The Home Office has radical plans, but they won’t come to much, says Alasdair Palmer. Less money and fewer paid officers will inevitably mean more crimeLast month when Theresa May, the Home Secretary, launched the coalition’s consultation document on the police, ‘reconnecting police with the people’, she said it would ‘herald the most radical reform of policing in this country for 50 years’.Unusually for a politician, that was probably an understatement.
I’m beginning to wonder where I can go this summer to get away from Jonathan Powell. Suddenly Tony Blair’s curly-haired former chief of staff is everywhere, bursting out of newspapers and Radio 4 programmes, relentlessly repeating the message that it’s good to talk to terrorists. Or, to be more specific, that it was jolly good to talk to Messrs Adams and McGuinness of the IRA — which he and Tony did during the heady days of the Northern Ireland ‘peace process’ — and that now he thinks it would also be good to talk to the Taleban one day, and even perhaps Osama bin Laden himself.
Under guidelines introduced by the last government, dis-abled people are now allowed to decide the kind of services they want from local authorities. This is called ‘empowerment’ and ‘devolving services to people in the front line’, and it is a good thing, apparently. But it has had certain unexpected consequences.Bizarrely, it seems that in many cases dis-abled people do not want to sit in a frowsy community centre which smells of stale flatus making raffia baskets for begonias, fortified by the occasional cup of tea and a pat on the shoulder and so on, as was previously assumed.
The process of forgetting ‘Bush’s war’ has already begun, says Andrew J. Bacevich. But if President Obama fails to learn from that disaster, he’ll pay the price in AfghanistanWhat is it about the war in Iraq that induces officials to lie, dissemble, prevaricate, and otherwise exert themselves to dodge the truth? Now even Barack Obama, who prior to becoming President accurately denounced Iraq as a ‘dumb war’, has joined the crowd.
Wayne Hemingway — de-signer, trendsetter and fashion watchdog — was interviewed by the Telegraph before his festival ‘Vintage at Goodwood’ took place over the weekend. He made two claims that inspired me, not a natural festival-goer, to dial the booking hotline: ‘There will be attendants for each toilet so that they are as clean on the last day as they were on the first,’ he said, and then, ‘You’ll probably look a bit out of place if you turn up in shorts and sandals.
The road to hell, they say, is paved with good intentions. And so was the road to Eric. Eric is our cat. My wife and I rescued him from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in July 2008: two wide-eyed ‘parents’, excited about giving a young life a fresh start. Two years on, I want him dead. In fact, unbeknown to my wife, I have just asked the vet if he will put him down.Don’t get me wrong, I love animals — and I believe Battersea is a noble enterprise.