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At the very moment of the second Blair's departure? Is plod engaging in some payback?

Sorry, just catching up with this news after working late (on work for a change instead of politics). This seems extraordinary to me. Yes, we need to establish if/when Mr Brown knew of this. Also the question as to why anti-terrorism legislation is being used to investigate what is quite clearly a non-terrorist event should be investigated. Go for it Dave!

I've said elsewhere every Tory MP should leak some information today and every day. A wall of leaked information should keep hitting the press, and let's see how many are arrested! Brown is evil and the most putrid politician ever.

First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist
Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew
Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant
Then they came for me and by then there was no one left to speak up for me.

Tim - this IS the slippery slope towards "real evil"! I remember having a conversation with someone back in 1997 following the Labour Landslide who warned Labour would bring a Police State to our country. I thought that possibly they were being a little over-dramatic at the time but.....

I wonder whether the same approach will be used over the blatant, persistant leaking and trailing that happened in advance of the Chancellor's emergency budget? Days before the actual budget report we all knew that the government was going to lower the VAT rate. This sort of certainty of the proposed measures was unthinkable in the days of more ethical government, indeed a former Chancellor resigned when part of the budget was slipped out in advance of the formal announcement.

When are they going to arrest Lord Mandy for utter corroption?
Or are they above the law?

Tim, a very fair and balanced post about my MP, Damian Green. If I may be so bold, I think where it falls down is that you fail to make the point that the law is there for a reason. What exactly does it say about out democracy if one of those who can determine it arbitrarily decides to break it? Is this now democracy a la carte? You simply abide by the bits that you fancy.

It is perfectly legitimate to point out that the Government has turned leaking into an art form. But simply to emulate it and not hold ourselves to a higher ethical standard sets a very poor example.

Any of us in the private sector behaving like Damian Green is alleged to have done would be sacked.

I think everyone should channel their anger today in a positive pro-liberty way by opening their chequebooks and sending some money to the Freedom Association, the non-partisan defenders of British rights.

Labour are seeking to cling on to power by any means at their disposal.

When are people going to realise in the Conservative Party that they want us destroyed, discredited and finished as a political force?

I do agree, proportionate language, a steely resolute determination to expose this government. Provocative that this is, they want the nasty party back; let's not give them that.

Yesterday's events chill me to the bone.

My advice, create a new cabinet post, "Minister for Civil Liberties" and give it to David Davis.

You cannot underestimate just how frightened and concerned people are in this country about having their liberties taken by this government.

Hiding behind 'terrorist legislation' and a faux-machismo attitude to terrorism is the erosion of our birthright.

Brown is a liar, he most definitely knew.

As for the hypocrisy, what do you expect?

Perfect timing, news channels filled with a terrorist outrage in India, an outgoing Met Commissioner and a five day recess of Parliament.

Orchestrated by this government to intimidate and frighten people with a concern for the incompetent operation of our government.

We are not afraid.

I do agree with you Mike. SOMEONE needs to take this business seriously. We absolutely need a Minister for Civil Liberties.

Judging by the coverage on the Beeb this morning Labour have put on their special shoes with the targets on today and are firing at leisure. Watch out for the insinuations to get nastier and more insidious by the minute. Phil Woolas has just given a truly nasty taste of their likely dirty tactics.
The point we must make is that the government is using heavy handed tactics to punish a democratically elected politician for exposing their failures and incompetance.
Is this the politicisization of the police?

"Any of us in the private sector behaving like Damian Green is alleged to have done would be sacked."

Possibly - but arrested by Counter-Terrorism Officers, held and questioned for NINE HOURS?

Both Jacqui Smith and Brown must certainly have known about this. It's not feasible that they weren't told in advance. Hell, we live in country now effecting politically motivated arrests of high level opposition MPs. It's beyond outrageous. And, ok, it's not Zimbabwe yet but it's a step in that direction.

I hesitate to say anything in defence of Michael Heseltine, but when, during the last Labour Government, he famously grabbed the Speaker's Mace in the Commons, he did so to make a point about the way the last Labour Government was abusing its power. A lot has been said about the fact that every Labour Government ends in financial crisis, but Labour's disgraceful record on constitutional matters should also be a major plank of the Tory election campaign. David Cameron has responded admirably to the outrageous action against Damian Green, but, as Mike has suggested, above, this would be a great opportunity for him to bring David Davis back in to the fold to lead the campaign against this Government's creation of something approaching a police state. Of course - and not for the first time - I also wholeheartedly agree with Chad's comments!

Who is going to be arrested for all the leaks on the PBR?

The police in this country need to realise- I am aware of this from my own experiences canvassing- that they are now totally despised by the middle classes in this country. This incident merely exacerbates and highlights part of the problem.

Two reasons for this-

- political correctness has dumbed down the calibre of the average woodentop, leaving a vast army of low IQ bullies in uniforms on the streets to deal with the public,

- an 'officer class' [sic] of politically pliable chancers- ACPO, Mr Brunstrom and the Met being just a few obvious examples.

