Friday, August 24, 2007

Two Tragedies

Pictured : Rhys Jones his poor mother and Jamie Bulger

Looking at the picture of Rhys Jones` mother in tears caught me in the back of the throat this morning. I wonder how many people, like me, suddenly felt the need to call home and check everything was alright . So what should David Cameron make of this. He has had much to say about our “Broken Society” and Iain Duncan Smith’s Report bears directly on the atomisation and brutality of life in our country. Should he use this dead child and grieving mother as apoltical weapon as would be , in a sense, be entirely logical?
No he should not . After a period of time he may wish to count this among the many other tragedies that an opposition has a duty to call the government to account for, but he must never use this event as Tony Blair used the Jamie Bulger Murder . The following are excerpts from Nick Cohen’s assault on the depravity of the Blair / Brown media machine. Their exploitative behaviour should never be forgotten as one of the low points in the political history of this country.

Tony Blair hijacked the murder of James Bulger for political ends, and so put justice in jeopardy
Special report: James Bulger

Nick Cohen
Sunday June 24, 2001
The Observer
There's no alternative to saying it bluntly. Tony Blair robbed the grave of a dead toddler in the spring of 1993 and exploited the suffering of his family to create a dangerous and hypocritical political style. ........

...........Thatcherism..... Its clean little secret was that its crime policies were quietly sensible..... Conservative Home Secretaries tried in their muddled way to be straight with the public. Douglas Hurd, Kenneth Baker, David Waddington, Kenneth Clarke and Michael Howard refused to fill the prisons to please the tabloids.

In the weeks before James Bulger was killed, I got a draft of a torrid speech by David Maclean, a junior Minister in Howard's Home Office. The justice system was 'on the side of the criminal', Maclean had intended to rage, and vigilantes had a point. The police must have the power to drive offenders from the streets like 'vermin'.
We're used to such tosh today, but at the time Ministers didn't talk like that. Howard was appalled and Maclean's speech was rewritten. Instead of playing Dirty Harry, Howard required him to deliver a worthy lecture on crime prevention which, as I remember, made much of fitting good window locks......... After James Bulger's murder, Blair went to Wellingborough and announced that the killing was 'a hammer-blow against the sleeping conscience of the country'. It was a daring move. He was using a dead toddler as a symbol of the state of Britain under the Conservatives. Only under Labour, he said, would we find social peace by accepting we 'couldn't have rights without responsibilities'. Roy Hattersley, Blair's predecessor as Labour's home affairs spokesman, would never have used the death of a child for political advantage. Nor would most serious Conservatives. There were reasons for restraint beyond good taste. The premise of the Wellingborough speech was demonstrably false. James Bulger's murder 'said' nothing more (or less) about the state of Britain than that a horrible crime had taken place. It wasn't a symbol of anything. About 20 juveniles are convicted of murder or manslaughter each year. Nearly all are 14 or over. Killers as young as Jon Venables and Robert Thompson are incredibly rare, which is why the criminal-justice system has such difficulties knowing whether to punish or treat them. .... They don't 'tell' the conscience of the country anything.

The Conservative Party must never sink to the level of New Labour and I trust that alongside justifiable frustration with the government’s social and crime policies they will treat this mother and her dead child with more respect than the disgusting Tony Blair and his equally nauseating henchman Brown.


Ed said...

The problem, as ever, is that Blair and Brown are convinced that the government is in control of everything.

Brown said today that "we will pass laws if need be". Last time I looked murder was already illegal.

The problem is not lack of legislation, it's a breakdown of law and order because the police aren't allowed to prevent crime anymore. The courts aren't allowed to punish criminals when they are found guilty. The prisons aren't allowed to restrict the freedom of a criminal and to rehabilitate them in time for their release back.

Blair and Brown didn't cause this murder, but they haven't been doing much to prevent these tragic crimes either. Soundbites like "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime" look good in print, but where's the beef?

Newmania said...

What Nick Coen said was that this sort of event was like a storm and in itself meant nothing .
I agree with every letter iof what you say ED but I do not want to see the Conservative Party exploit what is a dreadful and meaningless tragedy.

Blair did excatly that with Bulger and it was disgusting to behold

Ed said...

I agree. But that doesn't stop Cameron from saying something thoughtful about where he sees a future Tory government making changes.

Newmania said...

I think a meassured response is right exploitation al a Blair is not .

CityUnslicker said...

Dc's was a good response today, very measured and accurate.

Newmania said...

I agre CU ..but then I have always like DC unlike some twisty turny sorts I could!

Anonymous said...

Nick Herbert gave an excellent account of himself and Conservative policies on crime in general and violent crim in particular - it's on BBC News online now

Auntie Flo'

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