No government ever wants to look like it is in office but not in power. This is why this country’s inability to deport Abu Qatada is causing such concern in Conservative circles.
David Cameron will be well aware of the symbolism of the issue. In his conference speech this year, he boasted that
“For years people asked why we couldn’t get rid of those radical preachers who spout hatred about Britain while living off the taxpayer……well, Theresa May – a great Home Secretary – has done it – and she’s got Abu Hamza on that plane and out of our country to face justice.”
Today, Cameron declared himself ‘completely fed up’ with the fact that Abu Qatada is still here. But things threaten to get worse for the government if its appeal against Qatada’s legal victory is not successful.
At some point, this government is going to have to change the law. Otherwise, this farce will simply repeat itself.