back to article Counter-terror police arrest Tory frontbencher

Shadow immigration minister Damian Green was arrested and questioned by Metropolitan police for nine hours yesterday. His home and office in Kent were searched along with an address in West London. Green's office at the House of Commons was also searched. It is believed the investigation is linked to the leaking of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't this what the opposition is supposed to do?

    Although Winston Churchill himself, got a civil servant, into either bother or a coffin depending on who you believe in his re-ascent to the admirality.

  2. chrubb
    IT Angle

    hmmmm.....

    counter-terror police? one word too many there i think.

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  4. Paul

    We really need a new government

    I don't care which party wins (but lets face it, the Libs stand no chance), but we need this government out.

    Long governments like this are a bad thing, no matter which party is in. The civil service get too close to the government, and the executive agencies like the police start getting political.

    I can't help thinking that a bitter Ian Blair is having one last thrash out at the Tory party before he gets kicked out. I can't imagine this happening without his say-so. The earlier he is gone, the better, he's become an obvious Labour man, and that's a bad thing for any policemen.

    Besides, all of this stuff should have been open information anyway. The only excuse for this kind of secrecy is to cover up incompetence. I don't see why we should have to file FOI requests for information that should be public by default.

  5. Wokstation
    Thumb Down

    Like they didn't know...

    ...I've always been a bit reserved about calling this country a Police State, but this is a step too far. I'm no fan of the Tories (or labour, or any party really).

    Unless Green paid for the information, surely this falls under the Public Interest Disclosure Act?

  6. Flugal

    Gordon Mugabi

    Zimbabwe has Robert Mugabi and Morgan Tsangari. Britain has Gordon Brown and Damian Green. Trust Gordon with ID cards?

  7. Richard
    Black Helicopters

    It's about time!

    In a perverse way I'm rather glad that this has happened, not because I know anything about whether he's done anything or not, but because it's about time that Parliament realised that _anyone_ can be affected by the security climate that the Government has set up over the last few years. Many in the Commons have either been woefully complacent or too easily swayed by rhetoric along the lines of "It's only bad people that we're targetting". Unfortunately, I suspect that the Government's uber-loyalists consider the Tories to be in the bad people category so it may well have no effect. One can but hope.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ..... is a title.

    Am I to understand that this man has been arrested for making the government look stupid repeatedly?

    In that case, I suggest they arrest themselves.

  9. Dunstan Vavasour
    Black Helicopters

    What sort of country do we live in???

    I remember a time when it was other countries where you would see:

    Election results being disputed because of alleged vote rigging

    Opposition politicians being mysteriously arrested for trumped up reasons

    I is scared.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Last One Out Turn Off The Lights

    Looks like Gordon has been an excellent student of Tony - UK democracy and justice is well and truly dead.

    We have Metropolitan police officers roaming the Tube shooting people in the head with no fear of repercussions, constant lies and doublespeak from from NuLabour and a compliant media going along with it all.

    Anyone able to leave the country should do so now - before they are imprisoned in our decaying, squalid and over-crowded jails for though crimes or failing to hand over their Identity card to the taser carrying thought police.

    Frankly Zimbabwe may look more attractive in the long run if any of this stuff continues.

  11. yossarianuk

    doh - should have read (must be all the mindbending weed....)

    When the Nazis came for the foreign students,

    I remained silent;

    I was not a foreign student.

    When they locked up the immigrant workers,

    I remained silent;

    I was not an immigrant worker.

    When they came for the conservative mp's,

    I did not speak out;

    I was not a conservative mp.

    When they came for me,

    there was no one left to speak out.

  12. dervheid
    Coat

    If you listen carefully...

    you can almost hear the sound of Jack-Boots in the streets.

    NuLabor = Plot Lost Completely.

    "Papers!"

  13. Duncan Hothersall
    Heart

    Politicising the police

    Under Ian and Tony Blair the MPS became more politicised than it has been for many years, with the Commissioner habitually commenting on political issues such as approaches to terrorism, and politicians holding up those opinions when they suited them. Ian Blair was himself hoist by this petard when he was effectively forced to resign by Boris Johnson, and act which itself ratcheted up the politicisation of the MPS.

    All of which makes it very difficult to accept that any MPS actions involving politicians are not tainted in some way. This is very sad, because the law, and long-standing convention, are very clear on the separation of powers here. We should be able to implicitly trust that an action such as this is completely independent of political interference. That we cannot does great harm to British justice. More importantly, it gives the Tories justification for grandstanding, which is a bloody shame in itself.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Just goes to explain why other countries have parliamentary immunity

    This puts in the right perspective of what level of Democracy the Union of Soviet British Republics really has to offer. This is a classic example of one of the reasons why parliamentary immunity is part of the constitution in all civilised countries.

    Joseph Vissarionovich Brown would be very happy I bet.

    Me coat, time to pack that suitcase and immigrate.

  15. Richard
    Pirate

    Over-reaction?

    I don't think so. Why should MPs be given more leniency than more conventional criminal bastards?

    "Honestly officer, I don't how it happened. Since your lovely phone call, telling me you'd like a chat, I seem to have accidentally drilled holes in my hard disk. Where can I put my face."

