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Wasn't Jack Straw's son also arrested on a drugs related matter and released without charge some years ago when he was home secretary? This not only shows how Labour are soft on crime and how utter unfit they are to govern. Disgraceful!

A strange story - institutional corruption is suspected

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7118665.stm

"In a written ministerial statement to MPs, Mr Straw said two issues of concern had arisen at the court.

These concerned the recording of outcomes of cases between 1997 and 2003 and subsequently in the case of recordable offences, updating the Police National Computer, a process known as "resulting".

The other is centred on the process used for withdrawing warrants issued by the court for the arrest of defendants who fail to appear, he added.

Mr Straw said: "The investigations will verify the number of cases involved, the breakdown of offences and the position regarding the Police National Computer."

The Telegraph says its been going on for years

"The police were therefore unable to chase down the criminals and instead, in many instances, the cases were simply written off. One fear is that corruption may be involved.

It is thought that hundreds of criminals have simply walked away and got away with their crimes. Sources revealed last night that there were sex offenders among them."

Sky makes the story a little clearer

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,91211-1294975,00.html

"Straw is responding to allegations that warrants were issued when defendents failed to appear at court, but then withdrawn without good reason."

So arrest warrants weren't just not issued - they were issued, and were then withdrawn!

... But Sky don't repeat that Straw knew for 'weeks', this if true, is very telling.

Corruption is suggested as one of the causes for the omissions.

As usual though, this is a case of the civil function failing to engage and work. The fact that Jack Straw was aware, and chose to ignore until now, is a damning indictment, yet again, of NuLab and its ways.

Its been said before, that NuLab offer rhetoric rather than solutions, and here is yet another case sample. NuLab doesn't work, it tinkers and tinkers and ruins the mechanism.

No way that this story is going to disappear in the maelstrom that is "DONORGATE".

Perhaps the victims of the prosecution escapees, can bring a class action against Leeds Courts and the government. A great opportunity for a pro-bono legal eagle to make a name and offer a useful public service, to wit ridding the country of NuLab.

I have just watched Theresa May on Sky TV talking about Donorgate. She was unable to outline the process of how the Conservatives would ensure donations were above board.

As a result she made the party look bad IMHO. The impression given was that the Conservatives would have done no better than Labour.

Surely, it is the first thing to ensure you know if you are going to go on TV and criticise the Government is how your party avoids the issue?

I'm beginning to wonder if Ms May is 'the weakest link' on the front bench?

The stats on trials being dropped are terrible. We covered this on page 23 of the Bumper Book of Government Waste ... for 2006.

If I can cast my mind back to the original document, it was a massive table showing a variety of reasons why cases were dropped mid-trial. This included paperwork going missing, or key people not turning up.

Obviously Ministers knew, because they published the figures and indeed highlighted areas where the number of 'lost cases' had decreased over the previous 12 months. Well worth MPs exploring now.

This is in the Herald, Charlie Gordon the Labour MSP for Glasgow Cathcart and their Transport spokesman has just resigned over bhis role in the donations scandal.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/news/display.var.1869507.0.0.php

Wasn't Jack Straw's son also arrested on a drugs related matter and released without charge some years ago when he was home secretary?
Jack Straw discovered that his son had been taking cannabis and had a small stash, this was when he was Home Secretary. He marched him down to the local police station, although apparently no action was taken.

A search of John Reid's house when he was Home Secretary found some cannabis thought to be leftover from when his son was living there.

Gordon Brown. "It was nothing to do with me. I didn't know about it. It was some magistrate, somewhere, who didn't follow the guidelines.." (Throws down papers to simulate book of rules)..."I have ordered two, no three independent enquiries, involving a retired Bishop, two archdeacons and a nun. They will review the details which are being prepared by Jack straw, and make recomendations on how to move forward to a better, stronger, future. With vision. And purity. And aspiration. Especially aspiration. They will report their findings in 2012 when we will act immediately, Possibly."

Whilst I hesitate to disagree with Dr Rotherham, the problem of trials 'going down' is certainly nothing new. The reasons are many and various. For example, it's not unusual for the defendant to plead guilty at the last minute.

The government is actually taking action to address the problem under its CJSSS (Criminal Justice - Simple, Speedy, Summary) scheme, where pilot projects have met with some success. (I sometimes worry about the "Justice" aspect, but that's another issue.)

I really think we need to concentrate our fire on those areas where the government/Labour Party is demonstrably culpable, rather than trying to lay every local administrative failure at their door. God knows, there's enough ammunition to go round!

