Jacqui’s Handbrake Skid Policy U-turn

Knife crime is the media scare of the moment and on Sunday Jacqui Smith spun Sky News that “something would be done”. The knife carrying and stabbing classes would be taken to hospital A&Es to confront the results of their crimes.

See the snag? Sounds tough and progressive to triangulating wonks. Sounds more like adding insult to injury when you are lying on a trolley bleeding, hoping you won’t catch MRSA – “Here’s Wayne, he is very sorry he stabbed you”. Doctors and the opposition went ballistic. By lunchtime today the plan was dropped.

Is this a new record time for a U-turn?

UPDATE 18.41 : A co-conspirator explains the skidding spinning:

Earlier today the Home Office issued a release claiming the A&E story was down to a “misunderstanding” with a reporter – presumably Boulton’s interview. They briefed the BBC on this, and the BBC were happy to run it (on the basis that they hadn’t got it “wrong” – i.e. they got scooped on Sunday by Sky and didn’t have the story). When the Home Office was confronted with the email it had sent to most of the Lobby on Saturday, and the fact that all of them had apparently suffered the same failure of understanding, and shown the PA copy which stemmed from it, and challenged about this “misunderstanding”, they went into reverse (again – twice in a day). However, by then they’d got the friendly Beeb to run the line on PM (incredibly including the reporter suggesting the press release was ambiguous and therefore open to misinterpretation) and were happy.

Spin within spin within spin.




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