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Be careful, Dominic - They will come for you next!!

Good luck Dominic, but be prepared for a wall of silent obstruction.

As Sally said, sleep with one eye open now, you're on the list!

Dr David Kelly spoke out of turn....and he was dealt with.

Which of us can feel safe when a Front Bench Spokesman is arrested and has his tools of his trade confiscated ?

I note Tom Tom's point on Victor Grayson

Two points stand out from this incisive list: 34 i and 34 j

Damian Green, unlike most people arrested but not charged, is now severely constrained from doing his job. Since that job is as an elected representative the ramifications are extraordinary.

Arrest Joe the Plumber - he can carry on plumbing.

Arrest Damian Green MP, take his computers, threaten (implicitly) his relationship with his constituents, suspend his parliamentary email - what is his position?

What does that say about the state of democracy in this country?

Good questions, all of them.
Requied answers 100%, expected answers none - well, I expect their answer may be as Sally predicts, so if/when you have to stand up to them, we're behind you!

Excellent questions... I hope that the media helps the Conservatives apply pressure on this government to supply the answers. Someone's head should roll for this... it's an absolute disgrace.

Sally, I know you're joking. But I think that it's safe to say if it ever got to the stage in this country where such a thing would happen, we'd all go down to the Police station where he was being held and not leave until he was released.

And possibly not let the Police inside leave either.

As excellent and incisive as this is, the sad reality is that such judicious questioning leads to nothing, and Mr Grieve's very valuable time is wasted. The letter will land on someone's desk, be politely acknowledged, and then passed from pillar to post for months on end until Mr Grieve tires of asking the same questions, or becomes frustrated that he is unable to elicit any clear responses.

Such was the treatment of all the questions asked prior to the tragedy of Baby P, who has become a metaphor for the death of accountability.

Is this a smokescreen to obtain Conservative information and membership lists. Heaven only knows what sensitive party/association data was removed from the various offices. Enough to rig a few postal votes for sure. Shameful, disgusting and immoral. Sums up the NASTY Labour party to a tee!

Time for a By-Election in Ashford and Redditch to thrash out the issues....maybe David Davis can advise ?

Far too many questions if you ask me. Focus on the key ones.

32 and parts of 34 seem the best to me (unless people are lying and Ministers were in fact informed)

I wonder if there might be scope for DC to use his opening question at PMQs for the foreseeable future to ask "when will Dominic Grieve's 34 questions about the arrest of Damian Green be answered in full"? Even if the PM can only answer "we're still working on it", dearly wishing he could say "never", that would ensure the issue was kept alive until the answers were provided.

If an opposition spokesman receives a leaked document, and then discloses it to the press, and the document is never used for Parliamentary purposes, I doubt that Parliamentary privilege is engaged.

Will Mr Grieve release the answers he receives too? Hope so!

I'm still appalled.

I wonder if there might be scope for DC to use his opening question at PMQs

... of course there are no PMQs next week, which is handy for them so I expect they will hope this will have blown over in 2 weeks just like the by-election brown lost was forgotten by the end of the summer.
I hope it won't get forgotten without explainations and reprecussions etc, but wouldn't be at all suprised if it did.

Gordon Brown is not Robert Mugabe and the Labour Party is not Zanu PF but this sort of thing cannot be allowed to happen without dire consequences for those responsible.

If the government was in any way responsible for this arrest then I believe it has acted unconstitutionally. Should we petition the Queen to dissolve Parliament and force a General Election?

By "we" I mean the British people - I am neither a Conservative party member nor a supporter.

If the Police did this by themselves then the senior officers responsible should be instantly dismissed with loss of redundancy payments and pensions. This should be applied retrospectively in the case of any officer who has recently retired.


If you think this is bad you ain't seen nothing yet. Just wait till EUROPOL and the European Gendarmerie (both immune from any national law), armed with a sheath of EU arrest warrants, get going!

Raj, you're right of course!

But yes...we would!!!!

Brown has lost his moral authority to be Prime Minister.

Somehow one wonders whether this is a distraction to drown Angela Merkel's stinging criticism of Brown's attempt to spend his way out with yet more cheap money., because it was chep money which got us into this mess.

The man is a coward and his throwaway remarks in the case of Osborne's meeting with Deripaska and again with Damien Green's arrest clearly shows that he is very evasive and is capable of sinking to any depth to hang on to power.