  16. M
    Flame

    Fucking hell

    I read about this this morning. MPs should not be above the law but this is ridiculous. I guess Ian Blair has had some revenge on his last day instead of bringing in Monopoly and some colouring books.

  17. Jerome
    Stop

    Scary

    Another bit of scenery to look at as we slide gently towards facism.

  18. Chris Thorpe

    Breaks law - gets arrested

    Funny how politicians who campaign on Law and Order expect to be exempt from arrest. There's nothing that brings a smile to the face more than the sight of a pol being led away in handcuffs.

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  20. Chris G Silver badge

    How to morph Metropolitan Police into STASI

    Since the current lot have been in power the various police forces have consistently been allowed to usurp and assume more and more power for themselves along with a number of other government agencies.

    Goebbles in his diaries during the Second World War noted that the British Public were able to tolerate an enormous amount of limitations to their freedom that were introduced by their government, he also noted that when the British public had had enough they were to be feared. Wacky Jaqui and the nazis at ACPO should take note, if you really piss off the population and they decide to take action, you'll need more than thirty thousand tasers to stop them and if you start shooting them you may as well kiss your arse goodbye. If we had a constitution what the cops have just done would be unconstitutional, which is why no government will implement a British Constitution.

    The whole thing sounds suspiciously like a quiet word being said here or there to set things in motion to intimidate this trouble making MP. The technical term for it is Smith/Brownian motion.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    "Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Gordon!"

    Is our Great Leader trying to silence the opposition, using pliable/jobsworth civil servants and convenient laws to do his bidding? Surely not....

    I, for one, welcome our great Scottish overlord (before he launches his Night of the Long Claymores).....

    AC - 'cause I'm scared of looking over my shoulder for the NuLab Gestapo.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were policies and procedures followed?

    Fingerprinted? DNA sampled? Or is that bit optional for MPs?

    Looks like revenge for the Blair/Levy thing. The Great Helmsman loves putting the knife in like that and reckons he can get away with it, what with saving the world and all.

    Things are getting a bit Cavaliers and Roundheads IMO, the Dear Leader may be right but he's definitely repulsive.

  23. John Savard Silver badge

    New Labor

    When I first saw a newspaper article on this, I anticipated that this was the sort of general news item that might appear here. It certainly is shocking to see calling attention to the failings of the government of the day being equated with terrorism, and I should hope that this will cause sufficient embarassment to lead to the charges being dropped promptly.

  24. Chris Harrison
    Black Helicopters

    You spin me right round ...

    Interesting that Boris knew, but apparently Gordon knew nothing.

    Interesting timing to get all our eyes off the billion pound giveaway that never was.

    Do I smell a mandleson?

  25. Trevor Watt

    MPs are not above the law.

    I know someone who was passed a leaked document, he then passed it to his boss, an MP. The MP told the police and my acquaintance went to jail for passing the document.

    So if (and it is IF) the honorable gentleman has passed restricted information outside of the privileges offered to him in the house then he should have to face the law. MPs can not automatically be exempt.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And for those of you that are in denial

    The police state is starting to get brave enough that is feels comfortable about arresting anyone, including MP's who used to enjoy parlimentary privelege.

    Brace yourselves for the one party state.

  27. david

    I bet the buck stops with...

    ...frau schmitt. Who will throw herself on her nailfile to save The Glorious Leader.

    Anyone else want to join in the sweepstake?

  28. Secretgeek
    Black Helicopters

    And so it begins.

    I don't like any politicians but arresting a serving MP for leaking what appears to be just be embarrassing information?

    Bring on the flood of '1984', 'Stalin' et al comments.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Is it just me

    or have we become more oppresive than the USSR was under the Communists ?

    Mines the ermine lined one (although that won't stop me getting arrested seemingly)

  30. Joe

    Jacqui Smith

    Crazed over reaction? I thought so too, then I noticed that bloody woman's name.

    She is damn dangerous.

    Her schemes and reasonings are fishy, warped, illogical... And now, surprise surprise, someone who has crossed her gets taught a lesson.

    She's a dangerous woman.

  31. Tony
    Black Helicopters

    They're coming for you

    On the Beeb, they noted that Gordo refuses all knowledge of the matter, but that the Met state they had spoken to the Cabinet Office. We have 2 scenarios; he is lying and knew all about it, or he has no control over his own staff. Either way, it is a matter of some considerable concern.

    The situation is now getting worse by the day. We are (technically at least) still a free country, not a police state; but with all of these little erosions of our liberty, it is not too difficult to see a time when we will more worried about the authorities and their hold over us, than we would be about any other potential threat.

    How long do you think it will be before they have a member of the thought police based in the El Reg office, moderating our comments to make sure we don't say anything that is not approved?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Time to leave

    I would leave the country over it becoming a police state, but I can't think of anywhere else that is any better.

  33. NB
    Unhappy

    more of the same

    More of the same NuLab police state feeping creaturism. Give us a general election so can get rid of these fucking idiots.

  34. Thomas Baker
    Alert

    There is no law anymore.

    Anarchy rules in the UK. The police need to have their powers seriously curbed, it's been building up for a few years now. If Cameron is so angry about it, why doesn't he make a manifesto pledge to regress police powers back to pre-2001? Or at least a thorough review and shake-down of all their new powers.

