British Politics

#1

Good to see Ed Miliband take on ‘Blue Labour’ wing of his party last week. Tories meanwhile appear to be playing to the Daily Mail reader.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXM7DzeMLe4

Theresa May claimed the Human Rights Act was responsible for blocking the deportation of an illegal immigrant because he had a pet cat [color="#005689"]Link to this video
The [color="#005689"]Conservative conference[/url] experienced its first cabinet dispute when Kenneth Clarke mocked [color="#005689"]Theresa May shortly after she suggested an illegal immigrant had resisted deportation on the grounds that he had a pet cat.
As the [color="#005689"]judiciary press office challenged the claim by May, the home secretary, Clarke said he would take a bet with her that nobody had used a cat to resist deportation.
The justice secretary told a fringe meeting organised by the Daily Telegraph: “I’ve never had a conversation on the subject with Theresa, so I’d have to find out about these strange cases she is throwing out.
“They are British cases and British judges she is complaining about. I cannot believe anybody has ever had deportation refused on the basis of owning a cat. I’ll have a small bet with her that nobody has ever been refused deportation on the grounds of the ownership of a cat.”
A Home Office source later defended May, saying she had been right. The source quoted the judge in the case, who said: “The evidence concerning the joint acquisition of Maya [the cat] by the appellant and his partner reinforces my conclusion on the strength and quality of the family life that appellant and his partner enjoy.”
Clarke spoke out shortly after May told the conference she would amend immigration rules to restrict the ability of illegal immigrants and foreign criminals to resist deportation by invoking the right to a family life under the [color="#005689"]Human Rights Act. This incorporates rights enshrined in the European convention on [url=“http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/human-rights”][color=”#005689"]human rights (ECHR).
May illustrated what she said were the problems with the legislation using cases highlighted in the rightwing press. “The illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because – I am not making this up – he had a pet cat,” she said.
Clarke, who is due to receive a report on the future of the ECHR, said May had not consulted him before making her remarks.
“When I have found out from Theresa what these examples are that have upset her, I will probably find she agrees with me – it is these daft misinterpretations of the act which are giving the whole thing a bad reputation, when we should be a force in favour of human rights and individual liberty in the modern world, not in any way resiling from it,” he said.
He launched a strong defence of the ECHR, saying: “The victorious British, who had fought fascism, actually took the lead in drawing up the European convention of human rights … This was the idea to get values established across the former fascist parts of Europe, to make sure we got back to universal European standards at least of individual liberty – the thing for which the Conservative party stands most strongly inside the British political system.”

Although May promised the conference she was not making the story up, the judicial communications office, which represents senior judges, insisted the tale was not true and said it had told May’s department as much.
“This was a case in which the Home Office conceded that they had mistakenly failed to apply their own policy – applying at that time to that appellant – for dealing with unmarried partners of people settled in the UK,” a judicial communications office statement issued at the time of the case said.
“That was the basis for the decision to uphold the original tribunal decision – the cat had nothing to do with the decision,” a spokeswoman said.
The case was one of several alleged cases the home secretary used to illustrate her claim that the Human Rights Act should go, and to justify her intention to clarify the immigration rules to ensure a right to family life is not used to block immigration deportations.
The home secretary later said she accepted the judges’ correction, but argued that she was not relying on that single case to justify her policy.

Home Office sources though, challenged Kenneth Clarke’s claim that no foreigner had ever resisted deportation on the grounds of owning a cat. The sources said that the immigration judge in the case of the Bolivian national highlighted by the home secretary had cited the case of Maya the cat when he ruled against deportation. This was dismissed on appeal.
A Home Office source said: “This shows why we need clarification. There is a complete lack of clarity here.”
The immigration judge said: “The evidence concerning the joint acquisition of Maya (the cat) by the appellant and his partner reinforces my conclusion on the strength and quality of the family life that appellant and his partner enjoy.”
The judge added: “Canadian courts have moved away from the legal view that [color="#005689"]animals are merely chattels, to a recognition that they play an important role in the lives of their owners and that the loss of a pet has a significant emotional impact on its owner.”
May’s speech was not shown to Clarke. In common with conference speeches by all cabinet minsters, it was cleared with the “quad” committee of David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne and Danny Alexander.
Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, said: “The energy and time this government is spending on arguments about the HRA shows how completely out of touch it is with the British people who are not interested in cat fights between ministers but how the safety of their communities will be protected after cuts in police budgets which go too far and too fast.”

