Friday, December 31, 2004

Dogs That Don't Bark

Excellent article in the Spectator about Nazi Nick's Yorkshire misadventures. The whole thing is well worth reading, but there are a couple of issues Rod Liddle touches on in passing that I think are well worth expanding on. First up there's this:

This programme was shown in July last year and, in a statement following the arrests, West Yorkshire police proudly announced that it had deployed a team of officers on the case ‘five days a week, ten hours a day’ ever since. Now at this point in the article, a really good journalist would tell you how big that team of policemen was. And how much the investigation had cost the taxpayer. And also cross-referenced it with how many burglaries, muggings, etc., had been carried out in the West Yorkshire area from July to 12 December. Especially unsolved ones. But I haven’t been able to find that stuff out: the police won’t tell me.
This is increasingly true these days - public bodies telling the public to shove it. Given the pressure on business to be more transparent, we may know more about how BP operates than the average police force. Yet journalists, with honourable exceptions such as the above, raise nary a peep. They'll go to court to assert their right to tell the public about bonking goalies, while passing on verbatim Islamic propagancda is apparently a vital function of a free press, but reporting what public servants do with all that money ? Pssss... they've got shagging strikers to cover.

Of course, the press never were big on principle, but check this out:

Curious to find out a little more about the mechanics behind the arrest of Mr Griffin, I spoke to the magistrate who signed the warrant for his arrest. That’s Mrs Valerie Parnham, who lives near Bradford.

A man answered the telephone. I told him I was a journalist and wanted to speak to Mrs Parnham. He shouted down the hallway: ‘Valerie? VALERIE? I told you this would happen!’

Then a timorous Mrs Parnham came on the telephone. ‘I can’t say anything about this. I could get into trouble.’

Well, I just wanted to know if you were happy to sign the arrest warrant, I said, as plaintively as possible.

‘(Long pause) I can’t say anything about this. I’m sorry.’
Their Lordships can't hardly get out of bed without giving a long speech about the sanctity of the judicary. Well, here's a judge who admits to feeling under pressure following a decision. Can we be sure that this pressure only occured after the decision was made ? How does judical independance stand now with a judge admitting to feeling intimidated ?

Similarly, what of the old cliche about justice needing not only to be done, but seen to be done ? An arrest warrant has been produced with even the woman who signed it refusing to discuss it, so where are their Lordships now ?

It's only a couple of weeks since Lord Hoffman became the toast of the chattering classes for claiming that the government's refusal to grant Access All Areas passes to members of the Islamic Popular Front of Egypt was more of a threat than Islamic terrorism. Well, if the principles of British law are so precious as to require that we allow Khalal D'infidels to enter the country, score full welfare benefits and a taxpayer-rented house next to a synagogue, they surely must have something to say about people being arrested on nonsensical charges. Where are the ringing declarations in this case ? Or, if judges don't have a problem with government steamrollering through cases against people who aren't PC enough, why exactly should we take them seriously on any question of principle ?

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