    Also, there's no way NuLabour politicos didn't know about this, they almost certainly ordered it. Jacqui Smith, does she have a penchant for shoes because she reminds me of someone...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    this is a very worrying event, interesting how it happend when there was a large terror incident so that it would be pushed off the front pages. Not that I'm suggesting anything.

  36. Ideala2
    Black Helicopters

    You realise why this happened, don't you?

    Where there's a jacqui, there's no hope.

    First they came for the tories...

  37. Hollerith

    In a police state...

    Government does not have to request harassment; the police understand their masters and act accordingly.

    These parties are no better than each other. I always think a frequent change of governement, to prevent any party 'nesting in' and getting corrupted by power, is a good idea. Keep them on their toes, keep them from the idea that they are the 'better party' and more fit to rule, and stop those comfy 'alliances' forming. I think it also stops governments that have run out of juice from flailing around seeking more things to do, i.e. ID cards, national databases, etc. If you think you have only five years to make your mark, you don't undertake such vote-losing nonsense.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The definition of terrorist

    ... has been on the slide for decades. Even with that in mind, I would love to hear how leaking embarrassing stories could be related in any way to terrorism. Was there some other, less-well-publicised leak that included a map of the sewers under Westminster or where they hide the confit-de-canard supply for the parliamentary fallout shelter?

  39. Richard Kay
    Flame

    Junior cock up or senior conspiracy ?

    This appears to me that a decision was made by a police officer which should have been referred to and considered at a very much higher level than where I hope this decision was made. If this decision was made at an appropriately high level then it represents a direct and considered attack on the democratic process, and comparisons with Robert Mugabe's approach are relevant. If, as I hope, it was made at a more junior level, then the police officer who made this decision appears to have been clueless about how politics work in a democratic country.

    As a Lib Dem I feel I can speak on this without anyone thinking I have an axe to grind in favour either of the Labour government or the Tory official opposition. This one is about the ability of Members of Parliament to be able to go about the job we elect them to do without interference by the government whom they are responsible for holding to account.

  40. Allan Dyer Silver badge
    Joke

    Perhaps the police just misheard...

    and thought they were being informed of the whereabouts of a shadowy immigrant. No doubt they turned up to arrest him on charges of wearing a loud shirt in a built up area during the hours of darkness...

  41. Jamie Kitson

    Police State

    Maybe the twat-o-tron was right after all. Maybe the twat-o-tron is Oracle.

  42. JohnG
    Alert

    Let me get this straight...

    The police (at the behest of their bosses at the Home Office) have arrested an opposition MP for doing his job: demonstrating how the minister and the same public officials at the Home Office have failed to do their jobs properly and have then sought to hide the facts from voters that pay their salaries.

    UK employers who employ illegals get substantial fines (10K per illegal) - does this mean we can look forward to Jackie Smith paying fines for the illegals working in government establishments?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cherchez la femme

    And who pops up like the proverbial weasel? Whacky Jacqui Smith, hiding this time behind her civil servants.

    What a cunning stunt - the Tories cannot express much more than "concern" without seemingly appearing soft on crime, such is the lack of education among the Great Unwashed that it does not know the difference between a pediatrician and a pedophile, and assumes arrest means criminally guilty.

    If knowing something They would not like you knowing is going to result in this treatment, no-one is safe anymore. We all now know that Whacky Jacqui knew things. We also all now know that she finds it easier to set the police on someone in a position to challenge her about those matters, than concoct an excuse, however lame. And this woman is Home Secretary...?

  44. Jimmy

    Jackanory, Jacquinory, tell me a story.

    Once upon a time in a land beset by evil terrorists - or MPs, as they were once known - there dwelt a beautiful princess whose wisdom and knowledge surpassed the collective intellect of the whole planet. Such was her popularity that she required a security cordon to protect her from importuning citizens who begged her to sprinkle them with her magic identity tokens. Possession of one of these tokens guaranteed immunity from, among other things, alien abduction, sexually transmitted diseases, pornographers, beggars, foreigners, bankers, wankers,.and sexual predators of all persuasions.

    Okay, okay kids, I lied. She wasn't really a princess, she was a bitter feminist bigot who suffered from delusions of grandeur and couldn't even scratch her own arse without direction from a policy advisor.

    Jacquinory, Jacquinory...................

  45. Shagrat

    Well at least its one rule for all

    Nice to know even government ministers can get hassled by the police.

    Maybe something more will get done about police state Britian now they realise that being in Government isnt enough to exempt you from NuLab England (George Orwell edition)

  46. b
    Stop

    jeez, where are we?

    ...stalinist russia?

    that's disgusting.

    what would he have done if he knew the police wanted to speak to him, run away to another country?

    the biggest 'threat to our freedoms' is not the mythical "al queda", but our own police and government!

    cheers,

    bill

    p.s. stuff and nonsense: http://www.eupeople.net/forum

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    it looks like he was ACTUALLY arrested for upsetting Jaqui Smith.

    Anon for obvioous reasons :(

  48. radian
    Black Helicopters

    WTF?

    Are there any boxes left to tick in the 'create your own Nazi state' handbook'?

