NEW Home Secretary Suella Braverman emerged from the starting blocks without a punch.
Take their proposals for cracking down on illegal immigration, their anti-wake stance, their criticism of benefit street culture, their contempt for political protesters and a planned crackdown on the number of foreign students.
Your to-do list is pretty much to the right of the right wing. But at last week’s Tory convention, she appeared to take a sharp left turn.
She announced she would consider anonymity for all those arrested – including suspected pedophiles – pending charges.
Her main reason is to stop what she calls a “media circus” or “trial by the media” that surrounds people who are falsely accused.
This proposal seems completely inconsistent with their other hard-hitting policies, and for many it is utterly baffling.
Instead of focusing on crime, she prefers to tie up the press, which has traditionally worked hand-in-hand with the police.
When someone is wrongly accused, their life can be ruined if they are identified before they are even charged.
Just ask Sir Cliff Richard what effect it had on him when he was falsely accused of historic sex offences.
This is because most people believe that without fire there is no smoke and that when someone says someone did something wrong there is usually a good reason.
In Sir Cliff’s case, it turned out to be a charge of hot air.
The outcome was very traumatic for him, which undoubtedly could have been avoided had the police properly investigated the allegations.
If they do so, most false claims would be dismissed before arrest.
Take Operation Midland, in which police investigated several high-profile individuals – from politicians to security chiefs – on allegations of historic sexual abuse and murder, only to later realize they had been duped by a fanatic and liar .
Suella’s plan would protect those wrongly accused. But on the other side of the coin, it could discourage victims from coming forward.
The convictions of TV’s Rolf Harris and Stuart Hall were both supported by victims who spoke out after seeing the accused in the media.
It’s been ten years since Jimmy Savile came out as a prolific pedophile and sexual abuser.
Naming him and later Hall and Harris allowed and encouraged other victims to come forward.
Not only that, it also led to the BBC investigating what was going on under their roof.
The BBC – or any employer – has the right and duty to investigate wrongdoing by its employees.
Just this week, the company began investigating some allegations made against former DJ Tim Westwood.
Westwood has not been charged or convicted of any crimes and denies the allegations.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed in August that they were investigating a man for four alleged sex offenses and the company has previously acknowledged six complaints of bullying and sexual misconduct.
The BBC wants to ensure its staff are safe and that offenders do not use their job status to commit wrongdoing.
You can’t investigate what you don’t know about – and often, victims only speak up when asked.
Naming suspects in cold cases evokes memories and also generates new information about the case.
In the case of suspected terrorism or serious crime, the public must be warned that a dangerous individual is at large – when the risk outweighs the potential embarrassment of doing something wrong.
When serial crimes are alleged, naming the defendant is critical to securing a conviction.
For my part, I would like to know if a suspected pedophile or suspected murderer lives next door to me.
And I bet Suella would too.
Not so funny thing
DAISY May Cooper struck a chord last week when she revealed she was trolled after losing weight.
I find it interesting that since she slimmed down on the keto diet, the 36-year-old actress and comedian has been inundated with messages telling her she’s not funny anymore.
Speaking of her looks, Daisy said: “I’m so pro-body positivity but when I was my biggest I was at my miserable and I had a massive binge eating habit. I wasn’t healthy.
“I couldn’t breathe going up the stairs. I was so unhappy.
“And I’ve had some messages like, ‘Well, now you’ve lost weight, you’re not funny anymore.'”
Could it really be true that the British public thinks women have to be fat to be funny?
She asked: “Why do women have to be freaking fat to be funny? This makes me so angry.
“I stand up for everyone. I think everyone should be happy with their body. But it wasn’t me.”
Could it be that some people are threatened by funny women unless they are fat?
Daisy May’s experience seems to imply this, which is certainly food for thought.
Ready for a fuel battle
It all looks a bit like the 1970s with the possibility of power outages this winter when Vladimir Putin cuts off gas supplies to Europe.
I know people are storming against the government, but it’s not Liz Truss who invaded Ukraine and started a war.
She’s the one trying to solve the problem by handing out generous living expenses to help people with their energy bills.
We could try to limit our consumption, or we could turn a blind eye to Putin and his illegal war and get the gas pumped.
I’d rather use candles than give in to the monster.
Beautiful Liz has kept us updated on cancer risk for 27 years
YOU gotta love Liz Hurley for campaigning for breast cancer awareness after losing her own grandmother to the disease.
The star signed on as an ambassador for Estee Lauder’s Pink Ribbon campaign 27 years ago after the death of her relative, and she’s still out of breath.
Speaking on Loose Women this week, she said that back when her grandmother fell ill, she didn’t go to the doctor because she was scared and ashamed.
This is a good reminder of how much life has changed.
“I won’t give up until the killing of women stops,” she said.
She’s so right – this will never stop being important.
Thank you Liz for reminding us this October how important it is to remember to check our breasts.
IN the latest chapter of supermarkets pulling a dud in the cost-of-living crisis, Asda is offering over-60s soup, a bun and unlimited tea and coffee for £1.
The deal is part of its new “Winter Warmer” initiatives in each of the supermarket’s 205 cafes all day and every day during November and December.
What a great innovation – and one that will make a real difference as so many older people have few places to enjoy a cup of coffee and a chat without worrying about the cost.
A little kindness goes a long way.
If not in Rome
I take serious offense on behalf of Manchester at the complaints made by Manchester City footballer Ilkay Gundogan’s wife.
Sara Arfaoui has explained that there are no good restaurants in the whole city.
The 27-year-old model was born in France but moved to Italy and then Manchester as a child.
In her post, she said she was fed up with “awful food in town.”
She added that she “couldn’t find any real Italian or just fresh food.” . . all frozen”.
I just can’t believe that applies to the reputation of a city in Manchester.
But what bothers me most about the comment is that it’s like going to Rome and complaining that there aren’t enough English restaurants there.
THE Prince and Princess of Wales looked like they were really enjoying themselves during a spirited cocktail race this week.
The couple – who are doing an excellent job as ambassadors to the Royal Family – had a blast at an outdoor market in Belfast during their surprise visit to Northern Ireland this week.
William and Kate, both 40, laughed as they raced to mix a specific drink before the prince was declared the winner.
It’s often struck me that these two seem to have a healthy — and fun — level of competition in their relationship.
I wonder if that might be one of her secrets of happiness.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6399604/karren-brady-suella-next-door/ Suella, surely you would like to know if a suspected paedo or a suspected murderer lives next door?