Saturday, November 29, 2008

Humbug and hysteria over Damian Green arrest

UPDATE 30th November: This is a load of cobblers due to being based on an incorrect, subsequently corrected, report on the Telegraph website. See an explanation and correction here.

Oh, so it's not OK for the police to investigate a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act allegedly involving Damian Green, but it was OK for the Tories to lock up Sarah Tisdall, try to lock up Clive Ponting and pursue Spycatcher author Peter Wright across the world in his dotage, was it?


And I don't remember David Cameron raising any objection to Ruth Turner being arrested at dawn over the Cash for Honours investigation.

I applaud the dropping of party political norms evidenced by Nick Clegg's Telegraph article today. I agree with his general thrust.

But the police have the task of upholding the law, in this case one which had its public interest defence removed in 1989 under a Tory government.

The fact that no Labour politician was apparently told about this before it happened is surely a sensible way of firewalling them from the action, as they should be, is it not?

If the law is wrong, it should be changed. In the case of the Official Secrets Act, a public interest defence should be allowed. But we cannot complain if the police are legally seeking to uphold the law. That's their job. People are not forced to work in the Home Office. They know they will have to sign the Official Secrets Act if they do.

Without knowing the full details of the police investigation it is almost impossible to make an objective comment. If it turns out that Inspector Knacker has over-stepped the mark on this occasion, I'll be among the first to call for appropriate disciplinary action.

Hat-tip: Alex Wilcock.

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