Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Fair Trial?

There is an ongoing issue at the Home Office, in case you didn't notice, regarding the relaxation of immigration checks. The key point is whether the now ex-Borders Chief, Brodie Clark, exceeded his instructions given by the Home Secretary.

Giving evidence to the Commons Home Affairs Committee, he has said his reputation built up over forty years has been destroyed.

Labour have gone straight for the jugular here and are basically wanting the Home Secretary's head on a platter. She is already damaged over her ludicrous comment about asylum seekers who own pet cats, but to be fair all the evidence must be heard. It may turn out that she has acted correctly, and that Brodie Clark has overstepped the mark. On the other hand, it can be rightly said that she has overall responsibility and should be punished accordingly - ie resign.

The Home Secretary's position is perilous. Even if she has been found to be acting correctly, Brodie Clark has said he will claim constructive dismissal, and judging by some articles he will almost certainly win. If he does, that will cost the government a considerable amount. It has similarities when Ed Balls opened his mouth over the Baby P case not so long ago.

A fair trial applies to everyone. But it appears that the main players are into "Cover Arse" mode, and are feeding both the Opposition and media frenzy.

To be honest, the issue of Brodie Clark's actions - if true - are relatively minor in comparison to the policy of relaxed immigration checks, most especially with the Olympics next year. The Government constantly urges us to be vigilant, yet it seems they have left the door wide open.

Personally, I think the Home Secretary will be forced to resign, regardless of the investigation. Too many questions have now been raised. If she does go, we will have the unbelieveable situation of both the Home Secretary and Defence Secretary resigning in a very short space of time. That will then raise questions about David Cameron's judgement.

This issue could have been dealt with correctly using internal procedures, with the result then being made public. Quick, efficient and with the minimum of fuss. That would have been fair both to those involved and their department.

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