  49. druck Silver badge

    Britain no more

    It has finally happened, the government using the police to suppress information and political debate. This is no longer Great Britain.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    It has come to something

    when even an MP isn't safe from the oppressive, Socialist Government.

  51. David Lester
    Coat

    Fabulous News!

    First they came for the Icelandic Banks; but I wasn't an Icelandic Bank.

    Then they came for opposition MPs; but I wasn't an opposition MP.

    Who's next?

    Perhaps it's time for all of us all to get our coats?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hiding truth?

    "...but it's for your own good! So shut up and bend over!"

    Mine's the one with... please wait, I have the right to take my coat, officer!

  53. Mike Bell
    Black Helicopters

    I feel much safer now

    Publishing information which exposes the Government's deceptions? If that's not terrorism I'd like to know what is!

    Switching the sarcasm off for a mo... If ever you wanted proof positive that the "Anti Terror" excuse will be (mis)used whenever it is convenient to stifle dissent, avoid minister's embarrassment or generally subvert the democratic process, here it is. Welcome to Britain, 2008. Papers, please.

    Absolute f******* disgrace.

  54. Norm DePlume

    Damned

    If the ministers did know, then any action they took whatsoever would be interfering.

    I still think going after the recipient, not the originator, of leaked information is barmy.

  55. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. Michael Fremlins
    Stop

    The police are out of control

    It is time that the police, and specifically the Metropolitan Police, was abolished and start again from scratch. They have become the most arrogant public officials, acting as lord and masters, or judge and jury of all that is right and wrong. They are not in any way professional. I have found the police to be rude, never using the word "sir" or "madam". It is time that they were taught a little humility.

    Unless "leaking" is a terrorist offence these days, why were anti-terrorist police involved?

    Why did it take 9 anti-terrorist police to make this arrest?

    Were these police armed, and if so why? Were they expecting armed resistance?

  57. Eddie Edwards
    Black Helicopters

    Crazed over-reaction much?

    Was that tagline about the arrest of the MP or about the comments here?

  58. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Jacqui Smith told me...

    ...that Britain was crawling with terrorists who were only minutes away from exploding a ricin laced fizzy drinks can containing anthrax.

    So I'd have thought that the anti-terror police would have been far too busy protecting us from mad mullahs and animal rights nutters to bother investigating government leaks.

  59. Ted Treen
    Coat

    More "Neues Arbeites Partei" bollox

    They claim "The police are politically neutral...". Would that be why Ian Blair had "Vote Labour" stickers plastered over Met Police vehicle(s) to please his namesake?

    Boris was 100% right to get rid of him. I hope he's replaced with an honest-to-goodness old fashioned copper, preferably one who's earned his spurs by rising through the ranks with experience of real coppering, instead of some quasi-social engineer, fast-tracked because he got a "pass" degree in sociology, and who turns out to be as useful as a handbrake on a canoe.

    In other words, one who isn't afraid to disregard orders/suggestions from Brown & Smith, and enforce the law as passed by Parliament.

    He must not be yet another politically-correct botty-licker for Brown & Smith.

    I really cannot understand how those repressive, authoritarian bastards can have any support outside their "bought" client voters (public sector employees & state benefit receivers).

    It's been a long time since we had a revolt in England.......

    Too long, perhaps?

    I'm getting my coat because I'm going out now, and I may be gone for some time.....

    (42 days?)

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @MPs are not above the law.

    If these are really STATE SECRET documents then he is entitled to see them when he comes to power. He is after all, an MP (i.e. has a duty to monitor the government) and a shadow minister (will be in power and entitled to see these documents). So it is not damaging to Britain for him to see documents if they are STATE documents as that's his job.

    It's certainly nothing to do with terrorism, and the nine anti-terror officers shows how badly misused the terror legislation is.

    If they are not state secrets then the police should not be claiming it's a government matter.

    Note that he has been told he will not be in the clear until after Feb 2009, that will make anyone who receives embarrassing NuLabour political information scared about revealing it. Which if I'm right means they get to keep their embarrassing secrets in the run up to an election.

  61. Piers
    Unhappy

    If you have nothing to hide...

    ...yeah right. They still may take exception if you're not drinking their Kool Aid.

  62. Luther Blissett

    The spin stops when the hot air crashes to earth

    So Brown has gone for deniability, and Smith for plausible deniabilty. But this claque had a recent lesson in the limits of deniabilty when they eliminated the 10p tax band and everyone simply decide that they had stolen from the poor to give to the £40k+ earners, and that you cannot do such a thing by accident.

    This claque has confused credibilty with gullibility. Credibility is about statements, and gullibiliy is about people. While the claque shows determination to continue spinning until the cows come home, there is a limit to how much people can applaud. When the applause stops, it does not mean the claque has won an endurance contest. It means the claque has lost it.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @AC 13:43

    "If these are really STATE SECRET documents then he is entitled to see them when he comes to power. "

    That may be, but he ISN'T in power at the moment.

    "So it is not damaging to Britain for him to see documents if they are STATE documents as that's his job"

    It isn't his job at the moment. See above.

    After all, if I want the job, should I have access to state documents, just because I might get the job one day?

    Please think before you speke yore branes.

  64. ray hartman
    Flame

    Now do you understand ...?

