Thursday, April 16, 2009

Damian Green Will Not Face Charges

So, Damian Green and Christopher Galley won't face charges. No great surprise, but the fact of the matter is, it should never have come to this. Leaving aside the conduct of the Police and civil servants over this for a moment, if The Speaker of the House of Commons had done his duty, Damian Green would not have been arrested in the first place. It is now time for MPs to stand up to The Speaker and hold him to account for his actions - or inactions.

The Home Affairs Select Committee and the Conservatives have maintained that civil servants exaggerated the national security implications of the leaks, and this has now been shown to be true. Both the Home Secretary and Cabinet Office Ministers must be held to account for their actions.

The Police acted rashly and immaturely. The arrest of a Member of Parliament was always going to be controversial, but the Police appeared blind to the implications of what they did.

The Speaker should now refer the whole issue to the Standards & Privileges Committee, as he should have done in the first place. And then allow a full parliamentary debate on the matter.

39 comments:

Conand said...

'Both the Home Secretary and Cabinet Office Ministers must be held to account for their actions.'

Back to the now default question: What did Tom Watson know about this?

Dick the Prick said...

Whoo hoo. I'm obviously chuffed for Greeny but he's kinda insulated and it would have been highly amusing should it have gone to trial - step forward one Gordon Broooon.

I am incredibly happy about the youngster Galley - reputation unsullied, friends in the right places, brave chap and criminal record unsmirched (is that a word?) by the oiks. Result - get the guy some champers & a big fat Cuban cigar - he's earned it. Brilliant.

Colin said...

It looks like Green and Galley are in the clear. Unlike the McBride of Frankenbrown, they won't be getting Draperized...

I'm listening to some regime creature called salter on five live. What a complete tw*t.

Colin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pete-s said...

The CPS (Can't Prosecute Socialists), states that no secrets were released, indeed some of the information was already in the Public domain. So why have not people in the cabinet office being charged with the CRIMINAL offense of deliberately wasting police time.

Hannibal said...

"The Police acted rashly and immaturely. The arrest of a Member of Parliament was always going to be controversial, but the Police appeared blind to the implications of what they did."

To be fair to them, they had been told it was a national security issue, that wasn't their fault.

yellowbelly said...

Labour trolls please form an orderly queue to express "regrets" at smearing Green and Galley.

Also, expect to hear lots of "lessons have been learned" and "draw a line under this and move on" type comments.

Matt Oliver said...

Re the Speaker I will believe it I when I see it.

I have a feeling that the Speaker will also rule that there can be no mention of the emails for some obsecure reason.

Remember his ruling when Tony Blair stepped down saying that David Cameron could not ask about the succession.

I suspect he is being leant on...

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Shurely it is not being suggested that civil servants sexed up a dossier in order to wage war for political purposes?

I have never heard of such a thing! I am shocked! Shocked!...

Dick the Prick said...

Beautiful boot in the head by Greeny 'first time an opposition MP has been arrested for doing his job since Britain became a democracy' - err.. 1642?

Got an interview with the Tories this evening so am obviously quite excited - am doing silly things with spreadsheets and previous elections - hmm... can't really give a presentation and say 'all bets are off - these figures are useless now'. Fun and games, fun and games.

Fidothedog said...

Hurrah.

BigJeff said...

I have to agree Hannibal.

The miltary have an old adage - "Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted", or "look before you leap" in simpler language.

The police are not totally stupid, someone MUST have asked something along the lines of "Are you absolutely sure about this? I want it in writing and who is providing top-cover?" The alternative is a conspiracy consisting of a cabal of senior police officers, senior civil servants and ministers.

It is an attempt by the CPS to distance themselves from any fallout. I think that the lid on Pandoras box has only been lifted - Goodness knows what lies within.

Conand said...

@ Weasel

Shocking isn't it? I've never heard of that happening before. Terrible.

@ Dick the Prick

I don't envy you. All bets seem to be off at the moment. What with Smear-Gate and FreeGreen etc, Labour could be looking at a pretty bad opinion poll.

JuliaM said...

"What with Smear-Gate and FreeGreen etc, Labour could be looking at a pretty bad opinion poll."

Time for someone to take Brown that whiskey and loaded revolver...?

Dick the Prick said...

