Michael Howard Is Not Michael Howard
Kington, Miles, The Independent (London, England)
I recently speculated on the reasons why Michael Howard behaves the way he does - ie, like a man who is deliberately trying to bring the Home Office into disrepute. I came to no conclusion. Unlike the anonymous writer of a letter to me, who claims to know the truth.
What was very interesting about this letter is that it came from a mole deep inside the Home Office. I have no clue as to who he is. I have had the letter tested for fingerprints, DNA, Semtex, gelatin, tallow and bull semen, etc, but whoever sent the letter is a professional and there is no trace of any clue.
Except, of course, the contents of the letter itself. I leave you to judge that for yourselves. Here it is. Dear Mr Kington, You have correctly observed that Mr Michael Howard has, over the years, done less than justice to the post of Home Secretary. He has behaved wildly and erratically. He has fired heads of the Prison Service on a whim and paid them compensation under duress. He has seemed to think that prison is the only answer to crime, just when everyone else seems to conclude that prison actually causes crime, and has embarked on mad schemes to build more prisons at huge expense, thus causing more misery and suffering and needless retribution. He has evolved his policies in order to satisfy the baying for blood of the mob in the street, until even the mob in the street stands abashed and quiet at Mr Howard's vindictiveness. He has tried to take the law into his own hands so often that it has taken the combined strength of all the judges to get it back out of his hands again. You probably know all this by now yourself. It is not news to you. But there is something else you do not know, which is known only to a favoured few of us working here at the Home Office. Here it is. As you know, Mr Howard is not afraid of criticism. In fact he thrives on it. The ruder people are, the more he grins and the more he thinks of ridiculous new policies. Like many people who are convinced of their own righteousness, and you may well think of John Birt in this connection, they think that opposition to their ideas proves they are right. But …
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Publication information: Article title: Michael Howard Is Not Michael Howard. Contributors: Kington, Miles - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 1, 1996. Page number: 22. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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