Carry on regardless
(Wednesday 05 October 2005)
IMPRISONING 73-year-old ladies and 71-year-old retired vicars would at first sight seem to be the stuff of which Ealing comedies are made.
And even new Labour’s harshest critics – among which number this newspaper proudly counts itself – would have been reluctant – prior to the defeat of the Tories – to allege that it would be a likely tactic.
But, as certainly as night follows day, the labour movement’s tame clowns – otherwise known as the Labour Party leadership – have managed to confound us yet again.
New Labour seems not to be content with leading five-year-old children and pregnant mothers off in handcuffs during a recent round of so-called anti-terror arrests.
Nor, apparently, is it enough to conduct dawn raids on families who have committed no crime except to flee from torture to a country whose declared adherence to international treaties obliges it to shelter them.
Even the brutal treatment of 82-year-old delegates to its own conference doesn’t seem to have satisfied new Labour’s lust for draconian responses to small problems.
Retired vicar Alfred Ridley was released from jail yesterday after serving 28 days for the dreadful crime of withholding 6 per cent of his annual council tax – a sum which, while of some significance to a pensioner, has absolutely no bearing on the state of the nation’s finances.
Fellow campaigner Sylvia Hardy was released prematurely from prison last week after a mystery donor paid her arrears against her will.
It is of great concern that the Labour Party was absolutely mute during the outrageous imprisonment of these two individuals.
Read more here.