One further point. Little Robin Cook made his political career out of such leaks in the 90s. Were Sir John Stevens or Sir Paul Condon interested ? Of course not. They had criminals to catch.


Just wanted to second Simon Richards' comments above. Well said.

Excellent suggestion by Mike - the abuse of the counter terrorism laws by this bankrupt government is absolutely appalling. David Davis was right about his concern for our civil liberties. Even the Lib Dems must support the Conservatives on this one.

OK, this might not be Zimbabwe; the question is, in what other countries would a politician be arrested for embarrassing the government?


Speak for yourself London Tory. I know many policemen and would describe none of them as 'low IQ bullies'.Posts like yours sometimes make me despair at the intellect of some Conservative activists.

Job #1 for new Minister of Civil Liberties David Davis should be to follow the admirable lead of the CanCons and to not just oppose the extension to state funding of political parties, but to scrap it entirely.

No defender of liberty can support nationalised political parties.

Brown's gestapo ( Davidroberts) 28/11/2008, 8:44
The government is shamed by the release into public knowledge of information it wanted to keep from the public. Their reaction, to set their polizei on the "leaker" and the shadow minister who was given the information which so upset Brown.

In an unprecedented move the shadow minister was arrested, his offices searched and he was released on bail nine hours later.

Boris Johnson was told what was happening, Cameron was told, the Speaker was told and various other people but apparently Brown and the Home Sec knew not what was happening when asked.

They are LYING.

It is beyond comprehension that the Met should undertake such a major action against a shadow minister of the opposition without getting clearance from the highest possible levels.

But they knew nothing. Oh, yes?

This is the government that knows nothing about anything which might have a bad effect on it or its Prime minister or ministers. Remember Blair on Iraq, Blair and Dr Kelly, the scientist who committed "suicide" (we were told), remember donations for peerages and the rest?

This government stinks!

Right now there are major terrorist events taking place in Mumbai and guess who is now in charge of government spin and may have decided yesterday was the right day to act?

None other than the archbishop of scum. Alistair Campbell.

And who is working alongside him but the twice sacked friend of Blair and Brown, Mandelson.

Let there be no doubt about it, if this government remains in power much longer the tame Met will develop an overt geheimstaatspolizei section.

It is time for them to go. They will only be missed when the country breathes a communal sigh of relief.

Truly shocking. I quote from wikipedia on parliamentry priviledge (bill of settlement)

"Freedom of speech in parliament. This means that the proceedings of parliament can not be questioned in a court of law or any other body outside of parliament itself; this forms the basis of modern parliamentary privilege. "

Damien Green was doing his job in calling an incompetant Home Office under "Jackboot" Smith to account.

There is a principle in British politics, that the presence of the state is tolerated since we have the freedom to elect represtentitives to hold the government of the day to account. This was the prinicple by which the monarchy was restored, and previously the principle of the peace treaty between crown and baron at runnymeade. The fact that the state then chooses to arrest a shadow minister of state for doing their job calls into question the very relationship between state and citizen.

If Cameron and Johnson knew in advance of this, then so should have the PM and the Home Sec. To my suspicious mind it lloks like they were watching this to see how it spun before engaging in damage limitation spin.

Ultimately a government that acts in this way should itself be arrested, probably for treason in attempting to undermine the authority of Parliament and the Crown.

Personally, since government has descended to acting like a bunch of thugs, I believe that it is now the Crown's duty to sack parliament and force a general election.

In Zimbabwe thousands of people have been killed or seriously injured by Mugabe's thugs. Comparisons with Britain and Zimbabwe should not be made in this context. Brown and Ian Blair are disgraces to democracy but they are not Mugabe.

all it would take is a simple majority of English mp's to stop this government for good. I don't expect NL politicians to help,althought I think there would be a few who would, but lib/dems and tories stage a coup. why not?

If anyone is labouring under the delusion that Britain is a democracy, this should kill the idea. Brown is acting as Hitler did when he still had PR. I hate the Tory Party because they are liberals and socialists but this action by these agents of the State will probably mean I vote Tory now because the alternative is a repeat of Bosnia in the UK.
DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND MAKE BORIS JOHNSON WALK IN LONDON AT NIGHT ON HIS OWN - SILLY BOY!

One further point. Little Robin Cook made his political career out of such leaks in the 90s. Were Sir John Stevens or Sir Paul Condon interested ? Of course not. They had criminals to catch.

I agree, LT. Can the Police justify the deployment of NINE counter-terrorism officers? Are they that overstaffed?!

Tim:

"As Robert H Halfon has previously blogged: We must not trivialise real evil."

More than 11 years or whatever varity of labour you choose to call them and they have subverted democracy in this country. Real evil in my view.

Sorry John but we'll just have to differ on this one. I hate what Labour has done to this country but Brown is nothing like Mugabe.

Brown needs to brush up on his history. The last English despot to try and use force against parliament was Charles I.

Whatever happened to him?

Perhaps the real point of this arrest was to raid Damian Green's house and obtain access to his computer disks, enabling them to trace messages and find the source?