Guido is reporting that Gordon Brown is now legally the party treasurer. I thought he was wrong, since Jack Dromey holds that position - intriguingly Guido explains that all is not what it seems:

""Now that Peter Watt has resigned the legal treasurer of the Labour party is one G. Brown:

The law says

Where—
(a) the person registered as a party’s treasurer dies, or

(b) his appointment as treasurer terminates for any other reason,

then, until such time as another person is registered as the party’s treasurer in pursuance of an application under section 31(3)(a), the appropriate person shall be treated for all purposes of this Act (except subsection (8)) as if he were registered also as its treasurer.

(7) In subsection (6) “the appropriate person” means—

(a) the person registered as the party’s leader

From LabourHome:

For legal purposes, Jack Dromey is not the party Treasurer, the General Secretary is (Peter Watt as was) as can be see in the Electoral Commission Register of political parties (from the Labour Party Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act return). Jack Dromey is often called "NEC Treasurer", and Peter Watt "Registered Treasurer" by the party. Legally, Jack does not even have to sign the accounts - though he does along with Peter Watt, and from how he went ballistic when he finally heard about the loans, he is kept out of the loop. Seems the party officials view the NEC Treasurer as essentially a honoury position.""

http://www.order-order.com/

"A search of John Reid's house when he was Home Secretary found some cannabis thought to be leftover from when his son was living there"

Yet Another Anon, it could well have been left by Jacqui Smith, Ruth Kelly, Alistair Darling etc. How come this bunch of pot-heads are now running our country? What on earth happened to Britain? We seem to be sinking as a nation, all our standards have dropped. We need to restore our country again and make it great once more. Britain shouldn't be a politically corrupt country run by druggies! How did it end up like this?

Richard - there were indeed some stats (again from memory) about late changes of plea. It was some of the other categories that were of concern.

My point here, however, is that if there are stats on the various causes behind cases not being brought to final prosecution, there are surely embarrassing stats from Leeds (and perhaps elsewhere) officially in the mix.

The deepest, darkest and dingiest recesses of my memory are whispering that defendant no-shows was one of those categories. But it was a long while back.

http://scottishtoryboy.blogspot.com/2007/11/donategate.html

I'm not really trying to defend the current situation, Lee, which is unsatisfactory in many respects. All I'm saying is that it's probably no worse now than it has been for a long time (though I don't have the figures in front of me) and the government is at least trying to address it with some reasonably sensible proposals.

Also, the problem of warrants not being issued (or being subsequently withdrawn for no good reason) won't just relate to trials. They could equally well relate to defendants who have not yet entered a plea, or who have already been found (or pleaded) guilty but fail to show up for sentencing. (Only a very small proportion of cases in the Magistrates Courts actually go to trial.)

The question that interests me is whether someone took it upon themselves not to actually issue warrants that had been ordered by the bench, or, at a later stage, to withdraw warrants without any judicial input.

Having said all that, I still don't think it's a particularly strong stick with which to beat the government when there are so many other, more effective, weapons around.

Statistically, on a note of some tedium,I understand we're only just getting back down beneath the levels of '99-00 and recovering from the numbers of Discontinuances that peaked at a crazy level in '01-02. So there is a stick there, even if they are finally dealing with it.

Anyhoo, the warrants thing I suppose throws it back into the old Home Office bag of catastrophes. Might we expect some comedy attempts to pass the buck between its successor ministries? After all, who wants to be in the firing line now that all the journos have got their uzis out?

Britain shouldn't be a politically corrupt country run by druggies! How did it end up like this?

David Cameron's record in this regard is not so hot. Perhaps if he'd been to an inner city comprehensive and been caught smoking cannabis, he wouldn't have been given 500 lines as a punishment. And that's not all he's done. I suppose you would exclude him from running the country?

Is this true?

http://www.gregpalast.com/browns-fixer-explains-how-its-donejon-mendelsohn-and-the-secret-tape/#more-1917

I am not, as a rule, a believer in conspiracy theories. However, the drip drip of leaks over the last few weeks seems, frankly, too precisely targeted against a senior ministers, one at a time - first Smith, then Darling, Harman and now Straw. And of course Brown himself is the ultimate target.

Regardless of the truth of the various allegations, does there not seem to be something a little co-ordinated and organized about these revelations? In particular, rumours about these latest Straw allegations have been circulating for a while now - so why not made public? In whose interests was it to delay until now, when the government is already reeling.

Is there someone, or even several people, undermining this government from within?

If so, I think this is a very dangerous game for the Tories. What goes around comes around.

Tony Makara @ 16.01 - glass houses and stones, please. Show some restraint.

As Mr Leftie pointed out Cameron, Osborne and others in the shadow cabinet have also had drug allegations made against them. And not just about cannabis either...

Let's have a more grown up debate about drugs - as about everything. Hyperbole doesn't help - one of the reasons I think Vincent Cable's cool barbs against Mr Brown are rather more impressive - and damaging - than Mr Cameron's tantrum yesterday.

