Friday, 5 August 2016

Ermine Earned

In 2012, I heard Shami Chakrabarti address the Durham Miners' Gala. So she is better qualified for a peerage than most people who are given one.

She was on the same platform as Ed Miliband. And she was on the same platform as Tom Watson.

At least until it became led by the man who, as Home Secretary, had started the great assault on civil liberties, the Conservative Party was strong and admirable in its opposition to New Labour's continuation of Michael Howard's programme.

That mantle then passed to the Lib Dems, to most of the smaller parties most of the time, and to valiant bands of Conservative and Labour backbenchers, sometimes including Watson, but always including Jeremy Corbyn.

The Coalition meant that the Lib Dems' holding of the line also became confined to rebellious backbenchers.

Theresa May's time as Home Secretary was a nightmare period for civil liberties. Her appointment of David Davis to the Cabinet has removed him from the ramparts.

In that context, the appointment of Chakrabarti to Parliament could not be more welcome, and that appointment at the suggestion of Corbyn, as Leader of the Opposition, is most especially so.

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