I was out this morning doing a little local canvassing and wearing my rosette for the first time. My route took in the retirement homes in Westgate and I was surprised to see, from one newspaper cutting on a wall, that the famous Lord Scarman spent his final years here, who would have guessed it.
As a judge, Scarman's career had some controversial decisions. Although widely regarded as a liberal, he upheld the blasphemy conviction of Gay News (1979), punctured the GLC's "Fare's Fair" low-cost public transport policy (1981), and supported the banning of trade unions at GCHQ (1985). He is best known for chairing the public inquiry on the causes of the race riots in Brixton in 1981. He also chaired inquiries into the Northern Ireland riots of August 1969 (1969-1972), the Red Lion Square disorders (1975) and the Grunwick dispute (1977). (Wikipedia)
Remaining on the subject of the law and following on from the earlier 'Twitter' political abuse story of last week, I see that the influential Guido Fawkes political weblog has spotted that the Conservatives appear to be getting an 'easy ride' in the press:
"Former intimate friend of Derek Draper, James MacIntyre, the New Statesman's wayward political editor, got his fingers well and truly burnt in a smear straight out of the MacBride/Draper play-book. Macintyre has been moaning about the apparent easy ride the Tories are getting in the press. It seems he likes to hold them to extreme accounts, regardless of the truth. It took Guido days to trawl around for the last edition of the New Statesman but he finally managed to snatch one from a passed-out tramp. Hidden away in it was this apology:"
Apparently, labeling the Conservatives as 'racists' proved very expensive indeed and led to a substantial out of court settlement which once again illustrates the dangers of becoming quite carried away with one's politics at the expense of simple common sense.