Video footage of counter-terrorism police searching the parliamentary offices of MP Damian Green has been released on the Tory party's WebCameron website today. The vid shows MP Andrew Mackay confronting officers as they prepare to search Green's confidential Commons documents. "This is currently a scene we're going to search …
If they think that's disproportionate
then the Tories are living in a dream world, and they will benefit from this slice of reality. Innocent people are subjected to far worse treatment every day by over-zealous or simply misinformed police officers. It's a price that we all have to pay. My home was once searched and belongings taken as part of an investigation into someone else which led to no charges being brought. Many, many others will have experienced the same or far worse - remember the raid in Forest Gate in which a man was shot and a house ransacked, and even trumped up porn charges brought to cover tracks, all on the basis of a false tip-off? Everyone investigated in that incident was completely innocent too.
If MPs have suddenly realised that this goes on then it's long overdue. They are the only ones in a position to change the situation. Yet all we have got and all we will get is political point scoring. It's pathetic.
That'll Be Interesting Then...
Since they were not 'counter terrorism' police, but merely part of the old Flying Squad aka the Sweeney, don't swallow everything that the Tories put in their press releases. A politically independent police force investigates incitement to leak and the Tory spin manages to make them look the victims rather than the perpetrators of a major piece of dishonourable spying
Not quite sure which country we are living in
Can't believe this is happening. I thought the Opposition was called that because that's it's role. Had I read about this happening in Russia or China I'd probably shrug my shoulders with a smug comment about democracy and right to free speech - great fun trying to explain this to the kids. Still when people are more interested in who is going to be voted out of Z factor -- guess the government can do what they like.
Sorry, but I can't think of anything remotely witty to put about this - ho hum.
Attack helicoptor, cos that's what happening here
"London's metro police" ???
Please remember which side of the atlantic this is. It's London's Met police or London's Metropolitan police, but certainly *not* London's metro police.
From some shit site that claims to be an encyclopedia...
Totalitarian regimes or movements maintain themselves in political power by means of an official all-embracing ideology and propaganda disseminated through the state-controlled mass media, a single party that controls the state, personality cults, control over the economy, regulation and restriction of free discussion and criticism, the use of mass surveillance, and widespread use of terror tactics.
I would say that the UK is at least 80% of the way there.
Much though I dislike the Tory party
I sincerely hope that they succeed in tearing new ****holes for Jaqui Smith and Michael Martin over this issue.
Flames because Guy Fawkes would be setting the powder again if he was alive nowadays.
It's a laugh really.
Nothing to see here.
Good to see plod making a complete and utter tit of themselves. Time for a cleanout of the police and a big reduction in their powers. Since they dont bother with burglers or crimes that affect the normal person anymore (not sexy enough) I cant see the point in paying their huge salaries (overtime innit) and massive pensions (try and save enough working for only 30 years to get 2/3rds final salary index linked). Just hire some security guards on the minimum wage to stand around saying "nothing to see here, move along please.
Labour dont quite know what to do now that their police state is in the open. Look at them scuttle round in a panic!!!
It's 24 years late but it looks like it's finally arrived. it appears that we are now living in a melded Orwell/Stalinesk police state where unhelpful opinions are not tolerated and we all must think alike. This scares the shit out of me.
Kettle meet pot, pot meet kettle
'She accused the Tories of condoning "systematic" leaking of confidential Home Office information.'
A bit like those helpful-to-the-Labour-Party leaks from inside the Treasury that kept ending up with Robert Peston at the BBC?
F'rkrissakes Jacqui when you're in a hole stop digging instead of asking for a bigger shovel.
Er, Tim, I think you'll find that the correct terminology for the Metropolitan Police (as defined by common usage) is actually one of the following:
Fascist Bully Boys
Uniformed Pack of Bigots
The BNP Constituency
The Terror Squad
The Remedial Reading Group
Anti-terrorist officers 42 days later
Yes anti-terrorist officers. Watch for yourself, she doesn't dispute anti terror laws were used.
It's not the price we have to pay, it's the consequence of not putting in proper civil protections. If they didn't need to get confirmation from a court for 28 day detention, they'd have locked up MPs in jail now. This is not some third world country here, you should not have removed the checks and balances on the police. You should not have empowered a batty old bitch with, for example, the power to place anyone in house arrest on her say so without evidence.
Jacqui filed the original complaint to the MET, the head of which is also chosen by the Home Office.
The speaker will make a statement on this, however they even dictated that:
Even after being caught nobbling the speaker, they still lied, a bare faced lie, saying they only discussed the timing not the content.
@ Total control
only 80% are you sure?
I would say closer to 95%
Call me cynical but...
This could be a rather clever ploy. Politicians do not like the police scrutinizing their activities a la the cash for honours affair. So make a huge clumsy balls up of an investigation into an opposition MP over practically nothing and get THEM to call for new legislation preventing ploiticians from being investigated or "harassed" (in office at least) and it sails through a breeze AND everyone else thinks it's a good.
