It was Home Office questions.
“What can be done about the appalling knife crime statistics?” you ask. It’s already been done. There’s been a 40 per cent reduction in knife crime statistics. And not just in the British Crime Survey but in NHS knife wound records. What does this mean? The NHS has poached its statisticians from the police. A triumph of best practice.
Andrew Bridgen said that Leicestershire police got less money per head than Northumbria police but had achieved a greater fall in crime figures than that northern wasteland of blackmailing, dog-fighting cage-warriors.
Jim Cunningham asked for the crime figures for the West Midlands but the minister didn’t have them to hand. Make them up, man! Don’t wait for someone to make them up for you. “There will be a 28 per cent fall in the violent crime figures in each of the next three quarters running up to the election.”
We were then told that “bus-related crime in Lewisham had fallen 14 per cent”. What an unimaginative statistic. Surely they can do better than that?
Jack Dromey struck a cautionary note talking of the “insult added to injury” for victims of crimes of violence when criminals got off cock-free. I think I heard that right.
Sczyvvyrn (pronounced Chevawn) McDonagh gave another puff to her campaign: the Bobby Tax. It’s like the Bedroom Tax in one regard – it’s not a tax.
Hopeful recruits pay £1,000 to take a test to get their Certificate of Knowledge in Policing, and then apply for a position without any guarantee of a job. It does sound scandalous but it’s a charge, a fee – totally unrelated to the Spare Room Subsidy (itself a misnomer).
What else? Did I hear Keith Vaz suggesting a Home Affairs sub committee set itself up at Luton airport on a permanent basis to send a message to the Daily Mail. I don’t think I did, in point of fact, but the point holds.
It seems 366 British citizens have gone to Syria to fight there – for whom we don’t know. Restrictions were demanded. What, even for the Christians? Or the Syrian People’s Secular Front?
Here’s a thought experiment. Would we have sought to track down and confine Brits who went to fight in the Spanish civil war? If not, what’s the difference in principle?
In ancilliary news: Yvette Cooper looks recovered from her slump. She will be taking credit for getting a hundred or so of Syrian children into this country as refugees. And people say politicians have no heart. Shame on you!
And finally, Peter Bone (he still gets the Speaker-treatment when his name called). He pointed out the 30 pages of New Clauses and the 50 Government amendments to the Immigration Bill in Report on Thursday.
Mrs May said the amendments were mainly technical, and there wouldn’t be more time allocated because that might mean they’d get to Nigel Mills’ deeply embarrassing amendment which might mean we’d have to leave the EU.
I don’t think she did put it quite in those words but her meaning was clear.