Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Cynical Manipulation of the Justice System?

Or unavoidable fallout from the Magrahi release?

Michael Shields, the football fan has been released. I do wonder whether this is as a result of vociferous criticism in Labour heartlands about the continuing imprisonment of Mr Shields whilst Magrahi was released on "compassionate" grounds.

Jack Straw authorised his pardon and release in what the news agencies are calling an "amazing about-turn". Its certainly amazing if the "new"evidence considered by Jackie Boy was the confession way back in 2005 by someone else to the crime Shields' was jailed for. Amazing that it took that long for Jackie Boy to hear it since it was all over the media at the time.

I'm afraid to my cynical eye, it looks like manipulation of the justice system to prop up votes in Labour heartlands. Had the government continued to keep Mr Shields jailed, then parallels with the Magrahi case would continue to be made as would the difference of treatment. One thing you can say for the folk of Liverpool: they stick together and support each other. Had Michael Shields continued to languish in prison then Labour could have been looking at quite an organised campaign and large losses in votes at a time they could ill-afford them.

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