Anonymous because I know how devious they are.
How long till they go after Brown for the long range of leaks he used when he was in opposition to attack the tories.
O wait, they wont... The filth are just having a hissy fit becouse the tories keep making them and the home office look like a bunch of incompetents.
Civil servent leaks to Parliment are as legit as if you have a work grevience with a manager you go to a different manager or a union rep. In this case the Manager is the Government and the alternative manager/rep is Parliment.
That's how British democracy works, sadly the filth have been given far too much of a free reign by our current Government and feel that they run the country.
@Simpson and 80%
What is a 'personality cult'? Does a popular consensus of opinion to influence particular behaviours count? I'm merely thinking that the current hysteria over climate change/the war on terror might fulfil this one. If so, I think we've satisfied that entire definition...
gimme a break...
> Had I read about this happening in Russia or China I'd probably shrug my shoulders with a smug comment about democracy and right to free speech
Democracy - give me a break - it turns politics into a popularity contest judged by the lowest common denominator. If you want to run a country properly you need a bloody good (preferably benign) dictatorship... it's a shame that the kind of people who have the drive to become dictators seem to, by and large, be malevolent sociopaths.
Police are Maniacs
They have one of their bods claiming that police should act without fear, that is dangerous.
Fear equates to responsibility, and if all the police are acting without any fear or responsibility then they really have gone feral.
What the UK needs is a police force to police the police, it has got to the point where they need to be reigned in. The people working in that force, should not be taken from existing police and their powers should only extend to the police, that would quickly stop police corruption.
And I don't think it would be hard to find people willing to do this, a lot of good people believe in democracy and believe that the instruments that could be used to take away the freedom democracy need to kept in check, there are people who still cherish freedom.
@AC - Call me cynical
That's so creepy its tangibly plausable! Many pieces of legislation have been passed in response to sensaitionalist (some say knee-jerk) moments in history and the 'people' think this for their own benefit. RIPA is a good example.
Paris - Because she knows when she is being screwed...
AC even though the government can find out on request
@ dishonourable spying
When it comes to organisations that weild great power over the average citizen, there is no such thing as dishonourable spying.
Such documentation should not have to be 'leaked', it should be freely available to the voters on demand. It deeply saddens me to hear people working under this recently developed assumption that our political leaders have a right to secrecy in the way that they govern our lives.
This is complete tosh, and the most direct route to government corruption. Power corrupts, absolute power currupts absolutely.
Over many decades, our various political servents have used many propaganda wars claiming various terrorism related excuses to systematically opacify their methadoligies and decisions. They have been trying to convice us that accountability is an inherantly bad thing.
Unfortunately, they have been succeding, and this attitutde has permiated throughout our society within local authorities, corporations, and the media.
They want us to believe that they should not be scrutinised or questioned over their actions, a view that is diametrically against the very fundemental principles of democracy.
Instead, they'd prefer us to wait four years, simply so we can welcome the new boss, same as the old.
Simply put, the more power a person weilds, the larger and sharper the sword of damocles that is required.
"... a major piece of dishonourable spying"
Have a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIrweIqqsOc
Gordon Brown boasting about his mole in the Civil Service when HE was in opposition. Dishonourable spying? One law for him...
don't get you people
why does everyone assume that the government should be above the law and moan when the law intervences one time but moan that they are actiing like they above the law and not intervening the next time?
Stalinist? you have no clue.
The clueless morons who're referrring to this as "stalinist" should try checking with a few Ukranian or Cossack survivors. Meanwhile they might like to stop insulting both the survivors and the intelligence of everyone else with this caeculum tauri.
Stalinist is when you get taken from your bed and shot for speaking out against the govt. Stalinist is when your friends inform on you to save their lives. Stalinist is when you're forced to move to siberia.
Not when the police have get a warrant to investigate a real crime which you have been implicated in. MPs need to get over themselves and remember they too are subject to the law.
"Stalinist is when you get taken from your bed and shot for speaking out against the govt. Stalinist is when your friends inform on you to save their lives. Stalinist is when you're forced to move to siberia."
Isn't it better to stop Stalin BEFORE he gets so powerful he takes people out at night and shoots them?
"Meanwhile they might like to stop insulting both the survivors and the intelligence of everyone else with this caeculum tauri."
You don't speak for Stalin survivors and commons sense dictates they would want any future Stalin stopped in his tracks at an earlier stage.
@"why does everyone assume that the government should be above the law and moan when the law intervences one time"
The police are not the law, they should not be misusing anti terror powers against an MP covered by Parliamentary privilege. They are also not above the law, well at least they would normally not be above the law with a proper Home Secretary in power.
>clueless morons who're referrring to this as "stalinist"
It's exaggeration for effect, as in 'clueless morons' for fellow readers of El Reg! Have you never said you were 'starving' when you were merely a bit peckish?
Spineless Tories though...
The first thing you do when a police officer asks you to stop filming is refuse. Everybody knows that, it's your record of procedings.
