17 November 2009

What Matters More? (Updated)

Here are a selection of today's stories from the Politics section of the BBC News website, and a quick reaction to them.

Elizabeth Truss has won the battle to remain as the Conservative PPC in South West Norfolk. But it doesn't matter.

Nick Clegg and now David Cameron have come out against the Queen's Speech, saying it will be an irrelevant Government puff-piece, with Clegg going as far as calling for the whole thing to be scrapped. I blurted about this yesterday. But it doesn't matter.

Vince Cable has suggested that until they are broken up, the banks should be taxed an extra 10% on their profits, given the amount of money they have been given in bail-outs. But it doesn't matter.

A Labour council candidate has apologised for calling the Queen a "parasite" and "vermin". But guess what? It doesn't matter.

Not when you hear this.

According to Private Eye, reproduced by Byrne Tofferings and Football Forum, Alan Johnson has deported an asylum seeker, knowing that doing so would put this person's life in danger. How did he know? Because before his ascension to the Home Office, he was campaigning to stop this man from being deported.

Obviously the hypocrisy is mind-blowing. But frankly, that is the least of Johnson's sins. He has deliberately put this man's life in jeopardy. If he comes to any harm, his blood is on Johnson's hands. And for what? The only reason I can think of is to lower the government's statistics on granting asylum by one. Why else?

This matters so much more than the current political news I listed above. The decision was directly a matter of potential life or death. And it was done in our name. Alan Johnson must explain his actions.

I have been trying to get a prominent Labourite Twitterers to respond to this, but it has been like trying to squeeze semen from a brick. So I encourage you to try asking KerryMP, BevaniteElie, ChrispLOL and BristolRed how they feel about a Labour Home Secretary making this decision.

UPDATE I: KerryMP and BristolRed have kindly replied. They are both saying they can't judge without more information. I covered exactly the same point yesterday regarding Paul Clarke's outrageous gun possession conviction. We might not know everything yet, but everything we do know looks deeply troubling, and no-one has come up with anything that shows us a more complex picture. Until Alan Johnson defends his behaviour, there is a dark stain on his reputation.

UPDATE II: Thomas Byrne has tweeted that The Independent on Sunday's John Rentoul is looking further into this. Good.

UPDATE III: Bevanite Ellie also replied. See Update I.

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