Vital Signs


Policing the Opposition

Over the course of its 11 years at the helm of the United Kingdom, the Labour Party has acquired a reputation for authoritarianism.  However, even its harshest critics would have doubted the evidence of their senses when awaking one morning to find that an opposition MP had been arrested for releasing information that embarrassed the government.  Nevertheless, Damian Green, the Conservative Party’s spokesman on immigration, did indeed find his house ransacked by nine antiterror policemen, his daughter in tears, and the private correspondence of his constituents seized from the House of Commons and taken into police guardianship.

Green had been informed of a number of embarrassing facts by a civil servant in the Home Office.  He learned that 5,000 illegal immigrants had been employed as security guards, and that the home secretary knew about it and had covered it up.  He also found out that an illegal immigrant had been working as a janitor at the House of Commons using a fake ID.  Again, this information was being withheld from the public.  Green also passed on to the press a letter from the home secretary warning that the recession could lead to a rise in crime, nationalism, and racially aggravated violence.

It cannot be overstated how unprecedented this arrest is.  Civil servants have been prosecuted for leaking documents in the past, but for an MP to be arrested over such a matter is absolutely...

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