I have written before about that cancer in the body politic, that rancorous thug who calls himself Charles Clarke.
It would be easy to slag Clarke off simply for being a deeply, deeply unpleasant man so—being the lazy little bastard that I am—I see no reason why I shouldn't do so. By now, almost everybody in the blogosphere will know about his encounter with Rachel's father, but let's paraphrase, to remind ourselves of what a shit-eating slug this man is.
[Rachel's father says:] "Congratulations on fixing the meeting so that nobody can ask questions! You will have heard about Rev Julie Nicholson who is so angry she cannot forgive the bombers who killed her daughter on 7th July , well, I have a question, my daughter was feet away from the 7/7 Kings Cross bomb, and she and some other surivors have said they are not angry with the bombers, but with the Government, because there was no public enquiry. Why is there no public enquiry?"
Charles Clarke looked at my father 'in a very nasty way', and then he said to my father
"Get away from me, I will not be insulted by you, this is an insult."
The real thing that we should point out here is that, as you are elected and paid for by us, the public, if we want to insult you then we shall. You fat bastard. If you weren't such an utter cunt in the first place, maybe we'd all try being a bit more civil but, frankly, some people just aren't worth the effort, Charlie, and you're one of them.
Our Safety Elephant obviously thought better of his rant (but only, I bet, when his PR monkeys pointed out that this little exchange was spreading through the blogosphere and making its way into the MSM) and wrote a letter in reply to the good cleric's second missive.
I too regret the events at the end of the meeting in Norwich Cathedral last Friday. That is why, as you will now know, I wrote to you on Friday afternoon expressing my regret and offering you a constituent surgery appointment to discuss these matters, to which I said you would be welcome to bring your daughter if you so wished. Our letters obviously crossed in the post.
Cheers, Charlie, you generous man, you...
In relation to Friday, I welcome this opportunity to set the record straight.
i.e. to lie like a bastard about the whole event.
Of course I do agree that it was entirely appropriate for you to ask a direct question to me as both your Member of Parliament and Home Secretary. I do spend a lot of my time taking questions on all aspects of Government business, but in particular those matters which are my responsibility as Home Secretary and it is right that this should be the case. I am sorry you found the format of Friday's event frustrating - this was not something for which I had responsibility, although I was happy with the arrangements.
Now, it is not for me to call Charlie a liar but... Oh, fuck it. You liar.
From my point of view I did attempt to respond to your question about a public enquiry into the events of 7 July but it appeared to me that you were not ready to allow me to answer the question or to say anything at all in response to your point. That was why I described your response as insulting. In those circumstances I thought it better not to continue our exchange in the cathedral but to write to you immediately afterwards offering a meeting which I did. That said, my response obviously caused offence which I regret.
Ha ha! Getting my secretary to write these bollocks platitudes makes me feel so much better.
Basically, Clarke goes on in the same vein and then tries to do a bit of damage limitation.
You will know that your letter to me has been placed on your daughter's website. I would be perfectly happy for her to place this response there too.
Now, personally, I think that it was very good of Rachel to place this on her blog. I would have paraphrased, probably in the following manner.
Dear Rachel's dad,
Lies, lies, craven lies, platitudes, cowardice, false recollection, bollocks, get stuffed you fuckers: you aren't getting an enquiry, lies, arse-covering.
The Fat Cunt
But then, maybe I'm a little harsh.
Hahahahahaha! No way! If anything—and probably due to the good time that I had in Glasgow—I am letting the fat slug off rather lightly. I don't think that it's possible to be too harsh about that man.
Especially after the latest "compromise" over ID Cards. As the ever-excellent Justin point out, our list of allies on this grows thin (although I am encouraged to see that everyone's favourite malingering Edinburgh MP does seem to have found his spine recently) and the day when I must refuse to register draws nearer...
Identity cards will be made compulsory if Labour wins the next election, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has said.
Well, we shall just have to ensure that this bunch of fascists do not win again. However, my hopes are not as high as they should be; I find it difficult to believe that even 22% of the electorate voted for them the last time. However, what does this "compromise" entail exactly?