One thing we can be certain. Brown knows that he is finished and will want to hang on to power till the last possible moment.

Parliament needs to be recalled immediately, and a motion of no confidence both in the Government and in the Speaker tabled ASAP. If this does not happen, the public does indeed need to petition the Queen for a dissolution.

I have no doubt all these questions are good ones. But sadly they are worse than pointless because by turning this into a bureacratic issue the main issue will be allowed to disappear. It must be assumed that Brown is behind it and that ministers are aware of it; if Cameron, Boris and the Speaker knew in advance (to name but three) ministers, who could have stopped it, knew.

By all means wave the questions about for effect but state the position of the party right now. Brown knew, ministers authorised it. Given the constituency computer was taken as well this is a clear case of useing the police against the Conservative party. That the raid on Parliament was made while MPs were away, while Bombay provided a good day to bury bad news and Brown's mini budget was falling apart. The idea that the Labour government did not instigate this for political purposes is rediculous. Whatever anyone says.

No doubt earnest Conservatives will say I can't prove anything but please realise you are living with a government with a different idea of the rule of law than you. The only way you are even going to get them to acknowledge it is by robustly and clearly and very publically putting the above assumptions repeatedly to embarrass them. Eventually they may come up with something reasonable but Grieves way will bring nothing but my way will bring votes and therefore possibly something.

Really, three whole posts before, 'Blair murdered Kelly'?

"Damian Green has a "prima facie" case for a "Question of Privilege" Motion to be laid before Parliament as soon as it re-convenes on Wednesday

Matters of Privilege state that an MP should be free from "Obstruction,Intimidation and Interference" - the relevant clause in this particular instance being
" Speakers have recognized as obstruction, interference and intimidation such varied activities as the harming of a Member’s good name or reputation,......... and whether the alleged breach of privilege relates directly to the Member’s ability to carry out his or her parliamentary functions"

I do hope this is right and that action is taken immediately.

I'm with David Sergeant and all those who advocate that we get mad, really mad about Labour's outrageous behaviour in the Damian Green case. They're right now trying to blame this on civil servants and the police (you only have to read the BBC to see how the Labour spin machine plans to try to get out of this one). After 11 years of this sort of thing (we can all think of at least a dozen examples), this is the last straw and they can't be allowed to get away with it! Let's hear some passion from the Tory front bench this weekend and next week! Please!

A simple tactic for our side to consider.

Ask these questions in parliament.......

To the Prime Minister. To every Minister.
In every debate. On points of order.
On interventions. In both houses

Ask nothing else and keep asking until the business of the house is stopped dead.

Sooner or later someone will crack and the media coverage would be tremendous

No more accusations of lazy Tory opposition then.

Some MP's will be suspended but keep going, cos Labour are on the back foot and they know it

ACT you really are vile!

None of the questions will be answered. They will just deny everything and spin their way out of this. Why don't the opposition parties just send a note to HRH explaining that they will be unable to accompany the Government benches into the Lords on Wednesday as they have no confidence that the Speaker or the Sergeant at Arms protect their interests and the ceremony is now meaningless. It would leave Brown looking ridiculous and might just make them understand how angry people are.

If Brown and his ministers did authorise the arrest of Damien Green is there not a good case for impeachment? Time for the House of Commons to show its mettle and bring Mr. Brown to the bar of the House to account for this, and many other dubious actions.

Dominic's name has gone on their little list.

First class questions.
Disapointed at some of the defeatist reactions. Just dig in and keep asking. One question left out is the raid on the Constituency Offices - this is grass roots stuff and could be any of us.

Maybe it was a mistake for the Tories to allow to pass into law an Act which is said to relate to counter-terrorism but which can be used to silence the Government's critics. Heaven knows, the Tories are weak enough when it comes to attacking or criticising the government so the recent attacks on the Home Office must have been a big shock to them.

Unless there is some unreported irregularity about the activities of the Conservative Front Bench on this or similar issues, they should be demanding the recall of Parliament over this. They did not do that over the financial collapse but democracy is even more important.

The longer the Tories acquiesce and bluster the more the power of the opposition declines.

If Brown and his ministers did authorise the arrest of Damien Green is there not a good case for impeachment?

