Author Archives: Joe Otten

Reflections on the South Yorkshire PCC election

Joe Otten PCCThe election for a Police Commissioner for South Yorkshire was subjected to perhaps the most powerful and least effective scrutiny of any of them.

Following hundreds of children going unprotected from sexual exploitation in Rotherham, with significant and gross police failures to believe, investigate and prosecute, we finally have a large team of detectives working these cases, under the direction of the National Crime Agency.

The first Police Commissioner, Shaun Wright, had resigned (after much resistance) having been responsible for childrens’ services in Rotherham that had also failed these …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 7 Comments

Inquest verdict: The 96 were unlawfully killed #JFT96

Today the Hillsborough inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing of 96 people.

Errors and omissions by the South Yorkshire Police are ruled to have caused and contributed to the deaths on a number of counts, and also errors and omissions by the city council as the ground safety licensing authority, the engineers Eastwood and Partners, Sheffield Wednesday FC and the ambulance service.

Posted in Op-eds | 73 Comments

Brexiters have nowhere to hide on crime, policing, terror and intelligence

With the Brexit debate currently focusing on the question of trade, Brexiters are able to wrongly claim that the UK would enjoy better trade agreements outside the EU, sooner or later. This exercise in hand waving complacency is not available when it comes to our security.

This is not just about the European Arrest Warrant, responsible for the

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 27 Comments

Brexit as political arson by David Miliband

It isn’t the done thing here to link to opinion pieces in the newspapers by Labour politicians. So much that I’m not even sure what category to use. We have LibLink for links to articles by Liberal Democrats, and we have the slightly oddly named “Independent View” for articles by non-members.

But sometimes, hang the taxonomy, this is important enough to link to anyway.

David Miliband steps away from arguments over the costs of membership and Brexit, of whether we could get back the agreements on trade, policing, etc, that Brexit would tear up, the implications, if any, on immigration. Instead he looks at the bigger picture.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 27 Comments

Laws on Osborne v Duncan Smith

David Laws CoalitionI wrote here recently on the claim by Iain Duncan Smith that he had been unhappy with the extent of cuts that George Osborne was demanding from the welfare budget.

Some light has been thrown on this by David Laws’ book Coalition, written before IDS’s resignation but published since.

Largely it seems to confirm Duncan Smith’s position. Not that he is a welfare dove by any means – for example when a complete welfare freeze for 2012 was proposed, while inflation was running at 5 per cent (p102)

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 24 Comments

What is the Osborne/IDS row all about?

As some commentators are expressing incredulity that Iain Duncan Smith has found himself a conscience over welfare cuts for disabled people, not long after signing off those very same cuts, or are attibuting these events to a phoney war over Brexit, I think there is a more interesting possibility.

If we take IDS position at face value, this reveals something about how government works – or about how it did work under the coalition and is now liable to go wrong.

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

Free movement in the EU and control of our borders

One or two very welcome guests below the line at Liberal Democrat Voice have challenged us to talk more about immigration in the context of the EU referendum. Because people want the UK to “take back control of our borders”. So here we are.

Of course we do have control of our borders. We are not part of Schengen, and there is nothing they could do to make us join. We have our own immigration policy, subject, as with all policy, to treaty obligations. The specific treaty obligation of interest here is the provision in the Treaty of Rome to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 55 Comments
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    @Suzanne "they were known as being asylum seekers because the door was a distinctive shade of red" All I'm asking is: what evidence do you...
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    More nonsense of the jumping the shark type. If I was not a committed Remain this type of rubbish might push me towards Brexit. Under...
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    "Local healthcare on tour will be less accessible and more costly. If your child is on a rugby tour to the south of France or...
  • User AvatarMartin 30th May - 12:38pm
    I am looking forward to when Boris Johnson tries to renegotiate implementation of the off side rule for UK teams.
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    Frankly a lot of us who have been football supporters since the year dot are very disillusioned about so called Premier League football with its...