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Monday, December 01, 2008


labor arrests conservative MP

the deterioration of western parliamentary politics continues apace as the secrecy state grows. in what might be viewed as a watershed event, opposition MP damian green, also shadow minister for immigration, was arrested by the metropolitan police "counterterrorism" group at the direction of the home office in an investigation of leaked "confidential" government documents related to immigration policy. green received these, which provided whistleblowing ammunition for some embarrassing revelations about the government.

the bbc:

Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green has been arrested and released on bail in connection with a series of leaks from the Home Office.

Police say Mr Green was held on suspicion of "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office".

The MP denied any wrongdoing and said "opposition politicians have a duty to hold the government to account" and that he would "continue to do so".

He was questioned, but has not been charged and was bailed until February.

Mr Green's arrest is believed to be connected to the arrest of a man suspected of being a Home Office whistleblower.

Speaking outside the House of Commons, Mr Green said: "I was astonished to have spent more than nine hours today under arrest for doing my job.

"I emphatically deny I have done anything wrong. I have many times made public information that the government wanted to keep secret - information that the public has a right to know.

"In a democracy, opposition politicians have a duty to hold the government to account.

"I was elected to the House of Commons precisely to do that and I certainly intend to continue doing so." ...

Speaking on BBC One's Question Time, shadow chancellor George Osborne said: "I think it's absolutely extraordinary that the police have taken that decision.

"It has long been the case in our democracy that MPs have received information from civil servants - I think to hide information from the public is wrong.

"It is early days, it's an extraordinary case. I think there are going to be some very, very big questions asked of the police."

green repeatedly embarrassed the government of gordon brown and had his office sacked by the "counterterrorist" police as a warning. if that doesn't much sound like the politics of a free country, it's because it isn't.


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