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Well, there’s got to be some explanation for her shocking blitheness on the subject of seizing the property of innocent people on the Today programme this morning.

The context is a “crack-down” on drug dealers (no pun intended, presumably) but it goes beyond Jacqui’s other recent “crack-downs”, which normally just give the authorities responsible for cracking down the power to mutter “That’s disgusting” as they do so. No, this time, she wants the property of people being arrested on suspicion of dealing drugs to be seized at the point of arrest, before they’ve even been charged, much less tried. Here is the moment at which Thickie Smith reveals her mastery of the primacy of law and exposes the whole Labour agenda (once again) as the dangerous mumsy juggernaut it is.

Edward Stourton: You mention assets. Is it really true that you’re going to sieze the assets of people before they’ve been charged of any crime? Isn’t that contrary to a basic principle of British law?

Jacqui Smith: Well yes, so we’d get the law changed so that it’s possible.

And, er, if they’re innocent after all?

Oh, well, then they get them back of course! But people must see that drug crime doesn’t pay!

Hm, no, I see. Obviously doesn’t pay to be an innocent civilian either.

Can she be for real? Some day soon will we turn on C4 on a Monday night and encounter the following portentous voiceover:

Despite the new system of checks on cabinet members, our reporter was able to pose as a front bench minister for months on end and implement a series of attacks on the most basic liberties of the British public. As the bank accounts of the entire population of the UK are frozen by the government on pain of proof that no-one has been naughty in the last ninety days, we’re waiting, we can wait all decade if necessaryit’s so sad when one child spoils it for all the rest, Dispatches asks – how was this allowed to happen?

Or maybe I’m dignifying this woman too much. Perhaps instead at some point when she’s making a speech in what is apparently the House of Commons the camera will pull back to reveal a glitzy studio, screaming audience and various key figures from the light-entertainment industry.

“Tonight, Cat, I will be . . . the Home Secretary!”

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