Friday, 13 May 2011

Plonker Ainsworth

Just when some citizens were forgetting about the sins of NewLabour there come two revelations showing just how diabolical they were. The fact that Campbell misled the Chilcot Inquiry will not surprise many folk who have been paying attention. General Laurie wrote to the Inquiry, "Alastair Campbell said to the inquiry that the purpose of the dossier was not 'to make a case for war'. I had no doubt at that time this was exactly its purpose and these very words were used. I and those involved in its production saw it exactly as that, and that was the direction we were given. The previous paper... was rejected because it did not make a strong enough case. From then until September we were under pressure to find intelligence that could reinforce the case." Independent 13/5/11
The following article tucked away inside the Guardian will have been missed by many and is equally as damning. It reveals the ‘thinking’ prevalent in the thicker areas of government.
“The Ministry of Defence has been condemned by the high court for stifling legal challenges over the treatment of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A strongly worded judgment said the former defence secretary Bob Ainsworth lobbied behind closed doors to avoid embarrassing court decisions in a way that was damaging and"frankly inimical to the rule of law".
Overturning restrictions on access to legal aid, Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Stadlen ruled that cutting off funding for public interest cases about allegations of UK involvement in torture was unlawful.
The judgment drew attention to a letter Ainsworth sent in 2008 to Lord Bach, then at the Ministry of Justice, seeking a review of funding for judicial reviews.
"The MoD has been faced with a series of judicial review applications arising out of the intervention in Iraq," Ainsworth wrote. "In most of these cases the consequences of an adverse judgment would be extremely serious for our defence, security and foreign policy interests."
One case related to the treatment of detainees handed over to the Afghan authorities. "This decision leads me to wonder whether the time is right for a look at the rules under which [the Legal Services Commission] makes its decisions in judicial review cases...."
The letter, the judges said, asserted that "the consequences of an adverse result" were a "good reason for the denial of public funding to bring the case". But, the judgment continued, "by law such a position is not open to government".
The judges added: "For the state to inhibit litigation by the denial of legal aid because the court's judgment might be unwelcome or apparently damaging would constitute an attempt to influence the incidence of judicial decisions in the interest of government. It would therefore be frankly inimical to the rule of law." Guardian 13/5/11 (my emphasis)
Quite frankly this was disgraceful behaviour by a minister who recently confirmed himself to be a deeply stupid plonker when he appeared on Have I Got News For You. He would need someone to explain to him what 'inimical' meant. 

Sadly, no surprise though.

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