Why else would you need 9 Anti-Terrorist 'experts' on the scene for up to 9 hours?

@ Malcolm Dunn

I am reflecting the views of middle class constituents, many of whom have been bullied and harrassed by the 'stupid police' particularly over driving issues, whilst waiting up to 24 hours in some cases to have a burglary scene attended to. It is a fact that in the last 12 years the police have 'dumbed down'- height, age and fitness restrictions have been relaxed, and the intellectual tests are now far easier. Recently the Met restricted its new intakes to certain sections of the London community. Certain minority sections.

I am not remotely interested in who your friends are- you need to get out more.

We all know what the Damien Green affair is really about, don't we ? Its about settling scores over Labour's favourite policeman 'Sir' Ian Blair. He goes today. He could not keep the bitterness out of his voice at City Hall yesterday :)

Slightly off topic, but related.

I've just been watching BBC News 24, where they covered Sir Ian Blair's final interview, and then the BBC commentator (whose name I didn't catch), made the most outrageously partisan comment as he summed up this 'news'.

He said (and I'm paraphrasing slightly from memory - you can probably catch it again later in the day):

"What did for Ian Blair was Party politics. The Conservatives took control of London, and took the opportunity to get rid of someone they didn’t like."

Outrageous twist on what happened!!!

As an African who has actually lived under a dictatorship, I am not in any way offended by people making comparisons to Zimbabwe or similar situations and I am glad that many are doing so.

It is NOT an insult to anyone's memory to point this out and I think it is a very poor excuse.

Totalitarian police states always start slowly and gradually and many do not see what is happening until it is too late.

So many are fooled into thinking that the UK is special and a police state is a horrible thing that happens to other people. Many of these people also said we were exaggerating about islamic terrorism before July the 7th.

So thank you for your concern, but please stop worrying about the hurt feelings of us Africans. We are not infants and would rather that people learnt from our mistakes rather than using us as an excuse not to face reality.

Sir Ian Blair leaves office as senior Tory is arrested...

Blair is openly hostile toward Boris at yesterday's final meeting of the Metropolitan police authority...

Boris, the politician, directly caused Blair, the policeman's departure...

Boris is pre-warned of the impending arrest in the knowledge that he is powerless to intervene...

Disproportionate and overtly theatrical arrest of a Tory politician to make a point...

Blair says take the politics out of policing 'just let us get on with the job' whilst the Met puts policing into politics to intimidate politicians 'just doing their job'.


It would appear to be very strong similarities between this government, Nu Labour or whatever they now call themselves since Tony Bliar moved on and Zimbabwe's government under the evil Mugabe who also manage to hide the truth and keep the media under control.
I only hope the electorate see sense at the next election!

Brown is nothing like Mugabe

Nowhere near on the same level, or even on the same page, but they definatley seem to sometimes sing from the same hymnbook - But just because there's someone worse in the world should no way excuse what he has done here.
Would anyone else in the world timed it with terrorists attacks like this? - even if it was planned to happen just because parliament was in recess (which is bad enough) they could have cancelled.

Personally, since government has descended to acting like a bunch of thugs, I believe that it is now the Crown's duty to sack parliament and force a general election.

Yes - I'm sure they can't or at least shouldn't be able to do this without the crown stepping in, even if it's only to investigate.
Otherwise we have a government who is and/or can be out of control with nothing to stop them.

Maybe she can refuse to read out the speech next week, that'll stir things up

"There can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with totalitarianism and the abject worship of the state…Socialism is in its essence an attack not only on British enterprise, but upon the right of ordinary men and women to breathe freely without having a harsh, clammy, clumsy, tyrannical hand clasped across their mouth and nostrils."

Winston Churchill

Sorry John but we'll just have to differ on this one. I hate what Labour has done to this country but Brown is nothing like Mugabe.

Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | November 28, 2008 at 09:30

Brown may not be like the Mugabe of 2008, but remember that Mugabe started off as a legitimate leader and was even honoured with a knighthood! Fast forward a decade or two and what has he become?

Madness, cruelty and incompetence are not the special preserve of African Leaders.... take the blinkers off, Tim!

James | November 28, 2008 at 09:42

"Outrageous twist on what happened!!!"

What else do you expect of Pravda. I generally do not watch it.

London Tory, your post is really rather offensive. What does the ethnicity of a serving police officer have to so with anything? I would like to see you don a uniform and police some of the tougher inner London estates.

Yes, the police are directed to non-serious trivia by their New Labour masters. However that does not detract from the fact that they serve the public with courage and pride. It is not their choice.

My son serves the public in the British Army. Perhaps London Tory regards him and the people who serve with him as a waste of space too?

Brown's 'moral compass' is broken. I have to agree with Lord madelson that Gordon Brown is psychologically flawed.

"The Damien Green Affair" makes a good title for a political thriller and someone should begin to write it immediately.

Meanwhile, the BBC should check its archives as I eagerly await the re-run's of "House of Cards" and "Yes Minister" series, and another run of The 39 steps which are all eminently more entertaining than "Stalin's Rise to Power" which we've been watching since 1997 and are sick of it.