No. I am afraid not, as any Government can arrest members of the opposition or of their own party they believe may have broken the Law. However in this case, it was only a heavy-handed shot across the bows. Don’t expect an apology they will not acknowledge any involvement. I suspect that the real reason is revenge, and that Boris is meant to tremble in his boots. Parliamentary privilege is no defense, for the very good reason that we do not want traitors to hide inside the house. As it is I suspect that no charges will be forthcoming and I am reminded that we all have to accept that the Police is free to arrest anyone they have reasonable grounds to question.

Where to from here? The questions are excellent: one can the legal mind working. Don't quite see Mandy answering any of them myself. However it is the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday with the Speech from the Throne. Both Party Leaders stand together at the head of their serried ranks.It has been suggested we boycott the ceremony. Instead, may I suggest that the Tory MPs for the day be lead by Damian Green. GB will be v uncomfortable as he will have to stand next to him during the whole of Her Majesty's speech in full view of the nation.

It should also be known to the Government Whips that the usual channels are now closed and that all pairing arrangements have been suspended until DG receives a full apology and his and the Party's legal costs be fully re-imbursed.

Good start Dominic but don't let this go quiet. If you need someone to do some leaking get in touch, I'm not to bothered about the police knocking on my door.

If you can, try and work with the other parties as Clegg, Huhne, Corbyn, Benn and others have all expressed outrage. This has to go all the way. Get dirty if you have to.

Am apalled at the treatment of Damian Green and now require David Davis Conservative MP to marshall all peoples of Democracy to march on Parliament and demard Brown's resignation. He is the Prime Minister and this has happened on his watch so he takes the rap.This should happen as soon as possible.
Also why suddenly did the Home Secretary ask the Police to buy 10,000 tazar guns. My instinct tells me that they are in trouble and are explecting riots as well over their outragious abuse, over the last 11 years, of the tax payers money.They've left the cupboard bare and their are alot of very angry people out there who have already lost their jobs with many more to follow.

Perhaps we should ask these questions of Lord Mandelson. He is pulling Brown's strings, and is known for his willingness to answer questions frankly and honestly ...

Nick Robinson has changed his view as a result of comments on his blog.

Cassius has a particularly strong view on what Damian Green, and the public, should do next:


"There is no greater priority, for our Government, for our Politicians, for our Police force, for our Journalists, for our bloggers and for our citizens than that the sanctity of our democracy - as expressed in the honour and customs of Parliament - be preserved for our children and grandchildren. If it were not so, then what is it exactly that we are each, Labour or conservative, fighting for?"

I wish you would stop criticising Labour. The Prime Minister has said today he's an avid supporter of X Factor, and Lord Mandelson yearns to be on Strictly Come Dancing. So lets all vote Labour - they're just like us (oh, except they're supposed to be running the country ... silly me, I just thought if they say things like this, perhaps the other things - the state of the economy, civil liberties, crime, public sector waste - will be OK as well)

Yes, I sense the hand of the Prince of Darkness.

Funny, I smelt a rat named Mandelson when I first heard of this as well. Great minds and all that.

These are excellent questions to which we will never see an answer unless the whole COnservative/Lib Dem and remnants of intelligent thought on the Labour benches go nuclear.

This is the most outrageous political story I can ever remember as it goes directly to the heart of what the legislature is for. Obviously the Speaker needs to be held to account as does the Serjeant at Arms - an office for which she is clearly unsuited.

It's bad enough we put so many useless people into the COmmons but to then let the Executive ride over them like this shows what a deep crisis there is in the governance of this country is in.

These lists of questions certainly show industry, but I feel they are an ineffectual substitute to laying out an argument.

I am still a Labour supporter, but this stinks.

The sooner we have a revolution 1688 style the better.

The sooner we have a revolution 1688 style the better.

One important question should be asked (and the answer is a simple one: yes or no)

Bearing in mind that Damian Green's home and the Ashford Conservative Association Offices were raided by officers from the Counter-Terrorist Unit, were these officers armed?

One thing that hasn't been mentioned in the comments in this thread or the earlier one today is that this arrest is more likely aimed at stopping civil servants leaking rather than attacking a member of the opposition.

If Dominic Grieve were to make quite clear that all his questions would be asked again when the Conservatives formed the next government then the unthinking clients of the new Labour state may start engaging their brains.

News 24 reporting that the Police want to question Green again in February. Is this to give them time to go through all his encrypted files? Does this mean that any constituency work confiscated will remain undone for 3 months?

I find it hard to believe the Police would look into this unless they were asked to. It could be the Civil Service part of the Home Office - I can only speculate if that in turn came from elsewhere.

