Innocent - but you are not allowed to know what of
Erol Incedal did not plot to carry out terror attacks in Britain.
He did not plot to attack Tony Blair.
Those allegations were peripheral to his case. The core of what he was accused of and found not guilty of last week you are not allowed to know.
What was the evidence that prompted the jury to acquit him? We can’t tell you.
What was the plot that he allegedly engaged in and that formed the prosecution’s case? We can’t tell you that either. We cannot even report the reason for secrecy, because it’s a secret.
Incedal was arrested in October 2013 when police shot out the tyres of his Mercedes near the Tower of London.
There were no reporting restrictions on the sensationalist reporting of the arrest. Two weeks before, a bug had been hidden in the car after he was stopped for speeding.
The original proposal from the Crown Prosecution Service was that the case be conducted in complete secrecy.
The Appeal Court lifted some restrictions to create a trial in three parts. A small element of the case was conducted in open court.
A group of “accredited journalists” were allowed to make notes on “part two” of the trial. They could not take the notes out of the court nor publish reports.
A third part was held behind closed doors.
The episode was typical of much of the proceedings in what has been the most secretive terrorist trial in Britain.
Over the course of the two trials there were 129 hours of court hearings but just 22 and a half hours were in open court.
One journalist was told off for taking a second set of notes. The scribe from the Express was doing the crossword.
Incedal will be sentenced this week for a separate offence of possessing a terrorist document—a memory card with crude bomb-making instructions.
The jury heard that although having the document was an offence under terror laws, it did not mean that Incedal was a terrorist.
A judge may lift the restrictions this week. Troublemaker doubts it though.
Vote Socialist in Norwich to get Tory
A Tory MP is so worried about losing her seat that she has resorted to suggesting that she is “a Socialist”.
The Norwich North MP Chloe Smith quotes from a January letter to the Norwich Evening News—“she can seem to be more of a Socialist than Conservative”.
But before resigning to concentrate on shoring up her majority, Comrade Smith was a Tory minister in the Treasury and Cabinet Office.
But not mentioning things seems to be the strategy for this election. So far there hasn’t been a picture of Nick Clegg on any Lib Dem election leaflets. Labour have been a little reluctant to put Miliband on theirs.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy appears to have gone one step further and simply not mentioned Labour on his election leaflet at all.
One of the final nasty acts of the coalition saw support for young children of refugees slashed by £16.01 from £52.96 to just £36.95.
MPs expenses—we just keep giving
Forty-six MPs have claimed expenses for living in London, despite owning a property in the capital.
A change in the rules after the expenses scandal means while MPs can no longer claim mortgage interest, they can for hotel stays or rent. Some 25 Tories, 14 Labour and four Lib Dems were involved.
Lib Dem Sir Nick Harvey, who lets his Lambeth house and has claimed £39,772 in rent, said, “The situation is not of MPs’ choosing.”
The Cameron children were given a day off from school to watch their father at work. Presumably with their head’s permission.
He has said that he will stand down in 2020 but Troublemaker thinks it will be 2018.
Cameron wants to send little Elwen to Eton, but doesn’t think he can while he’s in Downing Street. That makes September 2018 the terminus ante quem, as Etonians like to say.
Bye bye Burley —don’t hurry back
Troublemaker regular Tory Aidan Burley has finally left parliament. He used his farewell speech to attack his own constituents and complain he wasn’t paid enough.
He thanked his wife—who Burley paid from the public purse—for dealing with “rude and awkward” people in his Cannock Chase seat.
He then added that the problem of being an MP was the, “often unwarranted media intrusion into every aspect of your and your family’s life.”
Presumbly the type of unreasonable intrusion that saw him asked
about buying a Nazi uniform for his friend’s stag party.
In the year to September 2014, there were 1,226,414 sanction decisions made for people on jobseeker’s allowance. Some 108,000 people claiming Employment Support Allowance, a disability benefit, were referred for a sanction—up from 59,000 in the 12 months to September 2010, an increase of over 80 percent. Over one in five of those sanctioned on JSA, not a disability benefit, were disabled.
Go to Labour for racist mugs
For just £5 you can enjoy a cuppa and at the same time reassure yourself Labour isn’t soft on immigrants.
The red mug also says “I’m voting Labour”, presumably to ensure no one confused it for Ukip merchandise.
Oddly while Labour are a bit Ukip, Ukip mugs say “your voice” which is uninspiring. And the Tories didn’t have any mugs for sale but did have a fridge magnet proposing “People power”.
Troublemaker didn’t look to see what the Lib Dems had on their mugs because we doubt you care.
rise in homeless families up to 13,650
pay rise for Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw
Edward Timpson, Tory MP for Crewe and Nantwich, is heir to the Timpsons key-cutting shoe repair empire.
“In this parliament I’ve campaigned hard for jobs and infrastructure in our area,” he writes to constituents. “Local employment is now even lower than it was before the 2008 crash.”