May also introduced Colonel Tim Collins, the Iraq war veteran, as the first declared Conservative candidate to run as a police and crime commissioner next November.
Collins set the tone for his campaign by declaring he wanted the police to be “ratcatchers and not social workers”, claiming they currently gave undue preference to political correctness and that he wanted to see ex-business and ex-military figures stand as PCC candidates, not “sunset councillors or retired policemen with axes to grind”.
May endorsed Collins’s approach, telling delegates: “I wouldn’t want to be a criminal if he gets elected.”
The home secretary renewed her commitment to reforming the police, and insisted government cuts did not mean that frontline policing could not be maintained and improved.
But it was on immigration that May came unstuck. She repeated her pledge to reduce net migration to the “sustainable levels of tens of thousands”, then said: "We need to make sure that we’re not constrained from removing foreign nationals who, in all sanity, should have no right to be here.
“We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act. The violent drug dealer who cannot be sent home because his daughter – for whom he pays no maintenance – lives here. The robber who cannot be removed because he has a girlfriend. The illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because – and I am not making this up – he had a pet cat.”
She said she was announcing the change in the immigration rules to “ensure that the misinterpretation of article eight of the European convention on human rights, the right to family life, no longer prevents the deportation of people who shouldn’t be here”.
The home secretary read out the wording of the article, which says the right to family life should not be interfered with except where it is “necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of rights and freedom of others”.
She said this showed that the right to family life should not be used to drive a coach and horse through the immigration system by blocking deportations.
But this definition, which has been used by judges to determine deportation appeals since Ted Heath’s 1971 Immigration Act, would appear to cover all the cases of convicted foreign criminals and illegal migrant families living on benefits that the home secretary has complained about.

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#2

I stopped reading that when I realised there was a cat involved and it looked far too complicated. On the subject of British politics, I listened to Cameron on the radio this morning, I find him to be a deeply unimpressive and uninspiring leader.

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#3

Liam Fox is gone as Defence Secretary. Cameron prefers to keep right wingers like himself on front bench so this is blow to him.

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#4

Fox was a right stupid cunt. Having his own personal “adviser” paid for by companies who might benefit from his decisions. Cameron isn’t as right wing as Fox so he won’t regret it too much. Fox was leaking stuff about defence cuts for example during this year.

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#5

Toast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuuDnqSPnhA

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15977813

Sack Jeremy Clarkson over strike comments, Unison urges

Jeremy Clarkson made his remarks on the BBC’s The One ShowJeremy Clarkson should be sacked by the BBC over his “appalling” comments about killing striking public sector workers, trade union Unison has said.

The union said it was considering reporting the Top Gear presenter to the police over comments on The One Show.
Referring to striking workers, Mr Clarkson said: “I’d have them all shot. I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families.”

The BBC received over 4,700 complaints and has apologised for the comments.

Mr Clarkson’s comments, on Wednesday’s screening of the BBC One show, sparked hundreds of responses to be posted on social networking site Twitter.

Talking about the strikes over pension changes, Mr Clarkson also said: “I mean, how dare they go on strike when they’ve got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?”

Some of his remarks, which appeared to have been made in a lighthearted tone, were greeted with laughter from a studio audience, as did his comment that the strikes were “like being back in the 70s” which made him feel “at home, somehow”.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: "Clarkson’s comments on The One Show were totally outrageous, and they cannot be tolerated.

‘Silly thing to say’

"An apology is not enough - we are calling on the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson immediately.

“We are seeking urgent legal advice about what further action we can take against him and the BBC, and whether or not his comments should be referred to the police.”

He added: "Jeremy Clarkson clearly needs a reminder of just who he is talking about when he calls for public sector workers to be shot in front of their families.

“Whilst he is driving round in fast cars for a living, public sector workers are busy holding our society together - they save others’ lives on a daily basis, they care for the sick, the vulnerable, the elderly.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, asked about Mr Clarkson’s comments during an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, said it was “a silly thing to say… I’m sure he didn’t mean it”.

Mr Clarkson’s comments came after thousands of public sector workers walked out on Wednesday

Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “Jeremy Clarkson should apologise for those comments. He obviously does not understand the lives of the people who were going out on strike yesterday.”

Pensions Minister Steve Webb also said it was “a stupid thing to say”.

“He should apologise and we should get on with our lives,” said the minister.

Tens of thousands of people joined rallies around the UK on Wednesday as a public sector strike over pensions disrupted schools, hospitals and other services.

About two-thirds of state schools shut, and thousands of hospital operations were postponed, as unions estimated up to two million people went on strike. The government disputes this figure.

Unions oppose plans to make members pay more and work longer to earn what they say will be smaller pensions.

During The One Show, Mr Clarkson also made a remark about people who threw themselves in front of trains.

Later One Show presenter Matt Baker made an apology during the show about those comments.

A BBC spokeswoman said that apology should also be taken to apply to his joke about shooting strikers.

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#6

I detest Clarkeson.

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#7

He really shouldn’t be sacked for this though. Too many people want a pound of flesh these days. Apologise and get on with it.

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#8

Another comment by Clarkson from the same interview:

"I do sometimes use the train to come to London but it always stops in Reading. It’s always because somebody has jumped in front of it and somebody has burst.

‘You just think, why have we stopped because we’ve hit somebody? What’s the point of stopping? It won’t make them better.’”

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#9

Clarkson is an odious prick. Cameron should be more selective picking his friends.

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#10

The more I think about Clarkson’s comments the more astonished I am at how easily he seems to have got away with them. It proves one thing, He picks his targets well. Easy ones.

