Friday, 20 May 2011

Huhne's Been a Naughty Boy Then? And Other Assorted Stories...

Right then, still no time to post properly so I'll do a quick run through of a couple of items in the news at the moment...

I can't help but be very amused at Chris Huhne's situation. Not because I think he's getting what he deserves because he may or may not have broken the law, but because he has been desperately irritating of late and on an unrelated point, has Lego hair. His grandstanding over the AV referendum and attempt to paint himself as the Liberal attack dog have irked me. I'm not sure what a liberal attack dog looks like, presumably something along the lines of a really quite miffed chihuahua.

One can understand his not wanting to get banned from driving, and the fact that one could find oneself in such a position after 4 relatively minor offences in 3 years (35 mph or that marginal 'is it amber or will it turn red exactly as I cross the line?' aren't desperately criminal) is risible. Still, rules are rules, and nor hell a fury like a woman scorn'd.

The next barking bit in the media has been the 'sack Ken Clarke bandwagon', as driven by the press and jumped onto by Ed Miniband (as sure a sign as there is that you are on the wrong vehicle going the wrong way). I can only assume there was no real news over the last day or two - no brutal suppression of popular uprisings around the world to report on. Now his words weren't ideally chosen but any fool could see he wasn't saying some rape isn't "serious". He was simply pointing out that there are different levels of the crime as defined in UK law, for which there are indeed already varying scales.

Whilst accepting that all forms are of course wrong, stating that a brutal and violent rape with a weapon should be regarded as more serious than that of a non violent rape, or further statutory rape seems only logical. It is not condoning one type or diminishing its impact or importance, but applying the rule of proportionality to different crimes as is done every day by our courts. That we can all get so het up over an unfortunate choice of words that did not represent best what everyone knew to be the essence of what was being said, rather than actually debate real topics is rather disappointing. Not surprising though.

I can't say I'm wild about enshrining into law a mandatory percentage of the budget to give in aid. Whilst accepting that as Dave says, we have a duty to the poorer nations even when struggling ourselves, there should be the ability to keep more money in the leaner times like any household would do. It isn't punishing poor countries to reduce aid in straightened times - it's charity, sometimes you can't afford to be as generous but it is all still giving.

There seems to be a rush not just to sign up to every good cause on the planet (think global carbon emissions) but also to volunteer to fine ourselves or lay ourselves open to prosecution for falling short. I get that proponents will say 'if it isn't law, there's nothing to stop them going back on their promises'. It is just that they are wrong. They are called elections. The other point on our aid programme, as I have made before (here), is we aren't too great at picking out who to give money to and how it gets spent (China, India).

So, more to come when I have a moment. MPs and their expenses are on the way and I think I shall have to drop some injunction-based gags into my human rights piece before it sees the light of day, but we're nearly there. For now though, that's all folks.

And start using my voting buttons below. It makes me think you care. It's like having friends. I imagine.

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