A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dale posts back

Iain Dale has posted this response to my post below about Damian Green.

I've commented:

"you say the "thing that most concerns me is the deployment of counter terrorism police and the government's willingness to use counter terror legislation" but a) the legislation was common law not anti-terrorism legislation; and b) the police concerned may sit in the Counter Terrorism Command but that's just an organisational anomaly, these are Special Branch guys who spend all their time investigating crimes connected to politics, they are not counter terrorist police in the way you have implied.

If the BBC reporting of which 4 documents were leaked is true, then a public interest defence is clearly legitimate on some of them, but to my mind the alleged leaking of private correspondence from the whips about expected voting patterns, is, if true, a gross breach of trust and of the duty the civil service to loyally serve the government of the day. Morally, accepting stolen documents where there is no public interest is not much above Nixon's use of burglars at Watergate.

Mr Green should have told his source to only give him documents that the public had an interest in knowing about, not ones that would just confer partisan advantage.

As for Tisdall and Ponting I'm from the bit of the Labour Party that supported Cruise missiles and the sinking of the Belgrano, the 2 issues they were leaking about, so I wouldn't have been any more exercised about their cases than I am about this one."

Since when was the right to nick private documents and use them for party political advantage a fundamental civil liberty?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You say:
"As for Tisdall and Ponting I'm from the bit of the Labour Party that supported Cruise missiles and the sinking of the Belgrano, the 2 issues they were leaking about, so I wouldn't have been any more exercised about their cases than I am about this one."

So it's perfectly alright to leak documents if the might Akehurst agrees with their leakers, but if not they can go rot?

That is a transparently hypocritical attitude and shows you, if not your party also, as contemptuous of democratic process and arrogant beyond compare. Tell us that is not what you meant.

5:33 pm, November 28, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

Mr Green should be tried for Treason!

Look how these Tory bastards treated people at GCHQ, by denying them Union Membership and organisation in the workplace because of National security!

Green should be beheaded once and for all to set an example to these Tory Hypocrite!

9:22 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

I don't believe that the government had nothing to do or had no knowledge of this arrest. This is a high level MP being arrested for releasing information that I would say the public have the right to know. The PM would have been informed and If he wasn't then we have an even bigger problem. The PM must have been aware of the investigation and he must have been aware that a senior MP has involved.

Luke surely even you can see that this has extreme implications to our democracy. For one the police should remain politically neutral and another is this the best use of our anti terror laws or anything to do with terrorism.

This is just another very worrying example of why we don't need anymore anti terror laws.

We are getting closer by the day to an authoritarian state. I didn't serve my country to be attacked by fascism from within I served to prevent it.

Please don't compare the works of politicians with national security. The sinking of the Belgrano was done in the interests of securing a narrow victory in the Falkland Islands. Without it, scores of British soldiers would have lost their lives and we may have lost the conflict. And surely you have to agree that the defense of the Falklands was the only right course of action....so what is your point? If you think that defending the realm and its people is wrong but think the invasion and murder of a million people for Oil is right then you're the one who should be arrested.

The leaking of documents that shows the governments incompetence with respect to vetting security personnel at airports should be public information and not secret. So he was completely right to leak this information.

9:31 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Mark, Treason.....? Please explain....this is what all MPS do. This is why we have opposition and this is how we secure democracy. Without it then I'm afraid to say we would be living in communism and our vote would be as worthless as it is in Russia.

9:35 pm, November 28, 2008

Blogger Jimmy said...

arrested for releasing information

No he wasn't.

9:54 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Andy said...

Ohh please. In the last 2 years or so of the Major gov, there wasn't week went by without a labour front-bencher getting their hands on a leaked document of some sort.

This is just a symptom of a dying administration.

Seen the latest ICM poll Luke? Byeee!

10:58 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see Rich now believes that Tory MP's are above the Law.

Funny that was the attitude of
Proctor, Shaw, Archer, Atiken, Harvey, and quite a few others.

If a public servant wishes to break the law then it is his choice, equally if an MP wishes to encourage this then he/she mst suffer the consequences.

11:15 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Why would I say he is above the law. It is in the interests of the British public to know if those employed in sensitive areas are not correctly vetted. I'm sure if the UK had it's own 9/11 people would be asking some very serious questions if they found out that it was conducted by badly vetted employees.

MPs on both sides leak documents, especially if it's in the public interests. There were no laws broken as the information should have been public anyway. Wasn't it Labour that once argued for the removal of secrets from government and here we are locking high ranking opposition MPS up for protecting the public interests.

This is a government so desperate to cling onto power that it is willing to destroy the fabric of this country.

11:36 pm, November 28, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

This is what most of the lawyers are saying:

"In a western democracy, I think it would be very surprising if an elected member of Parliament was put on trial for an offence which arises from him putting in the public domain material that he thinks should be there in the public interest," said Robert Brown, a partner at the law firm Corker Binning.

