Someone needs to protect us from our Home Secretary and the Police

Last December I wrote about crimes against the environment and mentioned the rather warped sense of priorities that sanctions an outrageous raid instigated by the Home Office on Mr Damien Green MP’s home and offices. Mr Green was, we were told at the time, suspected of aiding and abetting misconduct in public office. In fact, he had merely received and published information, much of which was in the public domain, which the Government found embarrassing, in the long tradition of British democratic politics; so the forces of the anti terrorist police were marshalled by the Home Office against Mr Green with the bullying collusion of the police, who apparently told Mr Green that he might well go to prison for life for his alleged “offences”.   

When you give Mr Plod the Policeman and the Home Secretary draconian powers, they use their powers in ways unimaginable. In this case their used their powers to attempt to impose their force on the democratic process.

Mrs Smith, our lamentable Home Secretary, claims in her defence that her job is to protect the British people against “terrorism” and other crime. She claims “My job is to protect the British people. It is also to protect the sensitive information about how we protect them as well and that is what we have done.” I would like to know how the whole Damien Green episode has protected us or sensitive information. If the Government were so concerned about protectings sensitive information you would have expected them to take better care of the millions of person confidential records that have gone astray in the past few years.

She has a flawed understanding of her job. If she wants to protect the British people her starting point is to protect to protect our freedoms; our most important freedom is our right to speak freely, criticise and hold to account the Government. Many have held that freedom more important than life itself; many have sacrificed in terms that Mrs Smith will never understand, their lives to protect this freedom.

We do not simply have the right to do this every four or five years by a one off vote at the ballot box, but the right to do to speak freely every day of our lives. Our words may publish facts that are not harmful to the national interest but highlight errors, corruption, foolishness and incompetence. Our words may enhance or degrade the Government; that is our right. Our words may enable the Government to be held in high or low esteem; that is our right. Our words may show the Government to be competent or incompetent, wise or foolish; that is our right.

Those were the rights that Mr Green asserted and it was also his duty; he was doing what every opposition spokes should be doing. For his pains he was arrested, questioned, bullied and treated like a criminal or terrorist.

Mrs Smith apparently will not justify her position or that of the Home Office to Parliament as a whole. Some have tried to palm off the whole affair as one of simple misjudgement. Mrs Smith certainly misjudged the matter, but more importantly she failed to understand that she has a duty to protect all our rights, not just the rights that she personally and the government of which is a member find personally most convenient to protect.

While Mrs Smith is busy from protecting us all from crime and terrorism, we have to ask, who will protect us from Mrs Smith?