Murdoch calls the shots

This entry was posted on
Tuesday, May 16th, 2006
9:24 am and is filed
under Rupert ‘The Evil One’ Murdoch.

12 May – The Scum – Time to stop the madness: The Sun today launches a proud campaign to put an end to the human rights madness that is horrifying the country. We applaud David Cameron for pledging that the Tories would tear up crazy human rights laws, and we urge Tony Blair to get on and do it while he remains in power. The whole concept of “human rights” in Britain has become a travesty under which the interests of killers, rapists and paedophiles are placed above those of their victims. Law abiding citizens must walk in fear while “human rights” give their assailants the freedom of the streets. Convicted thugs and murderers are set free too soon after derisory sentences. Yet what is prison for, but to keep those who wish us harm locked away? It is absurd for judges to shelter Afghan terrorists who hijack an aircraft at gunpoint. It is scandalous that a dangerous rapist is freed from prison to kill because his human rights had been infringed. But it is also ridiculous for Tony Blair to attack these decisions as an “abuse of common sense”. Stupid as the rulings may be, judges are simply doing what they are told. It was New Labour that enshrined the EU Human Rights Convention into British law – against advice. It was Mr Blair – urged on by his human rights lawyer wife – who refused calls for existing laws of the land to take precedence. Now Mr Blair is paying the price. Voters are reacting to hideous crimes committed by thugs who should be behind bars. And they are shocked by news that hundreds of criminals are on the loose instead of being deported as promised. It is a tragic day when “rights” has become a dirty word. But Mr Blair has the chance to put things right – not just for the country but also for his reputation. He can reverse Labour’s mistake of 1998 and dismantle the Human Rights Act, putting Britain’s courts back in charge of British interests. Along with his public services reform agenda, this would be a solid and worthwhile legacy before he leaves Downing Street. The Sun will continue to expose human rights madness wherever we see it. But what we want to see most of all is our Prime Minister taking the action all Britain is crying out for.

Note the deliberate blurring of the very clear line between the Human Rights Act and the recent managerial/administrative cock-ups at the Home Office (in which the Human Rights Act did not play a role). Shami Chakrabarti says it best: Amending our human rights act because of gross public service failures is like handing a repeat burglar the key to your house. Without the act, ordinary people in Britain would have precious little protection from maladministration.”

But Murdoch won’t be happy until we’re all locked up 24/7 in our own private booths. Coin-operated, of course. As for the assertion that ‘all Britain is crying out for action’, well…

13 May – The Scum – 35,000 back Sun on human rights: Thousands of Sun readers have voted to scrap the Human Rights Act. Nearly 35,000 rang our You The Jury hotline within 24 hours to back our call for an end to the interests of killers, rapists and paedophiles coming ABOVE those of victims. The crazy legislation has led to many dangerous criminals being freed to re-offend. Others have used the barmy laws to gain perks and pay-outs. Last night the Government was trying to wriggle out of the shambles. PM Tony Blair and Home Secretary John Reid raised the prospect the law may have to be tightened. But the rattled pair tried to blame judges for Labour’s bungle in introducing the 1998 Act. Mr Reid admitted: “What people want is a fair system fairly and competently administered. There’s doubt in recent weeks whether these are being applied.” The PM’s official spokesman added: “In terms of the operation of the Act, in terms of the interpretation – those are matters on which the Government has said we will make sure public concerns are addressed – and we will.” But The Sun has stepped in with its campaign to end the madness. This month it emerged a man wanted for the murder of WPC Sharon Beshenivsky should have been deported but was released to protect HIS rights. Emails supporting The Sun campaign flooded in. Just 223 readers in our poll have voted ‘No’.

You may remember that the Sun has played this numbers game before. You may even be touched that – this time around – there is actually a ‘no’ vote in this poll. But you should also be aware that Rebekah Wade is telling porkies. The online version of this article also feature an online poll asking; SHOULD THE HUMAN RIGHTS ACT BE AXED?

