The Sunlight Centre for Libertarian Vendettas
Libertarian blogger Paul Staines (AKA Guido Fawkes) has said he’s donated £5,000 towards the £100,000 needed to bring a private prosecution against Jacqui Smith over her expenses claims.
The case is being brought by the Sunlight Centre for Open Politics – which was founded by Staines and employs Chris Galley, the former Tory council candidate and Home Office civil servant who was sacked after being arrested in connection with leaking information to the Tory Immigration spokesperson, Damian Green MP.
Despite their public confidence about electoral victory, the Tories and their "provisional wing" of arms-lengthed blog attack dogs seem to be resorting to increasingly desperate tactics. They are right not to put blind faith in the opinion polls and they know that the next election is all to play for. They are panicking and lashing out with extra-democratic measures in an effort to harm the government. Cameron has already tried to scare voters by warning of riots in the streets if Labour win the next election. His father in law, Lord Astor, has called for the Countryside Alliance to adopt civil disobedience and the editor of the Daily Telegraph has admitted that his papers’ motivation for its exposé of MPs expenses was to get “that place (Parliament) cleared out” because of the “bad laws that have been passed by what we now know to be a number of bad people”.
And now we have the adoption of US-style private prosecutions. Brought with the aim of harassing Labour, diverting it from the job in hand and ultimately discrediting it with the electorate on a "no smoke without fire" basis.
The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics is straight out of the Republican Party handbook of dirty politics. The most famous persecution of a politician through the courts in America was the Starr prosecution against the Clintons – does anyone really think that case did anything to strengthen America’s democracy? It was a massive distraction from the important issues of the day and a huge financial and emotional drain on the targets.
Of course Staines and co are off the leash enough from the Tories that they will, as with the Telegraph expenses saga, take out a few Tory politicians too - acceptable collateral damage for Cameron as it enables him to parachute in more A listers - but social democratic politicians are always going to be the primary targets for the libertarian right.
Cue foaming at the mouth comments and links from the most rabid section of the attack blog dogs.