Standards are falling in the Home Office.
I know that some may feel this is a statement of the obvious, but I know that it is important that these things are evidenced….
So here is an example – albeit a small one – but not so many years ago such sloppiness would never have occurred.
Yesterday, the Home Secretary announced that she was proscribing the organisation “Muslims Against Crusades”, saying:
‘I have today laid an Order which will proscribe Muslims Against Crusades from midnight tonight. This means being a member of or supporting the organisation will be a criminal offence.
‘I am satisfied Muslims Against Crusades is simply another name for an organisation already proscribed under a number of names including Al Ghurabaa, The Saved Sect, Al Muhajiroun and Islam4UK. The organisation was proscribed in 2006 for glorifying terrorism and we are clear it should not be able to continue these activities by simply changing its name.’
In my view, this is an entirely sensible move, although some would say long overdue and – of course – it is inevitable that the people involved may simply create a new organisation with the same name doing much the same sorts of things.
However, my concern about falling standards relates not to the decision but to the briefing that goes with it. Amongst other things this says:
“Groups like MAC – which pedal hate and glorify terrorism – are not welcome in the UK. They do not speak for British Muslims and are reviled by the vast majority of decent people. We will continue to use all legal powers at our disposal to stop them from operating here.”
As Private Eye might say “Shome mistake …”
All I can say to Home Office officials is: get your homophones right and the policy will take care of itself.
* For a helpful guide from the University of Hull see this.