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Police State Arrives in Britain


John Simkin
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Yesterday, Damian Green, the Tory immigration spokesman, was arrested and questioned by counter-terrorism officers for nine hours and his home and office searched as part of an inquiry into Home Office leaks. The Metropolitan Police confirmed that Green was arrested by members of its counter-terrorism command. It said the investigation was not terrorism related but did fall within the counter-terror unit's remit.

It follows a series of leaks to Green by someone in the Home Office, including:

The November 2007 revelation that the home secretary knew the Security Industry Authority had granted licences to 5,000 illegal workers, but decided not to publicise it.

The February 2008 news that an illegal immigrant had been employed as a cleaner in the House of Commons.

A whips' list of potential Labour rebels in the vote on plans to increase the pre-charge terror detention limit to 42 days.

A letter from the home secretary warning that a recession could lead to a rise in crime.

It is an important aspect of a parliamentary democracy that civil servants leak documents to MPs when government officials are acting in a corrupt way. It limits the amount of lies a government tells the public. For example, Winston Churchill, used leaks from government to highlight the problems with appeasement in the 1930s. If it happened today, Churchill would be imprisoned by this government. Gordon Brown used leaks from the Treasury during the 1980s and 1990s to expose the Tory government. Now, he is willing to use the police and anti-terrorist laws to try and keep MPs from revealling corruption in government. It will of course not work as this government is not only corrupt, it is incompetent.

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Tony Benn, the Labour former cabinet minister, said this on BBC Radio today: "I may sound strangely medieval, but once the police can interfere with parliament, I tell you, you are into a police state. Parliament is a safeguard against the abuse of power and once you start clamping down on it you are saying goodbye to the freedom that parliament gives you."

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Tony Benn, the Labour former cabinet minister, said this on BBC Radio today: "I may sound strangely medieval, but once the police can interfere with parliament, I tell you, you are into a police state. Parliament is a safeguard against the abuse of power and once you start clamping down on it you are saying goodbye to the freedom that parliament gives you."

While all is not obviously well in what was once called Merrie Old England, as John has adroitly noted, matters are far from out of the danger zone, despite the election of President[-elect] Barack Obama in the United States.

The dissenters view of the new paradigm that has been viewed with increasing suspicion, by a large segment of the American people and under construction since, arguably the new millenium in America, cannot all be lumped into the realm of "conspiracy theorists," if one of those echoes of foreboding is from the son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

Robert F Kennedy Jr. is one of those who, along with Naomi Wolf, Chris Hedges, Naomi Klein, and Joe Conason “[trace] the dangerous path America has [taken] toward a new, un-democratic form of government,” and examine “some startling similarities to authoritarian regimes of the past. The Five authors, during extensive interviews, expose the political and economic forces behind this transformation of American democracy.”

Joseph Sottile's efforts, along with the above individuals has become a movie entitled The Warning.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/index.php?p=1669

http://www.truthtopower.tv/robertk.htm

http://wordpress.com/tag/the-warning-film/

http://robertfkennedyjr.com/

Not to sound trite, but to coin a phrase, "this is not your father's Oldsmobile."

Edited by Robert Howard
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The man who ordered the raid on Damian Green was Sir Paul Stephenson, the acting head of the Metropolitan Police. He has applied for the permanent post that became vacant after Iain Blair was forced to resign after he lost the confidence of Tory mayor, Boris Johnson. Blair should have been sacked after the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes. However, a deal was done and Iain Blair was protected in exchange for Tony Blair not being prosecuted over the cash for honours scandal.

The post of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is appointed by Jacqui Smith, the home secretary. Stephenson, who has applied for the post, obviously thought he would impress Smith was his “pro-Labour” attitudes by ordering the arrest of Damian Green. However, to get permission for the raid on Green’s offices, he had to get permission from the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin. This would normally have been refused. The tradition of the Speaker protecting the rights of MPs goes back to 1642 when King Charles I entered the House of Commons and ordered the Speaker, William Lenthall, to identify five MPs he accused of treason. Lenthall refused and this act triggered the English Civil War.

However, Martin was in no position to refuse because of his own corrupt past. Since 2007 the Tax Payers' Alliance have been calling on the Metropolitan Police to investigate Martin for claiming expenses he was not entitled to receive. For example, it has been revealed that Martin claimed £17,166 last year towards the cost of his Bishopbriggs constituency home, on which he no longer pays a mortgage. When this was reported in the newspapers, Martin spent more than £20,000 of taxpayers' money on lawyers to challenge these stories. Understandably, Martin played an important role in trying to block the publication of details of MPs' £5m-a-year travel expenses under the Freedom of Information Act. Martin also used air miles accumulated on official business to fly his children and their families to London in business class. His wife, also illegally claimed more than £4,000 in taxi expenses. As long as Martin does as the police want, he will not be prosecuted for these offences.

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