Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A distinct dearth of frog-marching and irons

I lament that the United Kingdom is so Milquetoast, so anemic in its desire for liberty that the trash must take itself out:
LONDON -- U.K. Home Office Minister Jacqui Smith will resign her post, a person familiar with the matter said, becoming the most senior member of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's team to leave amid a scandal over politicians' reimbursement claims.

Ms. Smith, who oversees counterterrorism, immigration, law enforcement and other areas, will depart when Mr. Brown unveils a cabinet reorganization, this person said, but she plans to run for re-election to Parliament.

Ms. Smith informed Mr. Brown of her decision two months ago, the person said. Ms. Smith didn't return calls seeking comment.
Surely the United Kingdom still has trees with sufficient strength of limb from which to hoist this homely harridan?

While I am pleased that Smith is leaving (the faster the better), it is the right thing done for the wrong reason:
Ms. Smith was one of the first caught up in the scandal. Earlier this year, when newspapers reported that she had charged taxpayers for two pay-per-view pornographic movies ordered by her husband -- a paid member of her staff -- Ms. Smith said claiming the expense was a mistake and reimbursed the cost.

Ms. Smith became the first woman to serve as Home Office minister when Mr. Brown appointed her to the position in October. A person familiar with the matter said Ms. Smith wants to spend more time with her family and plans to concentrate on retaining her seat in the next election, which must be called within a year.
The only real scandal here is the trite nature of the charge to which the press attributes Smith's resignation and the absence of outrage over the Home Office's policies under her control; if anything, Smith's record as Secretary of the Home Office is another railroad-spike in the coffin of the notion that increased representation of women in government positions would yield a kinder, gentler government. And yet, undeterred by shame or scruples, she plans to run for public office again as an MP; unfortunately for the Brits, I am convinced that she has a rather accurate appraisal of the average voter's ability to think critically while at the ballot-box.

(A more complete list of offenses: the "might as well be chipped" card, the "persona non grata" list, the "Big Brother" database, time-dilation of habeas corpus, and crusading for surveillance/loud-speaker implementation.)


MikeT said...

Stuff like this lends credence to the argument that every lover of liberty in England already left during the colonial era.

Something Feral said...

Considering the history of Britain up to that point, I find that entirely believable; I suppose it just confounds me that so many would choose to live under such restrictive edicts. Granted, the UKIP has made progress since the last election, but it addresses (primarily) the dynamic between the EU and the UK and yet to address the increasing tendency towards a more totalitarian state on home soil. (They keep using this word "libertarian", and I do not think it means what they think it means.)

For as much as I make fun of the PRK, it isn't nearly as authoritarian as England has come to be (I still intend to leave as soon as tie-up loose threads, though).