    ... why free American citizens assert-the-right to arm TO-THE-TEETH. ? WE may or may-not shoot down that attacking Black_boot. That's a citizens decision and he will be judged on the reasonable-value of his actions.

    But the POWER to do so --- that power is reserved to each citizen. It's called freedom and its absence is why we colonials kicked-out Brit arse 250-y ago. Mebby it's time for Brit citizens to do a bit of arse-kicking themselves !

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    Well I doubt anyone is going to leak the evidence that the Home Secretary and Prime Minister are obviously lying when they say that they knew nothing about this. So we'll have to wait till those lying fascists are out the door before we'll know the whole truth of their corruption.

    The comments from the sheep here just got o show how well the general populace has been brainwashed by NuGov. Yeah, how dare the shadow immigration minister show the obvious incompetence of the home office, how dare they!

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    oh

    and to the NuGov placard waving idiots shouting mps should be punished blah blah f------ mindless blah, the investigation revolves around

    * The November 2007 revelation that the home secretary knew the Security Industry Authority had granted licences to 5,000 illegal workers, but decided not to publicise it.

    * The February 2008 news that an illegal immigrant had been employed as a cleaner in the House of Commons.

    * A whips' list of potential Labour rebels in the vote on plans to increase the pre-charge terror detention limit to 42 days.

    * A letter from the home secretary warning that a recession could lead to a rise in crime.

    I think those are all covered by public interest you worthless sheep.

  67. Anonymous John

    I think this says it all.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_IlwcTx9Q628/SS__oOd-iKI/AAAAAAAACUg/O1zDBzqdQMw/s1600-h/robbie-gordon.jpg

    or http://tinyurl.com/6gl5qt

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @At the moment

    "That may be, but he ISN'T in power at the moment."

    He will be the same person, it will be the same document. Are you suggesting that he wouldn't be given access to this document if in power? If so, then how is it an official document? Are you suggesting he would not be allowed to come to power?

    So it cannot be somehow damaging to UK (an act of Terrorism no less) for him to access that document.

    Embarrasing to NuLabour is not the same as a terrorist threat to UK. The law isn't there to protect Jacqui Smith MP for Reddich, from bad publicity.

    "After all, if I want the job, should I have access to state documents, just because I might get the job one day?"

    He *is* an MP now, he is in Parliament now, he is obligated to monitor Hm.gov *now*. The government answers to Parliament not the other way around. The information he was leaked he should have been able to receive freely, it should not be concealed.

    Jacqui Smith made employing an illegal immigrant a crime in the UK, so it's a matter of public interest that Home Office was using illegal immigrants as cleaners, not a terrorist threat to Jacqui Smith.

    NuLabour has freely used leaks in the past:

    http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2008/11/to-assist-the-m.html

  69. Ted Treen
    Go

    @Ray Hartman

    As an Englishman, I concur heartily, old son. Never has the need been greater.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    and they have the audacity..

    to call the despicable BNP facists. Look in the mirror Jaqui.

    Herr Goebells spokesman for the govermment said in a statement ...

  71. Frumious Bandersnatch
    Go

    Thoreau said it best

    "Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.". I hope they throw the book at him (Civil Disobedience).

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad day for liberty

    and another sad day for democracy.

    It is the duty of the opposition to review the incumbent government, that is a bedrock of our system, now it looks like they will just accuse anyone of terrorism, pathetic.

  73. Richard Porter
    Thumb Down

    It beggars belief

    that the Home Office can invoke the full weight of the law and waste valuable police resources just because Ms Smith has been caught sitting on embarrassing information. She should be prosecuted for wasting police time.

  74. Reid Malenfant
    Boffin

    @ Michael Fremlins - Police Out of Control

    > Unless "leaking" is a terrorist offence these days, why were anti-terrorist police involved?

    The Met Police Search Teams that conduct all of the vulnerable missing person searches and routine warrant executions together with all the crime scene searches are also the very same people who conduct all the SO15 counter terrorist searches.

    Once you filter out emotive hype you'll see that all police searches are conducted by Counter-Terrorist Police or, put another way, the Missing OAP Search team or Drug Raid Team or whatever else you want to spin them as.

    >Why did it take 9 anti-terrorist police to make this arrest?

    Because a standard Met Police Search team consists of 1 Team leader, 6 searchers, at least one Exhibits officer and occasionally a Polsa (Police Search Advisor). If it were regarded as a 'major crime' there would almost certainly be several teams involved. The fact that it seems only 1 team was deployed speaks for itself. A thorough MET CT search of a private dwelling takes a good week to execute not a single day, this tends to imply that the Police didn't consider it a CT Job.

    >Were these police armed, and if so why? Were they expecting armed resistance?

    Why should they be? Hardly any search requires AFO cover including the vast majority of CT searches. There are in fact very few UK Police forces who use AFO's (Authorised Firearms Officers) as their searchers. The Met certainly don't, their searchers are not even specialist full-time officers; they are just normal uniform Divisional officers who volunteer for the extra training and yearly 3 monthly attachments - its primarily an overtime thing.

    As far as the other 42 UK Police Forces are concerned, yes the MET is a very different animal, and is generally regarded by the rank and file with varying degrees of derision - but it would still be a very rare and brave Polsa who would willingly ramp up a search operation to CT levels without any lawful justification - that's a real career buster and they just won't do it.

