • 7.
  • At 11:17 AM on 10 May 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

It's time for Blair to leave his job now .Tenure of 8 years is enough for leader of a Country .
Look to America , The president has maximum 2 4-year tenures . It's possible period for him/her to contribute his best . If be longer , the country should be stagnant , like France under Chirac's 12-year reign .
New air always be applauded .

  • 8.
  • At 11:49 AM on 10 May 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

As I see it, through cynically hiving off 'counter terrorism' to fight the so-called 'war on terror', and 'clash of civilisations' the government can 'protect' its people from whatever it 'perceives' to be a threat, whilst never actually having to quantify that threat or demonstrate the extent to which it has in fact prevented or deterred anything! Such a department can hype up threats to make it look like the government's doing something useful when it is all just smoke and mirrors. I suggest it should be called 'The Ministry of Perception Management' or 'Ministry of Fear'.

The evidence to date tells one that these threats are rare events, with relatively low costs when they're not prevented.

Meanwhile, the new 'Ministry of Justice' is a dustbin. It's left to deal with all of the consequences of the demographic transition (see #1) which would be highly visible were it not for a) the flood of unmanaged immigration and b) explosion in ICT which make it look like people are managing.

Ministers (and what little remains of the civil servants in this area) will now struggle to deal with it all, and in the case of the Civil Servants, will ultimately find their jobs hived off to the private and 'third' sectors which will spin all sorts of nonsense to keep their contracts, and probably control the data too!

There's a more pressing problem (#1) than 'anthropogenic' global warming and 'the war on terror', but I fear it's one which our highly verbal spin doctors don't know how to deal with, so we get all this nonsense instead.

#1 see comments at the end:

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/zia_haider_rahman/profile.html

  • 10.
  • At 12:19 PM on 10 May 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

is it not amazing how people from afghanistan and china turn up in the uk seeking asylum when they must have travelled through many countries that are 'safe'. wouldn't a real asylum seeker go to the first safe place? So to turn up in the uk one must suspect it is because of the multi billion people smuggling business?

According to UNHCR statistics, Japan recognized only 91 asylum seekers as refugees during a 10-year period between 1992 and 2001 while Britain recognized 92,669.

perhaps what this case shows is that legitimate cases will and are happy to use the official process whatever that might be while bogus cases if they bothered to use the process would just disappear into the cities at the first sign of trouble? Like in so many other things in the uk it is the honest and law abiding who are punished for doing the right thing?

csharp'c observation that any genuine asylum seeker would stop at the nearest safe country, and his comparative figures for Japan and UK supply an answer to Paul Masons question about the state of the asylum system.
The simple answer is that UK is being used by genuine and phony asylum seekers alike. Irrespective of whether the Zimbabwe trade union activist's offspring are genuine or not, why should UK feel guilty about their plight rather than South Africa and other member countries of the African Union?

  • 12.
  • At 07:01 PM on 10 May 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#10. That may well be, and whilst what you say is no doubt true, surely what we've been given is the lesser of two evils? It should have sent us a wake-up call about how we've let this country go to the dogs the omission (for the reason, see comments after the link above).

Instead, far too many of us continue to be distracted by New Labour's
kaleidoscopic 'permanent revolution', spin and shallow hedonism (which I fear will leave little behind it but stale memories of manic legislating, soaring house prices, tacky celebrity culture, sleaze, alienated youth, obsession with 'choice' (abrogation of government), the Iraq mess, and a worst of all, further devastation of the NHS and rest of the public sector (which opportunists have egregiously continued to asset strip whilst the rest of us have been busy scoffing in Brown's economic trough).

Time for an alternative to all of the main parties?

  • 13.
  • At 09:04 PM on 10 May 2007,
  • Adrienne wrote:

#10. That may well be, and whilst what you say is no doubt true, surely what we've been given is the lesser of two evils? It should have sent us a wake-up call about how we've let this country go to the dogs through omission (for the reason, see comments after the link above).

Instead of heeding that call, far too many of us continue to be distracted by New Labour's
kaleidoscopic 'permanent revolution', spin and shallow hedonism, which I fear will just leave little behind stale memories of manic legislating, soaring house prices, tacky celebrity culture, sleaze, alienated youth, obsession with 'choice' (abrogation of government), the Iraq mess, and worst of all, further devastation of the NHS and what's left of the public sector (which opportunists have egregiously continued to asset strip whilst the rest of us have been busy scoffing in Brown's economic trough).

Time for an alternative to all of the main parties?

  • 14.
  • At 10:04 PM on 11 May 2007,
  • Simon W wrote:

Mr Fudge, what a star!!!!

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