Jacqui Smith: our very own Donald Rumsfeld

You know, I think the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is turning into our very own Donald Rumsfeld.

After the previous entertainments caused by her rather odd pair of views (here and here) on walking and the little problem over the timing of her kebab purchases, we had this morning something right up there in the Mr Rumsfeld class.

On being challenged on the Today program that she was wanting to introduce detention without charge for 42 days only in order to cover hypothetical situations (rather than to deal with any current problem), she retorted:

It won’t be hypothetical if and when it occurs. We are not legislating now on the basis that we are bringing it in now for something that might happen in the future; we are bringing it in now for something that might happen in the future; we are bringing in a position for if it becomes unhypothetical. If, unfortunately I and many other experts are right and we do need it in the future it is in place. (Transcript courtesy of Benedict Brogan)

As Paul Walter points out:

You could say that about any hypothetical situation, for example:

Minister: We have to legislate in case the Earth turns into cheese.

Interviewer: But that’s a hypothetical situation.

Minister: But it won’t be hypothetical if and when it happens.

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6 Comments

  • That is a hilarious quote. I think someone ought to go around to the home office with a dictionary and explain the meaning of hypothetical to her

  • LiberalHammer 24th Jan '08 - 4:19pm

    What a feeble argument! It could be used to justify absolutely anything. And any piece of legislation no matter how insane

  • Things can only get better.... 24th Jan '08 - 6:10pm

    This is definitely a candidate for one of those ‘Foot in Mouth’ awards…

  • Dennis the Menace... 26th Jan '08 - 6:08pm

    Truly surreal…

    Politicians are normally trained NEVER to comment on any hypothetical situations, so for our Jax to make it a policy strategy does rather beggar belief…

    Still, I’m sure she knows what she’s doing..

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