One law for...?

I have just listened to the Andrew Marr show.

I had to write in...

Did I just hear* a Government Minister, Harriet Harman, say, in effect: 'it may be legal but we think the court of public opinion takes precedence'.

Interesting precedent.

Mr. Marr seemed none to concerned.

Newsnight -

* heard it again**. Slightly more accurately: '... [this] might be enforceable in a court of law, but not in the court of public opinion'. I think I was still pretty right to crank an eyebrow.

**Better yet...

BBC - Nick Robinson's Newsblog -

405. At 11:08pm on 01 Mar 2009, labourwipeout

For those who have just arrived I quote Harriet Harman this morning on Andrew Marr

"...it might be enforceable in a court of law, this contract, but it is not enforceable in the court of public opinion and that is where the government steps in.

Just think about the consequences of what she has said .

I have been since I first heard them uttered. An interesting precedent indeed.

Oddly, many in the media seem not to have been so troubled as we are.

Telegraph - Harriet Harman wants a Bill of Attainder against Sir Fred Goodwin -

I have long been concerned about the trend towards retrospective legislation. With things like IHT it is bad enough, if only financial, and I suppose could be the same here. However, how long before you can be imprisoned for doing something that was once legal but for various reasons may subsequently deem not to be? An interesting legacy for any government to leave.

Oddly, and starting with the interviewer in question, many in the media seem not to have been so troubled as some of us are.

Telegraph - Sir Fred Goodwin's pension: a human right? - Another not so worried about Ms. Harman's 'notion'. Odd.

BBC - Nick Robinson - If you're at a Loose End...

When the going gets tough, those who keep saying 'tough'... selectively... leave the country? Though, it seems, we pay.

Had myself a little bet on what would make it on Aunty's screens and pages today, and what would not... by way of 'omissions' under the 'enhanced narrative', 'emerging truth', 'could have been better phrased' school of reporting that suits the agenda du jour.

Looks like I win. Sadly, it's in pounds.

Hope Mess(ers) Brown & Robinson have no need of the national currency whilst pursuing vital national interests elsewhere.

I knew the law was an ass. Now it looks like it is one that may be led by the nose wherever venal pols and lawyers may wish to direct it. Ably supported by some in the media. Sigh.

Indy - Harman says Goodwin's pension 'will not happen'

Newsnight - Another day, another redirection

Just thought I'd repeat this before the thread goes down whatever weird and wonderful exotic, high-brow or semantic route it inevitably takes these days.

I listened to the Andrew Marr show yesterday with him 'interviewing' Harriet Harman, when the topic of Mr. Goodwin (this Lord lark is rather devalued IMHO) came up.

And a Government Minister said, in effect: 'it may be legal but we think the court of public opinion takes precedence'.

If so, that is indeed an 'interesting' precedent.

Mr. Marr seemed none too concerned.

So I guess I need not be either.

It has many potential applications elsewhere that I can think of. Who needs to obey the law anyway, especially when it can be bent to fit on a whim? I must try it, say, with the licence fee? 'Hey public opinion, is this really worth an enforced £139.50?'

But looking at the blogs of some colleagues, while many, like me, do seem to think mob-rule from the top rather important, perhaps scooting off to the USA with the man who thinks it's all their fault is wisely deemed more 'fruitful'.

Then again, maybe extortionate money lending here might also be more appropriate to redire... er.. focus our attentions upon..

How much has my family had ripped from it, to give... lend to whom, for what and how much are we going to get by way of a return?

Anyway, just can't wait to see what the new administration's 'Global warming plan' will be.

Maybe... let's they can decide to call it 'climate change' instead? And even that term is proving a wee bit behind the public convincing curve, but best not to rush things, or stay at the cutting edge, eh?

Guardian - Has Harriet Harman gaffed?

Gaffed??? What the heck does that mean?

The minute it passed her lips I was on to the show, and pleasantly surprised that they posted my concern that a government minister was advocating a rather dodgy precedent.

Fortunately I resisted asking if the same might apply to, say, my not feeling like paying the TV licence because the interviewer who elicited this gem seemed blissfully unconcerned and rather remiss in his role.

Meanwhile, since this point, I have scoured the airwaves and blogs of the BBC's political elite, from Newsnight to Nick Robinson, and their attentions seem to have been, how to say... studiously anywhere but on this topic.

Maybe they see no problem with the principle?

Telegraph - Harriet Harman isolated after pledge on Sir Fred Goodwin pension

Times - Harman cut adrift over Goodwin pension comments

Guardian - Brown plays down Harman's threat to cut Fred Goodwin's pension

BBC - Brown targets Sir Fred's pension - Slightly different headline view, but the facts are there later, plus a view of the interview.

Iain Dale - Harriet Harman Let Off the Hook

Telegraph - Harriet Harman's raving almost made me think of siding with Sir Fred Goodwin

No comments: