11/29/08 - Samizdata.net by Brian Micklethwait (London)
The Damian Green Political Arrest
An outrage that brings shame on Britain
01/12/09 - (11/29/08) TimesOnline by Mathew Parris
[edited] Nine counter-terrorism officers raided the home and offices of a senior member of the Opposition. What a blunder. What an outrage. What a stupid, stupid, thing to do.Micklethwait comments on declining ethics in politics:
This is a gift to the Tories (conservatives), and incredibly damaging to a governing party whose Prime Minister enjoys a reputation for bullying. That is the best argument for doubting that Labour ministers had anything to do with the arrest of Damian Green, a mild-mannered and distinctly herbivorous Shadow Immigration Minister.
Maybe ministers really were kept in total ignorance, but few ordinary voters are going to believe it. A Prime Minister otherwise known as the Big, Clunking Fist will struggle to dissociate himself in the public mind from an astonishingly heavy-handed police operation against a critic.
[edited] I include references to f---ing and f---ers very deliberately. Our rulers now swear a lot more than they used to. It is all part of that atmosphere, that tone, that they have been so busily creating. It is an atmosphere in which there are now so many laws, and laws which are so sweeping in their scope, that all are now guilty.
The law simplifies down to the question: do they like you? If they really really do not like you, look out, they'll come for you, and find or make up the laws they need as they go along.
A front bench politician has been, very publicly, on the receiving end of this parody of the idea of law. It is cause not for rage and more swearing, but for rejoicing [because it brings the corruption of government and law into public view].