Three cheers for Damian Green

Long may he continue to do his job as Shadow spokesman, telling the truth as he sees it.
He has my full support.

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37 Comments

  1. Dungeekin
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    *Applauds*

    Well said, sir.

    I never thought I would see the day we'd have political arrests in Britain – the (mis)use of the Police to repress the legitimate political Opposition.

    By their actions (and, according to Mr Carswell, those of Mr Speaker) they have forfeited their right to grace themselves with the term 'Government'. Henceforth they shall be The Brown Regime.

    British Freedom died yesterday, aged 797, from NewLabour Cancer. Obituary at http://tinyurl.com/6z2eeh

    Regards

    Dungeekin

  2. Blank Xavier
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Very simply, a Government will use whatever powers it has – however it obtained them and whatever they were originally for – in whatever way it can when doing so will help it obtain its ends.

    Think about that when you consider the ID card scheme.

    • Bernard Johns
      Posted November 29, 2008 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Very simply, The Brown Regime, will implement whatever Directive that it receives from Brussels.
      The question that I want an answer to is:- Will an incoming Tory
      Government carry on in the same manner?
      Will we be voting for "more of the same medicine" but with a "clean" spoon?

      ReplyNo, we intend to get powers back. Remember we voted against Nice, Amsterdam and the Constitutional Treaty

    • jean baker
      Posted November 30, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      You appear to be confusing democratic government with 'dictatorship'.
      The latter – State control – has emerged as Nulabor's (concealed) "vision" when elected. It serves 'itself and it's own' – not the nation.
      It does so by threat, menace and bullying …..

      • Blank Xavier
        Posted November 30, 2008 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        I've just started reading "Road to Serfdom".

        Hayek points out something obvious but usually missed; you may well grant power to the State by a democratic process – but the fact the power was granted in that way offers absolutely no guarantees about how that power will be used.

        We elect our Government by a democratic process, that Government grants itself wide ranging powers through the democratic process (MPs voting on new legislation granting powers to the State) and then uses those new powers as it sees fit.

        The *use* of those powers is only weakly subject to democratic controls – the press, the opposition, the possibility of failing to be re-elected every four years – and so they are only weakly democratic in their use.

  3. jean baker
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Damien has the support of countless democrats. It appears to be a predictable act of vengeance following George Osborne's sterling parliamentary performance against Darling.

    The reprisal was meted in the hallowed halls of the 'mother of all parliaments' which many perceive as an act of 'fascism'.

  4. "East Anglian T
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it is totally disgraceful what happened yesterday. The sort of thing you expect in Zimbabwe not here.

  5. Rob
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    My God. What on earth is happening to this country? Opposition MPs arrested under terror laws?

    Whats next? Tanks in the streets?

    This will surely backfire on Labour.

  6. rose
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    THEN THEY WILL COME FOR YOU.

    It may be the case that the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition made representations to HMG on the occasion of the arrest of the leader of another political party just before the last election, when the governing party was feeling threatened in its own heartlands by that party. The seat of the then Home Secretary was peculiarly vulnerable. It may just be that the BBC chose not to report the fact of Mr Cameron's objection, as it chose not to report the resulting trial – even though it had pressed for the prosecution and supplied the evidence.

    I was uneasy at that time about the apparent absence of representations, and only remember Rod Liddle taking up the case in the Spectator. It seemed to me that, unchecked, an arrest of a Conservative politician would follow. In both cases the HO must have played its part.

  7. Carroll Powell
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Never mind your full support (nice as it is).

    What are you doing to raise this in Parliament? Why aren't Tory MPs all over the airwaves making a stink about this. This was a breach of Parliament's sovereignty (read any book on the Civil War to understand why). It was an abuse of police powers of arrest – since an arrest is only needed if it is necessary to secure a person's attendance or because of a reasonable fear that they might escape (and neither apply in this case). The use of anti-terrorist police is also a gross abuse. If Opposition is defined as terrorism then democracy has come to an end.

