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Day: June 22, 2011

Ed Miliband ‘Innocent until proven…(the charge is rape)…oh sod it GUILTY!’

I have been guilty of being rather unkind to Ed Miliband. This is mainly because he’s pretty shocking at his job and that his brother was pretty darn perfect for the job and he stabbed him in the back. However despite claims that I’m anti-Labour it is on record that I was a fan of Tony Blair on many issues, however one I didn’t like was Labour’s stance on civil liberties and seemingly Ed Miliband is following this trend.

In PMQs today Ed Miliband decided to attack the government on their idea that people arrested for questioning on rape allegations but not charged should not have their DNA stored. So completely innocent people tarred with the brush of rape should have their DNA kept on file. This is just typical of recent Labour (and with due respect) Ed Miliband of jumping on a thorny subject and not looking at the real issues.

Yes there is a school of thought of if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn’t care if your personal data is held on file. However I wonder how Ed Miliband or other senior Labour MPs would feel if they were arrested under suspicion of rape but then released when it came to light that it was a case of mistaken identity. Would they happily let the police keep their personal identifiable data on file or would they believe that their civil liberties had been violated? Has Ed Miliband gone to the police and offered them his DNA in case it could help with their future enquiries? If he has he really should have had it publicised more.

Look I live in an innocent until proven guilty world. I think that no-one’s DNA should be kept unless they have been found guilty of a crime. Those who are acquited of any crime should have their DNA destroyed. It is either that or everyone should have their DNA taken from them at birth and that is not something I advocate one jot. That is the only fair way in my opinion otherwise some completely innocent people have their DNA on file whilst other completely innocent people don’t.

Even Labourites on twitter during PMQs couldn’t believe Ed Miliband’s stance (apart from the usual suspects who’d support Labour/Ed M if he said we should shoot anyone over 65 to keep pension costs down or that we should eat babies). Rape is as usual the most emotive charge around and any way that will help catch rapists should be encouraged but at what point does this infringe on our civil liberties?

For me I’m very much a DNA database should only be for those found guilty of a crime type person. What I don’t get is why Ed Miliband/Labour have isolated rape to discuss on this front. So only those arrested on rape charges (even in a case of mistaken identity) should have their DNA kept forever and ever just on the off chance they might be a rapist in future? Surely those arrested on charges of stalking might be just as likely be become a rapist? What about murder?

The problems with Labour/Ed Miliband’s stance just goes on and on and the jist of it is that it is ill-thought out and reeks of bandwagon jumping and using the emotive issue of rape to justify an illiberal policy. I do despair. I really do.

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The truth behind *that* photo

So unless you have been living under a rock (or aren’t north American/have interest in north American news) then you’ll know all about the ‘kissing couple’ photo from the Vancouver Riots last week. When the hometown Vancouver Canucks lost Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins violence erupted downtown in the Canadian city. Petrol Bombs, Riot Police, it was the standard thing however the following photo emerged that a couple had other things on their mind whilst the city burned…

Kissing Couple
Vancouver Riots Kissing Couple...?

Picture courtesy Getty Images/Yahoo

However the man involved has ended his silence and not is all that is seems…

Speaking on NBC’s Today programme 29 year-old Australian Scott Jones claims that he was just comforting his girlfriend after the police had battered her over the head. Yes it seems as though one of the best photographs I’ve seen in a long while is due in part to an over-zealous riot policeman.

The report over on Yahoo News also has a video of the incident and shows that their account is accurate and that his girlfriend was hit by a policeman and fell to the ground. He lay on top of her to protect her and two officers stood over them until they decided to leave them alone. It is clear that the photo was not staged despite mounting conspiracy theories claiming otherwise.

It is just a lucky thing that this story ended up far better than the Ian Tomlinson one but one day riot police are going to start understanding that they can’t just hit people. PC Simon Harwood may find that out when he gets his day in court but the whole role of riot police needs to be looked at. People will die unless the police find new tactics to deal with these types of problems.

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