There's no doubt many will think "The Damien Green Affair" should have a happy ending too. It shouldn't hold back on showing any near knuckle truths and it should investigate and question all areas of government with an aim to spill the beans on any of those who's job it is to thwart and kill democracy. It should also not let up in its aim to help regain power to the people by ensuring government is transparent and not secret.

Many may also think anti-terror laws are a tool to turn this country into a totalitarian bureaucratic autocracy with blame unable to be apportioned to anyone, least of all the ministers responsible and that it verges on being a police state. But as Francis Urquhart might have said; I couldn't possibly comment except to say that such a book would make good reading and Mr Green should continue in his role as the hero in this affair.

This has not come as much of a surprise to me, I warned my MP as long ago as 2000 that senior officers in the 'job' were becoming overtly political! My C. Supt was a member of the Labour Party and a great friend of the local Labour politicians and he was just one of many. What does surprise me though is that the Home Sec has denied prior knowledge, that just does not compute. On any planned arrest of MPs she would be breifed as a matter of course. The officers concerned need to be questioned and by some very big guns!!!

Does anybody now doubt that the statist/Stalinist Brown is moving us into a dictatorship? Aided by his evil lieutenants Mandelson and Campbell he moving himself into an unassailable position.

How long before he declares a state of national emergency because of the economic situation? He will then ennoble Tony Blair and form a Government of National Unity. Elections will be abolished. Any critics will be incarcerated as enemies of the state.

If the Conservative Party cannot get rid of this rabble democratically, I can foresee the day when people take to the streets. You read it here first!

@ Mark Hudson

It has nothing whatsoever to do with ethnicity, you are playing the Livingstone/New Labour game there. I was making the point about how politically correct the police have become under Labour, and how their recruitment calibre has quite obviously suffered as a result. If you only target a particular section of society for your recruitment- as the Met has under 'Sir' Ian, then surely by definition you are discriminating against other sections of society, who are unable to apply for the same vacancies in a fair an open competition. This DID NOT happen under any of Labour's Favourite Copper's predecessors. That is a fact. You had to be of a ceratin height, of a certain strength and weight, and have a certain standard of educational qualifications.

Nobody is FORCED to join the police, just as NOBODY is forced to work in a politically motivated environment where they target harmless swathes of society in order to meet New Labour targets.

Please don't be silly.

At this moment in time, Gordon Brown and his Ministers may not be on a par with Robert Mugabe. However, even Mugabe started out with 'small evils' & worked his way up - remember, at one time he was a respected international politician. Josef Stalin didn't start his new job of Dictator of Russia & kill thousands of his countrymen on day one. He started small & worked his way up too. Therefore, I consider Brown & Mugabe to be a perfectly apt comparison. So I think everyone needs to make their MP aware of how they feel about the arrest of Damian Green. 'Evil happens when men of goodwill do nothing'.

Your statement stands for itself. Nice back pedal.

I once WAS a police officer, and can absolutely see how this situation would have developed in the modern Met. Orders from above are followed absolutely blindly, the only thought process being not 'is this right?' but 'what is the correct procedure for doing this?' The modern police is not a place where discretion can really be practised - as it should be.

RE Brown / Mugabe - I believe that, morally, Brown does represent evil, because to destroy a country's economy, to wreck our laws, to take away our civil liberties, to arrest opposition politicians for defending the public interest are all evil things. He may not be ordering killings, but to ignore the wicked ideology of Brown's actions is to trivialise the justice of our cause.

Sorry John but we'll just have to differ on this one. I hate what Labour has done to this country but Brown is nothing like Mugabe. Posted by: Tim Montgomerie | November 28, 2008 at 09:30

I back Biodun above. Tim, corruption starts small and overwhelms.

I've seen it in the US. It happens in many countries on the continent. You don't have to go to Zimbabawe or, as last night, draw parallels with Nazi Germany.

We don't know how fortunate we are in this country and tend to believe that other countries are versions of our own.

Those who have pointed out that it was Blair's swan song are probably right.

Civilisation is skin deep. We have to be constantly vigilant.

At present the outlook is poor.


Tim, you will hopefully acknowledge that I'm not a scaremonger or a lunatic, but this scares the life out of me. I can't, with 100% confidence, dismiss the 'Zimbabwe' comparision.

I'm seriously wondering whether Mr Josef Gordon Brown is going to be looking for an excuse to cancel the next election on the grounds of 'national security.' The Trots were right; their entry-ism vindicated. We're all doomed.

Mugabe at the peace talks at lancaster House prior to independance circa 1979 was asked by an 18 year old female redcap for his pass, his reaction was to knock her to the ground saying 'my face is my pass'. He was a tyrant then but did the foreign office do anything, not on your life. She genuinely did not recognise him.

We already live in a police state. In York, just a few months ago, four police officers arrested a 19 year old cleaner, mother of a young baby, from her house, after midnight,for non-payment of a £45 fine for riding her bicycle on the pavement. They held her overnight.

When I expressed disbelief at this procedure to local councillors, the response was "Ee they were a dodgy family..."