Many politicians receive leaks, and it's up to the Civil Service to keep their systems secure. This action is pretty if not entirely unprecedented.

It is a disgrace.

Good luck to Dominic Grieve for trying to get to the bottom of it - he is doing the right thing, and it's re-assuring to know it is in good hands.

I like the idea of Damian Green leading our MPs into the Commons for the Queen's speech.

That ceremony is supposed to remind us of the supremacy of Parliament, the constitution and the rejection of tyranny. Having Damian Green lead our MPs through would be hugely symbolic in the context of the ceremony and what has happened. Brown would look very uncomfortable and the stunt would dominate the news coverage of the event, ensuring maxiumum exposure of Brown's destruction of our democracy.

Do it, Dave. Do it.

I agree that this is the most sinister use of the Police against our democracy for a very long time. Either Ministers knew and ordered it for political purposes e.g. revenge for the Peerages investigation or the Police acted on their own, thinking they were pleasing their betters, which if anything is worse.

DC must go nuclear on this. There should be a motion demanding the dismissal of the Speaker and/or the Sergeant at Arms for not standing up for parliament; there must be a boycott of the State Opening and all pairing and usual channels must be closed until the election.
We won't win anything now but it must be made clear that the High Court of Parliament will sit on this, once we are back in power in eighteen months and not leave it to the Civil courts. Boris should order an MPA investigation too. Several over-mighty officials need to be made very scared, quite soon.

I cannot remember a more overt abuse of the democratic process. Brown used leaks all the time in the mid eighties.

Do it, Dave. Do it.

Agreed. I'm sure they timed it exactly so that the MPs weren't in and that there's no PMQs next week, but the timing also enables something big to be done at the state opening.

I expect labour may have thought that the opportunity would be there for something to be done, but just expect that DC isn't that brave - unless it's a trap to make the conservatives do something in front of the Queen which labour expect will play badly... but it won't - the public supported David Davis and they are and will be behind the Conservatives in this all the way.

I think the public would now both desire and expect a "stunt"; although calling it that makes it sound like it's done for no purpose when it's really the opposite.

DG/the Tory Party should take legal action immediately against the police for return of his computers etc / challenging the basis of his arrest. The police need to be tied up in knots over the legal basis for this and this will also get the courts ordering the necessary disclosures of all relevant documents. They should also take whatever action is necessary in Parliament to protest at this outrage which makes it impossible for him to do his work as an MP.

Agree that the Tories should work with MPs from other parties on this, especially the Lib Dems and those few Labour MPs who still understand what freedom and democracy means.

The question which DC should ask at PMQs is when Brown first knew of the HO investigation - not the arrest - but the investigation because once he's forced to admit that he knew about the investigation people will not believe his denials that he did not know about what was going on.

Poster campaigns: what are Labour trying to hide from you on immigration? People know that Labour have lied to us about immigration. Now we need to get it into their heads that there is even more that they are covering up.

Finally, the Tories should say that once they are in power there will be a full inquiry into all aspects of this affair - just as Cook did over "Arms to Iraq" so that Labour and all its stooges know this will not get buried.

But DC needs to get angry about this. His response so far has been pathetic and is not a good sign.

The idea of having Damian Green walk into Parliament next to Gordon sounds appealing but is a gesture and will be seen as disrespectful to the Queen. Far better to put pressure on the police through the courts and on Labour by saying publicly that the Tories will have an inquiry into this.

Each MP should submit one or more of these questions to Jacqui Smith as a written PQ.
Assuming every tory (excluding Mr Green and Mr Grieve) did so the questions could not be sidelined. Each one would be submitted 4 times (with 16 MPs in hand). Mr Green and Mr Grieve should submit all 44 (treating each part of Q34 as separate). Every Home Office questions in the house should carry at least one of these questions until definitive, and non-obstructionist answers are provided to all and published.

I am simply staggered by what is unfolding.

The important questions would apear to be 18-20. It is quite likely that ministers instrcuted the police not to inform them about any arrests until they had been made, but that ministers were aware of an investigation.

This is quite consistent with the Prime Minsiter's statement that no ministers were aware of the arrests until after they head occurred, but it would be reaonable to expect that several Ministers were already aware of the investigation long before the Speaket, the Mayor and the Leader of the Opposition were told about the arrests.

As ever, read the spin doctors words carefully and figure out what it is they are avoiding to say.

