Clarke and Prescott

It seems that Blair’s cabinet is crumbling around him, with Charles Clarke’s failure to deport freed, foreign, former prisoners, and John Prescott’s new label of "two shags" to go alongside his "two jags" and "two jabs".

With regard to the Charles Clarke issue, I’m not sure I fully understand. Among other things, imprisonment is meant to ensure the safety of the general public, and therefore release from prison should only be done at a time when there is minimal risk to the general public.

The fact that the former prisoners were not deported merely means that the victims of any future crimes they commit are likely to be British as opposed to foreign; if the former prisoners were deported, it wouldn’t affect their likelihood of re-offending.

While deportation may have been a pre-condition of their release (which would be a separate matter), it seems that people are focusing on the wrong issue. The argument for deportation is somewhat similar to Bush’s argument for fighting terrorism before it reaches US soil. It’s almost making a case for British people being better than foreigners.

I understand the home secretary’s remit to ensure the safety of the British public, but this should not be done at the expense of other countries’ people. If the criminals were a significant risk to the public, British or otherwise, then they should not have been released from prison.

Comments

One Response to “Clarke and Prescott”

  1. Yazz on August 4th, 2006 06:42

    So it wasn’t just me that noticed … I was getting quite cross with the news coverage.

    The other issue that bugged me was the insinuation by the media that freed foreign nationals (who have presumably all served their sentences)are more dangerous/evil/criminal than their British counterparts.

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