Now that this has happened to a high profile public figure, everyone is paying attention. Though until we can get rid of this appalling excuse for a Government there will be little we can do. I support the idea of a coup. Before the police are issued with Tasers.

I don't know if anyone has already mentioned this, but in the 1930's Winston Churchill was able to warn the country and the House of Commons about the scale of German rearmament thanks to leaks from the Foreign Office. This helped to save the country in 1940. Thank goodness the present useless government wasn't around to arrest him then.

He was arrested not under counter-terrorism legislation, but under common law for "aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in public office."

I think the police (note I say police) were heavy-handed. They often are, and you should either support them or not in this case. As Tories, perhaps you should. You usually do. But maybe, because it's one of your own, you might want to make a special exception. That would be a great precedent, wouldn't it?

The government said there was no ministerial involement, although I don't expect you to believe that, but the Met police said the same thing. They have no reason to lie about this. These are the same police who questioned Labour ministers under caution in 2007. Was that a government conspiracy, too?

If Labour had been directly involved in this, do you really think they would have arranged for such bad PR? Think it through, really.

It's a disgrace to compare our democracy to communist Russia, Zimbabwe or Nazi Germany, just because your party isn't running it. It devalues the currency of language to make such comparisons.

George Osborne says that "hiding information from the public is wrong." I look forward to the Tories overturning common law and allowing civil servants to leak without any comeback at all.

A shoplifter and a murderer have wrongdoing in common and it's possible a shoplifter might one day become a murderer but those who use slippery slope arguments to make Brown/Mugabe parallels are indulging in great sloppiness. Mugabe has murdered and maimed his opponents. He is in a different league. Hyperbole does not serve our case.

Cameron mentioned Churchill at this morning's event, johnC.

This is yet another disgusting episode in the dreary and dreadful life of this Government, wracked with socialist dogma and poverty of spirit. Brown and Co. are beyond words. As for the comparisons with rogue, murderous states, I suggest that Tony Blair raved that Dr. Kelly should be dealt with and he was, perhaps somewhat more harshly than Blair intended.
This affair has much to say about our Country and it is not what our soldiers fight for and have died for.

The police would have deployed anti-terror police on the instruction or approval of the government (in the form of the Home Secretary) because of a perceived threat to the state security.

Unfortunately, under socialist governments, party and state are one and the same. That's why we've arrived at this sorry state of affairs.

He was arrested not under counter-terrorism legislation, but under common law for "aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in public office."

Fine resident leftie, but perhaps you could now explain why anti terror police were used for a non terror related "crime"?
I cannot believe anyone from any party is trying to justify this.

Oringinaly Mugabe was not like Mugabe is now.

Originally Mugabe was probably more like Brown is now.

I shocked myself, because my first thought was 'what is this a smoke screen for?', before realising this is the real deal - Don't mistake a cloud of poison gas for a smoke screen.

It is perfectly clear now that Labour has passed legislation that is dangerous and in need of immediate repeal. This is the 2nd time the anti-terrorism act has been used in very questionable circumstances. Firstly we had Iceland humiliated, and now we have a senior Conservative arrested and questioned for a “political crime”. This is an extremely disturbing example of the way Labour is slowly dissolving our democracy.
Having shown their true colours over the smoking ban, it appears that nobodies rights are safe. Brown may not be on the same level as Mugabe, but its quite evident that he is willing to do almost anything that he can justify as legal. Lets be perfectly clear about this Labour are eroding all of our human rights and they will not stop unless they are forced out of power. How long before the inevitable arrest of a political blogger?
You may well ask what is next ? Labour are slowly banning the life and soul out of our nation. Of course many of the rights we used to enjoy like being able to buy 100 asprin tablets in a tub are gone forever. It would be a mammoth job to repeal all of Labours annoying and mostly childish measures. We have Harmen doing her very best to make sex between consenting adults Illegal and without a doubt, she is willing to imprison men for daring to buy sexual services. The Britian we grew up in and loved , for its sensible liberalism is gone and will be very difficult to recover. The longer these control freaks are allowed to remain in power the more difficult it will be to get rid of them. Its one shadow minister today how long before it’s the Leader of her majesty opposition that is in the frame for some political crime? As a party we must stomp down hard on this abuse of the law.

I really don't think it matters if Brown or Smith knew about the arrest beforehand. They have created a political police force who know what to do without being told. In many ways that is far more dangerous.

I don't suppose Mugabe directly orders the Reign of Terror in Zimbabwe, either. He created the machinery of oppression so he doesn't need to sully his hands.

pp makes the mistake I warned against.

His logic is equivalent to "A murderer was a shoplifter once so a n other shoplifter can be compared to a murderer."

These comparisons demean real horror.

There may not have been violent intimidation (let's hang a big YET on that though) - but this regime are still truly evil.

Over the last eleven years they have committed murder. They have murdered the civil liberties and freedoms this country has traditionally enjoyed.

ID Cards. A Database State. 1 CCTV Camera per 15 Citizens. Communications Monitoring. Terror laws to catch those who overfill their bins.

