What I wrote at Lib Dem Voice

January 26, 2007

Reid all about it

Under normal circumstances, I’d have some sympathy for anybody subjected to the typically moronic front page abuse meted out by the 'Soaraway Sun' today.

I am, though, prepared to make an exception for John Reid.

For it was in the almost-as-bad Daily Mirror that Dr Reid delivered his infamously strutting boast, “I'll f****** well work 18 hours a day to sort this out. I'll do whatever it takes to make the public feel safe and confident in the system.”

It is precisely this kind of macho posturing - of which Tony Blair is the master, albeit in a less sweary way - which constantly lands this Labour Government in hot water. The Prime Minister and his Home Secretary delight in implying that - through their sheer force of personality, the grace of their omniscience, and the indispensability of their insight - they can spread their personal Midas touch throughout the land. They are deluded and delusional.

The more tightly clasped to their chests government ministers insist on holding all policy decisions the more they can expect to be hauled over the coals for each and every service difficulty which will inevitably arise.

Is it fair for John Reid to be held directly accountable for all problems in a department whose brief he acquired eight months ago? Of course not. But has Dr Reid taken any steps to ensure the law and order of this country is not perceived to rest solely upon his personal authority? Of course not.

If he’s learned nothing else from this week, I hope Dr Reid might have realized that there’s more to a fit-for-purpose criminal justice system than working f****** 126-hour weeks.

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