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January 20, 2007

Ruth Turner

Things do seem to be hotting up in the loans for peerages scandal: Ruth Turner was arrested yesterday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Once again, it's the cover up, not the crime:

A member of Tony Blair’s inner circle was arrested yesterday on suspicion of perverting the course of justice by police who are investigating the loans-for-peerages allegations.

Ruth Turner, the Downing Street director of government communications, was woken at 6.30am and questioned for four hours at a London police station. The Times understands that her arrest relates to missing correspondence that discusses Labour lenders and nominations for peerages.

She was questioned about contact with Sir Christopher Evans, the biotech tycoon, who has also been arrested as part of the inquiry, sources said.

The disclosed accusation of perverting the course of justice shows that the police have turned their attention towards an attempt to cover up the sale of honours, as revealed in this newspaper last month.

Here's interesting, the possible penalty:

The possibility of charges on perverting the course of justice was discussed by the CPS last year after meetings with police. Such charges can be brought if a person tries to interfere with an investigation that might bring criminal proceedings. The charge, which carries a maximum life sentence, was used against Jonathan Aitken and Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare.

Life? This I find hilarious:

Friends of Ms Turner were furious at the manner of her arrest. One said: “Four policemen turned up. They questioned her for hours and then she was allowed to go. That has undoubtedly damaged her reputation and nobody has charged her with anything. What the hell is going on here?”

What's going on is that the rozzers are investigating a crime. As they should. You can almost see a Sir Bufton Tufton type, steam coming out of his ears, screaming "Don't you know who I am ?" The Establishment always think they're above these petty legal things, don't they?

More in the Telegraph:

Mr Blunkett, who as Home Secretary was in charge of policing, said: "We want thoroughness, not theatre. And it is perfectly feasible for the Metropolitan Police to distinguish between a criminal likely to evade capture and a woman doing a decent job of work on behalf of the Prime Minister."

His remarks, which had the tacit approval of senior ministers, reflect the fury within Downing Street at the treatment of Miss Turner.

Heyt, look on the bright side! At least they're looking for evidence of a crime having been committed, at least they're going to try her before they jail her. You know, one law for "a woman doing a decent job of work on behalf of the Prime Minister" and another for some brown bloke who we'll slap a control order on without bothering with pesky stuff like evidence.


January 20, 2007 in Scams and Frauds | Permalink


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A Prime Minister who allows attacks on the integrity of the police from Ministers has lost the right to govern. The arrest revolves around a charge of perverting the course of justice; I assume that means the covering up or destruction of evidence. To suggest the police did this for no reason is a shocking insight into Bliar’s own thought process, I am sure the police would rather have been given the evidence upon request. Bliar cannot be allowed to carry on humiliating the country for no good reason, not one person in Britain believes a single word he or his government say.

Hopefully Bliar’s legacy will to have marked the low point of a slump in standards of democratic government. This low point should serve as a lesson to the public of the risks inherent in our system of government, it requires of all involved a level of integrity and moral courage sadly lacking of late. Whoever takes over would do well to clear the air with a thorough investigation into all aspects of his tenure and bring in harsher rules on accountability and standards in public office.

If you need further evidence imagine Radio 4 listeners last night hearing a vigorous defence of Ruth Turners integrity, after all Turner was released without charge! Who was this voice of reason? Tessa Jowell ha ha ha ......proving not only does the government believe their own spin and deception, but they think we do as well. It is this arrogant, disrespectful treatment of the public that has done for this government.

The politically correct, nanny state, victim culture NuLabour imposed on us for 10 years can be finally dumped, after a more comprehensive failure than anyone feared.

Posted by: Steve | Jan 20, 2007 10:26:20 AM

"The Establishment always think they're above these petty legal things, don't they?"

Well, yes. They usually are. That's what makes this so delicious...

Posted by: JuliaM | Jan 20, 2007 10:47:46 AM

Remember this?

"Speaking at the G8 summit in Evian [in June 2003], Mr Blair said he stood '100%' by the evidence shown to the public about Iraq's alleged weapons programmes.

"'Frankly, the idea that we doctored intelligence reports in order to invent some notion about a 45-minute capability for delivering weapons of mass destruction is completely and totally false,' he said."

From submissions put to the Hutton inquiry, it turned out that Dr Brian Jones, head of the branch of the Defence Intelligence Service tasked with monitoring all incoming intelligence on weapons of mass destruction (WMD), had disowned the government's infamous dossier on Iraq's WMD (published on 24 September 2002) which made the claim - four times - about their use within 45 minutes of an order being given to Iraq forces:

After the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, no WMD have been found.

"Intelligence officials have confirmed the US has stopped searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They say the chief US investigator, Charles Duelfer, is not planning to return to the country."

The Butler inquiry, as I recall, reported that the intelligence under-pinning the 45-minutes claim came from a new and "unproven" source - which likely accounts for some of Dr Jones's reservations.

With that background, what weight do readers attribute to Mr Blair's assurances about his confidence in Ruth Turner - or, indeed, to assurances from Mr Blair about anything?

Btw according to this source:

"(CNN) -- The Bush administration began planning to use U.S. troops to invade Iraq within days after the former Texas governor entered the White House three years ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told CBS News.'"

The Bush administration took up residence in the Whitehouse in early January 2001 - eight months before the 9-11 atrocity.

Posted by: Bob B | Jan 20, 2007 12:52:35 PM

To the friends of Ruth Turner, I have one thing to say.
Tony's government have been writing laws since 9/11 that say you dont have to have commit a crime, they only have to suspect that may have committed a crime, or that you may commit one in the future.
Your own laws are going to come and bite you all in the bum.

http://tinyurl.com/yjtd7f may explain in a more simplistic way for you.

Posted by: IanP | Jan 20, 2007 2:10:01 PM

That's a very relevant issue to raise.

It's fairly obvious that the Blair government is hugely uncomfortable applying to itself the standards it wants to impose on others - the familiar double standards stuff once more.

Posted by: Bob B | Jan 20, 2007 4:22:36 PM

If the police EVER want to be seen as public servants again, and restore public faith in their abilities to apply the law fairly, Sir Ian Blair, the ACPO and all the Police forces MUST be seen not to bow to any political pressure, give unequivocal support to AC Yates, and to complete this investigation and bring the perps to book, WHOEVER they are.
Blair's new Laws are not just for the 'peasants' in NuLabs new world order, but need to be applied to all.

Posted by: IanP | Jan 20, 2007 4:33:11 PM

I don't get the point of blogs that just regurgitate what is printed in the newspapers. The comments here are more interesting than the blog entry.

Tim adds: "The comments here are more interesting than the blog entry."

Glad to see that my paying for Typepad is producing some value then.

Slightly more seriously, I've said in a number of places that I blog in order to learn from those misguided enough to read my blog. As you point out, it's working. Good, carry on.

Posted by: Indigo | Jan 20, 2007 7:46:18 PM