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The Villages

Date: 2009-04-18 00:58
Subject: rotten boroughs - jacqui
Security: Public
Music:trust no one
Of course, the Damian Green affair has echoes far beyond the narrow confines of the event itself. The Home Office justified the raids on Green's home and constituency office (for which there were warrants) and Westminster office (for which there was not) and the arrest of Green himself on the grounds of National Security. And now the CPS has decided there were no National Security Grounds at all, and there is a sense that the National Security aspect was pumped up by a vengeful Government wanting to stomp anyone who got in its way.
This of course turns the spotlight back on Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, who has been fighting a desperate rearguard action recently regarding her Parliamentary expenses, and life is not getting any easier for her. Yesterday it was announced that the gentleman who died during the G20 protests - who was filmed being treated rather harshly by the police just before he collapsed - did not die from a heart attack, as the original autopsy found before the video was made public, but of abdominal bleeding.
Added to that, someone who attended the vigil for Ian Tomlinson at Bank Junction the day after his death was also filmed being slapped and batoned by an officer of the Territorial Support Group, who had covered up his epaulettes with duct tape so his number couldn't be seen, in contravention of police rules.
These are not resignation issues for Jacqui Smith, who can easily hand them off onto the police, but they do make her life more eventful than she probably wants.
I should add a personal note here. There's a photo of Jacqui Smith at a pyjama party when she was at Oxford - nothing scurrilous, hell, I did a lot worse, best beloved - and I could swear I recognise her from that pic. She's two years younger than me, but I took a year out before I went to Nottingham, so we did overlap at university, and, life being what it is, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that she might have been visiting and we might have bumped into each other at a party. The likelihood is one of those Schrodinger's Cat things, where you look at it properly and everything collapses into a negative state, but I see her on television and I can't shake the sense that I know her from somewhere...
If I'm right, she's done a great deal better in her chosen career than I have. And I wouldn't want to spend a single moment in her shoes.
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User: mylefteye
Date: 2009-04-18 12:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Who'd want to be a politician, eh?
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User: hutch0
Date: 2009-04-18 21:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Lots of people, apparently. And they're getting younger, I've noticed.
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User: calcinations
Date: 2009-04-19 08:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They're getting younger because the criteria for being a politician has changed over the years. In 'the good old days' it took you years to get the contacts and knowledge to become a politician and then it took a few more years to work your way up, partly because you had to fight and argue your way there and actually do something for a few years. Now things are so streamlined that you can be hoisted into high political office after a few years arse licking.

Rather like the police and their accelerated promotion for graduates, whereby you spend about a year actually at the front line, the rest of the time is 6 month posting to special units, thus meaning you tick the boxes but are never in one place long enough for your mistakes to be found out.
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User: hutch0
Date: 2009-05-19 21:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's very true. Since Clinton and Blair were elected there has also been something of a cult of youth in British politics. But it's happening everywhere; when I joined the newspaper business it was usual practice to start off at the bottom and work your way up. Sometime around 1990 I started noticing that quite senior journalists on other papers were actually younger than me - kids coming out of university media courses.
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