""Regardless of the truth of the various allegations.""

Vernon, how can you say that? "Regardless of the truth"? So sure, we could be witnessing Labour sleaze and incompetence on a scale that beggars belief - but, hey, it's those bloody Tories who planned it.

We've watched one inept cock up after another for the last ten years, including WMD and the invasion of a sovereign country. This sorry excuse for a government has all but brought the UK to its knees.

And you're trying to say this was all a Tory plan?

As spinning goes Vernon, this is pretty desperate stuff.

Vernon, there is no debate about drugs. The drug culture ruins lives and ends lives. The only way to deal with drugs is to eradicate the supply. It amazes me that some people think drugs are a giggle and something naughty-but-nice. The fact is drugs kill, and we shouldn't even consider legalization or tolerance of any kind. The selling of hard drugs ought to carry an uncommutable life sentence. Drugs are not cool-Drugs kill.

Of course I'm not saying it's all a Tory plan, or the Tories' fault, or anything like that. I'm no apologist for this bungling government but am trying to step back and look at this dispassionately.

My point was that it is not good if we have a situation where people inside government circles are storing up revelations for maximum damage.

Cock ups and mistakes happen in all governments - and the next Tory government will no doubt have its share - but piling allegation onto allegation like this just muddies the waters and makes it impossible to separate genuine wrongdoing (of which there is undoubtedly some) from innuendo and unproven allegation (ditto).

Presumably the hope is that this drip drip will eventually bring the government down. Great news for Tory supporters now. Not so when the Tories are back in power and firefighting, once this precedent has been set.

Your iPhone looks good Tim!

Tony Makara - I am well aware of the damage drugs do. I condemn them utterly.

However, I don't understand how you can argue this country is "run by druggies" because some members of the cabinet admit having smoked a spliff in the past while campaigning for the election of a Conservative government with senior figures who have made similar admissions.

Vernon, the people in the cabinet have a blaze attitude to drugs as their "I'm Spartacus" stunt showed after Jacqui Smith revelations. I expect a more mature response from a British government. They think its a giggle, sadly though its a giggle that kills. I'm glad you condemn drugs Vernon. Hopefully the future Conservative government will adopt a zero tolerance attitude to drugs even if some MPs have foolishly dabbled in their youth. Labour's whole drug strategy has been woeful.

I have seen no evidence that Jacqui Smith, or any of the other cabinet ministers you named, regards drugs as "a giggle". Indeed, regardless of the effectiveness or otherwise of their strategies for dealing with the subject, there seems no reason to believe that current Labour ministers regard drugs any less seriously than do the opposition.

Tony Makara, Winston Churchil was completely pissed for a lot of the time he was running the country.Would you say that that made him unfit to govern?

I'm not saying that the Labour shower are fit to govern, they patently are not, but that is by virtue of their self serving incompetence and addiction to minless political correctness and change for its own sake, not because of what they might or might not have inhaled as students.

"Vernon, there is no debate about drugs. The drug culture ruins lives and ends lives. The only way to deal with drugs is to eradicate the supply. It amazes me that some people think drugs are a giggle and something naughty-but-nice. The fact is drugs kill, and we shouldn't even consider legalization or tolerance of any kind. The selling of hard drugs ought to carry an uncommutable life sentence. Drugs are not cool-Drugs kill."

here here

Another day; another cock-up.
Somebody is going to comment about things being better when Tony Blair was "in charge" - no dodgy honours, tough on crime. Better ask Vince (Ronnie Barker) Cable, who seems to know things we dont:-
1/ He has already resumed the deputy leadership of the Lib Dems even before the new leaders has been elected. (So he said the other day).
2/ On today's GMTV he referred to the two candidates as being excellent material for leader "for the next year or two". Does he expect make-mine-a-Scotch to return?

Vernon - allegations are allegations and if the police have decided to become involved, they can't all be hot air, as you see to be suggesting.

Go to the newspapers and accuse them!, these journalists are in parliament chatting up likely sources on a daily if not hourly (at present) basis, and they can get blood out of a stone, it all sells newspapers.

And also while you are at it try to remember that it was this government, back at the beginning of their glorious reign that introduced these rules on party donors and funding - in the safe knowledge that they would still get £10million a year, from the unions for their party, the Labour party.

Ok I'll say it, Tony all is ALMOST forgiven ( exept the illegal war ) when Tony lied he was good at it. When Brown lies, everyone knows its a lie.

Vince Cable has got the wrong Rowan Atkinson reference - I suggest you look here: http://www.johnny-english.com/.
The slogan "He knows no fear, he knows no danger, he knows nothing" tells you just how Brown is treating this corruption saga.

Newsnight just announces that now Peter Hain received money! Incredible!

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