One Law For Them,
One Law For Us
Politicians sometimes seem to get
favourable treatment too.
After a much publicised incident when Deputy
Prime Minister John Prescott lashed out at a voter the authorities let him off
without so much as a binding over to keep the peace or a couple of hours
community service. `Thats just John,' said the Prime Minister, explaining his
deputy's attack on an ordinary citizen with his usual sickly grin.
wonder if the police would have been so forgiving if old Mrs Smith had said the
same thing after her son John had punched someone in the street. Would I escape
scot free if I punched John Prescott?
When Labour Home Secretary Jack
Straw's car was caught speeding at over 100 mph on a motorway the politician's
driver escaped any censure on the grounds that the Home Secretary had been in a
rush to get to a meeting.
When a man was arrested under anti-terrorism
laws another Labour Home Secretary, David Blunkett, publicly announced that the
man arrested `posed a very real threat to the life and liberty of our country'
and stated that the security services believed that he had connections with
When lawyers warned that the Home Secretary's remarks
could jeopardise the man's chances of a fair trial, the attorney general brushed
aside the complaint and said that Blunkett's remarks did not `create a
substantial risk of serious prejudice to any proceedings'. Personally, if I was
the defendant I would think that any sort of prejudice might be unwelcome. And I
certainly believe that if you or I had made widely publicised judgmental remarks
about a man who had been arrested but not yet brought to court we would
ourselves have found ourselves in court.
After a local village burnt an
effigy of a gipsy at its annual Guy Fawkes night celebration, twelve people were
arrested for `racial' crimes. But when Jack Straw MP described gipsies as people
`who think that it's perfectly ok to cause mayhem in an area, to go burgling,
thieving and breaking into vehicles, causing all kinds of trouble' he was not
arrested. The difference? The twelve villagers were ordinary folk. Jack Straw MP
was Home Secretary at the time.
Taken from Why Everything Is
Going To Get Worse Before It Gets Better (And What You Can Do About It) by
Vernon Coleman, published by Blue Books. Available at the webshop on this site,
at other web based bookshops and at all good terrestial bookshops.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2004