Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sometimes it really is Cricket...

Extraordinary scenes at Trente Bridge today.  The final ball before the tea interval was played away to the boundary by Eoin Morgan which was stopped just before the rope by Kumar.  A bit of confusion entailed as Ian Bell thought that it had gone for four and started walking towards the dressing room, at the same time the ball reached the Indian captain/wicket keeper MS Dhoni, who through to a team mate who was stood over the stumps.  They were subsequently removed and Ian Bell was clearly run out.  By the letter of the law the dismissal was clear, by the spirit of the game, well it wasn't cricket.  

Then over the interval Andy Flower (England coach) and Andrew Strauss (England captain) approached the Indian dressing room and asked them to reconsider their decision, after a team meeting they agreed.

We then had the weird situation of the crowd not knowing, as such the umpires entered the field followed by the Indians to a chorus of boos until the English batsmen, Ian Bell one of them emerged.

This was an excellent gesture by the Indian team.  They would have been well within their rights to uphold it, Bell was foolish and they had done nothing wrong.  I would like to say that England would have done the same thing, however past record doesn't indicate that should be considered a given.  In 2008 there was an incident when Ryan Sidebottom ran into the batsman and prevented him from making his ground, yet England upheld their appeal despite the Umpire obviously indicating to the captain (Paul Collingwood) that perhaps they shouldn't. 

The gesture is even more remarkable given the state of the game.  Ian Bell was playing really well and could easily have added more than he did.  The cricket has been really competitive, these are probably the best two in the world at the moment, one of them will be number one at the end of the series (currently held by India) so it's not like it was meaningless.  

It's good to see and things like that are only good for the game.  It's a shame that nobody informed the crowd as the entrance onto the pitch could have been better.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Fuelling London...

Richard Morris's excellent blog has drawn me towards an article written by Mike Tuffrey over on the Lib Dem Voice.  The gist of the piece is that the next Mayor of London (for which Mr Tuffrey is hoping to be the Lib Dem candidate) should concentrate on important issues - such as making all of London's buses and taxis electric by 2020.

I have to say I completely agree with this suggestion.  
  • Is this likely to be the optimal solution for public transport?  No - I have never been convinced that electric vehicles will be the most efficient.
  • Are there currently any better suggestions that are even potentially affordable?  No - hydrogen could be a possibility but in my mind there is no way that this would ever become cash positive. 
  • Is this better than the current situation? Yes, as Mr Tuffrey points out: 

"With electric vehicles emitting no tail pipe exhaust pollution, turning London’s buses, taxis and commercial LGV fleets electric will reduce the air pollution suffered by Londoners by an estimated 25% – and even more in central London, with a 65% cut in dangerous nitrogen dioxide emissions in Oxford Street.
Wider benefits include a reduction in CO2 emissions of over 300,000 tonnes, far quieter streets and cheaper running costs, helping make public transport more affordable."

I have said before when talking about my lack of worry with regards climate change that people wont go rushing out to buy environmentally friendly vehicles unless the infrastructure is in place.  I know if I were to obtain an electric car it would be very difficult for me to charge (I don't drive but if I did my street wouldn't be the easiest to park in).  The technology needs to be there so it is not a hindrance for people, it needs to be as easy for people as petrol cars.  That is why commercial vehicles would be an excellent starting point.  Bus depots could easily be set up to efficiently charge their fleet, as could taxi firms.  

We need more of these sort of ideas if we are to make any progress in this election.  I've never felt like London Mayor is an election the Liberal Democrats can win.  People get drawn to the personalities of Boris and Ken as well as the Tories/Labours inherent advantage, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and if someone else hears good ideas like this and runs with them surely that is also a positive!

I don't know everything about the Lib Dem possibilities, I've said before that people should lay off the Lembit bashing but I don't think his campaign has been particularly good, the more I hear though the more I'm leaning to Mike Tuffrey.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Christopher Yeates received "substantial damages" from 8 newspapers...

A news story that has brightened up (what is a miserable Friday morning) for me is that Christopher Jefferies (the former landlord of Jo Yeates) has accepted "substantial damages" from eight different newspapers following articles that they ran after his arrest in December 2010.

He was of course proved to be completely innocent, as the Attorney General Dominic Grieve said that had Mr Jefferies been charged the articles could have prevented a fair trial.

