First, we had Alistair Darling asking for tax advice. He’s the Chancellor, so he should understand the intricacies of the tax code better than anyone, with the exception of Gordon Brown, the former Chancellor, who was probably most responsible for the current tax code.
Now we have Baroness Scotland breaking the very law that she drafted and pushed through Parliament. The law makes it punishable to hire an illegal immigrant. And being ignorant is not an acceptable defense. So, what was her excuse when she hired an illegal immigrant? Not that she was unaware, that would have been walking into her own trap. No, the problem is a technical one. She did all the appropriate checks, but she did not photocopy any of the documents. That was required by law.
Does it mean that if she had photocopied the documents, she would not be in breach of the law. No, I think it just means that she could have proved her point that she looked at the documents. Which then leads us to question, if the documents were in order, why was the worker illegal? Were they forged? If a government minister could not identify real from faked documents, how can the ordinary employer?
If the worker is not illegal, why was Baroness Scotland fined? Just simply that she did not keep a copy of the documents? Has she admitted to unknowingly hire an illegal immigrant? If she did so, is this enough reason for her to be sacked?
Gordon Brown does not intend to sack her, and it’s questionable whether any of the other parties will push for it to happen. Apparently, Baroness Scotland is well-respected all around. However, if she wants to preserve that reputation of respectability, she should have offered to step down, especially after breaking her own law. Had it been an ordinary citizen, he/she would have been treated like a down and dirty criminal. What’s good for the goose in this government is not always good for the gander in the public.