Tuesday, August 28, 2007
You don't have to be a bleeding heart liberal to realise that sending Learco Chindamo back to Italy is madness
My ex-holiday feet have just touched the ground long enough to read this excellently argued piece from James Graham on Quaequam Blog entitled: "How society has failed Frances Lawrence".
I think Iain Dale has introduced a red herring which even the Tory spokespeople/David Cameron haven't mentioned - the length of the original sentence. (He asks 'What about the human rights of Frances Lawrence and her family?' in what appears to be a rehearsal of his fantasy selection hustings speech).
The actual item under discussion is/has been the deportation decision. As Laurence Boyce commented on Quaequam Blog: "If Chindamo is still a risk, he should be kept in jail, not sent to Italy."
The whole point is that David Cameron has gone to town on the Human Rights Act here, but that was only a secondary point in the decision. The decision was primarily taken under the provisions of Article 27 and 28 of the EU Citizens Directive 2004.
But, I suppose, Daily Mail readers can understand "Scrap the Human Rights Act" or "Scrap bleeding heart liberals". However, they find it difficult to swallow "Scrap Articles 27 and 28 of the EU Citizens Directive 2004". That is far, far too nuanced for them. They'll be flipping over to the Quick Crossword before they've got halfway through the sentence.
Alice Miles in the Times made some excellent points in her article "Chindamo stays - and I'm proud of it".
The key one is this. Chindamo's mother and brother are in this country and want to give him a home when he is released from jail. Chindamo has no connections, no family and no friends in Italy. He does not speak Italian, for goodness sake.
Whether you are a bleeding heart liberal or not, common sense tells you that if someone is going to have a fighting chance of getting back on the straight and narrow when they are released from prison, a family and ability to speak the local language are likely to stand them in fairly good stead.
Being plonked in a strange country with no family and no ability to speak the local language is a fast-track back to crime.
One final point. Hwyel Morgan took the words out of my mouth. For years we have watched Leslie Grantham as Dirty Den on Eastenders (above). He was a national institution.
Did you ever hear anyone say: "What about the human rights of the family of Felix Reese?"*
No, after he served his sentence, we, quite rightly, gave the fellow (Grantham) a chance to rehabilitate himself into society, and he did.
*The German taxi driver who Grantham shot dead