And now - nine Anti-Terror Political Police 'officers' to arrest an Opposition Minister for making public information which deserved to be in the public domain. For doing something that this regime do daily and with great effect (leaks to Peston affecting the stock market, and the recent leaks of the PBR for example).

The Brown Regime is shabby, dishonest and frankly abhorrent, and I believe they will use any method - up to and including the imposition of the Civil Contingencies Act - to hold onto the power and control that is all they covet.

I honestly believe that with this first political arrest, we can safely say that British Freedom (1215-2008) has now died.

RIP.

Dungeekin

If anyone is labouring under the delusion that Britain is a democracy, this should kill the idea. Brown is acting as Hitler did when he still had PR. I hate the Tory Party because they are run by socialists but this action by these agents of the State will mean I vote Tory because the alternative is a repeat of Bosnia in the UK.
DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS NOW

Nicholas Rogers is right, but it is only a short step up to the next rung of the ladder. Will this government get there or will someone stop them in time. If you cast your minds back to Germany in 1933, it was anti terror legislation, the enabling act, that allowed Hitler to wrest control from more moderate politicians!!!

Things must be really bad, to produce a comment like that of Sally Roberts @ 08.08, as Sally is someone who always sees the best in everyone, and likes to give them the benefit of the doubt! That is not sarcasm, by the way!

What has this country come to when liars in Government will deceive, bully and behave like scum and introduce laws to keep power and use the mushroom syndrome in the treatment of the people?
In 1994, a British former EU technocrat, Bernard Connelly, once head of the European Commission unit responsible for the European Monetary System, exposed both the political and financial fraud that is so deeply entrenched at the very heart and core of the European Union. In his book titled The Rotten Heart of Europe, Marta Andreason, the Commission's Chief Financial officer, demoted after whistle-blowing to the parliament, Paul Van Buitenen Bureaucrat who blew the whistle on EC sleaze defied attacks on him all should be a reminder that these people are now forgotten. Great idea Mike 8-29am to create a new cabinet post, "Minister for Civil Liberties" and give it to David Davis never has their been such a need for such a post to expose eleven years of killing democracy.
The Conservative party should have enough ammunition to get Linsay Jenkins to write a new book entitled “The rotten heart of Britain”.
As for the remark Brown is nothing like Mugabe it is correct Mugabe is blatant with his actions.
To think a friend of mine defended Labour when somebody suggested they were not fit to live with pigs and he defended Labour and said they were fit to live with pigs.

all lower case makes the mistake of thinking that he is right and that I am wrong.

Anyway -- a suplimental to the main story "National Police Force? Just Say NO!"

Local police officers are part of the community - they are relatively well placed to consider the implications of their actions on the community.

National police officers (e.g. 'anti-terrorst officers') have no such measure - they just follow orders.

Police officers need to be accountable to the people they police, not the government.

Who actually made the complaint to the police for them to investigate?
I think we should be told.

His logic is equivalent to "A murderer was a shoplifter once so a n other shoplifter can be compared to a murderer."

But if a murderer does in most cases start out as a shoplifter then there's a warning there about the path they might take and to block the path before it's too late.

...and even so, shoplifting isn't good - are you saying that it should be ignored because murdering is worse?

In British terms this is really bad but you will always find worse countries so you cannot use them as an excuse.
Didn't Blair say that at one point in the anti-terror laws when people were saying they restricted liberties something like "Would you rather live in saudi arabia?" - as if he could do what he wants as long as there's some place worse.

OF COURSE Britain is becoming increasingly like Zimbabwe.

The very very very best that can be said of this shambles is that our police are utterly incompetent.

NINE anti terror officers?

Just ask Harry Redknapp about the competence of our police.

Under military law there is a clause that forbids persons subject to military discipline from carrying out an illegal order. This includes breaking the law. The only immunity from this is if the action is "condoned" by the highest authority. I would be surprised if such a clause did not exist under police regulations. The officers who took part in this action clearly carried out an illegal act and it is the duty of the Speaker to order their arrest to answer, before the bar of the House, charges relating to holding Parliament in contempt.

If this happened the truth would soon unravel.

Posted by: meli | November 28, 2008 at 10:40
Fine resident leftie, but perhaps you could now explain why anti terror police were used for a non terror related "crime"?
I cannot believe anyone from any party is trying to justify this.

The police decided, and I think it was wrong to use anti-terror police. I think police powers should be curtailed, I don't like the anti-terror legislation this government has introduced, nor how it has been used. I am in principle in favour of leaked information in the national interest. This government introduced the Public Interest Disclosure act in 1998 to protect whistleblowing in the public interest, the Human Rights act and the Freedom of Information act. These are not the acts of an anti-democratic party.

I believe the police when they say that Downing Street was informed after the event. I find it interesting the Cameron and Johnson were informed before the arrest, and that they tried to influence the behaviour of the police.

The immigration minister said he was "taken aback" by the news. He didn't know about it. I think we should wait and see what the government's reaction is.