    Whatever else you think you "know" about Police Officers, do not underestimate the average plod's sense of self preservation - even in the MET ..... in these accursedly political correct times, there's no shortage of officers only too happy to say "no" to dubious or insensitive instructions. Because they all know that when push comes to shove, the hierarchy would think nothing of hanging them out to dry. An unfortunate fact that is increasingly stretching loyality to its limits and fostering a growing sense of militancy right across the country. This is not a happy time to be a police officer as evidenced by an increase in transfers, emigrations and early retirements.

    This feared Police State will have to be run by a band of idealistic 22 year olds with a 10 year career to look forwards to because soon there'll be no-one else left save the Bramshill set. More Camberwick Green than Stasi.

    The information, as so far stated, certainly does raise questions but I'm very mindful that most of this has originated from political and media sources - neither of which are renowned for their reliability or independence. I tend to suspect that, whatever else it was that led to this particular enquiry, still has yet to see the full light of day. Indeed, it may never do so now its come under such an intensive spotlight.

    Sad but true!

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is normal police practice!

    Why is everyone so surprised that the government controlled puppets do this?

    FFS we have been living for years in a country whose justice system has become a laughing stock.

    The Police bug lawyers and no one is prosecuted, they shoot people and no one is prosecuted and the person in charge gets promoted after letting a supposed suicide bomber get on a bus and then a train before shooting him for being persistently foreign in a built up area.

    This sends a simple message, make wackyjacky look bad and the boys in blue will come round and have a quiet word.

    As Damien Green was arrested he now cannot travel to the US without a Visa from the embassy and a CRB check, his DNA and fingerprints will be taken and they will be stored for ever, now maybe he will join the cause to get innocent people removed from the DNA database and the PNC.

    Personally, I think that the home secretary of the home office should be prosecuted for malfeasance in public office for covering up the gaffes he leaked. But as we know, nu labour is a coated with Teflon when it comes to making any prosecution stick.

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is so funny

    Because none of you actually know what was being looked for! Not one of you! All you have to go on is media speculation, which could be wrong or could be right. But your all ranting and you don't know the facts.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    MPs should be above the law

    Since law enforcement is never entirely neutral MPs need to be above the law in the sense that they should be immune from investigation or prosecution for anything related to their job. What suggests that things have got out of hand isn't just the arrest but the searching of his Parlimentary office -- MPs should be like clergy or lawyers, their work is outside the view of law enforcement unless there's a specific court order. (In the case of MPs they should police themselves.)

    Now you know why you should keep the government on a very short leash. It will take liberties (literally) with any slack that its cut. Once the powers are ceded they're difficult to take away so you've got to face the possibility that a Tory government will act in the same way (or worse, based on its history). Not a nice prospect.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    I don't think the establishment "gets" it ..

    Newton said;

    "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

    Given the degree to which Mr Plod and the faceless suits are currently pushing, that thought is a little scary (!)

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    looks like NuGov stooges have appeared.

  80. Mark
    Go

    re:Now do you understand ...?

    Uh, how would this have helped here? The MP was outnumbered, could not know that the police officers were acting outside the law and would not in any case have thought of shooting dead nine policemen for being twats.

    So how would a generally armed populace have helped? Please. I'd like to know.

  81. Chris Miller
    Stop

    Goodbye NuLabour

    Hello ZANU-Labour.

  82. Sillyfellow
    Unhappy

    to think...

    .. that i actually left Zimbabwe years ago (yes, legally) and moved here to get away from this sort of crap..

    now things are almost as bad politically and legally, if not WORSE, here in UK now!

    at least over there i could stand up for myself without getting arrested.

    so why not leave? i hear many say..

    well i'm getting too old now to have to keep starting my life over again (from practically nothing), and where would i go? besides methinks it's time to fight back instead of running away again.

    this country (UK) is/was supposed to be a civilized 1st world country where people have rights..

    oh how very wrong i was!

  83. Davy
    Black Helicopters

    Is it just possible...

    ...that the Police are actually our Best Friends...?

    By acting on this latter-day Dangerous Dogs Act and demonstrating the possible extremes to which these anti-terror laws may take us they alert us to danger.

    This is a clear example of a high-profile MP whose arrest could not go unremarked, and whose treatment shows us all that if he can be treated like this, then low-profile proles will get no media outrage.

    They may may doing this consciously or unconsciously (should we give them the benefit of the doubt?), but since this arrest the ID card scheme, EU membership, 42 days and a lot of other stuff begin to look questionable altogether.

    Benign Helicopters?

  84. Jon Axtell
    Black Helicopters

    @Reid Malenfant

    Taking into account that CT officers routinely perform all searches and that they could be OAP search officers, why does the MET call them CT officers.

    Anyway, even if you throw that emotive aspect out, it still doesn't answer the question about why a search was necessary in the first place rather than a request for him to attend the police station. The "crime" he is aledged to have committed is a common law one, not one that is criminal as far as I can gather.

    Also, why did the police enter his parliment office. That is supposed to be pretty much sacrosanct and needs a really high level of illegality before the police (and even then it I gather, ICBW, that it should be parlimentary officers) can search it.