Many other top law firms clearly showing that what is happening is very unusual

11:50 pm, November 28, 2008

Blogger Steve Horgan said...

Luke, if you can't see what's wrong with 7 anti-terrorist policemen arresting an opposition spokesman under these circumstances then you you are either hopelessly partisan in favour of your beloved government or your political values are incompatible with a democracy. I do hope it is the former.

12:36 am, November 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

NuLabour - The National Front without the convictions, yet.

1:42 am, November 29, 2008

Anonymous T_i_B said...

"Luke, if you can't see what's wrong with 7 anti-terrorist policemen arresting an opposition spokesman under these circumstances then you you are either hopelessly partisan in favour of your beloved government or your political values are incompatible with a democracy. I do hope it is the former."

In Akehurst's case the answer could always be both of those 2 options!

9:09 am, November 29, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

The job of civil servants is to pass on secret tactical information to the conservative party. That is what they are paid for.
Surely everyone should relaise that.
In fact it is a crime to not pass on secret tactical information that they only gained by being employed as civil servants to the tory party.
The fact a tory MP was getting a civil servant to break the law has noting to do with this. Tory MPs are above the law and should never be charged. How dare the police enforce the law it is like living in a dictatorship where if the tories and civil servants break the law (shock horror) they are arrested.

I am joking.

The fact is a tory MP was caught using a civil servant to spy on the labour party tough f###ing luck you dumb tory mugs.

Iain Dale is a pratt who thinks civil servants are there to employed to spy on those nasty commies. And if they get found out well they should be given an award.
What is the difference between rwhat the tories did and bugging the labour party offices.

9:19 am, November 29, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Dirty Euro, you are wrong on all accounts. So you think that a matter so serious that it threatens the lives of 1000s of British people should not be made public even if it's the result of government incompetence.

Next you will be arguing for the removal of the right for people to know how many people are unemployed or how our hospitals are run.

Soon the government will control the flow of information and the only information published will be that information they want you to have.

12:10 pm, November 29, 2008

Blogger kris said...

Bloody hell, Akehurst. If Local councillors were arrested every time one of them leaked documents, cops would be doing nothing else.

This is a standards issue, not a criminal matter.

Stop wasting police time.

11:05 pm, November 29, 2008

Anonymous Dirty Euro said...

Rich Maybe you are right. I agree that whistleblowers should leek stuff to the press. I hope the PM and the home secretery did not get the police to arrest the man themselves they have better stuff to do.

Some would argue the civil service and MPs are bunch of crooks anyway so maybe they should alll be arrested anyway. The real is disgrace is they only arrested one of each.

11:23 pm, November 29, 2008

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Both Dale and Green are several sandwiches short of a hamper on this one Luke. Not very bright at all.

I didn't like to tell iD you didn't give a monkey's about Tisdall and Ponting's treatment - that would be like a leak and make me feel dirty - but I'm glad you've come clean.

When we find out exactly what Green's done and caused to be done we'll be in a better position to judge what's what on this one.

But the sight of Tories wringing their hands over this when they were dancing in the streets when Ruth Turner got worse dawn-raid, press-pack, terror-police stuff is rather amusing/tragic.

Now Iain's complaining on his twitting (or something like that) that 200+ dead in Mumbai should not be keeping this story off the top of the news on Sky.

No wonder he is the Labour Party's Favourite Tory Blogger.

12:30 am, November 30, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

What is all the fuss just because it happened to a Tory MP?
Look at all the times the political police have raided the Offices of The SWP & CPB? All those trade Unionists arrested and imprisoned such as the Shrewsbury pickets 1972, then Mine workers 1985. The banning of Unions at GCHQ. The imprisonment of some Liverpool dockers and in the print strike Mike Hicks was even chained up by the ankles in a dark cell!
What about the 90 year old labour member, peace demonstrator getting arrested at an LP conference, because NLP did not agree with the anti war movement

The SPL branch has always spent lots of resources infiltrating working class organisations and supplying information to the Bosses who is a political activist!

This Tory will get away with it again!

10:52 am, November 30, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Maybe you should watch this


6:53 pm, November 30, 2008

Blogger Mark Still News said...

The Tories did the same!

They even banned Trade Unions at GCHQ!

We may well need a Stalinist government for 5 years to really sort out this Country and put it correct!

9:37 pm, November 30, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

(I don't often agree with you Mark S N, but on this one All the Way !

One Tory - One Bullet !!


11:08 pm, November 30, 2008

Blogger Martin Meenagh said...

Luke, can you explain why the same Home Secretary who wanted to involve herself in terrorist investigations to the point of throwing suspects in jail for seven weeks without trial on her orders, now says that the Home Secretary should never be involved in investigations?

Can you also say whether or not you believe her to be lying, contradicting herself, totally disrespected by the police or just incompetent?

Can you also say why organising a witch hunt for leakers rather than responding to the things they expose should go on after David Kelly's death?

12:36 am, December 01, 2008


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