And I wish everyone would think this through. This patently isn't the outcome of a government plot - it's just typically heavy-handed police work. If they'd gone piling into an immigrant's house and spirited away for 9 hours then released, you'd be cheering them on.

P Watson, Dungeekin, pp, Bishop Swine and the rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves for these comparisons with totalitarian states. Not only are they quite repellent, they are also logically and intellectually flawed.

The most major politicisation of the police in the post-war era was in the miners strike, which cost the country billions of pounds and destroyed an industry in order to further an ideological agenda. And even I wouldn't make a comparison between those circumstances and any of the regimes you mention.

As it was leaks from the Home Office then it follows that the complaint or at least the 'laying of the information' came from that department. So ergo, the Home Secretary! It goes without saying that number 10 would have authorised it, wouldn't they Mr. Brown!!!

Leftie

Can you tell me precisely when mugabe crossed the line?

Also, what was the last point at which he could have been prevented from crossing that line?

If not, then I don't think you are qualified to advise others on how to avoid things taking a similar turn elsewhere.

The Welsh idiot should have used the floor of the House of Commons to expose any wrong doing by the Government, leave the pages of the press to the editors and journos, they know what they are doing (in more ways than one).
Just adds to my asseretion that the Tories have no idea how to "oppose".

Sorry Lindsay in my rush to post I missed out the d in your name. Is there anybody out there that would fund a certain best seller The Rotten Heart of Britain?

Posted by: pp | November 28, 2008 at 11:38

Leftie

Can you tell me precisely when mugabe crossed the line?

Also, what was the last point at which he could have been prevented from crossing that line?

If not, then I don't think you are qualified to advise others on how to avoid things taking a similar turn elsewhere.

I warned you about logical fallacies; now I will take the trouble to explain the one in which you are indulging - the semantic version of the slippery slope argument, best expressed as follows:

"A differs from Z by a continuum of insignificant changes, and there is no non-arbitrary place at which a sharp line between the two can be drawn.
Therefore, there is really no difference between A and Z."

To give you an example, it does not follow from the fact that there is no sharp, non-arbitrary line between "bald" and "hairy" that there really is no difference between the two.

But, to keep you happy, let's say when Labour supporters form their own army, start killing, raping and starving people who support the Opposition, you can liken this government to the Zimbabwe regime.

I do you hope you are getting an idea now of quite how displicable and intellectually vaccuous your statements are.

"We absolutely need a Minister for Civil Liberties. "

We absolutely do not. We need a government for civil liberties and a Prime Minister for civil liberties. Otherwise you end up with a Frank Field who is quickly got out of the way when he becomes inconvenient.

Of course, Labour knows how to oopose....Poll Tax non payment, Poll Tax riots, Grunwick, The Miners Strike, I could go on but I will not, suffice to say that opposition does not include breaking the law as shown by Labour when they were in opposition.

Quote..Just adds to my asseretion that the Tories have no idea how to "oppose".
Posted by: Patrick Harris | November 28, 2008 at 11:39..unquote


If Brown wasn't involved, he should have been! A fellow MP was about to be arrested for doing his job (and doing it in a similar vein to Brown in opposition, as Tim rightly says).
I want to add my name to the list of people saying, 'It was the Labour government who were endangering national security by employing illegal immigrants as security guards. Damian's actions strengthened national security.'
Winston Churchill was extremely worried by the emergence of Socialist Police Governments in Eastern Europe. Well Winnie, you're not going to believe this but....

I think the comparison is not Zimbabwe, that is far too extreme. A better one is Malaysia where a tired government is trumping up charges against the leader of the opposition to prevent him bring the government down.

You're all missing the point.

The Met decided to arrest Damian Green yesterday. They didn't claim he looked a bit like a terrorist, or that he tried to run away, or that he vaulted anything in doing so. They didn't even shoot him.

Sir Ian Blair's not even out the door yet and already they're getting better. Well done, Boris!

ConHome: where people who call British Policemen Nazis meet one another.

So it all amounts to this: the police, without ministerial sanction, arrested a man under laws that apply to you, me and him equally. Very probably, as Joshua Rozenberg has argued, they did so in order to get evidence to convict someone else. A procedure which, whatever you think of it, the police do, without Tory complaint, several thousand times every day, and have done for, oh, nearly two centuries now.

Should MPs be above the laws they pass? Should journalists for that matter? Once upon a time for Tories this would have been a simple enough question, but instead the 'right wing blogosphere': unblushingly compares our own government and police to Hitler; lies only to itself that ministers knew; and expresses outrage that ministers self-evidently did not politically interfere with the conduct of police business. For if they had interfered, as per the hysterical demands here, it would have been precisely in order to stop the police, and to thereby place Green above the laws you and I would remain subject to.

If threads like this are where unblinking devotion to Dave takes one, I'm gladder than ever to be a Thatcherite with a memory.

I am probably being paraoid; but until the reinstatement of the self-styled prince of darkness, we couldn't put a foot wrong. Since his return, we have seem to have been hit by a series of unhelpful events.
I really hope it's a coincidence.

ConHome: where people who call British Policemen Nazis meet one another.