    As for the nonsense that the Government didn't know about it, let's have some probing of this: Cameron knew, Boris knew, the Serjeant-at-Arms knew. It's not really credible that the police did this without the knowledge or explicit authorisation of the Government. Ask some questions; keep asking until we get answers. If you let Labour and the police get away with this, you're not much of an Opposition and our democracy is doomed, frankly.

    It's about time the Tory Party started fighting for our historic civil liberties and freedoms, fighting against the authoritarian bully-boy state Labour has created and promising to reverse these measures.

    Reply: Of course will. The snag is Labour have yet again closed Parliament down for a holiday! Nice timing!

    • rugfish
      Posted November 28, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      Carol Powell, you are of course completely right, but not only is parliament closed, but the media is focused on India and Mumbai.
      The BBC has in fact just interviewed "Keith Vaz of all people" and not a government minister.

      Jacqui Smith should be hauled out into the street by the neck of her coat to explain this and to put it right immediately and the speaker should call an urgent meeting in parliament with all party leaders at the least.

  8. Kay Tie
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Yes, three cheers for him. He's a hero. It must have been traumatic being bundled in a car and confined to a cell for seven hours before officers deigned to question him.

  9. Sarah
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Here, Here. Oh, and neither the Home Secretary or PM knew anything about this.

    IMO, this seems like the work of one or two people who I shall not name. I dare not name them else I could be NEXT!!

  10. alan
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood.

    Well said. I do think that the Tory Party has failed to capitalise on the public anger against this arrest.

    The labour apologist, Nick Robinson, has a very strange take on this, on his blog, which has attracted a great many responses opposed to his thinking! and here was I thinking that the BBC was not biased!

    I do hope Speaker Martin can explain how an MP's office and paperwork can be seized by police. Constituents must be extremely concerned over this development.

    Good luck to you.

  11. Johnny Norfolk
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Why has he been picked on. There are so many leaks from this government because they hide the truth from us.

    Its a very disturbing move that takes us into a Police State.

    I hope the Tory party keeps on at this.

    No protests from the BBC of course as it is not one of theirs.

  12. Stuart Fairney
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Well said indeed.

    If ever there was any doubt about the BBC and their supposed impartiality, Nick Robinson today in his blog draws a parallel between Ruth Turner (arrested during an investigation into corruption) and Mr Green (arrested for telling the truth Jackie Smith would like to supress).

    Utterly staggering

  13. novosiberski
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    The bare facts and abrogation of historical precedent of MPs using such leaked information should be alarming to you.

    But when New Labour has such compelling form-the Railtrack memos about the timing of releasing bad news, raiding Norman Baker MP (whilst he was writing his Kelly book), the Keogh (Bush-Blair memo) case, the Sally Murer (Khan bugging) case, the increasing use of language casting aspersions on the very patriotism of those who disagree with its economic policies (a la United Russia Party), we have to be at the very least suspicious of both motive and the integrity of what Smith and Brown might say in response.

    Is it any longer so laughable to expect this government to try to alter the Parliamentary term in the face of ‘national emergency’ or for said anti-terrorist officers to have invoked a chargeless detention? We may smile, but a fear is over this country, even as we conduct our simple lives just as we always have, in the face of cameras, fines, sanctions. We want this to be laughed off as paranoia but some of us are old enough to have travelled to once oppressed countries like Argentina and E Germany and we have seen how subtly strangeness becomes normal and the innocent become guilty even in innocence.

    We note the timing-Mumbai, cabinet in Leeds, it’s Friday, Ian Blair’s last day…oh dear, they should really be using yet more of our money for guidance seminars from experts in these arts from Chile, Argentina or Eastern Europe.

    Watching the pictures of piles of documents being removed from Green’s home and office, can any constituent now feel as though their correspondence with their elected representative is safe from scrutiny or retribution?
    Has Parliamentary privilege been suspended in the interest of national unity?
    Can we assume that the Speaker of Parliament agreed to the searches at Westminster?
    Can we not all see the words of Peter Oborne in his books about the malevolent spite at the heart of New Labour to be correct?