This is an issue I feel quite strongly about.  I blogged about it previously here.  In the UK we have a presumption of innocence.  As such I do not feel that it is right that the media publish personal details about a person before they have been found guilty in a court of law.  Even giving out the name of a person is likely to prejudice people against them in future as mud sticks however untrue it may be.  I know that newspapers claim to have the public interest at heart and say that the people want to know, but I don't think they should know.  Until a person is proven guilty then they are still innocent, as such tabloid papers and the like should not be given any opportunity to treat them as a guilty party.

The articles I read with regards Mr Jefferies were irrelevant details regarding his personal life written in a way to prejudice the reader against him.  I am pleased that he has received damages for the obvious harm that this would have done to him.

A further ruling is expected on whether or not The Sun and The Mirror were in contempt of court.  I hope they are found guilty and that given the current anti media feeling following the News of the World disgrace this is another area of the murky waters that could be cleaned up.

Finally, once again my thoughts still go out to the family of Jo Yeates.  The real tragedy is that because of the actions of the media they have not really been able to move on as they should as the story keeps reappearing. 

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Of course it is happening inside of your head, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

I have just returned from seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the second time.  I don't normally write reviews but I feel that this series has been a massive part of my life since I first read The Philosopher's Stone.  In many ways I have grown up with Harry and it is very sad to feel that it is all over.

Now the following contains SPOILERS...












There are many things to love about the latest film.  At first I was disappointed and surprised that they were splitting the last book into two films - I saw it as a cynical way to make more money, but in reality it really helped them to include more of the plot, films 5 and 6 in particular had been really lacking from being too short.  The bad thing is that because of the rushing of the previous two books there were elements of the plot that I think were missing:

  • The film is called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, yet it doesn't at any stage make clear that Harry has the third, and always has had it, the Cloak of Invisibility.  Nor does it show how Dumbledore came to be in possession of the Resurection Stone.   
  • Most glaringly of all, because of the above, it then doesn't make clear that when walking out to face Voldermort in the Forbidden Forest, Harry is effectively the master of all three and therefore the master of death.  It gives no explanation as to how Harry survived this time, not even mentioning that Lord Voldermort had taken Harry's blood inside of him so he lived on in him.
  • A major disappointment was the final confrontation, when Tom Riddle finally dies.  I really enjoyed in the book the way Harry was talking to him about the Hallows and explaining that Tom had underestimated/not understood their true power as he has a habit of doing.  The film could have gotten away with it if they had let Harry explain it to Ron & Hermione afterwards, just before he snaps the wand, but they didn't.
  • I also thought it being in 3D was a bit pointless, not a lot of 3D stuff happens and the CGI 3D effects made it look less realistic - particularly with the dragon.
  • They kept in the 19 years later part.  I guess many people liked that but for me it was all too cheesy.  I'm being hypocritical I guess because I always want to know what happens to characters afterwards but at the same time I like to be able to create my own futures for them in my head.  I guess I just found this future too perfect (and poor Ginny, did she have any say in her children's names? James, Lilly and Albus Severus!)
There are more negatives but I don't wish to dwell on them, there are however some bits that were very positive:
  • Having failed to establish what the other Horcrux's were in advance I thought the way that Harry saw what they were through his connection with Voldermort was good - although they could have emphasised that the cup was Helga Hufflepuff's.  I would have also had Harry explain to the others when he said that it was at Hogwarts that it would be because it meant something to him, as it did Harry.
  • I really liked that he could sense them because he was a Horcrux himself.  That took a lot of effectively luck out of it.
  • In the book I got annoyed that Ron could suddenly speak Parseltongue.  The film keeps this in but Ron then turns to Hermione and says "Harry talks in his sleep - have you not noticed" - at least they try to give an explanation.
  • The Diadam was also killed by a Basalisk fang rather than the fire.  I also thought this was an improvement, the fire killing it in the book seemed like a cop out.  
  • Neville was awesome in the main.
  • The film however was only so good because of the sequence involving Alan Rickman and Severus Snape's memories.  Even second time round I had tears in my eyes.  I thought he was absolutely magnificent. 
Most importantly, they kept in my favourite line, the title of this post.  For me that was what made the books so great, when you were reading them it was all in your head but at the same time it felt so real.  When you finished you had to go back into the real world and there was almost a sense of loss.  The books came to life in your mind and there they were real.  