    Most likely a cock up by a civil servant who called in the police and cock up by the police who followed the request without checking procedures. However conspiracy is still hanging in the air due to the timing and lack of fore knowledge by ministers who you would have expected would be told as a matter of courtsey.

    PS. Are you the person who lives thousands of years and saves the galaxy? [Space by Stephen Baxter]

  85. Charles Smith
    Black Helicopters

    Nothing new

    Over 20 years ago I used to work for the British Civil Service and was exposed to classified projects. Even then in my innocence I quickly learned that there was a difference between Politically Embarrassing Secret and Secret for a Good Reason documents. They both had the same markings on their outer file cover and both were locked away in safes, but the Politically Embarrassing Secret had a far more limited circulation and distribution.

    It seems like things haven't changed. The Home Office really should be scrapped and it's head Shamans dispersed into early retirement before they cause any more damage to the British Constitution.

  86. Sillyfellow
    Black Helicopters

    secrets and lies

    so i can't really understand why all this secrecy and lies.

    i thought that we paid the government (which we do, in excess), and they worked for our benefit.

    if that were true (and it clearly isn't), then why all this secrecy?

    in my opinion the have absolutely no right to be keeping anything at all from us public (whom pay their way), because THEY are supposed to work for US (as in we, the people, not USA)..

    everything they do is supposed to be for our benefit, and if it is then why are they even allowed to keep secrets from us?

    can somebody answer me that please?

    maybe that's where things went wrong.. perhaps us, was taken by gvt to mean U.S. lol.

    that would explain a lot, wouldn't it.

  87. Jimmy

    Not fit for publication.

    The police say they arrested Mr Green on suspicion of "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office", presumably on the basis that he was the recipient of and subsequent distributor of material supplied by a Home Office civil servant who obtained the information from the Home Secretary's private office.

    The whistle blower's motives have yet to be made public but since he himself didn't try to benefit financially by selling the stuff to the Daily Vomit it looks as if he has a stand up case for a "public interest" defence if it ever came to a trial. Can you imagine the hapless Jacqui Smith allowing herself to be hauled into the witness box to explain why, as the minister with oversight for national security, someone who was not a member of her inner office was able to gain access to confidential documents, copy or remove them and pass them to a third party? Would she allow herself to be put in a situation where she had to explain to a jury why it wasn't in the public interest to disclose that her department authorised security clearance for 500 illegal immigrants to work in the security industry? Ain't gonna happen, folks.

    As for Damian Green, well his motives are probably a mixture of "public interest" and the sheer political pleasure of embarrassing the government. And who in their right mind, regardless of political loyalty, would begrudge the man that simple indulgence?

    However, if push came to shove and the man had to defend himself in court then he could usefully cite precedent as in the case of Lord Mandelson of Fay. Twice required to resign from public office for alleged impropriety, Pete's mate Tony Blair soon found him a nice little sinecure as a European Commissioner in order to keep the financial wheels oiled. No question of Mr Plod kicking the doors down and confiscation of documents and computers and frightening the children. And now Pete is back in the fold and apparently is Gordon's new best friend. Not very ethical but a stonewall precedent.

  88. Trygve
    Black Helicopters

    @Jon Axtell

    "Taking into account that CT officers routinely perform all searches and that they could be OAP search officers, why does the MET call them CT officers."

    I'd guess because they're parked in the organisation diagram underneath 'Counter-Terrorism' since their jobs are at somewhat related to that heading and the bureaucrats are desperately trying to maximise the number of doughbags supposedly protecting us from t'evil. "Al-Quaeda terrorists are being tracked by OAP Search Officers on secondment" wouldn't give the Daily Mail a rosy glow now would it? I'd bet most of their time is spent doing normal day-to-day coppering, though.

    In the same way most "CT Officers" spend their time reassuring the sheeple by loitering around Westminster or an airport carrying an MP5 and fantasising about pies rather than actually countering anything.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    About time too

    My understanding (and it may be wrong or mistaken - apologies if so) is that MPs are allowed to gather information and present it to Parliament even if that information gained by a "leak" somewhere.

    I also understand that (un)civil servants have a code of conduct that caters for crisis of conscience.

    I conclude that the elected member should be charged by the police and also reprimanded by Parliament for bringing the House into disrepute. It is fine for the MP to account to Parliament (it is a court after all) but improper to give those details direct to the press (it's a fine point and needs thoughtful considerations).

    So,

    report direct to press = criminal activity bringing the court of the Commons into disrepute

    report to Parliament = fine within the rights and responsibilities of an elected member.

    It boils down to an age old rights OR rights and responsibilities issue.

    The perp will argue on rights (an MP is above the law?) whereas a rights and responsibilities view requires the perp to uphold Parliament (court of the Commons) and by doing so uphold the law at the same time.

    Now barristers in UK do not present details direct to the press so why should MPs?

    Conclude: in the clink for him preferably for three years or more.

  90. Reid Malenfant

    @ Jon Axtell

    As far as this case is concerned, what has has NOT BEEN MADE PUBLIC is the precise nature of the initial allegation that was made to the Police; nor how it was delivered, from whom or what organisation it came from nor what particular piece of legislation the complainant sought to invoke.