    John, at Wincheap and at Kent College we were encouraged to think, to question, to stand up. This is significant and we look to you to do right by your electorate.

  14. Adrian Peirson
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    What is it about immigration and crime the Govt does not want the proles to know I wonder.

  15. mikestallard
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    This country is most certainly learning from the EU where whistle blowers, anti corruption civil servants and people who notice what is going on get their computers nicked, their homes trashed, they lose their jobs and OLAF breaks in their doors.
    The Labour Party has leaked everything – including the Pre Budget Report ever since it came to power.
    This is not playing the game: it is cheating. (Further anti police comment deleted)

  16. Matthew Reynolds
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Damien Green is a fine man and has my 100% backing ! Labor using anti-terror laws to score political points while Mumbai burns is very distasteful – another sickening example of burying bad news methinks…

  17. Blank Xavier
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    There was a very interesting bit of analysis in the Telegraph.

    Turns out if you arrest someone like this, you automatically get the right to search their premises (in this case, his offices). This combines with the timing – as Parliament goes on holiday – since it were sitting, the arrest and search would have been contested and quite possibly blocked.

    So, essentially, the police may have deliberately applied the law in a way which although correct to the letter of the law, is entirely against its spirit.

    The possibilities to do so of course multiply endlessly as the law books become more and more complicated. On The Magistrate's Blog, I recall a post where he mentioned it used to be there was one and only one way the police could enter private property; a search warrent. Now there are over a hundred different powers for this-and-that which give them permission, such as the one we may have seen abused here.

    The police can be as much a problem as the criminals we pay them to deal with.

  18. FatBigot
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Are we to expect the arrest and searching of all current and former Labour MPs who relied on leaked information to seek to undermine the government between 1979 and 1997?

    And do I win a prize for the silliest question asked on this blog this year?

  19. Peter Hillier-Brook
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    This outrage must not be permitted to quietly die. If Labour get away with this they will fear no opposition to the police state they have been cultivating for the past several years. As for Mr. Speaker, words (at least printable ones) fail me.

    Please keep up the good fight, John.

  20. Susan
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I have two questions: what are the chances of a Question of Privileges motion being put before the House, first thing on Wednesday; and, how can Parliament continue to sit knowing that this is happening?
    Reply: Good questions which I will put to the Opposition leadership

  21. Caroline Jones
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    Outrageous. NuLabour show their true colours. This is truly a government to be feared.

  22. Keith
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you should be demanding Parliament's recall in order that this outrage can be debated….or will Gorbal's Mick not allow it?

  23. adam
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Robinson recieved a leak on a vat rise to 20%. Said so on his blog.
    As well as the obvious prebudget leaks.

    Arrest him.
    Storm the bbc with SRR anti terror squads.

  24. Socrates
    Posted November 28, 2008 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if there is any connection between it being the last day of Sir Ian Blair as Head of the Met and the arrests.

    It will also be interesting to see if Sir David Normington appears in any future honours lists. I hope he has a good pension lined up ( Oh sorry! – of course he has – it's a Civil Service Pension – we will be paying for it) because he is unlikely to have the confidence of his new masters after the revolution in June 2010!

    Few people will believe that, if David Cameron and Boris were told about it in advance, apparently, no member of the government knew anything about it.

  25. Mr Ecks
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:50 am | Permalink

    You must raise an almighty stink about this and go after both Bottler and that (words left out) Smith. They both knew and probably authorised the action. Does anybody believe that our gutless police force decided to roust a serving MP off their own bat?. Nonsense!. Cameron must push this–you must get Smith's scalp–anything less and ZaNuLab have got away with it and will do it again. They are (something unflatering!).

  26. Anthony
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    John,
    And all you can say is 'He has my full support'. How shameful! you should be jumping up and down with rage. you should be on any and all available media channels venting your spleen. Why aren't you doing so?

    What will you say when they come for you?