Under the current scheme all passport applicants from 2008 will have to get an ID card - although there will be a brief opt-out period until 2010.
Sounds OK? No. Because, you see, you can only opt out of getting the card itself. Your details will still be entered into the National Identity Register (NIR) and that is what those of us campaigning against these cards really object to. The reasons for this should be obvious, but if that is not the case yet (where have you been?) then I suggest that you read the email that Arthur has published. Furthermore, there will be no reduction in price for opting out of getting the card, a move that will ensure that most people will take it up anyway.
One cannot express one's disappointment in the Lords in accepting this compromise; however, one suspects that they had little choice. One suspects that the rancorous thug threatened to use the Parliament Act to force the legislation through totally unamended, and the Lords took whatever compromise they could get. It's an invidious position to be in and, given m'luds strong and repeated resistance so far, one can only surmise that this is what happened.
Threatening to use the Parliament Act is what I would do if I was an overweight, stubborn, thin-skinned, deeply insecure bully who took every rejection of my legislation as a personal insult on a par with being repeatedly hoofed in the knackers with a steel-capped jackboot, so I guess that that is what Charles "there really is no excuse for my continuing to live" Clarke did.
But Mr Clarke said he plans legislation after the next election to make it compulsory for everyone to get a card, whether or not they have a passport.
The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both oppose ID cards.
But Mr Clarke said he did not think the opposition would be able to stop the scheme because by 2010 a "large number of people... should either have cards or hope to have cards".
Christ Almighty, who the hell is going to "hope to have" an ID Card? Apart, possibly, from those attempting to hack them. As for those who already have them, all it takes is one simple *snip* and there goes the card. And a simple "Initialise Hard Drive" command will deal with the NIR.
If the Tories ever want to win another election, then they would do well to promise that this would be the first thing that they would do. Unfortunately, I am not confident that they will; at present they seem to be utterly spineless, unable or unwilling to commit to anything.
But he added: "I don't think there is any benefit in opting out at all. Anyone who opts out in my opinion is foolish."
"Because we set it up that way. So fuck you in the arse and the eye, and fuck you again, you fucking inconsequential serfs. Listen to your masters and fucking well wag your tails..."
He declined to give further details of the costs, but ministers have already said the combined cost of a passport and ID card will be £93.
Well, they've said that this is an estimate; they have refused to cap this level and, given that we all expect the whole fucking mess to overrun and Gordo has frozen the Home Office budget, I'm pretty fucking sure that it going to be considerably higher than that.
But the Lib Dems accused the Conservatives of being duped by Labour into backing the opt-out plan in a crunch Commons vote on Wednesday.
Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said: "Within hours of parading their so-called compromise the Home Office is already making it clear that it was little more than a tactical manoeuvre to ram this legislation through Parliament without any substantive change to the Draconian reach and financial costs of the ID database.
"It begs the question whether the Conservatives really knew what they were doing when they fell into line with Charles Clarke's ruse."
Well, quite. I don't think that the Tories do know what they are doing, but they had better wise up pretty fucking quickly.
Interviews will begin "later this year" for passport applicants.
People applying for passports will have to visit their local passport office where they will be interviewed, fingerprinted and have "background checks" carried out on them.
"This will be known," said Mr Clarke, "as the processing of the untermensch. We will be processing—such a wonderfully elegant word, with absolutely no authoritarian connotations—people and then tattooing their personal number into their forearms." When asked what benefit this would confer, Mr Clarke replied that it would "ensure that no one forgets their National ID number." He insisted that it would actually be a benefit to older citizens who may not be able to remember their card or number.
Mr Clarke went on to promise that the numbers that needed to be dealt with were feasible. "We will be processing people by ethnic group, starting with Jews, progressing to Muslims and so on."
I really, really wish that Charles Clarke would fuck off and die. The man is a cunt of the very first water; unfortunately, he is also a cunt with teeth...