» Tuesday, March 2, 2004


Asked if the Queen or the Palace had been consulted prior to today’s announcement concerning the renaming of the Crown Prosecution Service, the PMOS told journalists to check with the Home Office. Asked if the Prime Minister had bottled out of his weekly Audience with the Queen later today because she had not been consulted about this matter, the PMOS said he thought that this briefing was rapidly ‘drifting into the arena of the unwell’. He pointed out that the Prime Minister’s Audience with the Queen did not necessarily take place on the same day of the week every week, but was arranged around their respective diaries.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. Errm, so did the PM have an appointment with the Queen today or not?

    Comment by Jim Avery — 2 Mar 2004 on 7:32 pm | Link
  2. Since the briefing doesn’t actually mention it, I’ll remind readers that the new name for the CPS is the "Public Prosecution Service". I suppose it’s appropriate: it’s (members of) the public who get prosecuted, after all….

    Comment by Chris Lightfoot — 2 Mar 2004 on 7:38 pm | Link
  3. This whole procedure is another wasteful Labour meander into our constitution that seems to benefit nothing and nobody.

    I’m going to put this in my stupid Labour policies tray, right next to regional assemblies, and reform of the judiciary.

    Comment by Gregor Hopkins — 2 Mar 2004 on 11:02 pm | Link
  4. Reform of the judiciary was required because the current arrangements probably breach Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to fair trial by INDEPENDENT and impartial tribunal). That’s why it’s all been so rushed. Agree about regional assemblies though. What’s that all about?

    Comment by Kid Loco — 2 Mar 2004 on 11:20 pm | Link
  5. OK, I don’t get the hub-bub. Who cares whether or not it’s called the Crown Prosecution Service or not? It still belongs to the Crown as much tomorrow as it did yesterday.

    And reform of the judiciary is the one hope we have of a judiciary free from political control in an environment where there are no official documents safeguarding the powers of that judiciary. History, though a great read, is a poor protector of rights.

    Comment by Gregory Lightyear — 3 Mar 2004 on 12:26 am | Link
  6. Does it matter at all what they call the service?
    The proper name would probably be David Blunket Decides what\x92s right. DBDR
    Well seeing that he’s not too hot on the idea of trial by jury, so if he gets his way after shouting out his draconian rhetoric he can decide who is guilty.

    Comment by Dikkie — 3 Mar 2004 on 10:26 am | Link
  7. I for one am sorry to see the "Crown" part leave the name. I would much prefer to know that Her Maj is in overall control of prosecution than TB. I realise it is only the name that changes but that can have a serious psycological impact. Is this the latest move to turn us into a republic?

    The judiciary needed to be changed no question or we would have been taken to court (again) by Europe. Whether the changes benefitted the victims or the accussed is another matter.

    Comment by Daniel Adler — 3 Mar 2004 on 12:02 pm | Link
  8. Chris has it right. It’s how you parse the phrase. The public supposedly gives a mandate to oppress itself in the way that the crown, without that mandate, cannot justify.

    I also like "Public Interest Immunities" — a certificate a minister signs to keep something immune from the public interest. Famous during the Iraqi supergun scandal.


    Comment by Julian Todd — 3 Mar 2004 on 12:17 pm | Link
  9. Isn’t "drifting into the arena of the unwell" a quote from Withnail and I?

    Richard Lack

    Comment by misternomer — 3 Mar 2004 on 1:10 pm | Link
  10. Following Harman’s less-than-impressive showing immediately after today’s PMQs (and Blunkett’s lack of enthusiasm for speaking on the topic himself), it seems clear that the government have once again introduced a measure (designed to make the system appear "more democratic"???) without thinking through the natural consequences of its introduction. Are we merely making a cosmetic change that will have no appreciable effect on government and the judiciary? It is designed to herald a whole ream of measures designed to eradicate the position of HRH as head of state? Or is it, as is most likely, somewhere in between.

    Blunkett displayed his own shoddy thinking on the matter when he said yesterday that, whilst he approved the CPS’ name-change, he rather preferred to keep the old practise of labelling cases Regina versus x; i.e. continuing to prosecute in the name of the Queen.

    Rather more worrying is the amalgamation of the Prison Service and Probation Service into one administrative body. The two are not necessarily natural bed-fellows.

    Comment by niall — 3 Mar 2004 on 1:36 pm | Link
  11. I find it hysterical the way the (Daily Hate) Mail rants about ‘issues’ like this. Or is it that the Mail IS hysterical ? "The world’s going to end without the Queen’s name associated with the Prosecution Service. What’s society coming to ? Oh look semi clothed ladies on P32…"

    Can they not find some more ("bogus") aslyum seekers to persecute?! Or have they learnt their lesson after all that messy business with opposing Jewish immigration before the holocaust…?

    I think we should be told…

    Comment by Steve — 3 Mar 2004 on 3:46 pm | Link
  12. It’s not actually important if the CPS is called the CPS at all, is it? It could be called the PPS and do the same job just as well as it does now – just at a greater cost to the taxpayer due to the renaming! Another example of Blair attempting to hack himself a place in history, I fear…

    Comment by Bernard — 3 Mar 2004 on 3:53 pm | Link
  13. Youd think that with the state of education, healthcare etc that the government would have more important things to think about than whether to rename the CPS, or are the big problems too dificult to deal with ? Or is it just the case that a design company that some MP’s freind runs is in need of a bit of cash that a renaming like this would cost ? Maybe i’m just turning a bit bitter and twisted…….

    Comment by Tony — 7 Mar 2004 on 11:22 am | Link
  14. Maybe they could come up with a scheme to rename the Labour Party. Hummm let me see … How about calling it the Conservative Party to more closely reflect its policies – that way they could also win the next election by getting most of the votes – like in Iran, but without the persicution

    Comment by Roger Huffadine — 8 Mar 2004 on 1:56 pm | Link

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