Tuesday, 12 August 2008

"Jim, let me be very clear."

Reason 4,647 why this grotesque excuse for a Government will be demolished at the next election: junior Ministers saying "Let me be clear" on the Today programme, just before saying something misleading or self-exculpatory. Exhibit A: Bridget Prentice this morning, talking about the CICB's turn-around on cutting compensation for rape victims who were drunk at the time they were attacked. She said that the CICB's policy "had always been" not to reduce awards where the victim was drunk. That it had done so was due to a misapplication of the policy (aka "it was the civil servants' fault, not mine"). (What you call a policy that is not implemented is a moot point.) Then Evan Davis gently raised the question of why, in that case, the CICB will take drunkenness into account in considering pay-outs to victims of mugging. If it's not your fault if you're raped when drunk, why should it be your fault if mugged when drunk? Prentice's response? To talk about rape victims. And when pushed? To say that we (the Government, of which the CICB is, according to Ms Prentice, wholly independent) are concentrating on rape victims. She had simply no response on the mugging point. Hopeless.

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