Saturday 22 April 2023

30 Years On

Stephen Lawrence was murdered 30 years ago today. The only abiding legacy of his case has been the abolition of the immemorial protection against double jeopardy, without which there is no presumption of innocence. That ought now to be restored at least for offences that were alleged to have been committed after the coming into effect of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Not that the Conservatives defended that ancient liberty at the time. In 13 years, there has never been the slightest suggestion of its restoration. The Opposition did not oppose the Blair Government's very extensive assault on civil liberties, and in office has not repealed any of it. Quite the reverse, in fact. In this one instance, Stephen Lawrence was a convenient excuse. Tony Blair and his succession of nightmare Home Secretaries would have done this, anyway.

Cheered on, as ever, by the other side, since they had taken over where Michael Howard had left off, having criticised him only for not going far enough, the compliment that was then returned. It was Jeremy Corbyn who wanted his parliamentary comrade in the defence of liberty, Diane Abbott, to be Home Secretary, and their supporter, Shami Chakrabarti, to be Attorney General.

Other than double jeopardy, what is there to show for this most celebrated of causes célèbres? Go round Eltham now and and tell the black boys who could have been Lawrence's sons, and who may be his nephews or his cousins, about how his case had "stopped the Met from being racist". Go on. I dare you. And go over the people who had been convicted of offences of which they had previously been acquitted. I would bet you anything you liked that they were disproportionately of a duskier hue. As well as being almost invariably working-class.

Regular readers may be wondering how I am going to work Keir Starmer into this one. But I do not need to. He does it for me. He insinuates himself into this case, despite, well, again, ask the black boys on the streets about him. Thankfully, his party's poll lead remains in free fall while his personal rating remains negative.

When I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.


  1. The only abiding legacy of his case has been the abolition of the immemorial protection against double jeopardy,

    That’s not true-the Macpherson Report’s imposition of political correctness on the police, from the end of “colour-blind policing” to compulsory diversity training and the weakening of stop-and-search was its true legacy. Lawrence was the excuse the Left used to destroy the police as a conservative institution. Like the Scarman report before it.

    Black Lives Matters is admirably honest in admitting the Far Left seeks to abolish the police altogether.

    1. Ask black people about the Police. Not 30 years ago. Now. Ask those born after the Macpherson Report.