From the BBC:
He [David Blunkett] agreed with Miss Widdecombe when she suggested many teenagers committing offences had “actually started on that path when they’re six or seven”.
She said: “My concern is that the courts don’t have very many remedies for the younger age group.”
Mr Blunkett replied: “No, they don’t and every time you or I or others have moved in that direction we’ve had the liberal media absolutely going bonkers about it.”
It’s a bit rich of David Blunkett to accuse anyone of going bonkers — I well recall reading only three months ago how
David Blunkett today reveals the full extent of his emotional turmoil
at the time of his resignation as home secretary, admitting that he
“cracked” and that “at one point I really did think I was going mad”.
He recalls: “My whole world was collapsing around me. I was under the most horrendous pressure. I was barely sleeping, and yet I was being asked to sign government warrants in the middle of the night. My physical and emotional health had cracked.”
David was certainly furious. He was also hysterical. He directed me,
without delay, to order staff back into the prison. I told him that we
did not, at that time, have enough staff in the prison to contemplate
such a move but that many more staff were on their way from other
prisons. I insisted, however, that although I was determined to take
the prison back as quickly as possible, I could not, and would not,
risk staff or prisoner lives in attempting to do so. He shrieked at me
that he didn’t care about lives, told me to call in the Army and
“machine-gun” the prisoners. He then ordered me to take the prison back immediately. I refused. David hung up.
and that was before he had the excuse that Kimberley Quinn was preying on his mind.
That apart, though, is it not notable that when Ann Widdecombe raises the fact that government’s powers are constrained by the fact that six and seven year olds are below the age of criminal responsibility, Blunkett’s first reaction is that he’d have loved to haul primary school children into court, but ‘the liberal media’ would have made a fuss?