Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Damian Green - Fallout

One of the things I am finding with blogging is that when there is a breaking story, bloggers respond instantly. Sometimes not all the facts are known, but people tend to go with their gut instinct for better or worse.

In my initial response to the Damian Green arrest I hedged a little, mainly because I did not think I had enough information to make a full assessment of what was happening. However I can see that most other bloggers went with their initial thoughts, most of whom thought it was an affront to democracy. That view now seems to be in the mainstream judging by the comment in the Sunday press.

Perhaps there is a lesson for me here to go with my gut as well on breaking news stories. One of the reasons I am involved in politics now is that I have a pretty strong core set of beliefs and political values and I am sure they will help guide me.

Anyway, for what it is worth I agree with the view that it is worrying for democracy that an MP would be arrested and held for 9 hours for what appears to amount to doing his job. The hypocrisy of Gordon Brown's position has been exposed by the fact that he made his name as an opposition MP through receiving leaked information but now he refuses to condemn the police for their behaviour. That seems to have been subbed out to Harriet Harman even thought she has stopped short of condemnation.

I also find it disturbing that the government at the most senior levels appears to have known nothing about this or at least that is what they claim. I am pleased to see that Nick Clegg has articulated his concern as well as other senior Lib Dem figures.

However I have to say that the howls of rage coming from leading Tory commentators and politicians seem a little bit rich. They were mostly crowing when Tony Blair and government advisers were having their collars felt 18 months ago and I do not recall them shrieking about democracy or TEH STALINIST STATE then.

Norfolk Blogger (a great blog by the way) also points out that the Tories often pursued and attempted to punish leakers when they were in power. He also links to this good post on Liberal Burblings.

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