It was great seeing these images put onto the screen over the years and now I feel sad that it is all over.  The kids grew up and actually became pretty decent actors overall.  I think Rupert is the best of the three but they have all improved massively - some of the others maybe less so.  I'm sure the film series along with the books have touched a huge number of people, J K would have hardly begun to dream of it when she started out so long ago.  I'm sure most of them will take Harry and the rest with them.

I guess all that's left to say is:

Mischief Managed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

England vs India preview...

Tomorrow sees the 2,000th test match and shall take place at the home of cricket between arguably the best two test teams of the moment (though South Africa may have something to say about that as they are currently ranked second) and will be the start of a fascinating series.  If England win the series by at least two clear tests then they will leapfrog India to lead the rankings.  This would be a remarkable achievement for England but in my mind the natural pessimist in me can't see it happening.

The main selection talking point from an English point of view is Stuart Broad or Tim Bresnan.  Broad is an interesting case, I am a very big fan, however his average and strike rate have been going the wrong way for some time.  I believe of all of the Englishmen to take 100 wickets only Devon Malcolm did so with a worse average.  However, he is also capable of the odd magical spell that can destroy a side - just ask the Aussies. Bresnan on the other hand bowled really well in the winter and it would be harsh if he lost his place just due to being injured at the wrong time.  

I however think this is the wrong debate, the batting line-up of Strauss - Cook - Trott - Pietersen - Bell is pretty strong, three of them have been on great runs of form.  Prior has also matured into a good middle order batsman.  I still look at India and see their main strength as their batting (even though their bowlers have improved), England want to win the series and I think that to try and do this they should attack, the most attacking move would be to pick five bowlers.  Anderson, Tremlett and Swann are certain picks given their form and then I would be choosing between Broad, Bresnan and Finn for the last remaining places. 

Finn's main disadvantage is that most of his experience has been against Bangladesh and a frail Pakistan batting line-up.  However, he was the leading wicket taker until he was dropped in the Ashes, and with 5 bowlers his poor economy rate could be managed.  So I would choose him, whilst adding Broad just because of his potential with the bat.  This would be hard on Bresnan and unfortunate for Morgan but I don't see four bowlers being enough for us to take 20 wickets against Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Gambhir - with Sehwag to return for the last two tests and I think this should give sufficient variety.

England wont however do this, they will select Morgan (again I am a big fan - I would be tempted to throw him into my line-up ahead of KP) and then I think they will go for Bresnan but we shall see.

One almost sure thing I think is that this series will see the 100th century by Sachin Tendulkar for India.  This would be a fabulous achievement by one of the games true greats.  From a personal point of view I really want it to happen on the fourth day at Edgebaston (preferably in a losing cause) as that's the only day I'll be attending of the series.  

Here comes the bit I always get wrong, my prediction.  It'll be a tight series and I can't see England not winning a test, also given the current weather it will ruin at least one leading to a draw.  As such the pessimist in me is going for a 2-1 Indian victory - they aren't the number 1 ranked nation for no reason and will probably still all be full of confidence following their World Cup win earlier this year.  If England achieve their objective and are the number 1 side in the world in a few months time then that would be a better achievement than winning the Ashes.#


Edited on Thursday 21 July:

Given the conditions I too would have played 6 specialist batsmen for the first test, however I would have chosen Bresnan over Broad.

Monday, 18 July 2011

What does the Copa America and a French Language Newspaper Copyright Management Company have in common?

Well they've both been frozen out on-line.  Let me go on:  

As the events of News International's affairs have been unwinding in the public there has been much talk about the influence the media has over what we see and hear - the fact that they can set the agenda.

DR Phillip Lee (Conservative MP) made an interesting point amongst the debate stating that we shouldn't just be looking at traditional media but also newer forms, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft as many of us (myself included) glean most of our information, news, etc from the internet.  The Lib Dem Voice featured an Opinion piece about this here.  This drew my attention to a curious case in Belgium with regards Google, I don't pretend to know all the details but it appears that a newspaper group (well a newspaper copyright management company - Copiepresse) sued Google after they continuously updated their news section with details from the company's website - allowing people to read part of the story without being subject to the adverts placed on that site etc.  As a result, Google removed the members of Copiepresse from it's searches in order to ensure that they further litigation would not be forthcoming.  

Without knowing the details, despite the overall tone I intended for this piece, I side just about with Google on this, as presumably simply by the story appearing there it drove up traffic to the website, Copiepresse seem to want to have their cake and eat it - hopefully they can reach an agreement between themselves.  However it is worrying that a search engine (on which I personally rely) can just switch off sources in such a way.  This kind of censorship cannot be good for the freedom of information, which, from everything else I've read, Google prides itself on.  Their ongoing battles in China appear to show that they are committed to free speech, although are realistic enough to know which battles they can't win. 