ACT: a troll who paints everyone with the same brush.

arrested a man under laws that apply to you, me and him equally

Actually, they don't - othewise Gordon Brown, Robin Cook and the rest would have been arrested too when they did the same thing.

If threads like this are where unblinking devotion to Dave takes one, I'm gladder than ever to be a Thatcherite with a memory.

This has nothing to do with Cameron, people were saying this before he had even made a statement. Just because your dislike for the man is so strong you automatically assume anyone you disagree with is his fan doesn't make it true.

This is clearly government coordinated harassment of the Opposition using the legitimate forces of the state for factional party aims.

It reminds one of the period 1603-1642 in English history when the power holder(from the same country as Mr Brown),ie the Stuart monarchy, proceeded along just the same path. Things perhaps took rather longer then but the descent into civil war characterised as it was by the angry dismissal of parliament by the king in 1629 and the arrest of the leading opponents to royal rule, the determination of the king to rule alone which he did for 11 subsequent years, denial of parliament's right to vote taxes, forced loans to the state, use of the Court of the Star Chamber to suppress opposition, and then the final bitter, humilating recall of parliament
(it was an ENGLISH parliament, not British)
and then the polarising of forces for war, has all happened before.

I wonder if Brown has the nerve to carry on down this path. I have no doubt he will want and will justify to himself very step of the way. But I wonder whether he has the nerve?

He is quite capable of introducing a bill for longer parliaments to benefit the Labour party. He could quote historical precedent. Face it,it would be passed by a grateful Labour party.
A Septennial Act was introduced by the British parliament in 1715, being a typical British action to remove the previous Triennial Act of the English parliament of 1694. Shorter parliamentary times, one year is often demanded, have been a longstanding English demand for centuries.

The Septennial act was amended only in 1911 and amended again during the two world wars. There is nothing set in stone about 5 years!
And with our absurd, easily evaded and easily altered,unwritten constitution horribly mangled by unequal devolution where there is no voice at all for England and the English, there is little to stop Brown doing much as he wants.

Tim said:
"I hate what Labour has done to this country but Brown is nothing like Mugabe."

I disagree. In mathematical terms, they may not be congruent, but they are similar. It is not a matter of how far they have gone, but of their mindset. Any politician who puts their own view of the world ahead of the freedom and wellbeing of the country and every citizen of the country is a pomtial menace.

One further point on the arrest of Damien Green MP.

Thanks to Labour's Orwellian legislation, Mr Green will have had his mouth swobbed for DNA, and his fingerprints taken.

The state now holds these details, indefinitely. Welcome to Labour's vision of Britain.

I assume that the police will now look retrospectively at the large number of leaks that prominent members of the Labour party were involved in during the eighties. Particularly one very prominent Labour politician.
Why doesn't David Cameron ask for such action. If he did he may find that this action is dropped very quickly.

This is the question the Party needs to ask - who was the complainant? It was SNP Angus someone or other in the cash for peerages affair.

Who did it here? The Home Secretary? The crucial thing is, for all the comments about this being the second Blair's last hurrah, the police could not have acted on this UNLESS THERE WAS A COMPLAINT. WHich must, in the instant case, have come from whichever department deals with immigration this week.

BoJO is the head of the Metropolitan Police Authority. Presumably he can ask Stephenson which Cabinet members were aware of what was going on?

Just thought I would ask.

Whatever now happens, I really do hope that the Party doesn't let this issue drop. We do need to establish who in Government knew about this in advance and who made the complaint.

If Government ministers were involved they need to be forced to explain themselves to the House of Commons.

If this is allowed to stand, it will happen again and again.

It's about time this party made a codified British Constitution a fundamental plank of future policy.

There isn't a case to make against having one as far as I can see, and it is high time the fundamental principles of civil liberties were enshrined within one document which should also be hung in every police station and government building ( especially Jacqui Smith's office ), up and down the country to prevent these offenses against the people and their representatives occurring.

I'd just like to say that Gordon Brown acts not unlike Oliver Cromwell and we all know how that ended in a big sorry mess for the British Public and their Parliament.

ACT, you made a complete and utter fool of yourself again on this blog last night are you going to do the same thing once more?
No one, but no one has suggested that MPs should be above the law.

Biodun a lot earlier:

"Totalitarian police states always start slowly and gradually and many do not see what is happening until it is too late".

We would do well to heed these wise words.

The Home Office is not fit for purpose. There should be an immediate police investigation into why the facts that were leaked had not been disclosed by the Home Office Civil Servants under Labour's Freedom of Information Act. The Civil Servants surpressing the facts should be sacked and prosecuted and their jobs taken by the honest civil servants who ensure the public are told the truth warts and all.

Having been an MP for 14 years I received leaks from Civil Servants on a regular basis which allowed me to put Parliamentary Questions down to illicit the truth. This was not done in a partisan or distructive way but is in fact how the system has worked for hundreds of years. If the Government does not intervene immediately on behalf of Damian Green then Mr Speaker should recall parliament and impeach the police and civil servants involved.

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