    Reply: I went on the one BBC programme which would have me and condemned the action. Please let me know which other programmes I am allowed on! Why criticise the good guys when we need to unite to fight the bad ones?

  27. StevenL
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    I think the civil servant was in the wrong (should the allegations be true of course) unless the Home Office were hiding these document from Freedom of Information Act requests.

    That said however, this arrest was disgusting. Even if the police had evidence to lead them to suspect Mr Green had broken the law, the public interest test in the Code of Practice for Crown Prosecutors should have deterred them from investigating.

    If they had evidence to charge the civil servant then they should have done so. If they needed to talk to Mr Green as a potential witness they should have done so in private. If they needed to call Mr Green as a witness to any criminal procedings they could have done so and the truth would have come out in court.

    They went in on a quiet news day too, when India was rocked by terrorist attacks and the 24 hour news was looking elsewhere. A coincidence?

  28. mikestallard
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    If I were Jacqui Smith or Mr Brown on TV, I should have been horrified at this arrest and sack of an MPs office and I should have offered to put it right immediately with a huge box of chocolates and a public apology including a friendly handshake and perhaps (in the case of the Home Secretary, a little peck on the cheek.
    Instead we get an iron faced denial which, of course, we all believe, do we not.
    Watergate was, actually, less than this outrage.

  29. PaulF
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Smith and Brown have stated that they "had no prior knowledge" of the arrest. Typical new labour non-denial denial. Taken literally, no-one can have "prior knowledge" of an actual event unless thay can travel through time.

    This statement is factually correct even if they knew damned well that this was going to happen.

  30. a-tracy
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What does it say about the Home Secretary's authority over our police force if they don't feel they have to tell her when they decide to storm an MP's home with nine arresting officers. Was she on holiday?

    What were the police told was inside Damian Green's home that it needed nine of them to take him in for questioning?

    Damian Green is a very thoughtful and thorough MP, perhaps he's just too good at his job. This leaker didn't go straight to the press, I feel they went to the right person. This government positively encourage whistleblowing with new laws to protect people so when it backfires on them why is it wrong? Tony Benn was great on C4 news last night at least there are some with true integrity willing to speak out.

  31. Neil Craig
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Beyond even the disgraceful fact of his arrest, which should lead to the sacking of any policeman, CPS member or Ministerial Secretary who decided to do it without informing ministers (or minister who knew) is the behaviour of the Speaker.

    No only was Green arrested but his offices, under Parliamentary authority, were searched & computers & documents removed. This is a blatant disregard of parliamentary privilege & should not have been premitted for anything short of a serious risk to national security. Charles I started a war by exercising police powers in Parliament.

    This may be merely a constitutional point but it is an important constitutional point & the Speaker should certainly not have allowed it either on such a trivial point or without seeking the approval of Parliamentary leaders. I believe this is a resigning matter.

  32. Adrian Peirson
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    what is worrying is not that they have done this but why they think they can, are they expecting to remain in power indefinately.
    I'm thinking civil continegncies bill brought in with yet another false flag terror attack, and before I am dismissed as a conspiracy theorist, Three German intelligence operatives have just been arrested in Kosovo for terror offences aimed at attacking an EU building, the EU wanted control of policing and Kosovo and Russia said no.
    So here we have EU Member states carrying out (…) attacks against its own member statets in order to bring them 'in line'.
    (words left out)
    Then of course there is the concentration camp photo that fooled the world.
    No upon reflection, this stunt does not surprise me at all, it merely confirms what I know about Westminster and the current Government.
    http://www.dw-world.de/dw/function/0,,12215_cid_3…
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=kosovo

  33. Sam Chapman
    Posted November 29, 2008 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    By this time next week I hope that Damian Green will not be a Conservative frontbencher, and that hands will have laid hold of him once again, but this time let it be the hands of his fellow MPs, helping him on his way into a recently-vacated Speaker's chair.

    What better way for Parliament to reassert itself against the trespass of the police and the less virtuous tendencies of the present Executive than through the election of Speaker Green?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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