Beyond Their Ken

by Stephen Tall on June 27, 2006

Ken Clarke was, of course, the putative Tory leader the Lib Dems really feared; and he proved exactly why again today:

Former Conservative Chancellor Ken Clarke has said David Cameron’s plans for a British Bill of Rights are “xenophobic and legal nonsense”.

Mr Clarke said the Tory leader would find it difficult to find lawyers who would agree with his plan to replace the Human Rights Act with the new Bill. … He said he was not saying Mr Cameron hated foreigners. But he argued: “His remarks were anti-foreigner.” …

The Human Rights Act has come under fire in some newspapers, who believe it has put the rights of criminals above those of victims of crime. But Mr Clarke said: “In these home affairs things I think occasionally it’s the duty of politicians on both sides to turn round to the tabloids and right-wing newspapers and say ‘you have your facts wrong and you’re whipping up facts which are inaccurate’.”

Nothing wrong with advocating a Bill of Rights – as others have already noted this has long been Lib Dem policy. It’s just a shame Mr Cameron is doing so with a dog-whistle clamped firmly to his mouth.