Friday, November 28, 2008

Damian Green’s arrest is an affront to British liberty

We were warned of the potential consequences for civil liberties of Labour’s anti-terrorism legislation, but were assured thee would be no abuse of it. The focus would be those who wish to mutilate and murder, those who prefer the bomb to the ballot box, those who might be tempted to fly an aeroplane into Canary Wharf crying ‘Allahu Akbar’.

But then came the ejection of Walter Wolfgang from a Labour Party conference, simply for heckling the Home Secretary. And then came the limits on democratic protest, especially outside the Palace of Westminster. And then came the freezing of the financial assets of Iceland, a sovereign and friendly nation. And now we witness the profoundly concerning arrest of Damian Green, a Conservative MP, who, it is reported, has been subject to interrogation and his parliamentary and constituency offices raided and searched by nine counter-terrorism officers (yes, nine. As if they have no real Islamists to worry about).

The Police State has arrived: a totalitarian regime in which even our elected representatives are subject to arbitrary invasions of privacy and random acts of intimidation. It beggars belief that police can enter Parliament and search a members’ offices. Presumably the Serjeant at Arms, having responsibility for security in the House, and the Speaker granted their permission. One wonders if such permission would have been granted to search the offices of a member of the Government. Moreover, one wonders of such permission has ever been granted to search the offices of those members of Sinn Féin whose hands really are bloodied with acts of terrorism.

The charge against Damian Green is one of ‘aiding and abetting misconduct in public office’. It is alleged that he received information from a Home Office whistle-blower on the parlous state of affairs within the department, especially pertaining to immigration.

This is a politically-motivated arrest, and it beggars belief that neither the Prime Minister nor the Home Secretary knew of it in advance. Is not whistle-blowing on government incompetence manifestly in the public interest? Since when has being in receipt of leaked information been an act of terrorism?

Or is it simply that being in receipt of information which may damage this Labour Government is a de facto act of terrorism?

It is axiomatic that there is freedom of speech in Parliament. The proceedings of parliament cannot be questioned in a court of law or any other body outside of parliament itself.

Perhaps it is time for David Cameron to grab the Mace in the House of Commons, and remind Labour of the limits of its power and where that power truly resides. Parliament is sovereign because Parliament belongs to the people. Parliamentarians are thereby granted privileges and additional liberties which, it has been found by experience, are necessary for holding the Executive to account.

Hundreds of MPs receive leaked information; it is intrinsic to the art of politics. Indeed, the recipients are various media journalist far more frequently than MPs. Are they all now going to insist on some sort of immunity before receiving their brown envelopes?

As this story unfolds, Cranmer simply wonders at the contrast between the treatment of Mr Green and the treatment of MPs and peers who were involved in the ‘Cash for Honours’ affair. They were merely questioned, and frequently in the comfort of their own homes and offices; Damian Green has been arrested, carted off to police station, incarcerated in a cell, and interrogated for nine hours.

One ought to be grateful Mr Green was not visited by Europol armed with a European Arrest Warrant.

One ought to be grateful Mr Green does not stand accused of interfering in or undermining the effective functioning of the EU.

But do not sigh too much with relief, for those days are coming.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heavens!!! the madness of king Gord.
Paranoia rules!

28 November 2008 at 10:35  
Anonymous shaven-headed tattooed knuckle-dragging prole said...

Ha Ha Ha! We told you so.

Liverpool last week - Westminster this. Time for David Cameron (pbuh) to show the nation what he's made of.

28 November 2008 at 10:38  
Blogger Jonny Mac said...

The more I read and think about this story, the more profoundly disturbing I find it. Never has the appellation ZanuLabour been more appropriate.

28 November 2008 at 11:16  
Anonymous the recusant said...

That the Police can invade parliament with impunity is disturbing enough (only surprised they didn’t shoot anyone), not since Cromwell has there been such activity, but that PM Brown, denies knowledge of it is truly disturbing. The response of David Cameron to this outrage will truly show us his metal, if he is to show any leadership outside his focus groups, now is the time.

28 November 2008 at 11:25  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

The Mole over at the First post has a good article.

What stinks about this is how well positioned, in terms of timing and briefings, the government are to deny involvement.

This also fits with the crack down Labour is having on its own MPs.

28 November 2008 at 11:41  
Blogger Dave said...

"Let that be a warning to you all. You move at your peril. I have two pistols. I know one of them isn't loaded but the other one is, so that's one of you dead for sure, or just about for sure....."

Monty Python couldn't have made this up.

Gordo's been learning from Mugabe. What next? Cholera?

28 November 2008 at 14:08  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

First they came for the BNP,and you did nothing because you are not a member,next they came for one of thier own,because you did not cry out in the first instance,do you all still think that you are safe?who is next?

28 November 2008 at 14:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest assured dick-head Dave (Cameron) will do nothing. Coke snorting deviant.

"But do not sigh too much with relief, for those days are coming."

Yes. The EU will do lots of this.

28 November 2008 at 15:17  
Blogger Damo Mackerel said...

'The EU will do lots of this.'

The EU can only get up to no good when the Lisbon treaty is implemented in full. It can't implement it because Ireland has voted in down.

28 November 2008 at 15:22  
Anonymous melangell said...

Vox populi vox dei est
Vox mei vox populi est
Ergo vox dei vox mei est

The last Western European governments which began by behaving like this were those of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler. This Labour government is creating a fascist state in which criticism of the regime will be a crime equivalent to treason. They have already done much to outlaw or fatally weaken anyone with the independence of spirit, the means and the courage to oppose them. Urban areas have been packed with dependents of the state who will guarantee their re-election indefinitely. Who knows where they will now draw the line? How many more imaginary terrorists will provide an excuse for having innocent people shot? How many more real enemies of this country have to be pandered to and strengthened before they decide they are strong enough to show their true colours?

28 November 2008 at 16:15  
Blogger McKenzie said...

I think that when the rest of the nation finally wakes up, it will be one of those critical mass situations, when everything happens all at once.
In the meantime, there is something that you can do about it, and it doesn't take a genius to work it out.

28 November 2008 at 18:44  
Blogger len.allan said...

Our once great nation is sinking into mediocrity, and measures like this show how far this nation has fallen!

28 November 2008 at 18:51  
Blogger adamsmith1922 said...


An excellent post which I wish I had seen before I wrote this, but never mind

29 November 2008 at 23:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Damo- they just ignore no votes; or They fix them to Yes ASAP. The fact that Parliament isn't just paves the way for their next move...

29 November 2008 at 23:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damo, dream on.

They'll get their vote in Ireland in the end, however many tries it takes.

Or, if they don't, they'll just implement the provisions of the treaty anyway. In fact, that has already started.

Legality means nothing - these days also are coming.

4 December 2008 at 15:59  

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