Brown 2p down v Reid 2 missing terrorists down

March 22, 2007

Nine UK citizens now under control orders

Press Association
Thursday March 22, 2007

Guardian Unlimited
The number of British citizens subject to control orders issued by the home secretary, John Reid, has risen to nine, it was announced today.

It means half the 18 orders currently in force – which place terror suspects under a loose form of house arrest – are against UK citizens. Last February, only one of the orders in force was against a Briton.

In a quarterly update to MPs, Mr Reid said two new orders had been made against British citizens, with one having been enforced on December 11 and the other on March 10.

The total number of orders is constantly in flux as they lapse or are replaced or varied.

Mr Reid also confirmed that a terror suspect who absconded last summer was now believed to be overseas.

It had previously been suggested that the man – an Iraqi who can only be identified by the initials LL – would be prepared to head to Iraq, where he could pose a threat to UK forces.

“I have been informed that the individual who absconded in August 2006 is currently believed to be abroad,” Mr Reid said. “The individual in question has been excluded from the UK.”

LL vanished from his address in the north of England last August after being charged with seven offences of breaching his control order. The order was then quashed by the court of appeal in separate legal proceedings, but LL was not handed a modified version before he disappeared.

Two other men subjected to control orders remain on the run.

A British national known as AD escaped from a mental health unit in south-west London at the end of September.

The 25-year-old, who was held in Pakistan for more than six months in 2005, has reportedly been questioned about alleged links to the July 7 London bombers.

Pakistani authorities are reported to have questioned AD about an alleged meeting in Pakistan with the Aldgate bomber, Shehzad Tanweer. He is also alleged to have been a friend of the British suicide bomber Asif Hanif, who blew himself up in Israel in 2003.

The allegations against him were reported in the New York Times in July 2005, but Pakistani officials rejected the claims.

The third international terrorist on the run – believed to be a 26-year-old Pakistani who lived in Manchester – absconded in January, days after being served with his control order.

He evaded police by taking sanctuary in a mosque and slipping out of a back entrance while officers negotiated with religious leaders. The man was reported to have said he wanted to undertake terror training in Afghanistan.

Mr Reid gave no update on the two other missing terrorists.


Plans about plans about plans and very little action…

January 21, 2007

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.

Home Office’s new Spurious Crime Bill

January 17, 2007

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.

UK ID card scheme

December 20, 2006

It has been claimed in the media that I have done a U Turn in relation to the UK ID card scheme. Rest assured, this man is not for turning. All that has changed is that instead of a massive single database to hold records for the national identity card scheme, it will be spread across the three existing IT systems because as everyone knows civil servants like everything to be in triplicate. Unfortunately, it will also mean that the taxpayers will bear the cost at a figure between two and four times the amount of a single system. Protecting the public is priceless, and nobody can argue that I am not doing something sensible.

I have announced proposals to force foreigners already in the UK to register their biometrics. This will initially be done by taking foreigners off the street and from their homes and places of work to police stations to have their fingerprints taken and have their iris scans. In due course, police on the street will have the necessary equipment and have the power to stop any foreign looking person and take their fingerprints and iris scans. It may be that a foreigner will be stopped twenty times a day, and subjected to an inconvenience, however, the equipment will pass the information onto the databases, and they will know if the data is already stored, and if so, it will reject the fresh input, in effect, the data is only collected once therefore it is only a minor inconvenience upon foreigners if it is an inconvenience at all. It is not being intrusive, at this moment in time, we do not have plans to conduct intimate body searches using vaseline and surgical gloves.

A consultation paper will be published in the New Year to seek the views of immigrants on my proposals. However, if they do not agree to them, it would be seen as being anti-British and an unBritish activity which may lead to arrest and detention. Therefore we are seeking their consent and approval for the measures which leave them no option but to agree to being forced or force will be applied. In the war on terror and immigration, we can leave no stone unturned to seek them out.

The UK ID card scheme will help to secure our borders and tackle illegal immigration, reduce the frauds they commit, fight other crimes and terrorism they commit, and improve protecting our children from them. No one who opposes the introduction of the identity card scheme can truly claim to treat subjects as seriously as they claim to do. Gordon Brown is proving to be a white elephant. Vote for me as Prime Minister. I believe in social justice for non-British, and British justice for the British. Together we will keep Britain safe.

My Home Office Improvements

December 12, 2006

I have completed my review, commissioned by 10 Downing Street, of the UK’s intelligence and anti-terror services, and it is now on Tony Blair’s desk. The review was promted by the August terror plot.

I have appeared before MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee, to give evidence and a progress report on my troubled department. Whilst I am perfect, I admit that the Home Office is still far from perfect. I have instigated 20 changes of leadership within the department since May.

I have pleasure in announcing that asylum applications are down to their lowest level since 1993. And, that for the first three quarters of this year the Home Office has managed to remove more failed asylum seekers than the number making unfounded claims. 43 foreign criminals have been deported in the last 2 months. The figures for last week show a record number of deportations of foreign national prisoners at 88. We have made significant progress in border controls. This calls for celebrations all round! Senior staff within the Home office, and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate have not been paid bonuses.

Because I am a law unto myself, I intend to spend a little more time actually delivering, rather than passing laws.

Highly likely that there will be a terrorist attack over Xmas

December 10, 2006

I am convinced that it is highly likely that there will be a terrorist attack over Christmas. Security Services have warned me that the chief suspect, King Herod, is planning mass infanticide. The IRA said that we have to be lucky all the time, they had only to be lucky once. I am being totally original when I say that the terrorists only have to get through once. Our security services have to be successful on every occasion to prevent that happening. Let it not be said that I am using IRA words as a scare tactic. The climate of fear is real because I have created it. I try to walk the tightrope between being truthful and honest. I have it on good authority, none less than Dame Eliza Dolittle-Mainwaring-Bullshit, head of MI5, about the rising threat. This is not another dodgy document. We have stirred up a right hornet’s nest by invading Iraq for the oil.

My Struggle

December 9, 2006

I want to be Prime Minister. Not at this very minute, I hasten to add. But, when Tony Blair stands down willingly. Or, is knocked off his high horse like the Tories did to Margaret Thatcher in the Night of the Long Knives. Then again, he can hardly remain in office if he was to get arrested and charged by the police. There’s the cash-for-peerages investigation, and perhaps he might face trial for war crimes. I don’t believe in abusing the power of my office for personal gain. But, if I was to have absolute power and I used that as I saw fit then I could not possibly be abusing power.

There is of course the small problem of Gordon Brown. He sees himself as a pretender to the throne. I find him irritating. I might just level a charge at him that his refusing to finance my plan to build five new prisons makes him a danger to the public. As I am in charge of protecting the public, I would be well within my rights to have him arrested. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 allows for imprisoning anybody without trial who is deemed to be a danger to the public.