Tony Blair’s speech to the Labour conference:
For eight years I have battered the criminal justice system to get it to change. And it was only when we started to introduce special ASB laws, we really made a difference. And I now understand why: the system itself is the problem. We are trying to fight 21st-century crime – ASB, drug-dealing, binge-drinking, organised crime – with 19th-century methods, as if we still lived in the time of Dickens.
The whole of our system starts from the proposition that its duty is to protect the innocent from being wrongly convicted. Don’t misunderstand me: that must be the duty of any criminal justice system. But surely our primary duty should be to allow law-abiding people to live in safety.It means a complete change of thinking. It doesn’t mean abandoning human rights; it means deciding whose come first.
“Batter”, such a nice choice of verb, don’t you think? And he wants a “complete change of thinking from innocent until proven guilty”.
Mr Blair wants “victim’s rights” to come first – so if she or he gets up in court and puts on a really strong performance, the crim gets an extra couple of years in jail. (Heading fast towards Hammurabi’s “eye for an eye” – back to the 1700s, that’s BC, of course.)
So today, the mother of the innocent Brazilian electrician shot dead by police on the London Tube says Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, must resign.