A Quick Point On Control Orders (and a bit of Beeb bashing)
Driving home tonight with the only radio station my aerial can pick up on, the Five Live chief tit Peter Allen was interviewing the Uncle Tom-like Lord Carlile (not thought of as one of the brightest minds in the legal firmament, and certainly dull and unimaginative enough to be an ideal choice to add a fake veneer of legal competency to New Labour's anti-terror laws). An interesting point came up - apparently Cerie Bullivant, one of the three 'absconders' was up in court a few months back charged with failing to comply with the terms of his control order (which is a criminal offence). Lord C seized on this as proof of some point he was making that these people *had* actually committed a crime for which they could be brought to trial. Evidently someone has dropped the hint to the BBC that one of the men had appeared in court (and been allowed bail), but the report unaccountably failed to mention two things:
1) What was the result of the proceedings?
2) What was the charge? Which parts of the order were breached?
If the charge was, say, failing to report to a police station or failing to call the monitoring company (and it's hard to see what else in their control orders they could breach, since they were low-end ones without even electronic tagging) then why wasn't the same fuss made then as now? Let's examine the dateline:
Cerie Bullivant, 24, appeared before Westminster magistrates on 23 January and 10 February charged with failure to comply with his control order.
Bullivant had previously appeared at the Old Bailey for breaching 13 conditions of his control order.
Listed as "AG", he appeared at the Old Bailey on 2 and 16 April this year and was next due to appear on 19 May.
He is understood to have been missing since Tuesday morning when he failed to report to his local police station.
There's also a photo on the BBC website claiming to be from the 21st May, when he's going into a police station, presumably to comply with the order.
Tuesday 23rd January - WMC
Saturday 10th February - WMC
Monday 2nd April - Old Bailey
Monday 16th April - Old Bailey
Saturday 19th May - Old Bailey (but did this happen? The BBC site also says it would be the 29th)
Monday 21st May - Dagenham nick
Tuesday 22nd May - missing
Wednesday 23rd May - shit hits fan
Tuesday 29th May - other Old Bailey date, possibly more likely, being a weekday.
So we know that within 24 hours of a single breach of an order this week, all hell breaks loose, people are off to the High Court, anonymity is waived, Reidy is up in the Commons, idiots are wailing about terrorist friendly leftie human rights brigades, etc. Which begs the question, why didn't this happen when the first 13 breaches happened, or with the other three absconders still on the run, who are still anonymous and thus can't be reported to the police by members of the public? I think we should be told, although I doubt either Peter Allen or Lord Carlile will bother finding out for us.
P.S. on later bulletins the BBC changed the inaccurate phrase 'European law' to the even more inaccurate phrase 'EU law', to describe British obligations under an international treaty. Pretty poor stuff again.