This is by PDF, absolutely not DK, usual disclaimers apply
When I first read about Damian Green's arrest, I felt a bit concerned about what the flaming fuck the government was up to [*]. While locking up the Sarah Tisdalls and Clive Pontings has been standard practice forever, the leak recipients aren't supposed to be part of the deal. At least, as long as they grass out the leakers (hello, Peter Preston; how's 'not being in jail' working out for you? Shame Ms Tisdall can't say the same, eh? And no, that's not entirely fair).
But now the details have come out about what was actually going on in this case, it turns out that Mr Green was controlling a spy in the civil service, who was deliberately, regularly, stealing confidential information and passing it to Mr Green for political advantage.
That isn't 'civil servant spots badness going on and blows whistle to sympathetic ear', that's 'completely unacceptable conspiracy for which people should, if not go to jail, certainly be fired'. And anyone who thinks that the government are the ones in the wrong here should be shot in the eyes for partisan idiocy.
I hope this was a solo act by Mr Green. Because if Mr Cameron and the wider party organisation were involved, then it becomes a violation of the political neutrality of the Civil Service. Which is about a thousand times more important, in terms of guarding our freedoms, as whether people who commit crimes should be arrested (answer: yes, they should. Even though they're nice, posh and Tory. See also: speed cameras. And if it shouldn't be a crime, we should rise up to raise the speed limit / impose freedom of information, not just break it and be grumpy when we get caught...)
Yes, all government-collated information that doesn't directly identify individuals or compromise national security should be freely available in the public domain. That's true, and anyone who opposes it is ridiculous. But no matter how fervently we believe it, it's not the law. And the rule of law is what matters - and if anyone's broken the rule of law in this case, it's not the government.
Executive summary for the hard-of-thinking: if stuff is illegal, then people who do it should be arrested, even if they're people who you like. If people who you don't think should be arrested are arrested as a result, you should campaign against the stuff being illegal, not against those particular people being arrested; and you certainly shouldn't invent ridiculous lies about the constitution to justify the illegal actions of the people you like.
[*] technically, this is a lie: I was drunk and laughed my arse off, just as I did when Lord Levy was collared. Mr Green is, after all, a deeply illiberal, anti-immigration, pro-state-imposed-religious-schooling, pro-Iraq-war, anti-drug-legalising, anti-gay gentleman who therefore clearly has no great personal concerns about liberty. However, when I sobered up the next morning, my hangover was exacerbated by concerns over neo-Stalinist tactics.
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