Wednesday, 25 April 2018

If You Want The Truth

On last night's Newsnight, Evan Davis blurted out that, "If you want the truth, then there's the BBC, The Times, The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph," actively admitting that they were all the same thing, something that most readers of only one of those newspapers do not realise, and taking it as a given that that single entity had the absolute right to set the parameters, not only of acceptable debate, but of accepted fact.

The same attitude is evident in the call for a new party made up of fading grandees from New Labour and the Coalition. "Weren't those people supposed to have been opposing each other for 20 years?" "Oh, you simple little peasant, to imagine such a thing!" 

For 20 years BC, Before Corbyn, we sat through staged debates about nothing, between people whom no one any longer even pretends ought not to have been in the same party in the first place. To return us to that sorry state of affairs, not least by pretending that it still exists, is now the all-consuming mission of the BBC, The TimesThe Guardian and the Daily Telegraph.

Hence the seriousness with which Yvette Cooper, of all people, is being treated on the Windrush issue. As Shadow Home Secretary, she welcomed Theresa May's Immigration Bill, calling it "sensible". The only four people to have voted against it and to remain Labour MPs were Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Dennis Skinner.

Three of  those are now in the Shadow Cabinet, and Skinner has never done Select Committees since, having been shunted to Leader of the House, Norman St John-Stevas invented them in order to give himself something to do. Who, then, should Chair the Home Affairs Select Committee? Very obviously, the position is crying out for David Lammy. And to hell with Yvette Cooper. However much that might annoy the BBC, The TimesThe Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. Indeed, not least for that very reason.

On Windrush, Jacob Rees-Mogg has also been having a good war. He was on fine form on Channel 4 News, indicating that he is nowhere near as right-wing as his putative supporters like to imagine. He did not vote against the Immigration Bill, but that is only because he has rarely or never voted against the Cameron or May Government. Like Lammy, he seems to be genuinely contrite now. And like Lammy, he favours the preservation and restoration of a Christian culture in this country. In which case, the more immigration, the better, from the Caribbean, from Africa, and from Eastern Europe.

Preservation and restoration. With the conviction of two of the murderers of Stephen Lawrence, the alteration to the law of double jeopardy has now done its job. That ancient liberty should be restored. Henceforth, as historically, no acquitted person should ever have to stand trial again for the same offence.

The erosion of trial by jury and of the right to silence ought to be reversed, and the partial reversal of the burden of proof ought to be reversed back. Conviction by majority verdict, which by definition is not conviction beyond reasonable doubt, ought to be abolished. The Scots Law requirement of corroboration of evidence ought to be extended to the rest of the United Kingdom. The Crown should have 12 weeks from charge to present its case or be told that it had no case, such that the accused ought never to have been charged. Legal Aid should be restored across the board. And very much else besides.

You know what you have to do, brothers and sisters. You know what you have to do.

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