>It’s a cold day, today, for sure. I kind of like these sunny end of January days – they kind of give you hope that the horrible dark Winter will end at some point. It always used to be around mid to end January that it would dawn on me when walking home from school in Wick that it wasn’t dark anymore.
The price you pay for lovely, bright yellow sun and blue sky is that it’s so, so cold. And as I write this, my husband tells there’s a problem with the heating. We’re in for a fun night, then.
Anyway, none of this has made me as chilled to the bone as the words that came from Conservative leader David Cameron this morning on the Politics Show.
The moment a burglar steps over your threshold……they leave their human rights outside
I mean, what cheap, populist rubbbish. If you take his words to their logical conclusion, they could be taken as an incitement to virtually anything.
Now, burglary is horrible. I have friends whose house has been done over twice in the last few years and I’ve seen how traumatised they were. I’m not suggesting it’s soemthing that shoud go unpunished. Let’s get that clear before I get any “you’re soft on crime” thrown at me.
However if a burglar “leaves his human rights outside” what is Cameron giving licence to? Kicking them where it hurts? Bopping them over the head with a frying pan? Stabbing them? Calling your mates over to give them a good hiding?
I mean, if these people have no right to be treated as human beings, where do you stop?
I found it quite scary to hear such nonsense coming from somebody who thinks he’s going to be Prime Minister in a few months.
It doesn’t make me feel particularly safe to hear Cameron talk like this. I can only see an approach on his lines leading to more dead people, householders and burglars. I don’t really think we need to change the law. The cases that have come to court have been really serious. To my mind, when Tony Martin shot a teenage burglar in the back, it was right that he should be tried for murder. The Munir Hussain case involved beating burglars up after they had left the property and nobody was in danger any longer. Yes the family went through a horrible ordeal, but the two men who beat up the burglars with a cricket bat were out of order.
I grant you that what happened to Myleene Klass was maybe a bit over the top. She was alone in the house with her baby. The intruders were outside and she waved it through the window. Like most opportunist burglars, they scarpered at the first thought of confrontation.
A handful of cases in a decade, when the only person who has been killed is a defenceless unarmed kid does not throw up for me any massive reason to change the law. As it stands, it seems to me to be sufficient in determining the rights and wrongs of the situation. Being a victim of a crime does not give you the right to do whatever you like to someone. I think that most reasonable people will see that.
I wonder, though, what’s going on in Cameron’s head. He knows that he’s not making enough headway to secure victory for the Tories. He’s tried to make himself out to compassionate and cuddly and it isn’t working, so is he casting aside the sheep’s clothing in the hope of getting out the core right wing vote?
THe reason the softer approach isn’t working is because it isn’t real and nobody buys it. We’ve been there before with Tony Blair. We recognise a charlatan at work when we see one.
One thing that has been mulling around in my head for a while is that the next Conservative Parliamentary Party is going to be much more Daniel Hannan than Ken Clarke. Cameron will struggle to keep that lot under control and will end up pandering to them to get legislation through.
Going back to the burglary issue, most of us will never confront a burglar in our homes. It’s very rare. I know I sound a bit like Nick Ross at the end of Crimewatch, but still, he said it because it’s true. We don’t need a Notting Hill Branch of the NRA with David Cameron as its poster boy, airbrushed or not, thanks very much.