Looking into this media at this particular point in time would just distract from the issue at hand, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be looked at eventually.  No one particular company should have significant influence over the way our country is run, period, but it is also worrying that a particular company could influence what we read just by a slight adjustment to their algorithms.  

Now I'm going to link this to what I was originally planning on writing about (before I read about the above case).  Obviously this may seem like a tedious link but I think it is relevant.  The Copa America is one of the biggest international tournaments in football, it obviously falls below the World Cup, however after that it is up there with the European Championships and the African Cup of Nations for interest.  Yet despite this, the only reference I can find on the BBC Sport's website is a weekly column by the excellent Tim Vickery - who specialises in South American football.  I get the vast majority of my sports news from BBC's sport website as they normally cover everything well enough - although in this case there isn't a score to be found, or even the fixtures despite the detail that these usually go into.  They may not have the rights to broadcast, ESPN do in the UK, however this wouldn't extend to publishing the results amongst the many they do already and the up coming fixtures - if it did then Tim's blog wouldn't be allowed.    

Their leading story at the time of writing is in relation to Carlos Tevez and his possible move to Corinthians, this is a fair enough story, however a quick search under his name on the website doesn't bring up a single mention of the fact that he missed the crucial penalty in Argentina's defeat in the quarter finals against Uruguay.  Given that Paraguay knocked out Brazil in the same stage (also on penalties - amazingly Brazil missing all four they took!) the semi finals have an unfamiliar feel with Peru and Venezuela (who had another shock win against Chile who had performed well in last year's World Cup) taking the remaining two spots.  This unpredictability and the overall strength of the region, in my mind has lead to the competition being quite interesting, it is a shame the BBC doesn't appear to think so.  The cynic in me is wondering if this was a decision made to ensure that it didn't detract attention from the Woman's World Cup (Congratulations to Japan) which they did cover. 

As someone who relies on the BBC for my sports information and Google to follow up on any stories I have read (usually thanks to Twitter) I am disappointed to find that both could be holding back on me and trying to manipulate what I read - not that I would be visiting a French language newspaper, but I would like the choice to!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

A quick look behind the burglary figures

Like many I assume I noticed today's huge jump in burglary figures (up 14%) and I was a little alarmed.  I like to think I don't jump to conclusions but the immediate factors sprung to mind, the recession, people struggling to get by and as a result getting more desperate.  

Is this the reason though?  Thankfully no - as pointed out by another excellent blog by Mark Easton.  The reason for the large jump is an abnormally low figure for the previous year.  The current figure is actually pretty much in the same sort of region as the prior 4 years - although admittedly slightly higher.  

The good news is crime is still a lot lower than the early '90s and these figures are by no means a reason to panic as all crime recorded by the police (including burglaries) is down.

The smoking ban...

Before the Guardian broke the News of the World story I was planning on writing a blog in relation to the smoking ban as a result of John Hemming's contribution to the Lib Dem Voice.  I didn't get round to it then so here I go 10 days late.

I was really happy when the smoking ban was introduced, as a none smoker I would wake up after a night out needing a shower and a fresh set of clothes (not that I don't always change my clothes you understand, but even going out with a jacket or the trousers would never be suitable for the next day).  It was so refreshing to wake up and only have to worry about the hangover that I was very supportive.

I now think that I'm wrong.  Like John Hemming I am still in general agreement in principle of no smoking in public places, however like he says, I feel there is a very strong, and very liberal argument for having ventilated smoke rooms.  

I know once you take away the black and white definition of being unable to smoke inside a public place then it becomes much harder to police, but at the same time people should be allowed freedom of choice.  It would also be very difficult to stop smoke moving from the ventilated rooms to the normal area when people are moving in and out. 

In principle though I support revisiting this and seeing if we do currently have the best legislation, including looking at the possibility of local authorities being able to licence such places - as long as they meet strict building regulations regarding ventilation and that no employee would have to visit such room against their will.  I admit that this may cause discrimination against non-smokers who apply for jobs at such establishments and I also think more details would need to be considered, but like I said, I agree with looking at this in principle.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Totally in bad taste...

