Take the plank out of your own eye first, Tony ...
Am I the only person who is astonished that, just a few days after the Home Secretary himself described the department which he runs as not being fit for purpose, we offered the services of that department to Liberia, agreeing to take on one of their most difficult potential prisoners ?
Last week Britain made the offer to Liberia that, if their former dictator Charles Taylor is convicted by the international tribunal where he is currently facing war crimes charges, we will provide a jail cell for him.
African countries are nervous about jailing this man because they think he might be able to bribe someone to let him escape. I would not object to Britain offering to provide a jail cell for him if I was fully confident that we had sorted out our problems with the detention, appropriate relase, and tracking of convicted criminals.
But do we really have complete confidence that we have our own difficulties sorted out? And if not, should we think twice about claiming to be able to deal with the challenges that other continents are balking at until we have solved our own?
Suppose one of the inadequate computer systems on which our government has a knack of spending millions gets Charles Taylor mixed up with some harmless pensionier convicted of refusing to pay the council tax, sends him to Ford Open Prison, and he escapes. What sort of idiots will Britain look like in the eyes of the rest of the world if that kind of daft mistake happens ? If ministers do agree to take him, one of them must take personal responsbility for making sure this does not happen.