An interesting email from the LibDems falls into Trust People's inbox this morning. Nick Clegg declares
"It's very simple - the Home Office has made a huge blunder in losing track of over1,000 convicted criminals before deportation proceedings could be considered.The Government has failed to keep track of some very dangerous individuals.
Under questioning from me on Wednesday, Charles Clarke admitted that he didn't know thewhereabouts of three murderers and nine rapists who were released and not deported. Such shocking incompetence is now putting public safety at risk. How dare Tony Blairclaim he is tough on crime?
Quite simply, if this sort of mistake is not worth of a ministerial resignation,what is?So please come and sign our petition calling for Charles Clarke to go...
Shadow Home Secretary"
I knew this guy was fairly shameless but I really was staggered at this missive. Firstly, when did he become the Shadow Home Secretary. As far as I'd heard David Davis was pretty secure in that job. It has been astounding just how easily the press has swallowed this LibDem presumptuousness in flounting convention and dubbing themselves a shadow cabinet. It shows just how little they respect and value all our conventions. How ironic that in criticising Labour for flounting conventions of ministerial accountability Mr Clegg flounts the conventions that suit him.
Most importantly though, how shameless to pretend that he has personally played some significant role in the Clarke affair. As today's Times states "It is only thanks to the persistence of the committee [the Public Accounts Committee], and particularly of the Tory backbencher Richard Bacon, that the inadequacies in the previous system were exposed and full information has been made available about the number of foreign prisoners who have not been deported. That has forced the Home Office to re-examine its records and admit that it had provided wrong figures."
This has been unearthed by Conservative Richard Bacon and, to a lesser degree, the tag team of Cameron and Davis. The LibDems' main involvement was to make uncategorically false statements and attacks in PMQs when Ming Campbell asked about the release of a prisoner who was still in prison! Clarke announced on Tuesday that he didn't know the whereabouts of many more than the 12 freed prisoners Clegg over which is trying to blow his own trumpet. Then again, it's hardly new for the LibDems to show such duplicity.
On the basis of this I don't quite know who would be better for the Tories to see in charge of the DimLibs: Clegg or Campbell!
This man as Prime Minister?