Iain Dale for Home Secretary?

If we have to have a Cameron government, then I would much prefer an Iain Dale or a Dominic Grieve as Home Secretary than Chris Grayling. (All are, naturally, a disappointment compared to Home Secretary Huhne under PM Clegg!)

Yet I fear Iain’s chances of getting the job are only slightly worse than Dominic Grieve’s (as the Murdoch press is rumoured to have insisted Grieve was moved from his shadow Home Office role).

Writing about his visit to the Arts Alliance Music in Prisons fringe at the Tory conference, Dale notes that politicians are tough on crime when they reduce re-offending, not when they generate red-top headlines:

Being tough doesn’t just mean locking people up and throwing away the key. A tough politician will take tough choices – and that means locking fewer people up and devoting more resources to preparing prisoners for life on the outside. Only in that way will reoffending rates drop.

Sadly, Iain’s liberal and pragmatic position is wildly at odds with the populist Chris Grayling, who seems destined to follow Michael Howard, Jack Straw, Charles Clarke and John Reid as the most authoritarian Home Secretary yet. As Mary Riddell wrote in The Telegraph,

This is a tale of two parties. It starts at a drinks reception in Manchester, where a senior Conservative is talking about prisons. In his view, far too many people are locked up. Like the Tory grandee Douglas Hurd, he thinks jail is an expensive way of making bad people worse.

Try telling that to the shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, who will present himself to conference as the nation’s turnkey. Under his “mug-a-hoodie” strategy, the prison population would rise to 100,000 for the first time in history, and “street rats” could expect no mercy.

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  • There is something to be said about the Grayling policies. Any gang of youths who drink too much and trash local pubs might get sent to prison for a very long time. That might save us the next Cameron and Osborne.

  • “Michael Howard, Jack Straw, Charles Clarke and John Reid as the most authoritarian Home Secretary yet”

    You missed Blunkett!

  • Richard Huzzey 6th Oct '09 - 11:00pm

    Hywel – I can’t believe I missed Blunkett… sorry!

  • Many of us have tried to forget 🙂

  • And of course if I were contesting a selection to be the Tory candidate in a safe seat (which is pretty unlikely) having the Lib Dems endorse my views on locking up criminals is just the sort of help I’d want 🙂

  • Richard Huzzey 7th Oct '09 - 12:52am

    Hm… I wasn’t intending to cause mischief in Bracknell, even if I was trying to make a point about who Cameron has put in charge of home affairs.

  • Lester Holloway 8th Oct '09 - 2:56pm

    Iain Dale for Home Secretary, are you joking? I judge him by the company he keeps; every time race is raised as an issue on his blog there are a deluge of offensive comments, that’s the kind of progressive Conservatives they are there.

    Also check out my recent dialogue with him on the link below:

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