Being away at the weekend I am very behind with everything and have only just really been browsing through the blogs I read to see if there is anything I particularly missed.  The immediate thing that jumped out at me was this:

(picture edited from a screenshot of Diane Abbott's twitter feed as one more tweet had been made)

Brought to my attention by a post by the fantastic Richard Morris (although it seems impossible to link to the particular post - he made it on Monday if that helps).

I have friends who have quite dark senses of humour (my own has been known to be too on occasions), I wouldn't have been surprised to see some of them tweeting this, however I think it is disgusting that an elected official in the public eye could make such a comment at this time.  It has (apparently) gained a fair bit of coverage (at least on twitter) so imagine how Milly Dowler's family would feel if they read that?

It is disappointing as I used to really like Diane Abbott, I always enjoyed her opinions (even when I didn't agree) on the Daily Politics, so I was surprised to see her make such a crass comment, even in jest.  I agree with Richard that she should definitely remove this post, leaving it there is stubborn and insensitive. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sonisphere & Slipknot - a beautiful tribute...

I have just returned (yesterday) from Sonisphere music festival, (metal and rock music), it was a good weekend but it also included one of the most eerie and beautiful moments I have been involved in.  One of the headline acts Slipknot lost one of their band members last year Paul Gray (known as #2) from an 'accidental overdose'.  As such the festival organisers agreed to a two minutes silence on the Sunday afternoon.  Here's a video of it, the song playing before that is their own 'Vermilion Part 2':

I know from personal experience that Slipknot have often been criticized/looked down on, I know even in alternative circles, especially early on, there has been known to be a bit of a stigma about being a Slipknot fan.  It was because of this that I took longer than I should have done/lots of my current friends did to get into them - in fact I didn't really acknowledge that I liked them until I met my current friends (every song I had heard I'd liked but for some reason that wasn't enough to get into them).  The stigma is probably just from their outfits, matched with metal music.  I can see why the masks might put people off and I understand that not everyone likes metal as well as their use of language, however once you look past this there is a band that really care about each other and the fans care too.  They are different, they may have wanted to upset the established order but for me metal represents a voice for people who don't feel that they are understood by the mainstream and gives them the opportunity to just be themselves without being judged.  For me Slipknot, irrespective of their 'hidden' identities, help to provide that voice and show that you can be who you want to be.

I was one of those in that crowd with my arm aloft, devil horns to the air in total silence for the full 2 minutes.  The devil horns may seem weird from the outside but it was a mark of respect which I'm sure he would have appreciated.  There was hardly a noise to be heard, quite a feat considering there was around 60,000 fans, five stages of music, a fun fair, bars and numerous stores.  I know not everyone was thinking about Paul Gray, metal has lost a lot of it's most influential people recently (for example Ronnie James Dio and for many 'Dimebag Darell's death is still fresh in the mind) but on top of that it was a time to think about other people who have touched our lives and been lost.  In their show later Slipknot did refer to everyone as their family and strange as it may seem they in so many ways are right.  Their set was incredible and I had an awesome weekend all round - got to see 29 (mostly) awesome bands and spent plenty of quality time with friends but long after those memories fade I am certain I'll remember those two minutes of silence and how it felt to be there.  

Rest in piece Paul and everyone else who has been taken too soon.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tomorrows papers...

Front pages of tomorrows papers are here.  The first 11 all show the NotW hacking scandal in some form, and as Nick Thornsby pointed out, the Sun has gone for something a bit different:

Talk about ignoring the issue.  They really should be ashamed.

This story has definitely had it's watershed moment, and now I can just see more coming flooding through the barriers.  Apparently the relatives of the 7/7 victims also may have had their phones hacked.  By the sounds of things, any person involved in any news story for the past 10 years may have been a victim. 

Blaming everyone but yourself...

I have been able to think of little else over the past day or so other than The News of the World scandal. The thing about this story is that it makes it so easy to expose their hypocrisy.  Take for instance the tragic case of Baby P.  Both the NotW and the Sun lead with headlines such as:

Shoesmith blames everyone but self

Unfortunately the NotW articles are behind a paywall so I can't link to them, but The Sun is as good as the same.  

The argument is that because Baby P died on Sharon Shoesmith's watch she was ultimately responsible (she wasn't to blame, but she was responsible) and as such she had to go.  News Corp were very adamant about this (and probably rightly so).  However now the spot light is being shone on them it is a different story.  David Allen Green brilliantly analyses Rebekah Brooks' statement today and he sums it up much better than I can.  

