Daily Archives: 2 May 2006

Mafia Labour alive and well

Good to see the spirit of Mafia Labour is alive and well in Burnley, and not learning any of the lessons that lead to the BNP making such inroads there a few years ago. You would have thought that it was in the interest of good relations for the Trades Council to allow any organisation to exhibit who was willing to participate. Clearly not.

As an aside, Coal Clough with Deerplay is a great ward name, although not quite as good as Oliver’s Battery and Badger Farm. Any other examples? And do they have to have Lib Dem representation?

Cook’d and Bomb’d

Lynne Featherstone apparently asked the Home Office a question last month about the date rape drug Progesterex. One small problem – it doesn’t exist.

Now, far be it for me to criticise a Lib Dem MP, but come on, do you really take every single email you get at face value? Until 5 minutes ago, I hadn’t heard of this particular hoax spam, but the idea that a drug exists that both knocks a woman out and sterilises her sounds a mite unlikely. As an ordinary person in the street, rather than fire off a missive to the Home Office about it, I’d type it into Google and see what I get. Bang! Problem solved.

Joining David Amess among the ranks of MPs who have asked Parliamentary Questions about made up drugs is perhaps not the greatest acolade. But there is a wider problem with the question, which is that is asks about “date rape”. What exactly is this? It is a complex issue and it is no surprise that the Home Office doesn’t collect statistical data on the subject as there is no legal distinction between it and rape (nor, should there be). Now, if it turned out the Home Office wasn’t monitoring incidents of rape that would be a scandal. But of course, not only does the Home Office keep such a record, the data is widely available on their Crime Statistics website.

I’m all for having a go at the Safety Elephant, but criticising the Home Office for not having a response to made up drugs and made up crimes is a little harsh, isn’t it? Trivialising rape in this way without bothering to do basic research first doesn’t help anybody.