What the Hell to do? Launch a nationwide leaflet or letter campaign with adverts in local papers asking people to join the Conservative Party?

Ask the other trustees of the John Smith trust to protest?

Boycott the speaker every time he tries to start a session in the House?


The government could have played this better.

If they had invited a magistrate in another EU member state to issue a European Arrest Warrant it would have avoided all this embarassment for them. Not only would they have been able to examine Damian and his records at their leisure, because in many EU states the accused does not have to be brought promptly before a court, but he would have had to demonstrate his innocence not them his guilt.

Further more, none of the Westminster parties could have criticised the arrangements as they all support the concept of the EAW as a part of their unswerving allegiance to the EU project and the Ever Closer Union to which they are all committed.

Pity Jacqui didn't think of that before inviting her friend to authorise the raid, the nascent labour peer, Lord Blair of Dolphin Square in the village of Pimlico and of Ljubljana in the City of Moscow.

I hope that we don't let this drop. Given the insouciance of some of the new labour reaction, we can't assume that this will be an unfortunate one-off.

"What the Hell to do?"

Two ideas (I think both mooted by others but worth repeating):

1. All Conservative MPs boycott Wednesday's State Opening of Parliament - yes may be seen as discourteous to Her Majesty but I am sure she would understand, especially if:-

2. A Mass Petition is organised to Her Majesty calling her for to command the immediate dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a General Election forthwith.

"Gordon Brown and his ministers denied knowing that Mr Green was about to be arrested" From The Independent.
I don't believe a word of it.
Questions to ponder:
Did Mr Martin just shrug his shoulders and say "Yes, do what you want"? to the Police request (demand???)
If so does this mean he considers himself the top man in matters Parliamentary, and so on top of his brief he did it without any consultation? I doubt it.
What avenues are open under FOI for:
All numbers of calls to and from from all phones in the Speaker's Office for two days preceding the illegal incursion into Parliament (It may be pushing for content)
Email logs of same.

I just refuse to believe Martin would not have discussed this with anybody else.
What was the purpose of informing Johnson and Cameron, but no Govt Ministers? It either smacks of unprecedented unnecessary politeness to non-Governmental personnel, or a deliberate attempt to distort the facts.
Mr Brown, in view of his proven track-record for control-freakery, is now allowing all and sundry to take independent decisions and so confident is the new Gordon of his colleagues, "Let me know when you have the time!!!!" Get real.

Andrew Smith | November 28, 2008 at 19:10

I agree that parliament should be recalled. This is about more than the abuse of power in the treatment of one MP - it is about our representatives being intimidated and gagged. We, the people, demand answers - in the House of Commons!


However, the fact that David C has not asked for Parliament to be recalled raises doubts about this matter in my mind.

Why not?

This is seemingly a golden opportunity to hold ZaNulab to account.

Considering the abject failure to illustarte the clear relationship between GB's open advocacy of securitaization ( see BBC website Setember 2007, and passim)..this is what we have been awaiting surelY?

Kind regards

Why not?

He might have something better planned for the State Opening?

Give David Cameron a chance to act! He would be roundly criticized for any knee-jerk reaction. His anger has beeen measured and I am sure equally measured and determined will be any action he sees fit to take.

"That ceremony is supposed to remind us of the supremacy of Parliament, the constitution and the rejection of tyranny."- Cleethorpes Rock.

I may stand corrected, but is it not the supremacy of the Monarch in Parliament Assembled? Most of the anti-monarchist mob that is the NuLab ranks would see any such gesture as Damian Green leading out the opposition as being another opportunity to belittle our monarchy. Please do not do anything to harm our monarchy. At the end of the day, that might be the only true loyalty to which a Briton can subscribe.
Knowing that Brown never gives answers to PMQs, might DC simply ask him at the first opportunity to confirm that Grieve's questions will be answered to his (DC's) satisfaction within a specified period, and, failing that, that he (DC) will preface all future PMQs with what he understands to be the truth in each case.
Where is Gorbals Mick in all this? Notice also how much more nasty things have become since the return of His Lordless. Who is Jacqui going to have zapped with her tazars?
And a final horrible thought - when Brown and Co. finally have the judgment of the British Nation passed on them, roaming the countryside there will be bands of zombie-like ex-ministers seeking whom they might devour. Perhaps those of us who value freedom might be safer behind bars - as things are at the moment the 2am knock (or door being smashed down) may happen sooner or later.

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