Daily View 2×2: 2 September 2009

Well, that’s it. August is over, nights are drawing in, it’s downhill to Christmas, and LDV’s daily 2×2 slot that’s more-or-less been on hold over the summer returns to its more-or-less 8am schedule to bring you two top news stories and two must-read blog posts from the world of Lib Demmery.

With just 120 days till the end of the year, 2nd September is the day the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, the day Thomas Telford died in 1834, and Salma Hayek’s birthday. Happy birthday, Miss Hayek!

Two top stories

PM’s role in release of Megrahi

Gordon Brown and David Miliband were last night drawn directly into the furore over the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing when it emerged that Britain told Tripoli that the prime minister and foreign secretary did not want to see him die in prison.

In a major setback for Downing Street, which has insisted the release was entirely a matter for Edinburgh, it emerged that a Foreign Office minister intervened last February to make clear to Libya that Brown and Miliband hoped Abdelbaset al-Megrahi would not “pass away” in prison.

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’ve had enough of this story now. The decision has been made, the man is imminently going to die; moreover, there is no way of reversing the decision and returning him to his Scottish prison. Why are we still all talking about it?

See also

Police arrogant over crime victims warns chief constable

Bernard Hogan-Howe, the outgoing head of Merseyside Police, said it was “intolerable” if officers do not appear to care or listen to what victims need.

In a public attack on the tactic of “screening out” certain crimes, the chief constable said it is the duty of officers to do the “right thing” by those who pay their wages.

Instead of selecting which offences are worthy of attendance, Mr Hogan-Howe said every victim should be offered a visit, no matter how minor the crime.

The story carries a quote from Chesterfield’s Lib Dem MP Paul Holmes:

[Hogan-Howe’s] comments are “indicative of how detached much of the public, including many victims, feel from their local police force”.

“Years of centralised control and Whitehall bureaucracy under Labour has created a system of targets and numbers that has distorted police priorities.”

Two must-read blogposts

It’s not every day I agree with Ann Widdecombe

Rational Liberal takes issue with Europe’s edict that all-woman shortlists are the only way to fix the problem of a lack of representation of women in politics, and along the way discovers Ann Widdecombe agrees with him:

Ann Widdecombe put it rather succinctly recently:

I believe, as a woman, that every woman in Parliament should be able to look every man from the prime minister downwards in the eye and to think she got there on exactly the same basis that he got there.

It’s not often that we’re in agreement, but Widdecombe is talking sense here. Judge candidates by the content of their character, not their sex. The problems of opportunity for women in politics need to be addressed at their core, not at the final point when the candidate is actually selected.

It’s like that Lib Dem conference discussion all over again.

A fall in personal debt is not a bad thing!

Jane Watkinson tackles yesterday’s news that we the public decided last month to start paying off our debts rather than going out to spend more, undermining the Government’s plans to restart the economy by getting us out there buying stuff.

This […] response to a reduction of consumer debt actually shows that we are far from moving on from the type of consumer driven attitudes and culture that lead to the economic crisis. I personally, would want people to see the reduction as a good thing for the economy, and good news for the hope that we may move away from the “what I buy is what I am” attitude.

That’s it from 2×2 for today. If my bleary eyes have understood the rota correctly, it’ll be me back here at 8am tomorrow, so I will see you all then. Have a nice day!

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One Comment

  • Andrew Suffield 2nd Sep '09 - 8:19am

    Creating all-women shortlists means that it will become the only way women get elected (inevitable, if you think about it). I don’t think increasing gender divisions is a wise or ethically justifiable plan.

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