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Archive for the ‘Chris Grayling’ Category

Tories promise crackdown on police abuse of civil liberties

In Chris Grayling, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, the conservatives, the labour party on April 15, 2010 at 13:49

Posted via iPhone so don’t write me to bitch about the formatting. 😉

Massive increase in police use of terrorism stop and search

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:42:00 GMT

Chris Grayling reacts to new Home Office figures revealing a huge increase in the number of people being stopped and searched by the police as potential terrorists.

Many people, particularly amateur photographers, have said that the Government has allowed the police to misuse counter-terror powers to target innocent tourists and bystanders.

“Gordon Brown and Labour have trampled our civil liberties for far too long”, said Grayling.

“Whether they’re trying to impose ID cards, or allowing hundreds of thousands of innocent people to be stopped and searched under Terrorism powers, they always seem to think the state knows best”.

Figures show:

The number of people stopped and searched increased by 66 per cent between 2007/8 and 2008/9, the most recent year for which figures have been released.
210,000 people were stopped and searched in 2008/9 under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Yet only nine people were arrested for terrorism offences. That is 0.004 per cent of those who were stopped and searched under Section 44.
There has been a huge increase in the use of the powers in the last few years. In 2006/7, the year after the 7/7 bombings, only 42,800 people were stopped and searched.
“We can’t go on like this”, added Grayling. “Conservatives will end the abuse of stop and search powers as part of a full review of all Labour’s counter-terrorism laws”.

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You’re Chris Grayling’s handler. What do you do?

In Chris Grayling, the conservatives on April 12, 2010 at 21:30

From Wife in the North, on her visit to the Chris Grayling roadshow:

(Actually thinking about it, it was the second thing because the first thing was to ask me to leave the building on the grounds it was a private meeting and he presumably thought I might hear something Chris was saying to members which he wouldn’t say in public. Something like “Gay-boys, don’t you just hate them?”)
After I’d left the building, the minder starts asking how I knew Grayling was in town and how many readers I have (not many I told him, which is true), and how disappointing it must be if nobody reads me (a slightly unnecessary remark but there you go.) I asked for two minutes with Chris before he started glad-handing, but No, I could put a few questions as we walked.

You’re Chris’ handler.  His PR guru.  You’re mindful of the fact that the Tories are trying to look ‘hep’ and ‘with it’.  What do you do?

Well, probably talking down to a blogger isn’t the best way to handle the situation, is it?  But, what do we know?  We’re just PR guys.

“You are supposed to have an accreditation pass to join us, have you got your pass with you.”
I’m a voter, I told him.
“I know but you are supposed to have an accreditation pass to interview him which is what you wanted to do, and I’m wondering if you have your pass with you? Do you have your pass with you? ” (Bear in mind, here I’ve already done the interview and we are way past this conversation.)
I told him I was doing what I did as a member of the public.
“No,” he said. “You are interviewing him.” This presumably means members of the public shouldn’t ask questions.
(At this point, and just for good measure, I got thrown out of a shop the Tory posse had gone into on the grounds “the owner” didn’t want me in there.)
“You are interviewing him,” said Bould. “Members of the public don’t come along with a dictaphone and record him. You’re very much like a journalist to me.”

Yeah.  Really stupid, actually.  There’s being careful about who gets access to your guy and then there’s alienating the electorate – very publicly.

We’ll consider this another example of how it is becoming increasingly difficult to hide behind the MSM, and from the technically minded electorate, who see the Internet as a tool to promote a wide-ranging discussion on the issues that affect us all.

One of the most important things that the media is supposed to do is keep the public informed about the world around them so they can make well-rounded, responsible decisions with regard to government.  The free traditional media traditionally (sorry) was the hallmark of a free and democratic society.

This has increasingly moved into the realm of the ‘new media’, of course.

While some bloggers do indeed style themselves as journalists or members of the Fifth Estate in one manner or another, there are some relevant differences between the two.  Accountability is one, of course.  However, it’s interesting to watch how this is working itself out now, both in the ‘new’ and the ‘traditional’ media.

In any event, good on the Wife of the North.  It takes guts to do something like that, regardless of which party she supports.

Grayling under fire, still

In Chris Grayling, David Cameron, editorial, the conservatives on April 5, 2010 at 21:58

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, continues to come under fire in the media over comments he made to an undercover reporter.

The Telegraph is reporting that Conservative support in the gay community has tanked, after Mr. Grayling told an undercover reporter his personal views on the rights of Bed and Breakfast owners.

Chris Grayling, the shadow Home secretary, was under fire at the weekend after it emerged that he had said bed and breakfasts run by Christians should be allowed to turn away gay couples because of their sexuality.

Let’s just step back here for a minute, shall we?

First, we’ve heard the conversation.  Mr. Grayling was quite clear that what he was expressing were his personal opinions on what B&B owners should and should not be allowed to do in the course of carrying out business.  He was clearly not speaking on behalf of the government.  Grayling voted in favour of the legislation that would legally require B&B owners to accept gay people at their door, and has supported gay rights, publicly.

He was speaking as an individual, not as a government official.

Second, the poll in question was put to readers of Pink.co.uk, a website geared toward gay and lesbian people.  Asking the question the website did is no more meaningful than posting a poll on the Labour website asking if readers supported David Cameron, and then declaring a Labour surge based on the results.  This is why we have independent pollsters.

It is not objective, and does not reflect a reasonable sample of subjects.  It is, therefore, meaningless to ominously trot it out in the hope of causing dissent within the Conservative Party and their supporters.

Third, we are talking about a person’s private home.  In the context of the debate, Grayling was not responding to a question about hotels, Pubs, motorway services, or any other public area.

It amounts to cheap shots, from a cheap reporter.  Leave the jabs and gaffes to the people who do it best, and are expected to; bloggers and politicians.