Say for instance he’d made a joke about girls wearing skimpy clothes deserving to be raped, there’s no question he’d have been sacked.

If he’d made a joke about how British soldiers deserving to be blown up in Afghanistan as a result of their occupation there, I have no doubt he’d have been sacked.

Say if he’d made a joke about flying a plane into Wall Street along the lines of Al Qaeda having the right idea, he’d probably have been sacked.

If he’d made a joke about Hamas blowing up Israeli soldiers, he’d most likely have been sacked.

And what would the difference have been between any of those jokes and what he actually said? Not much, except that any jokes about about Wall Street, British soldiers in Afghanistan or Israeli soldiers would have been right on the money.

Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Richard Keys, Andy Gray, Rodney Marsh and Angus Deayton were all sacked for less.

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#11

Clarkson knows the score.

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#12

+1. Its horse shit, and he has a few good points.

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#13

So, would it be alright to say that girls who wear skimpy clothes are asking to be raped?

What’s the difference between that and Clarkson’s comments?

If you apply the standards that were applied to Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Richard Keys, Andy Gray, Rodney Marsh and Angus Deayton, Clarkson could have have no complaints at all to be handed his marching orders.

What good points does Clarkson make?

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#14

The difference is that it was clear that Clarkson wasn’t seriously advocating shooting people in front of their families, whereas the “asking to be raped” view is something that some people actually believe. A more pertinent comparison would be someone saying all the bankers or whoever should be lined up and shot. I don’t think he should even apologise to be honest. He expressed himself in an OTT manner, which from what I can gather is pretty much what the BBC pay him to do. I also happen to think he is a knob for what it’s worth.

If you apply the standards that were applied to Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand, Richard Keys, Andy Gray, Rodney Marsh and Angus Deayton, Clarkson could have have no complaints at all to be handed his marching orders.

The only one that is really comparable in that list is Rodney Marsh because he is the only one that knowlingly made a “controversial” joke/remark about an issue on air. His sacking was ridiculous.

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#15

This week in The Sun, Clarkson referred to suicide as selfish, as I did last week (and I don’t mean to all suicides). He does so for a slightly different reason though.

In his column in The Sun newspaper, Clarkson said: "I have the deepest sympathy for anyone whose life is so mangled and messed up that they believe death’s icy embrace will be better. However, every year around 200 people decide that the best way to go is by hurling themselves in front of a speeding train. In some ways they are right. This method has a 90% success rate and it’s extremely quick.

“However, it is a very selfish way to go because the disruption it causes is immense. And think what it’s like for the poor train driver who sees you lying on the line and can do absolutely nothing to avoid a collision.”

Later in the article the presenter referred to those who choose to jump in front of trains as “Johnny Suicide” and argues that following a death, trains should carry on their journeys as soon as possible.

He added: “The train cannot be removed nor the line re-opened until all of the victim’s body has been recovered. And sometimes the head can be half a mile away from the feet. Change the driver, pick up the big bits of what’s left of the victim, get the train moving as quickly as possible and let foxy woxy and the birds nibble away at the smaller, gooey parts that are far away or hard to find.”

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#16

Who seriously believes that women are asking to be raped if they wear skimpy clothes? Nobody outside of the certifiably insane, I’d venture. Would a joke of that sort be acceptable? Would it fuck.

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#17

You’ll also find that there are plenty of people who wouldn’t shed any tears if people were actually shot for standing up for their rights. It happens in plenty of countries. It’s quite ironic actually that Clarkson fucked off to China to avoid the backlash. Somebody like him would be delighted if Britain adopted Chinese-style work practices.

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#18

Clarkson is a tard. Am I the only one that detests Top Gear and the matey banter between the Ryan Tubridy clone and himself?

Still though Sid you shouldn’t let some British issue trouble you so much.

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#19

We’re all internationalists here mate and what happens in foreign countries and cultures like England interests me a lot.

To be honest, I’ve always thought that there’s something a bit, well, off, about people that are as obsessed with lumps of metal as Clarkson and his co-presenters and audience are. They always seem to be compensating for their lack of prowess in other areas of life. It’s also one the most vacuous hobbies one can possibly have. Clarkson in particular comes across as a real life Alan Partridge.It looks like he’ll get another series I’m afraid. He might borrow Partridge’s Castrol GTX jacket for Richard Hammond’s funeral the next time Hammond ploughs into a wall. I remain confident that conscientious members of community like myself will have the last laugh.

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#20

Sadly, I would say that plenty of men are of the opinion that scantily clad women that get raped are at least partly responsible for their fate. A more pertinent difference between the comments though is that thousands of women get raped in Britain every year, so it is very easy to see why many people would be offended by such a comment. I’m not sure that anyone has ever been executed in Britain for going on strike, so you really have to try hard to be offended by Clarkson’s joke. If the banking crisis was being discussed on a show like this, and a TV personality jokingly said that all the senior executives responsible should be lined up and shot, would you be advocating their sacking?

KIB, all right thinking people detest Top Gear. Its popularity, particularly with women, is a source of enduring fascination to me.

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