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The National Curriculum

Ken Jones, 10 January 1991

... emerged as a champion of national regulation. Interviewed in the Times, its education spokesman, Jack Straw, talked of annual testing of pupils and compulsory assessment of teachers. The National Curriculum, albeit slimmed down, would be retained. As Bob Moon notes in his lucid if insufficiently controversial Guide to the National Curriculum,† it is ...

Benetton Ethics

Nick Cohen: Treachery at the FO, 2 July 1998

First Annual Report on Human Rights 
by Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
56 pp., April 1998
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The Great Deception 
by Mark Curtis.
Pluto, 272 pp., £14.99, June 1998, 0 7453 1234 9
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... persecution and forgets to mention that when these same Gypsies tried to claim asylum in Dover, Jack Straw immediately, and without any evidence, labelled them bogus asylum-seekers, thereby helping to create an ugly racist atmosphere. In fairness, the Foreign Office can cite Labour’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights, the ...

In Pursuit of Pinochet

Michael Byers: The legal implications of the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London in October 1998, 21 January 1999

... by other courts around the world. Following the judgment, the focus of attention shifted to Jack Straw. As Home Secretary he was required by the Extradition Act 1989 to make a quasi-judicial decision, either to allow the extradition process to proceed, or to let Pinochet go. Considerable pressure was exerted on him, by the governments of Chile and ...

What did Cook want?

Jon Lawrence: Both ‘on message’ and off, 19 February 2004

The Point of Departure 
by Robin Cook.
Simon and Schuster, 368 pp., £20, October 2003, 0 7432 5255 1
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... 1998, amid rumours that his job was being lined up for one of New Labour’s rising stars such as Jack Straw or Peter Mandelson, Cook may indeed have been thinking hard about escape routes to the European Commission or the Scottish Parliament, but that doesn’t mean he was already a busted flush. He did, after all, survive another five years – and ...

Visa Requirement

D.D. Guttenplan: Whitehall and Jews, 6 July 2000

Whitehall and The Jews 1933-48 
by Louise London.
Cambridge, 313 pp., £30, March 2000, 0 521 63187 4
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... its own countervailing pressure to bear on the national interest. That pressure is now gone, and Jack Straw is able to tell an EU conference that the Convention should be changed so that asylum seekers are allowed to submit their claims before they enter Europe. If all the current protections are kept in place, this might be a welcome step. But it is ...

How did Blair get here?

Conor Gearty, 20 February 2003

... the British Government in advance of their decision to starve the conference of Palestinians: Jack Straw found out about it from the media. And the Americans seem not to have raised even the smallest finger to save the UK Government from this deep humiliation. But Blair’s greatest misjudgment has to do with the special relationship. There is no ...

Diary

Patrick Cockburn: A report from Baghdad, 18 March 2004

... capital itself and in Mosul, the largest Sunni city, with a population of 1.6 million. Blair and Jack Straw have on occasion drawn comfort from this without, it seems, considering what would happen if the attack spread to all the Sunni Arab parts of the country. A further difficulty is that the guerrillas belong to many different organisations without ...

The Ultimate Justice Show

Michael Byers: The trial of Saddam, 8 January 2004

... in 1998, foresees that national courts will hear most cases involving international crimes – as Jack Straw was at pains to point out following Saddam’s arrest – but also allows the international court to determine whether a fair and genuine domestic prosecution is taking place, and to insist that the case be transferred to it in the event of ...

Blair Must Go

Peter Clarke: Why Tony Blair should go, 11 September 2003

... had to learn the argot, as his revealing book recounts.* Campbell duly makes his dig against Jack Straw, who is the MP for Blackburn: ‘What do Saddam Hussein and Blackburn Rovers have in common? They both put people in football stadiums and torture them.’ Here is another joke from Campbell. ‘Just remember: when we get our own dictatorship ...

Walls, Fences, Grilles and Intercoms

Andrew Saint: Security and the City, 19 November 2009

Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st-Century City 
by Anna Minton.
Penguin, 240 pp., £9.99, June 2009, 978 0 14 103391 4
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... to target minor offences and endorsed by Mayor Giuliani in New York, was eagerly taken up here by Jack Straw but has failed to make a lasting impact on crime in either country. Minton also looks into the Asbo system, dominant until recently in the social policing of Manchester and some other cities. The legislation which brought in Asbos, she ...

Diary

Tariq Ali: Libya during the Cartoon Controversy, 9 March 2006

... all, is no longer the head of a ‘rogue state’ but a ‘great statesman’ (in the words of Jack Straw) and has received Blair in his tent. This helps to maintain the pretence that he’s caved in to London, not Washington. It’s so simple: Saif wants to privatise everything and turn Libya into a Gulf statelet. Interestingly, the only institution ...

Alleged War Criminals

Michael Byers: Saddam, Milosevic and Sharon, 22 July 2004

... Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi – acts which even the ever cautious Jack Straw described as ‘unlawful’. Nor in this case is there any shortage of law. In 1951, Israel ratified all four of the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Israeli government, aware that many of its actions are inconsistent with those treaties, argues that ...

Blood Boiling

Paul Foot: Corporate takeover, 22 February 2001

Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain 
by George Monbiot.
Macmillan, 430 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 0 333 90164 9
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No Logo 
by Naomi Klein.
Flamingo, 501 pp., £8.99, January 2001, 0 00 653040 0
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... before the authorities have fully investigated its crucial role in track maintenance at Hatfield; Jack Straw, radical campaigner for public enterprise from Barbara Castle’s former seat, who in May 1996 told the Prison Officers Association that privatisation of the prisons was ‘morally unacceptable – this is one area where a free market does not ...

Promises, Promises

David Carpenter: The Peasants’ Revolt, 2 June 2016

England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381 
by Juliet Barker.
Abacus, 506 pp., £10.99, September 2015, 978 0 349 12382 0
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... She stresses how little is actually known of the alleged leaders of the revolt: Wat Tyler, Jack Straw and the radical cleric and itinerant preacher John Balle. Central to many accounts of the revolt is the sermon Balle is supposed to have preached on Blackheath, where the adjoining primary school is now named after him. Balle was there because the ...

Permanent Temporariness

Alastair Crooke: The Palestine Papers, 3 March 2011

... foreign affairs adviser, David Manning; the overcoated figure bursting into our meeting was Jack Straw. He wanted to tell Manning that he had persuaded Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, to add Hamas to the EU list of terrorist movements. His tale of his conversion of Fischer was wrapped in expressions of outrage at Hamas. It wasn’t so ...

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