Saturday, November 29, 2008

Damian Green

I was going to blog this story with humour. Something about me being arrested because Edna Mopbucket rifles through private emails and papers, and listens at keyholes etc. And then there was the case when Powys County Council wasted thousands trying to catch a whistle blower who leaked some embarrassing information to the BBC. I was interviewed by an 'Investigator', (brought in at great cast to the Council Tax payer) who thought I had something to do with it. But in the end I decided that its too serious to laugh about. In fact, the Damian Green arrest is a very important story indeed, which has not been treated with the significance it deserved by the media, though it is building up today. The importance of this issue is now sinking in.

Yesterday a Shadow Minister was arrested, held for nine hours, and his private homes and House of Commons Office were all raided. We've seen television pictures of a police officer taking Mr Green's belonging away in plastic bags for forensic testing. When he was released, he was told that he may be questioned again next year. The Government are trying to claim that this was all done without the knowledge of the Home Secretary, or the Prime Minister. It seems simply incredible to me that such a thing could have happened.

So far the only reason we've been given for these scarcely believable acts, are that Damian Green released information that had been given to him via a leak - information that the Government did not want us to know about. If it turns out to be no more than this, there will have to be a full inquiry, and I would expect people to be sacked or resigning. If the UK has reached a state where opposition politicians are arrested for leaking information that embarrasses the Government, our democracy has been rendered not worthy of the name. This matter cannot be allowed to rest here.

16 comments:

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

This stuff is so serious there has to be a full public enquiry. I can't possibly imagine any reason to arrest a senior politician in the main opposition party for publishing leaked information in the public interest. There has to be a 'root and branch" and forest review of 'what happened here'. Heads, emphasis on 's', should roll (metaphorically speaking).

P-Man said...

I'm sure, if not absolutely certain, that at least one popcorn and Dr. Johann Krauss regard the arrest as 'unconscionable'.

Anonymous said...

Edna has been a great centre of democratic life in Wales. Her strong sense of fereting out truth and the occasional good story is much appreciated by your growing bank o readers. If she is arrested as part of the new labour witch hunt then she can be assured that many of us will stand by her. Captain Rhodri and the cardiff bay home guard - need to take care that this new wave of attack on the rights we hold so dear does not come over Offa Dyke!

Anonymous said...

Lets face facts...the Metropolitan Police is totally unaccountable, arresting an MP, the next thing you know they will be sending out execution squads to shoot the odd Brazilian in a Tube Trains.

P-Man said...

Just that we are clear on this point, the fact that the UK is turning into a P-State has nothing whatsoever to do with P-Man. A plurality of popcorns are willing to provide signed and sworn affidavits to prove this point.

Sorry, but P-Man is having difficulty processing what has happened. Perhaps Edna Mopbucket 'should slap him, or something' to bring P-Man to his senses.

UK turning into a P-State? What is quantum physics coming too? It's 'unconscionable'.

*slap*slap*

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Seriously, there is no way, no how the English High Court will tolerate what has happened to Mr. Green. If Green had been 'a Red' - meaning, a threat to national security instead of a threat to Brown (Gordon Brown), then yes, taking down a Red tinged Green might have been in the nation's interest.

But Green is not Red, and Brown knew or should have known that.

I would hazard a guess that we are going to find out that Green will turn out as White as snow, and the colour red is going to be splashed about like cheap red wine at an end of college party - heads are going to have to roll over this matter - there is no way, no how that Brown can hide from what just happened, his pathetic excuses to date that he and his Ministers were in the dark will not wash.

At the very least the Speaker and the Met Police Commissioner must face very serious questions - if it is found that it was they who acted against the nation's interest, they must resign. If it is found that 'a Policeman' has acted without authority or over-stepped his/her authority, they must face disciplinary charges - raiding the office of an MP and carting away confidential papers linked to constituents is a NO NO. I mean to say, who gave the police the bit of paper that authorized the seizure? Which legal officer did that? The Police must have had a warrant to search and seize - so who signed off on that warrant?

PS Had David Davis (former Shadow Home Secretary) been patient and resigned in protest at Green's arrest - I think 'Team Cameron' would have been more understanding, and David Davis would have been the hero he sought to be - or a flop, given that two nano-seconds is a long time in politics.

penlan said...

