Confessions of a Political Animal

December 9, 2008

Time to scrap the Standards Board?

town-hallIt isn’t normally considered good form to call for the abolition of a body that may soon have the opportunity to cause severe embarrassment to a politician you happen to dislike. However, the Animal has been meaning to write about the Standards Board for England for some while now, and the story about the complaint being made against Boris Johnson has prompted me to get on with it.

The Standards Board was created through the Local Government Act 2000 by the erstwhile Department for Environment, Transport & Regions, as a recepticle for allegations of serious misconduct on the part of councillors. The rationale behind the Board’s creation was reasonable enough: a combination of the long-running and inconclusive Shirley Porter saga and the equally long-standing allegations of corruption amongst Doncaster’s Labour councillors (‘Donnygate‘) convinced the incoming Labour government that the existing channels for policing standards amongst councillors were unsatisfactory.

So, in the time honoured tradition of post-war politicians (and not just Labour politicians, as some would have you believe) the government (more…)


November 12, 2008

Murderers and Drug Dealers 4 Fox Hunting

Filed under: Crime,Media,Rural Affairs — Political Animal @ 2:37 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Otis Ferry

Otis Ferry

In what can only be good news for the country sports lobby, a new, and perhaps not wholly surprising wellspring of support has emerged for the practice of large animals riding bigger animals encouraging small animals to tear other small animals to shreds: violent criminals.

Courtesy of a letter in must-read magazine Horn & Hound (the Animal’s regular copy seems to have gone astray, so this is courtesy of the Evening Standard) from convicted criminal, drunk driver and old Etonian Otis Ferry, currently remanded in custody at HMP Gloucester awaiting trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice, we have learnt that the ban on fox hunting hasn’t gone done too well with the criminal fraternity. The Standard reports that:

the master of the South Shropshire Hunt, complains that he finds it difficult to converse with his fellow inmates because of their lack of knowledge of country pursuits and their being hardened murderers and drug dealers.

Otis Ferry writes:

“Most of my inmates are under 30 and we don’t have much in common. There are not many countrymen so conversation is limited, but I have done my best to educate as many as possible. I have yet to meet someone here opposed to foxhunting.”

Proof, if ever it was needed, that prisons really are universities for re-offending: the ‘education’ that young Master Ferry is providing presumably includes the best methods to breach or circumvent the Hunting Act 2004 or the Public Order Act 1986 (under which he was previously convicted). Given his (more…)

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