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Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The man who never had a proper job

Those of you who live in foreign parts won't relate to this, but there was a controversy not long ago about whether the train robber Biggs should have been released from jail as it looked as though he would die of cancer.

The Home Secretary, a person called Jack Straw, overruled the decision of the parole board, whose chairman has just said that he was wrong, and "allowed politics to cloud his judgement."

This is among the funnier things I have read recently. Jack Straw has never done a proper day's work in his life but politics from the day he became head of the National Students Union. He has no way of making judgments other than politics. He has never had a real job.

Talking of which, the ability of those who run things to get things wrong never ceases to amaze and astound. On the one hand it is decided that a little boy who has spent all his life here and speaks nothing but English is to be sent to the Congo where they spend most of their time killing each other and speak French. The reasoning behind this heartless decision is almost certainly that he is black and "they" thought nobody would kick up a fuss.

On the other - as I commented the other day - a baby killer is sent home with £4,500 pocket money as some kind of thank you. Does anyone in charge ever apply commonsense?

I am currently reading Dickens' Little Dorrit - and am ashamed I never did before. In it a government department called the Circumlocution Office features heavily. Its purpose - which it pursues with prodigious skill - is "not to get things done" and to perpetuate injustice. How little Britain has changed since 1856! Remove the rest of the plot and you've got The Toad's Playground.

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