I had an incredibly interesting article to post today. (At least, I find it interesting) It took me half the day yesterday, and a stretch of time this morning to write up. And then, Jacqui Smith goes and steps down as Home Secretary. So i’ve had to postpone my original idea for an entry today. It’s an entire barrel of mixed emotions for me. On the one hand, I have to wait a day to post my interesting article and so I’m a little annoyed. On the other hand, the birds are singing, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, beer is flowing, and the most useless Home Secretary in the history of the World is no longer in a position of National Power. The joy felt at the latter, far outweighs the annoyance of the former.
Since becoming Home Secretary at the behest of our equally useless Prime Minister, in 2007, Jacqui Smith has been controversial to say the very very least.
Since David Blunkett spoke in 2006, openly about a National I.D Scheme, along with the National Identity Register, which would hold information on every citizen in the U.K, including fingerprints, and digitalised facial scans, as well as personal information – many groups have spoken out over it, including No2id. I haven’t spoken to one person who thinks it’s a great idea, especially given the fact that the Home Office, lead by Jacqui Smith, can’t seem to take care of personal information as it is. I’m not sure that any one, other than Jacqui Smith, supports this I.D Scheme. She quite amusingly told the BBC that “as I go round the country I regularly have people coming up to me and saying they don’t want to wait that long.” I’m not sure which Country she’s talking about, but it isn’t England.
There was then the whole saga surrounding Jacqui Smith’s proposal of the provision in the Counter-Terrorism Act, that allowed detention of up to forty-two days without charge for Terrorist suspects. Defeated in the Lords after passing the Commons, though experiencing a back bench revolt of 36 Labour MPs; passing only because the Democratic Unionist Party were quite clearly coerced into voting in line with the Government.
In June 2008, in a letter to the National Union of Journalists, Jacqui Smith wrote that whilst Photography in Public was a Right for anyone, police are allowed to prevent you taking photos on them, though without legal right to do so. She says “there is no legal restriction on photography in public places“. However, after admitting that police or person in a position of similar authority have no right by law to prevent photography in public, she goes on to say “Decisions may be made locally to restrict or monitor photography in reasonable circumstances“. So in other words, a policeman can make up his own rules, as and when he chooses, and we must all abide by them? The Home Office really is useless.
In February 2009, a new law was made to clear up the confusion. It allows police to arrest any Photographer, taking a photo that they deem to be “useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism“. It’s a ridiculous law, from a ridiculously inept Home Secretary. It is a law that the Police can flaunt, purely to show their authority. As in the case of Klaus Matzka and his son, whom the police forced to delete their photos of Vauxhall Bus Station in Central London, in the name of preventing Terrorism. Jacqui Smith, of course, denies that she’s slightly Stalinist.
Not that the police are all that friendly with the Home Secretary, given that she betrayed them, by refusing to honour the pay deal for no real reason other than that she’s Jacqui Smith, and this is what she does.
There have of course been amusing moment. Her husband claiming expenses on porn being the main moment that sticks out. Why anyone would pay for porn, is beyond me. That’s what the internet is for. According to The Mirror, a friend of Jacqui Smith said “On a scale of anger from one to 10 she was a 55” at her husband. On a scale of embarrassment at being married to Jacqui Smith, between one and 10, the poor bloke must be at 1000 by now.
A poll released in March 2009, showed that Labour Party Members considered Jacqui Smith to be the most underachieving member of the Cabinet. I think a poll conducted of the public, might suggest that she is the most underachieving, useless member of any Cabinet in the history of the Cabinet.
It comes as no surprise that she is to step down before the Cabinet reshuffle (the most pointless exercise in British Politics – unless of course, the Labour Party do the unthinkable and work closely with the Lib Dems, by bringing Vince Cable in as a new Chancellor). The amount of individual MPs stepping down and not standing at the next General Election, junior Ministers leaving the Party, and now Jacqui Smith stepping down as Home Secretary, suggests that the Labour ship is sinking damningly quickly for the Government. I suspect the Chancellor, Alastair Darling isn’t far behind Jacqui Smith in the “soon to go” list. Especially since Gordon Brown, when referring to Darling, used the phrase “Alistair has been a great chancellor”…..past tense.
Will any of this matter? No of course not. After the Local Elections and European Parliament Elections on Thursday, Labour will take a huge hit, which is the equivilant to punching a corpse. As will the Tories. Independents will start to make gains, as will extremist Parties, and the crises of British Politics will continue.