Until yesterday, when you voted in that poll it also showed you the current results. Not any more. And I think you can guess why, even without this screengrab:

But, as we all know, it’s not what the public wants that counts… it’s what Murdoch wants…

The Scum – Cameron vows to axe Act
The Guardian – Cameron calls for repeal of Human Rights Act
BBC – Tory pledge to scrap Human Rights Act
Independent – Cameron threatens to scrap Human Rights Act

Just before the local elections, Blair and Clarke went all out against liberal columnists who dared to suggest they were too authoritarian. The rights of Brian Haw were waved in our faces (before being removed a few short days after the election) as was the Human Rights Act. And guess what? Yes, now that’s on the way out, too…

Observer – Revealed: Blair attack on human rights law: Tony Blair is planning a radical overhaul of Britain’s controversial human rights legislation after claims that the present laws put the rights of criminals above those of victims. In a move which brought immediate criticism from human rights’ experts, the Prime Minister wants the government to have the power to override court rulings. Blair unveiled his plans in a letter to the new Home Secretary, John Reid, in which he set out his ‘most urgent policy tasks’. Legal experts and civil liberties groups accused Blair of playing politics with fundamental rights. The Observer has obtained a copy of the letter, which says it is essential to ‘ensure the law-abiding majority can live without fear’.

Here’s the condensed version of events for those with a short attention span:

12 May – The Sun: “Law abiding citizens must walk in fear while ‘human rights’ give their assailants the freedom of the streets.”

13 May – Tony Blair: Changes to the Human Rights Act are essential to “ensure the law-abiding majority can live without fear”.

It’s pretty clear who is dancing to whose tune here.

Blair can be forgiven the odd delusion, but he’s not doing himself – or us – any favours by refusing the leave the bunker and forming policy on the basis of a few tabloid headlines. And – contrary to what he might think, hope or wish – there is no way he’ll win Murdoch back while there’s a risk Brown will take office. If anything, he’s made matters worse. Murdoch and Wade have tasted blood, and today they go in for the kill with an open threat:

The Scum – Time for action on rights chaos: Tony Blair is right to say the human rights laws need “rebalancing”. But it’s time for the Prime Minister to stop talking and start acting. Mr Blair is rightly outraged over the catalogue of rapes and murders by thugs who have been set free early from their sentences. And he is surprised that Afghan hijackers cannot be deported. Mr Blair should not be surprised. These scandals did not come out of a clear blue sky. The laws which allow them were enacted by Mr Blair’s Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine – in the face of what the PM now calls “common sense”. They were backed by his QC wife, Cherie, a human rights lawyer. And they are still defended by his current Lord Chancellor, Charlie Falconer. But this is not a time for apportioning blame, as the Tories have sought to do, or for political point-scoring. It’s too important for that. We need to recognise and admit that mistakes have been made, both by the lawmakers and by those who interpret the laws. And we need to set about putting this scandalous situation right as soon as humanly possible. Mr Blair seems at a loss what to do. We have some suggestions. [ED – we had a feeling you might] First and foremost, he MUST tear up the act enshrining the EU convention in British law. If he is afraid of Brussels, he MUST at least demand opt-outs from its worst clauses. In addition, he MUST abolish rules that set violent criminals free after half their sentences. If, as he says, rogue judges are to blame, he MUST name and shame and – where necessary – suspend them. He MUST end privacy rights for hardened criminals and allow their IDs to be published on the internet. The Prime Minister said yesterday: “The demands of the majority of the law-abiding community have to take precedence.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. There is no higher priority for any government than protecting the public. This legal farce has been going on too long, and Mr Blair’s time in Downing Street is finite. He needs to get a grip… And soon.

Murdoch has always wanted Britain out of the EU. He (and his editors) also tend to foam at the mouth over the Human Rights Act. Just a little.

Right now the latter is being put into position as a wedge to begin our separation from the former… and Blair’s skull is being used as the hammer.

It looks to me as if the leadership question has finally been settled. Murdoch won.

Related links:
Adrift on a tide of panic

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