Rod Liddle thinks that “Labour wants to keep Jeffrey Archer in jail because he is a hate figure from the days of Tory hegemony”
His evidence for that is “Archer is up for parole pretty soon, but he won’t get it if David Blunkett and the Home Office have their way” According to Liddle Blunkett will deny Archer’s parole and “an injustice will be perpetrated”.
My understanding of the Archer parole issue is that Jeffrey decided to ignore the terms of his day-release conditions and ended up at Gillian Shepherd’s cocktail party rather than being at home as he should have been. Liddle dismisses this as a “technicality” and states “choosing to spend it (freedom) drinking martinis with Gillian Shepherd is bizarre and perverse. But I’m not sure it should cost five months of a mans life” At the risk of sounding like a Daily Mail editorial I would like to point out that Archer was in an open prison and allowed to visit his family at home on day-release but seemingly that freedom wasn’t enough for him and he decided unilaterally he needed the further freedom to attend parties with other Conservative Party members and decided to do so in contravention of his day-release conditions. In my opinion this sort of arrogance deserves to be rewarded by denying parole.
It also seems appropriate to deny parole when we remember the serious crimes for which Archer was originally jailed – perjury and perverting the course of justice. Ignoring Archer’s breach of the day-release conditions, which is really another form of contempt for the law, would allow him to metaphorically thumb his nose at the whole criminal justice system and Blunkett cannot allow that if he is to be seen as a credible home secretary.
If even a small section of the right consider Archer to be either a political prisoner or a poster boy (TM – P. Cuthbertson 2003) they are in bigger trouble than they can imagine.