John Reid - Some sympathy

I've read the ongoing saga of catastrophes at the Home Office, and perhaps surpisingly given my own political leanings and John Reid's policy views, I have some sympathy for him.

Yes, it is clear his department have cocked up again. And the news this evening seems to imply that this cock up may have been compounded by a Junior Minister who may, it appears, have failed to advise him of the problems with British nationals not having their crimes abroad registered on the police computer.

However, at least, for once, we have a Home Secretary who admits that there are problems and does not seek to sweep them under the carpet.

The problem was with the two previous Home Secretaries (David Blunkett and Charles Clarke) was that they were tough talking, full of so called hard hitting policies, and quick to launch tirades and attacks on the Tories and Lib Dems for failing to jump to New Labour's hard line anti libertarian tune. But at no point did they address the key point, was the home Office up to the job ?

So now John Reid is suffering from the previous inertia in a "Great Office of State", that has been unable to move in to the 21st Century. Indeed, you could argue that the way it has worked is more like the 19th century. So, although I disagree with him strongly on most of his policy views, at least he is trying to do something about it and at least he isn't making excuses for the department's failings.

Lets be clear on this, the Home Office, probably of all departments, is such a vitally important department to get right and run properly. If he can ensure it does this, we will all benefit.

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