Conrad - only done about 12 years but (other than the fragrant BNP screwing figures up) it seems the biggest threat is defo from the Lib Dumps.

trevorsden said...

Correct Pete-s

The notion that civil servants were acting alone in this is risible. There was political interference - we all know this.

davidc said...

did messrs green and galley have their dna taken ? while it now be removed from the database ?

Carl Gardner said...

Keith Vaz's claim this morning that ministers weren't involved in the decision to call in the police is not only risible - it's at clear variance with the evidence Jacqui Smith and Sir David Normington gave to his committee. Jacqui Smith told the committee she agreed with the decision, and to be fair to her, she in her BBC interview this morning made clear she shared responsibility for the decision and that civil servants did not act on a frolic of their own. So what's Keith Vaz up to?

The important thing here is not to be diverted onto criticisms of the police, who were told the leaks had damaged national security and who, the HA committee rightly concluded, acted in accordance with the law; and not to be diverted back on to the hoo-ha about the search, which is a side issue.

The real point here is that the police never should have been called in in the first place. Jacqui Smith is responsible for that.

Julian the Wonderhorse said...

Surely Jacqui Smith has to go after this. What has someone got to do to be sacked these days?

Her competance to do the job, her judgment, her honesty and potential abuse of power are all being called into question. When has a Home Secretary ever been under such pressure and remained?

The country is being made a laughing stock - can you imagine the comments when all those world leaders met with their aides for their London briefings and were told about Mr. Smith? And now this, the DPP coming very close to calling a senior civil servant a liar.

I'm disgusted, and not even in Tunbridge Wells, Iain!

MikeyP said...

JuliaM 12:00:

No point, he would miss!

jon dee said...

This whole affair has been as murky and conspiratorial as the McBride debacle.

I'm not surprised if Brown has apologised because the Damian Green outcome spells more danger for the Downing Street "plumbers" and the Home Secretary. It was clearly a set-up and just by chance coincided with the departure of Labour cop Blair at a time when Jacqui Smith was in a fit of pique with Boris Johnson.

Your Nixon analogy grows stronger by the minute.

Dungeekin said...

He's not out of the woods yet.

Initial reports indicate that Damian Green MP was re-arrested at his home in the small hours of the morning by an elite Scotland Yard unit.

He's currently in Belmarsh awaiting charge.

D

davidc said...

i refer readers to this article in the evening standard

Jacqui Smith on the rack over Damian Green fiasco
Joe Murphy, Political Editor
16.04.09

Ian said...

Can we presume that the fingerprints and DNA profile and the DNA samples of Damien Green and Christopher Galley will be destroyed.

niconoclast said...

This would not have happened if the Civil Service was run properly with each administration bringing in its own people instead of keeping up the pretence that it can practice impartiality.Thatcher knew the latter was a polite fiction and rightly didn't trust civil servants further than she could throw them.

Martin Day said...

Damian may not face charges but I think Gordon Brown should for what he has done to the country!

Mirtha Tidville said...

I dont have any doubt that Jackboot Jacqui was involved ( I wont say driving force cos she is not that bright) but that she was doing this on behalf of Brown (in the same way that McBride was).I have little doubt that he was very closely involved but covers his tracks well and the price of that is total support, no matter what,for these useful but useless bozos...

Dont expect JJ to go anytime soon. She will be allowed to ride out this storm like she has the others, until she flies too close to the sun (like McB). Dont think we are there yet..


As for DNA being removed?..dont be daft Stalin is not likely to remove anything that can be further used in the total and overall control of the plebs (especially the Tory ones)..

Oscar Miller said...

This is how Lord Mandelson spun this story last December when he had a media field-day smearing the Tories.

Here is the master of the dark arts spinning on Sky

Spartan said...

I see Smith is still going with the line about National Security!

She is not on this planet.

Conand said...

@ niconoclast @1:18

I'm not willing to give up and go for American style administrations just yet.
There are still Civil Servants of all political persuasions who can be counted on to do the right thing.
Martin Sixsmith gave an early warning of SpAds & Spinners in NewLabour. It seems that very few people in the Labour Party took note of what he said.

[Comment Modding sucks, thanks Deleted Person, you psycho.]

David Lindsay said...

Having been charged, he should have had his day in court, to confront his accusers and clear his name.

Away with the CPS.

Chris Paul said...

