Desparate situations call for desparate measures. To ease the prison overcrowding, I have decided to commandeer the Millennium Dome and turn it into a prison for 800 inmates. The times people have referred to prisons as being holiday camps has given me my second idea, as holiday camps are only used during the holiday season May to September, I have decided to commandeer these for the months that they are not being used for holidays and turn them into prison camps. And, as the Tube Trains do not operate 24 hours a day, when they are not in use for commuters, I will commandeer them as temporary accommodation for prisoners. Finally, as most people now have mobile phones, telephone boxes stand empty most of the time and are not used for the purpose they were intended. Therefore, I have decided to cram three prisoners into every phone box in the country and have resolved the prison overcrowding crisis.
Two things, not including Michael Howard, led me to think of the title for my article in the Sunday Telegraph today. The first was Bob the builder he can fix it yes he can, and it was the inspiration for “I can fix the problems…”. And, the second “but I need three years”, is how long I think it will take to make the Home Office fit for purpose. However, subconsciously, I was thinking about Tony and how long he might get for his part in the cash-for-peerages scandal when he gets sentenced.
As Michael Howard pointed out in last week’s Sunday Telegraph, it involved a great deal of hard work and long hours on his part to make a mess of his job as Home Secretary and the Home Office. When I came to this post, I identified that the problems go back to his tenure in 1997. Whereas crime went up under the Tories, it has fallen by 35% under New Labour according to how we interpret the statistics. Police numbers are at record levels and they are busy getting bogged down in paperwork and leaving policing the streets to the public. Asylum applications are at their lowest level since 1993, since we moved the goal posts and record these under a different heading. Thanks to David Blunkett the passport service is back on its feet and it is now like shopping at Tesco.
In July 2006, within 100 days of joining the Home Office, I published three reform plans setting out a route map, free of congestion charges, for the transformation of the Home Office. They included 8,000 more prison places (which Gordon Brown has scuppered), a 40% reduction in HQ staff by 2010 (we might not be in power by then), a commitment to making the Immigration and National Directorate an agency with a uniformed border staff and tough new powers. And in the seven months since then, we have delivered those plans. Real practical changes. But, this is not quite the same as saying we have delivered on those plans. This needs a bit more spin.
This transformation takes time. Nero said Rome wasn’t burnt in a day. As Issac Newton found in the Garden of Eden, if you shake an apple tree the odds are that a bad apple will fall. Every time I open a filing cabinet hidden failings and problems pop up. I keep saying to myself, discover, acknowledge, address and resolve. I have mastered the first and second, two out of three ain’t bad. I was not around when Michael Howard was responsible for creating the problems, but I take full responsibility for solving them. This would appear, if I fail, as though I am putting my head on a plate for David Davis…
I should not be judged on my past form in Transport, Health, and Defence, but on my present reform of the Home Office. As you know, Charlie Falconer has more titles than even Idi Amin gave himself, and because this reform gives him more power he is in support of my proposals. As a sideline, I have decided to open a dairy and move the sacred cows out of the Home Office and put them in a shed out at the back. No doubt some of them will wander off, and it maybe that we will be waiting until the cows come home for some of my reforms to take place.
Recently, the police have stepped up their dawn raids. Nothing must be ruled out if we are to properly protect the public and ensure that offenders are brought to justice and effectively punished for their crime.
I can reveal my plans to introduce ‘super ASBOS’, initially to target 30 top criminals. This new bill will give the police powers to target suspected crimelords without taking them to a criminal trial. Special courts will impose ‘super ASBOS’ without proof and just on the basis of the police stating that they suspect someone of being up to no good. These orders will cost approximately £40,000 per year to impose, this is at least £10,000 per year more than it costs to keep someone in prison for the same length of time, and it will cost the taxpayers another £40,000 per suspect to allow for appeals against the orders. Mobile phone users, those who engage in fly-tipping, and those who go fishing for salmon, trout or freshwater fish with prohibited implements will be the prime suspects. These orders are designed to target the ‘Mr Bigs’ of the criminal world.
As you are all aware, I am very shortly to be the next leader of the Labour Party and the next Prime Minister. I am quite looking forward to moving into Number Ten Downing Street. One of my first tasks will be to have the brickwork on the outside painted white. So we will have our very own Whitehouse back in merry old England, just like the one in our colony in America. Only this morning, I went to a pet shop and bought a white poodle whom I call George W. Bush, for no particular reason, other than it sounds quite statesman-like as befitting a replacement for the tired old British bulldog.
My pet theme is Security, Security, Security. And even more Security. I don’t think you can have enough Security. My tenure at the Home Office has taught me one thing, Security. I cannot expand on this at the present for Security reasons. Homeland Security must come first, second and last.
I am a firm believer in liberty, and to protect the liberty of the subject it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice the liberty of the subject for the liberty of all. This is what democracy entails. And because we live in a democracy, and cannot allow mob rule to exist it is sometimes necessary to sacrifice the liberty of the majority for the individual.
Because politics has all moved into the centre ground, and it has been said that there is nothing to choose between the three main political parties, when I assume office I will reform the Tory and LibDem parties so that there is one big happy Labour Party which allows for the left, right and centre of this centre ground.
There will be those who may murmur their dissent at what I am intending for this country. However, my goal is to put the Great back into Britain. Any dissenters should be treated like patients. They do not always like treatment. Nevertheless, I have a good bedside manner. Trust me, I am a Dr.
Gordon Brown has promised a new settlement. It will be built on the moon. He says that this will give more power to the people and to Parliament. He states that Britain’s main three challenges are security, the environment, and the rise of Asian economic power. And, that his domestic focus will be excellence, excellence, excellence in education. He has woken up to the fact that there is a job to be done for the future of Britain. He claims that the next ten years we will have challenges that are quite different than we have ever faced before. Therefore, he claims that it needs a new kind of politics in this country, and it needs new style of government. Instead of the government governing, the people are going to govern for themselves. As there is not enough room on Tony Blair’s old sofa, he says that he intends to throw this out of Number 10 Downing Street, and everyone can sit on the floor cross legged as though in some 1960s hippy commune. He says that before he would reach any decision on any future policy, he wants to hear the views of all 60 million inhabitants of the country. Then he will talk to them all individually. Then he will consult with them and debate with them. This all sounds like communism to me. He doesn’t think that being Prime Minister is any different than being Chancellor. Government of the people, by the people, for the people. Where have I heard that before? He says he wants to help people, and that he is not interested in the trappings of office. Then why doesn’t he give up his job and go and work in the voluntary sector? He claims that he was against the decision of Tony Blair’s to go to war with Iraq. I do not recall him speaking out at the time or resigning his post over the issue. For someone who was not very good at accounting, all of a sudden he wants the government to be more accountable, and Parliament and the public to have a bigger say. I thought that the government were already accountable to the public. And Parliament has always had a bigger say since Charles the First lost his head. The people have their say at the ballot box. He intends to alter the balance of power between the Executive, Parliament and the Public. He has not included the Judiciary because this institution is to be replaced by the public. In future he says that the government will not do anything for the people, in self government they will have to cope for themselves. He intends to put education above defence, law and order, health etc. He fears that our children are faring worse than those in China and India. I have never heard so much crap in all my life. If the public do not lynch him, I will lock him up in the Bloody Tower as a bloody traitor to the country!
The Labour Councillor who was sacked from the lineup on the Black and White Minstrel Show, is alive and kicking again. The period he spent in suspended animation must have addled his brain to a certain extent, he had to ask who John Reid is. I’m the present Home Secretary, and future Leader of the Labour Party, and next Prime Minister. Who am I, Bob?