Wednesday, September 27, 2006

And From Your Hamlet...

I didn't watch Tony's speech yesterday in case it brought on one my fits, but by all accounts it was another acting masterclass.

To Tory ears, the most striking passages were those where he was attacking Dave Cameron from the right, boldly asserting that Dave's desire to hug hoodies and his opposition to ID cards showed he was soft on crime.

Talk about sauce.

Two stories today underline just why - with the single exception of Bonzo's co-star - no matter how well political actors deliver the lines, they can never be trusted to deliver the goods.

First, Mssrs Lucas Fernandez Jesus and Werleson Rodrigo Ferraira De-Oliveira, another two illegal immigrants from Brazil, have just been jailed for running Britain's biggest fake passport factory:

"They had the capability of producing hundreds of thousands of forged documents and their passports alone were worth £12 million on the black market... Police believe they could have caused an extraordinary £360 million of damage to the British banking and credit card industry.

Detective Sergeant Tony Lynes, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "These ID documents would have gone from between £400 - £1,000 apiece. But the potential loss to the UK was much greater."

"The documents gave illegal immigrants indefinite leave to stay in the UK. This would have enabled them to get a foothold in the country which would have entitled them to state benefits. The damage to the banking and credit card industry is potentially huge if each of the passports was used to it's full potential the sort of damage they could do could be between £30 - £35,000 each."

"If you times that by 12,000 you are looking at somewhere in the region of £360 million. These two men would have swamped the streets of London and done untold damage."

And that's all on top of the obvious risk that the forged ID papers might be used by terrorists.

So what did they get? Ten to twenty in Sing Sing?

Er, no.

After a decade of Tough on Crime Bliar, they got just five years. Which as we now know, in reality means no more than two-and-a-half, probably in an open prison. So that's £12m split two ways and divided by 2.5, equals £2.4m pa. Not bad, even if not quite up there with Dido.

Or what about this:

"Britain's most notorious living traitor has been handed a compensation payout by European human rights judges. They ruled that George Blake - a Soviet spy blamed for hundreds of deaths - suffered "distress and frustration" when the government tried to stop him making money from a book about his betrayal.

Blake, who has lived in Moscow since escaping from a London prison 40 years ago, will now be paid nearly £4,700 in compensation and expenses by the British taxpayer because his human rights were breached."

Which is so absolutely blood spittingly outrageous, the top of my head has literally blown off.

You may say, well, Tony can't be blamed for those whacky European judges. But Jeez, the guy's been there for ten years, surrendering more and more of our sovereignty with every extra year (finally of course, even surrendering our veto over EU criminal law).

Politicians rarely deliver. We know that. But somehow we've got to remember not to suspend disbelief next time some Westminster thesp does a good turn.
PS Er, look... I know this is awkward and we really can't discuss it, but... there does seem to be the faintest hint of a pattern with all these cases of guys being let off far too lightly for high value crimes: the vast majority of them seem to be... well, not to put too fine a point on it... foreign aliens. These guys today are Brazilian illegals, Mr Kaduwanema was a Ugandan illegal, and Dido Mayue-Belezika was an asylum seeker from the Democratic Republic of Congo. So, just remind me- why do we need to have them here again? And why didn't Sir Laurence grip it well before now?

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