What are the politics of the Rhys killing?

What are the politics of the Rhys killing?

sunday times rhys.JPG

    Is this putting the Tories back in the game?

In an excellent post yesterday my nomination for political blogger of the year, the Labour-leaning Paul Linford, produced a potted history of crimes which, he argued have changed the political consensus.

Running through Jamie Bulger in 1993 which arguably gave the then shadow home secretary, Tony Blair, heightened prominence, Linford touches on the political impact of the Dunblane massacre in 1995, the Philip Lawrence murder which is back in the headlines following the news that the culprit, Chindamo is due for parole, as well as the latest horror.

Every so often, Linford argues, “.. an individual crime takes place in Britain that is seen as so horrendous and which provokes such a degree of public outrage that it actually shifts the political consensus.”

Lindford concludes “…But simply by virtue of having been in power for ten years in which the problem of gun crime in particular has continued unabated, Labour is once again vulnerable on the issue. The political impact of the James Bulger murder was to catapult youth crime to the top of the agenda and put Tony Blair in pole position to become Labour leader and later Prime Minister.Fourteen years on, the combined political impact of the Chindamo ruling and the Ryan Jones killing might just be to put David Cameron back in the game.”

This morning the main splash in the Sunday Times is a chink that the shadow home secretary, David Davis, has found in the government’s record providing him with the opportunity to go on the attack. Davis is no stranger to Home Secretaries on the back back foot and Jacqui Smith, the current post-holder, is the fourth that he has had to face.

Is Linford right about the opportunity for Cameron? He might be – next weekend’s polls could give us a sense of how opinion is moving.

Mike Smithson

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