Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Smith to be Sacked as British Home Secretary

It looks like Jacqui Smith will be sacked as Britain's Home Secretary as Prime Minister Gordon Brown reshuffles his cabinet.

It is believed that she will be dropped from the cabinet altogether.

Incidentally, I love British political terms like "sacked" (fired), "row" (like the one the GOP is having with Sonia Sotomayor) and "scheme" (as in Obama's takeover of the auto industry.) It is one of things that made my time over there so much fun.

Smith's downfall was, of course, the MPs expenses scandal. She could never live down her husband watching porn at taxpayers expense.

Hélène Mulholland of The Guardian gives a nice overview of her the turmoil that was her tenure as Home Secretary. However, she omits one controversy. Well, two. First, her refusal to allow a duly elected Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders into the country to show his film Fitna to British MPs and Lords because he would disrupt "community harmony." Second, her subsequent decision to ban Michael Savage amongst a number of, as Savage put it, "skinheads and murderers" from entering Britain. Savage has sued Smith for libel and Smith has vowed to fight. A couple of days ago, the Home Office announced:

He was excluded for engaging in unacceptable behaviour by making comments that might provoke others to serious criminal acts and foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence.

Any legal proceedings would be robustly defended; we stand by our decision to exclude this individual. Coming to the UK is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life.

Interesting, how Mulholland made no mention of these rows as "key moments in a controversial career." If banning a Dutch parliamentarian and an American radio talk show host from British soil isn't controversial then what is? Unless, of course, Mulholland and The Guardian are down with banning people with whom they disagree.

Jacqui Smith will soon be gone as Home Secretary. Yet I have little doubt her successor will continue to pursue these policies which are contrary to the British tradition of individual liberty.

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