Looks like an attempt to grab the public mood over knife crime has gone belly up. Jacqui Smith had been trailing through the past weekend sending those caught with knives to A and E units to see stab victims to show them what they have done. It was made pretty clear this was an idea that was strongly considered and not just blue skies thinking. In fact she was on Sky News confirming that was her view. Yet yesterday in Parliament she denied she ever proposed such an idea. Its bad enough that she along with her Ministerial colleagues frequently leak policy to the press before they come to Parliament, despite Gordon Brown having claimed a year ago that this would not happen under his Premiership, but to leak it and confirm on TV then to deny in Parliament ever doing it is misleading Parliament.
This is an example of soundboarding which Labour does a lot, where it leaks to the press and if the media generally go along with it, it goes in the policy document. If its panned, its out and theyve lost little public face. In this case, it was panned. She had two chances to restate her point and she flat out agreed with the media both times over the policy. To blame it for reporting something she later confirms catagorically seems rather silly. Its another U-turn that turned into a triple somersault and landing on the roof for Brown's Government.