    It would ONLY have been from these factors that the Police response would have been calculated and, quite clearly, someone has briskly pulled the rug out from underneath them too! They were clearly led to believe there was sufficient prima facie evidence to justify an arrest which, in turn, subsequently satisfied a Custody Officer that he/she was justified in authorising a lawful detention.

    We HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD what that consisted of; furthermore, I'd have thought they'd have conducted these searches UNDER WARRANT, particularly that one in Parliament (it would have been very foolish not to), in which case the evidence, for what it was, would also have had to satisfy a Magistrate BEFORE the Police could have proceeded. It sounds to me like they were well and truly sold a pup by someone they initially had cause to trust but are now finding quite difficult to communicate with! One of those nasty 'shifting sands' scenarios that occasionally rise up to bite you in the bum.

    Because, with the benefit of hindsight, had they had fully appreciated quite where their enquiry would lead them I can all but guarantee that the eventual operation would never have taken place as it had done, if indeed any operation would have taken place at all. And that's not to say that they'd have preferred to have ducked all the flak (though that certainly would have been a welcome bonus), no, they would have strictly confined themselves to an alleged criminal investigation and steered a very wide berth around any matters of constitutional impact.

    I imagine there has been much resentment and sleepless nights for the unfortunate individual(s) who sanctioned this operation ..... something he or she knows, only too well, will haunt all their future career prospects.

    Re your 1st point: Quite simply because they are the MET and the MET have always and will always do everything differently from everyone else.

    Few rank & file officers within the MET realise just how hierarchical their Force has remained in comparison with the larger of the provincial Forces. To outside Officers visiting it feels like you've stepped back into the 70's. Certain other Forces tend to operate more as a meritocracy where experience and ability will usually trump rank when it comes to special operations and emergency actions. For example in the MET a Polsa or Bronze Firearms Commander is usually an Inspector or even Chief Inspector whilst, next door in the TVP they are more likely to be a PC (but with probably more service than the MET guy).

    Now this is a very sweeping statement I know but, as a consequence of the above, there really does seem to be a far greater sense of involvement and responsibility permeating the lower ranks of many provincial Forces than seems tangible in the MET. A factor that's frequently laid bare to those involved in joint and cross border operations.

    I know they don't like to hear it but excesses and irresponsibility has long been a particular MET trait going back decades. They are nothing like as good as they think they are ..... I'm afraid that old 'call in The Yard' cliche has long since been a hollow joke.

    The NPIA (National Police Improvement Agency) are doing their level best to standardise practice, procedures and paperwork across the country; but everyone knows that the MET will never completely conform; they are far too big, have absolutely mammoth resources and far too many vested career interests to ever allow that to happen.

    Sad but true.

    re your PS

    Well, its only been a few decades so far but I live in hope. Thanks for asking.

    ....... and for being well read.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Rusty Shackleford says'

    Jacky Spliff and McStalin have to go. Gorbals Mick must resign.

    In 1641 the Speaker told Charles 1st that he could not arrest five MP's in the face of armed troops (unless Parliament itself approved). That is the precedent that Gorbals Mick and McStalin have wee'd all over. It's a cherished freedom of an independent Parliament. It's re-enacted at every state opening. So it's important.

    Vote of No confidence and election now!

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Ray Hartman

    [Armed to the teeth] "But the POWER to do so --- that power is reserved to each citizen."

    Not unless they are a member of a militia, if I remember the US constitution (+amendments) correctly. Obviously not something that appeals to many gun owners and your government isn't exactly in a position to say "hand all those guns over, you're breaking the law..."

    Either way around, it's got f-all to do with free speech. Unless you're also suggesting that the MP with the biggest gun should become Prime Minister?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Jimmy

    I love that "Lord Mandelson of Fay" - le mot juste indeed.

    And AC above: This cunning stunt...." The Spoonerism was intentional, I presume.

    Now to my own comment:

    Can one imagine any plod, with a career and pension to protect, setting up the arrest of a shadow minister - not for cottaging or shoplifting or child porn (crimes the public would readily understand to be abhorent in one so senior) - but merely for leaking information embarrassing to the government, and then violating an office in the House of Commons, unless he had explicit instructions from a very high level?

    Jacqui and Gordon may pretend not to have known of it: if they didn't, they are incompetent, if they did - well it's only another NuLab lie, but redolent of the hidden agenda of nazification.

    Poor, poor s*ds who still live in England's green and pleasant land; I've been lucky enough to flie the coop, and life here is just about liveable on a stingy British pension.

    Even PH would realise that we haven't been told everything - if only it would come to court!

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Massive own goal by whacky jacky

    I bumped into my criminal defence solicitor today and had a chat about this incident and he thought it was great as it now highlights in the public eye just how heavily the police are manipulated by government.

    The talk in legal circles is that the home office did sanction the raid and arrest and Wacky Jacky was more than aware of the arrest of Damien Green despite her denials.

    It would be interesting if it did go to a charging decision and trial as it would go before a jury and the level of disclosure is such that the police and home office would be obliged to disclose all material unless they seek Public Interest Immunity certificates, and thats only going to happen if they need to hide the fact they did know!

    We need a Robert Mugabe icon for the police state we live in

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