Well, the home secretary does not believe he needs to mind his language. I'm told that he still believes that the sentence given to Craig Sweeney - the paedophile who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a young girl - was too lenient. This despite the fact that the attorney general will announce this afternoon that he will not be asking the Court of Appeal to review the sentence.
The attorney is not referring the case because he believes he'd lose. Both he and John Reid want to stop automatic sentence discounts for those, like Sweeney, who are are "caught red-handed". The attorney's already lost an appeal on this very issue. So, attention now turns to the Sentencing Guidelines Council who are looking at the issue.
That still leaves the question of whether the original sentence (before the discount for the guilty plea and before parole consideration) was long enough. The home secretary thinks not. It was 18 years and could have been 24. The attorney general either doesn't agree or feels that he wouldn't succeed in getting this over turned in the Court of Appeal.
Next week we should learn how the government believes it can "re-balance" the criminal justice system to avoid this sort of row in future.
Just a reminder...
Although Sweeney could be in prison for life, his sentence means that he will be considered for parole after five years. The judge said the tariff for his crimes was 18 years. This was reduced by a third for a guilty plea - making 12. Parole is then considered after half the remaining sentence is served - leaving six years. Sweeney had already served some time on remand - hence the minimum sentence of 5 years.