This matter made my blood run cold.800 years of history troden underfoot.Much as I dislike Speaker Martin I cannot believe he knew it was a leak enquiry.When counter terrorist officers turn up I charitably accept that he thought the worst.

The Permanent Secretary of the Home Office should be brought to the Bar of the Commons on Monday and gaoled for Contempt of Parliament.The authorising police officers should all be busted down to constable,put back in uniform and given point duty for the rest of their miserable careers.

I feel better for having blown off steam.I have never,ever been more angry about such a political matter.

Valleys Mam said...

This has to be addressed and the home secretary has to resign.
I am so angry about this. This hits at the heart of our free speech and democracy

P-Man said...

Now relax. Watch the bob, bob back and for. Your eyes are getting sleepy, your eyelids are getting heavy. You feel very sleepy, so sleepy, and so very very sleepy. Now think back, back to a time when u were a teenager, still further back to your first memories.

Hypnotist: "Now, what do you see?"

Brown: A man, a star man ... the S-Man.

Hypnotist: What is he doing?

Brown: He's beckoning me over. He wants to tell me something.

Hypnotist: What does he want to tell you?

Brown: I don't know.

Hypnotist: Go over to him, ask him.

Brown: I want to but I can't.

Hypnotist: Y?

Brown: Police are here, they are all around.

Hypnotist: Y?

Brown: I don't know, they didn't tell me they were going to arrest the star man.

JPT said...

This is a huge and very worrying story.
Why (they may be next by the way) are the newspaper editors not making more of it?

Glyn Davies said...

All - I've tried to put my outrage on hold. I simply cannot believe there isn't more to this story. Perhaps tomorow's papers will shed some light. As it stands at the moment, I cannot see how those who sanctioned this arrest can avoid being sacked.

The lack of public concern displayed by the Home Secretary and Prime Minister was deeply worrying. They just do not seem to realise the importance of what's happened. They are only concerned to reassure us that they did not know before the event - which in itself is an outrage, when Boris Johnson and David Cameron tell us that they were told before the arrest took place. And it won't just be opposition MPs either. Many of the more thoughtful Labour MPs will be deeply concerned. As it stands, it completely changes the status of MPs. Its too early to say yet, but this could finish the Government off. Never has a week in politics seemed such a long time.

Frank H Little said...

penlan is too forgiving of Speaker Martin.

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - I really don't know what Speaker Martin's role was. which is why we need an independent inquiry into what's happened. I see it as a shocking and serious undermining of our democracy. It would be really worrying if the House of Commons allows this act to remain unchallenged - because there will be a next time if it isn't.

Anonymous said...

This story is out in the open, politicians are debating it, the press are investigating it. That seems to me a strength of our society. I cannot believe the hysteria that has gone on with hardly anyone knowing the facts. I am reserving jusdgement until we hear more and people are demanding to hear more. But just because someone is an MP does not make them above the law so if the police think they have reason to look into this further then they should not be afriad to do so. Radio 5 tonight seems to suggest that this is more than just a one off leak of an issue that is in the public interest, but wholesale passing of all information.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - You are correct in that no-one is above the law. But at present there is no reference to any crime being committed. And I cannot see that the scale of leaking is of any significance. The only reason that my outrage has been on hold (to some extent anyway) is that the Police have more to tell us. There will be people to be fired unless there is.

Lou Coatney, Macomb Illinois (Free 1st Alamein lunch-hour boardgame) said...

Your "public enquiries" are a farce: look at the "Hutton Inquiry" into the still-only-alleged "suicide" of Dr. David Kelly. The government selects the inquirer and limits his purview, testimony is not taken under oath, and then the government can edit/CENSOR what little results. (I told that to a friend in the law enforcement field, over here, and he exploded in derisive laughter. So much for the Rule of Law in Britain.)

If the Truth about Iraq, David Kelly's death, 7/7? gets out, some of your NuLab neocons could go to prison for a very long time, and they appear to be increasingly desperate -- they're going for TOTAL control and intimidation.

If you do want to stop them, demand a genuine, under-oath coroner's inquest into David Kelly's death, and when the Truth finally comes out -- about that and a lot of other things on both sides of the Atlantic -- Justice can again assert itself in Britain.

If this had already happened, nothing like Green's arrest would have occurred.

By the way, is whistleblower Galley reallying being held as a "terrorist?" What are they doing to him? He's not going to end up like Dr. Kelly, is he?