It has also emerged (as I fear was to be expected) that this allegedly goes much deeper than the Milly Dowler case, as highlighted today.  I do like to presume innocence, but the sheer volume of accusations, the payouts already made to celebrities imply that there is no smoke without fire.  As such I am pleased to see that some big names such as Ford, Halifax and NPower are reviewing their advertising policy with NotW, this is an excellent thing, and because of this when I decide I need a car I shall look closely at Ford as I appreciate their moral stance.  News Corp wont give two hoots about the accusations unless they hit them where it hurts - their bottom line.   News of the World have promised:

"If the allegations are proved to be true then I can promise the strongest possible action will be taken as this company will not tolerate such disgraceful behaviour."

At the end of the day however, I feel that this should be a police matter - whether or not they are independent enough in the matter may be open to debate, but internal action against employees should not be enough - there must be legal ramifications. 

The excellent Richard Morris blogged similarly here including the tweet by Charlie Brooker that I had also seen and put the Sharon Shoesmith story back into my head.

Monday, 4 July 2011

#NOTW... If it's true then they really are a disgrace.

I don't think I've ever been more appalled reading a news story than I have been today.  The background of the story appears to have been running for as long as I can remember -  the BBC have a handy timeline.  I haven't felt the need to comment before, as it's pretty cut and dry - what they did was terribly wrong, but I always thought it would turn out to be a bit like the MP's expenses case ('everyone was at it') with all but the most serious players getting away with it and though a serious crime, it is only conspiracy to intercept communications or something like that.  I am not playing down the seriousness of the crime to those effected.

Today however it was taken to a whole new level.  I could hardly believe what I was reading when I saw that allegedly The News Of The World had not hacked into Milly Dowler's mobile phone (reported here in the Guardian and Independent) but also deleted messages in order to free up additional space in her voicemail for more to be left.  

This is directly interfering with a police investigation - potentially deleting key evidence and as such any person involved should be charged facing full criminal charges - perverting the course of justice.  

I really hope a full investigation is launched into the paper - I for one don't see how their position is still tenable in the eyes of the regulatory authorities, I also fear that this may just be scraping the surface for their interference in ongoing criminal investigations.  I hope (assuming this is true) that the book is thrown at everyone involved.  At the time Rebekah Brooks was editor and Andy Coulson was her number two.  I really hope David Cameron's personal relationships with these two doesn't affect any possible investigation. 

I think I now need to go and calm down.

It's not about being tough on crime, it's being fair...

Two crime related stories in the news last week.  

Firstly there was the story that the police had been applying the legislation around bail conditions that police can deploy.  From the few articles I have read I seem to be in a minority that thought that this was a good thing.  The only measured analysis I read was by the excellent Mark Easton, actually looking at what the effect (if any) would actually occur from this. 

As far as my limited understanding, the legislation as previously interpreted meant that the police could arrest someone, hold and question them for say 6 hours, release them on bail, and repeat this process up to 15 more times  (taking 6 hour periods for argument's sake) up to a period totaling 96 hours, without any additional evidence.  For which time I can only assume that the individual would have quite a lot of specific restrictions placed upon them.  

Now I like to believe in the presumption of innocence - especially when the prosecution don't believe there is enough evidence to charge a person.  Surely given these rules there is no incentive for the police to work quickly to eliminate someone from their inquiries and that person will be left with a cloud over their head.  The newer interpretation as far as I see it doesn't stop the police doing their job - as soon as new evidence comes to light they can call the person back in again.  I am therefore disappointed to see that the Government is likely to push through Emergency Legislation to reverse the effect of this ruling (irrespective of the outcome of the review).  The main reason I am disappointed is nobody has stopped to think whether or not this Emergency Legislation will be a good thing - I feel it is another case of pandering to the reactionary right wing press.

Another policy that has been created just to appeal to the press (and repair Ken Clarke's/the Tories' reputation as being tough on crime) is the 'clarification' over the amount of force a person can use on an intruder.  The best analysis of this I have read has been over on Caron Lindsay's Blog, as always I think she is spot on.  

In particular, I know that any crime committed against someone I care about (or myself) I know I would wish disproportionate justice on them.  There will always be the urge to get even on someone/make them suffer for inflicting suffering on you, that urge may be stronger if you know that there will be no come back on yourself.  As Caron points out - there are good reasons why punishments are subjected by an independent body.