While terrorists were carrying out atrocities in Mumbai and most counter terrorist teams around the world were observing and no doubt learning about a worryingly new tactic that these terrorists had deployed, our counter terror police in London were busy arresting a Member of Parliament and raiding his parliamentary and constituency offices for revealing statistics and other relevant information of public interest which the Home Office refused to disclose.
The arrest of Damian Green by counter terrorism officers is a huge embarrassment for counter terror Police and the Government. More worryingly, it represents a dangerous step towards reducing the role of a parliamentarian and especially one belonging to the opposition.
We have long suspected that the Labour Government’s natural instincts are authoritarian. It relied on the Police to support its argument of wanting to hold terror suspects without trial for up to 90 days. It’s created hundreds of new criminal and civil offences and continues to introduce legislation whenever it gets a chance and especially when if feels this might be popular with voters. It introduced the Freedom of Information Act yet does all it can to withhold relevant information citing national interests and other such excuses as a defence. The list is endless. Now we see an attempt to silence and prevent a Shadow Minister from effectively doing his job! If a journalist obtained statistics or data which showed the Government not being totally honest he would be congratulated for getting hold of a major scoop and for effective journalism. A Shadow Minister obtaining and using similar information is ‘conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.’
How can we have confidence in our legislation and in counter terror Police when we read about such behaviour? Surely someone at counter terrorism command would have looked at this and concluded that this case wasn’t one needing counter terror police or any other police for that matter?
Ian Dale has written a couple of excellent posts on this which everyone should read.