Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jack Straw: what a waste of an expensive (legal) education

D'ya know what? When Jack Straw was away from the Home Office and the administration of justice which he now taints, I actually missed him. No, seriously. Somehow my vision was tainted by the successive horrors of David Blunkett, Charles Clarke and John Reid, and I really missed Jack Straw's apparently reasonable approach to things. Not any more, not after today. I am pleased to see that Straw's Wikipedia entry refers to my favourite snippet about him - namely that the Students' Union in Leeds, of which he was once a sabbatical officer before becoming President of the NUS, banned him from the student union building after taking exception to his illiberal policies. I remember seeing the lovely plaque outside the main entrance to the building. I am sorry to see that the policy has now apparently lapsed. However, the historical record appears to state that Straw took a law degree at Leeds University - my former employer... I am sure it was a very good law degree - all Leeds law degrees are. But it clearly appears to have gone to waste, because it was apparently his "expectation" that Chindamo could be duly deported from the UK once he had completed his prison sentence. So now I mourn the passing of Charlie Falconer, who - as Lord Chancellor - would never have said anything so legally idiotic. Now, funnily enough, Jack Straw was Foreign Secretary at the time when the Citizens' Rights Directive was passed by the EU legislature, and as such he was effectively the UK's leader on all EU policy-making through his membership of the General Affairs Council. It is so blindingly obvious, I'm afraid, that the UK could never have an expectation of deporting Chindamo on release under EU law, and at most a hope that such an objective could be achieved, that one has to ask oneself the question whether (a) Straw has any understanding of the measures the UK is bound by, by virtue of EU law, and (b) whether his legal skills have so wasted away that he is no longer able to appreciate the clear effects of the provision of the Citizens' Rights directive which I cited in my last post on this matter. Anyway, it leads me to conclude that it was certainly a waste of an expensive (legal) education to send Jack Straw to Leeds University.


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