Lot of absolute cock being talked about this on the radio. Mercer better than Paddick. But both cock.

Unsworth said...

@ Chris Paul

For those of us who are unable to hear the wireless right now would you like to provide a transcript of what is being said?

Thanks so much.

ScotsToryB said...

Further to Oscar Miller's reference; what Mandelson goes on to say about civil servants and their code would have a been perfect foil to McBride: it will surely come in handy in the future.

STB.

Martin said...

Come on Iain, there is a Scottish mafia operating at Westminster from that idiot of a speaker down to McOne eye and his celtic friends.

Until we vote this shower of you know what out there is going ot be no change.

This is NOT the end to the dirty tricks. As McOne eye's poll ratings keep going south expect more and more of this crap to be thrown at the Tories.

The BBC need to be watched as well. This electric car nonsense has been spun by the BBC for 2 days now (it started if you notice yesterday with some pointless article on the news about a crap car in America).

The whole Damien Green thing has almost been ignored by the BBC, especially if you compare the amount of airtime the BBC gave to smearing Green when he was arrested.

Thatsnews said...

It was, and is, a disgrace.

M. Hristov said...

@ David Lindsay

Green wasn’t charged. He was arrested. The hurdle for that is “reasonable suspicion”. To be charged the hurdle is effectively the civil standard of proof “On a balance of probabilities” (It is more likely than not that the offence was committed by the person to be charged) and that it is in the public interest to charge. In most but not all cases the CPS has to give authority to charge. To obtain a conviction the standard of proof is “Beyond all reasonable doubt” (It is sure that the person committed the offence).

The fact that civil servants said national security was breached got the Police to Stage One. That is to say provided reasonable suspicion. Indeed, once a formal complaint was made they were under a duty to investigate.

Green was arrested and searches carried out.

Green seems to have given a “no comment” interview (that is to say he refused to answer questions), or so it would seem from what he told Paxman on Newsnight.

It is interesting to note that Michael Howard introduced the law which watered down the right to give such answers. If Green had been prosecuted an adverse inference could have been drawn from the fact he failed to answer questions put to him at the police station, which were later put to him at court. In short, a jury or magistrates can decide you are lying because you failed to answer police questions which you later answer in court. The supposedly barbaric US criminal justice system retains an absolute right to silence.

All New Labour Home Secretaries have built on Howard’s reforms to create a situation where the suspects options are limited. The latest proposal is to limit legal advice to telephone only advice in the Police Station, except in very serious matters.

The Thatcher government recognised that procedure is everything in investigation and introduced the excellent Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) which regulates procedures in the police station. The Police were professionalised and “Life on Mars” became a memory. Michael Howard and New Labour did not recognise this great achievement of civilisation and swallowed the Daily Mail/Sun view that suspects have it easy.

Green probably did have it a bit easy, as his answers to Paxman suggest he was never put in a cell but he will have been left in no doubt of the stress of the situation.

Green comes out of the whole affair very well. It is very difficult for all but a hardened criminal to manage a “no comment” interview. Green had never been interviewed by the police before but seems to have managed it. It is also difficult to concentrate on other matters, outside of the narrow issue of the crime you are being asked about but he seems to have thought about his duties of confidentiality as an MP and to have stuck to them.

His DNA will remain in the database and he will always have to request a visa before visiting the US.

David Cameron's main problem will not be with the police when you get into power. It will be with the senior civil service who have been so compromised by New Labour and who seem to have become identified with them.

P.S. Alan Milburn has just launched a scorching document which complains that working class people are very poorly represented in the higher reaches of the legal profession.

Peter Neyroud, Chief Executive of the National Police Improvement Agency, and one of the very few ex-public school Chief Constables (he was at Winchester) has recently called for more middle class people to be recruited into the ranks of the police. A deafening silence followed from New Labour. No great commissions were set up and Keith Vaz did not go on telly to denounce the police as having a glass ceiling for the middle class.

tomdexter said...

Lest we forget


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIrweIqqsOc

Rightwinggit said...

The worst they could come up with was Galley used a trekkie password?

Listen up, wonks.....

Across the country there are servers named after Lord of the rings characters, Dr Who characters, Names from Arthurian legend....
Geek world,in other terms, and you just insulted geeks.

Geeks run your network servers.


Including the mail servers.


Sleep well, you swivels...