You should never blur their faces out, and you make sure you get their names, numbers and station, double check their ID, take photos of their ID for reference, get the name of their superior officer, phone the station to ensure that they are who they claim to be and then insist that you remain in a position to observe the search.
Generally make things awkward for them as you can whilst remaining within the letter of the law.
Anonymous because S44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 gets abused whenever any police officer feels frisky.
@ Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 3rd December 2008 13:45 GMT
Speaker Martin's Statement to the House claims that the police did not have a search warrant and nor did they inform the Sargent at Arms that she could demand one.
Also the raid on the House of Commons took place at 7am.
Why 7am of all times, was this to ensure that non of the House officials would be sufficiently awake to realise what was going on?
the police didn't even have a warrant to raid Mr Greens parlimentary office.
re Stalinism "The bureaucratic, authoritarian exercise of state power and mechanistic application of Marxist-Leninist principles associated with Stalin."
The part about taking people from their beds and sending them to work camps is plain old fashioned brutal dictator. Mr Clueless Moron.
re : don't get you people
The police seem to be getting a bye from you on illegal entry. Are the police above the law?
There was no crime.
There was no warrant.
There was a law against this sort of entry.
But you'd rather see a tory get hassled than risk any chance that Labour will get its arse kicked out.
No Doubt at all
That Damien Greene is in some kind of conflict with Waqui's policies but that should not in a democratic society be a problem that leads to such things as police raids on his office.
Of course now that it has hit the papers there will be all kinds of Nullabour spin to explain why it happened and why Waqui ( I'm not a nazi) Jaqui is not guilty of any kind of wrong doing.
One of the biggest worries here however, is the fact that the police are so ready to intervene on behalf of the ministry's request. This is suspiciously close to the other recent civil? service cock up recently where the civil service released criticism of Tory policy.
Both the police and civil servants should not under any circumstances be allowed to involve them selves in political actions as part of their jobs and, furthermore the guidelines for police action against opponents to ANY government policies need reviewing. Or is it that Britain really is no longer a democracy and is now a Poligarchy (POLice or POLiticians).
RE:No Doubt at all
Polyarchy, no poligarchy
Rights, responsibilities and rule of law
A democracy is not an anarchy.
Where one has rights, responsibilities and rule of law the other has naught.
It seems amazing how many tory MPs wield a sword of righteousness, shiela of justice (or was it truth and shield?) just before ending up in the clink?
So the Speaker tells the Commons that he knew nothing about any of this until after it went down, and Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown both deny any foreknowledge too.
Either the Sergeant-At-Arms is incapable of doing her job due to lack of basic knowledge (she should know the Police need a Warrant to search somewhere, and that the person targetted - *or a nominated responsible person* - should be present when the search is done to make sure there is no "funny business") or she was told to let them through with the mimimum of fuss; either way, the Speaker should step down since he is responsible for making sure his staff do their job properly - which she clearly failed to do.
A Senior figure in Government must have signed off on the raid - even the Met can't be so thick as to imagine they can just go trampling through the seat of our nation's Government - and one of the most secure buildings in the country (supposedly) - where there could be all sorts of private, confidential, and Classified (Restricted, Secret, etc) material stored.
As an Opposition minister, Green would (should...) have access to exactly the same material as his counterpart in Government - which would include documents etc the average Policeman would not be cleared to see - hence the need for special permission for the search.
Since this goes straight to the heart of our nation's governmental process, it should be a VERY senior figure indeed - Home Secretary or Prime Minister level. And as the person with overall responsibility for the security of the Houses of Parliament, surely it is down to the Speaker of the House to make sure nobody gets in without permission.
So either Our Glorious Leaders and their underling are lying through their teeth (again) or they are completely fucking incompetent. Where was this sort of access when Tony Blair was being investigated? Where was this sort of treatment when Gordon Brown was revealing Conservative party internal memos? Where were the Nu Labour "Mental Hygene Police" when the anti-Sleaze government ministers (David Blunkett and Robin Cook to name but two) were exchanging pillow talk with their respective extra-marital fuckbuddies?
Leaking counter-terror plans I can understand as grounds for this sort of behaviour.
Leaking the fact that the Government employs illegal immigrants (obviously without any sort of checks) IS NOT a valid reason. Especially if those illegals are employed in the very department that is supposed to be making sure this country is safe...
SO, cover up the fact you put the public at risk and you can get away with it.
Reveal that government ministers are blatantly ignoring the law AND LYING ABOUT IT and get arrested.
Maybe we should drop the use of "Stalinist" to describe this government - at least Josef Vissarionovich had the balls to admit when he was fucking the people over rather than trying to tell us it is for our own good...
So.. terror attacks mean...
... we have to give up some of our freedom in order to protect ourselves from these threats, according to politicians. They should have kept the bas*ard in custody without charge for 60 days. then he might understand what the rest of the country thins to 'emergency terror legislation'. But oh noes.. I'm a politician these laws shouldn't apply to me.