Wednesday, 18 May 2011

'Soft on crime' is a dangerous tag for a Tory-led Government

If I were a Tory strategist (not Lib Dem, because of course the Party traditionally rejoices in being 'liberal' on law and order) I would be very, very worried at the lee-way being granted to Ken Clarke.  He is single-handedly destroying the Conservatives' reputation for being a (not the, thanks to Tony Blair and Labour Home Secretaries) party of law and order. 

Ceding such ground is a very dangerous move for the Government.  Ordinary people, for good reason, regard sentencing and indeed the criminal justice system in its entirety, as too soft on criminals and too disinterested in both the rights and treatment of victims and the sensibilities of the vast majority of people who obey the law.

Being tough on crime is not right wing, it is simply the sensible policy for a party which is serious about wishing to win the trust of the people and ultimately, gain their support to become the next Government.  We must start addressing more of the people's concerns and move our line of sight far away from our rather unattractive navels.  We must start listening and we must remember that our core Labour values are highly relevant at this time, not least on crime.

If I were a Tory strategist, I would be quaking in my bones about these headlines.  This is an opportunity for Labour and one that we must seize. 

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