An anti-Charles Clarke quickie from overseas
I've missed loads while out enjoying Japan and stuff, from Blunkett going out on his arse to the government's majority being reduced to one on an important terror-related vote (a vote to which a certain vocally anti-war MP for Bethnal Green and Bow failed to show) to Robin Grant apparently quitting the blogging game, but a spam email from the Labour party can't be ignored when it asks for our views on the Terrorism Bill.
Sent out to people perceived to be Labour supporters, the online questionnaire is packed full of leading questions ("Do you think police should have the time and opportunity to complete their investigations into suspected terrorists?" being a prime example, with the other two - only TWO, please note - being not much better) that it's rather hard adequately to explain to this repellant morons just why they're so utterly wrong on this one in the deliberately limited format they offer. But clicking "No" to all of them may just do some good, as might publicising the inadequacy of this little exercise, which is about as close as they come to a consultation with the public these days - little better than "Do you love Stalin? - a) Yes, b) One-way ticket to Siberia, please".
Oh, and while I'm briefly back blogging, can anyone explain to me precisely how they're trying to spin Charles Clarke's blatant attempt to mislead parliament? Or are they, as with the Blunkett affair (where we all knew that the jobs he took up after leaving the Cabinet last year were in breach of guidelines at the time, but it has taken until now for him to be ticked off for it), simply going to ignore it until a few months' time when the Safety Elephant for some reason falls out of Blair's favour?
Wednesday update: Hurrah! A Clarke email back-down -
"I would like to apologise for the questionnaire which was attached to the message that I sent out to party supporters on Friday. It was not intended to gauge public opinion but to start a political debate around the proposals currently being debated in Parliament. Many people have raised with me perfectly valid concerns about how the questions were drafted. I can only say that I share those concerns and give my assurance that questions of this type will not used in the future."He's still a fucking cock though. Speaking of which, The Sun's apparently been up to some dodgy polling of its own. I still wouldn't know, as I won't be back in the country until the weekend. At which point (jetlag and forgotten freelance deadlines permitting) normal service will resume on this recently much-neglected blog.