L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

28 November 2008 Blog Home : November 2008 : Permalink

Then they came for the MPs

As a general rule I think that people who leak government secrets and those who publicise the leaks should face some kind of trial because the leaking of secrets is often a bad thing driven by political infighting and a desire to stab some other politician or civil servant in the back. Hence the threat of punishment is a good thing and, IMO, leak enquiries should be held more frequently with the parties facing a possible lifetime ban on working in government when found guilty at a trial.

However, no government is perfect so the defence of "acting in the public interest" is one that I am quite happy to accept in those cases where a jury feels that the leaker exposed something that should have been exposed. Since ZANU Labour is a long way from perfect I reckon that many leakers would be found innocent. Oddly enough under ZANU labour very few leakers and leak recipients have faced arrest until yesterday when, as the BBC reports, a Senior UK [opposition] MP[was] arrested over leaks

Conservative immigration spokesman Damian Green has been arrested and released on bail in connection with a series of leaks from the Home Office.

Police say Mr Green was held on suspicion of "conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office". [...]

It follows a series of leaks, including:

Unless there are other leaks that have not been mentioned this looks like precisely the sort of leaking that passes my "public interest" defence. Arresting a member of the shadow cabinet for doing his job and calling the government out about things it would prefer us not to know is despicable. It is in fact, as the Cameroon, said "Stalinesque" and is a very worrying development.

Combine it with the recent BNP arrests for distributing party leaflets and you begin to see a very nasty trend.

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.