The Cat Fight – May Purrs While Clark Bites

Not for the first time Ken Clark (Justice Ministry) is in a ‘spat’ with a fellow Cabinet colleague, and this time he had Theresa May (Home Secretary) in his sights.

Theresa May At The Conference

This last week has seen the news filled with reports of Ken hitting out at her over remarks she made on The Human Rights Act and deportation at the Conservative Party Conference. As usual, he is totally out of touch with the mainstream of opinion among the public when it comes to criminality and the deportation of undesirables.

Theresa May speech extract:

Theresa May made a point during her speech that too many criminals and  terrorist suspects were successfully avoiding jail sentences and/or deportation using the Human Rights Act, in particular Article 8 which states:

Article 8: The Right to Privacy

(1) Everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

(2) There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

The article itself does not prohibit sentencing of criminals and terror suspects, but unscrupoulus lawyers have twisted its meaning over the years to mean something totally different than was originally intended. Judges too appear to be afraid of the Act insofar as they appear to always err on the side of caution when making  judgments in such cases.

To any normal person, the key phrase would be “in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country”.

This does not imply that a confessed criminal can get off because he has five children who depend on him, or a terrorist can avoid deportation because he has family in the UK. 

Ken's Not Happy

In the days following the speech, Ken Clark was obviously feeling ‘hot under the coller’ and let loose with a string of jibes at the Home Secretary about the particular reference she made to a cat being responsible for preventing a terror suspect from being deported. He refused to believe that such a case existed.

Ken Clark Reaction:

Naturally enough, this whole business was accompanied by a whole string of ‘cat’ jokes, but it took the Daily Telegraph newspaper to finally unearth the ‘cat story’.

In 2008, a Bolivian deportee was allowed to stay “because he had been with his ‘boyfriend’ for four years, and together they owned a cat called Maya”. The Judge, James Devittie, concluded under the Section 8 plea, seperating the man from his friend and cat after four years would cause him ’emotional trauma’, and the cat reinforced this to a major extent. The judge spoke of “the increasing significance of pets” in many countries when making such decisions.

After this little ‘gem’ appeared on the front pages, you would expect Ken to retire to his corner with egg on his face, but not our Ken, he is a cat fighter after all.

Theresa May is campaigning for the abandonment of The Human Rights Charter, and to some extent I can go along with that, BUT, in the case of Article Eight, it is not the rule that is at fault, it is the interpretation. Using the Act (the above quotation) correctly does not mean judges have to bow down to it and release criminals with a family, or terrorist suspects with a cat.

This is what is currently wrong with our present justice system, the judges are afraid of it,  and it is up to Ken Clark to give the proper leadership and insist that it is interpreted correctly!

Theresa May speech in full.



One Response to “The Cat Fight – May Purrs While Clark Bites”


    […]The Cat Fight – May Purrs While Clark Bites « News, Views, and Nonsense[…]…


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