I blogged that Mandelson’s baby was dying – and then I am proven completely wrong.
I respect Nick Robinson – but his blog piece about the arrest of Damian Green is not, in anyway, up to his standard.
Damian Green is the Conservative shadow opposition minister. That means if his party was in government then he would be the head of that dept.
His arrest, in Nick’s piece, has been described as similar if not the same as when Ruth Turner was arrested. She was arrested in the cash for honours scandal – they are not the same at all. This, and arrest of a member of the opposition is far, far more sinister.
This arrest (by anti-terrorism officers) is indicating that shadow ministers are not allowed to discuss anything that comes across their desk. But what was it that Green did?
* 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.
That isn’t having knowledge that your party is offering honours for donations!
The heavy-handedness of this is fearful. What matters most is not that the police arrested an MP – they raided his offices. There they had access to all and anything that the shadow minister had access to – I am not saying that there was anything decidedly dodgy, but it is a matter that it could have been confidential between MP and constituent.
Yes, I do agree that MP and ministers should be held to account but not in this way. If civil servants are calling upon the police to do a certain job and not informing ministers about it that, I am afraid, is more like a police state then anything else.
You can read more about this story here.