Sunday, November 30, 2008

Perhaps Brown Should be Arrested Too...



I challenge any supporter of the Police action against Damian Green to argue the case that what Gordon Brown admits to in this 1985 video is different to what Damian Green is accused of - procuring misconduct in public office.

Perhaps Sky & the BBC might like to show this video on their news bulletins. UPDATE: Apparently it was shown on Newsnight on Friday, according to commenters.

Hattip: Guido Fawkes

119 comments:

Arkangel said...

Sky might possibly run it but you can bet your boots that Al-jaBeeba won't.

molesworth 1 said...

Ther's something Scrooge-like about the ghost of Brown-past coming back to... etc etc. How festive.

Frank Bough said...

Anybody into bondage?

kenny murphy said...

Well the fact the BBC's Newsnight showed it on Friday evening doesn't fit in with the 'Britain's bankrupt and a Police state' agenda.

David Boothroyd said...

Would you care to confirm the context of this? I suspect this was Breakfast Time on Thursday 18 July 1985, and the story was that the Thatcher government was cutting £180m from social security benefits in a move that would see 7m people lose out.

Because the problem with that is that, on receiving the leak, Gordon Brown immediately put down a stack of Parliamentary Questions about it (this is an example) and other Labour MPs asked questions about it, making it a proceeding in Parliament. Unlike Damian Green, who gave his leak to the press and said nothing about it in Parliament.

You can't claim Parliamentary privilege for things that have nothing to do with Parliament.

Iain Dale said...

God, you;re scraping the barrel now. So the fact that these illegal immigrants were given SIA clearance and one or two worked in Parliament and guarded the PM had nothing to do with Parliament? Don't make me laugh. And I am sure there were references to this in debates and PQs - if Green didn't make them other members of the Home Affairs team most certainly did. But even if not, your point is a ridiculous one.

tomcharris said...

"I challenge any supporter of the Police action against Damian Green to argue the case that what Gordon Brown admits to in this 1985 video is different to what Damian Green is accused of - procuring misconduct in public office."

Since I'm not a supporter of the police action (I prefer to wait and see if any charges are brought and on what evidence - you should try it sometime, Iain), then maybe I'm not qualified to accept your challenge. But apart from knowing the legislation under which Damien was arrested, none of us knows the specifics of what he is accused of (if anything).

And is this what opposition politics has degenerated to - asking voters to take sides as to whether they "support" or "oppose" police decisions to arrest people?

Richard Gadsden said...

How could something in 1985 breach the Official Secrets Act 1989?

Before 1989, there was a Public Interest defence, which is presumably the difference.

West Ham Shirt said...

Iain, I'm glad to see that you are asking all these questions as Nick Robinson and the BBC certainly aren't.

Old Holborn said...

Iain

Jackboot Jacqui told Big Ears Marr this morning that the police must stay independent

ER...

"The head of an influential parliamentary arms committee today said he was "very concerned" at the government's refusal to cooperate with the US criminal investigation into allegations of corruption against BAE Systems.

More than two months after the US justice department formally requested assistance in its investigation of Britain's biggest arms company, the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, has failed to pass on the request to the Serious Fraud Office.


Ms Smith's go-ahead is required before the SFO can cooperate."

West Ham Shirt said...

"Well the fact the BBC's Newsnight showed it on Friday evening doesn't fit in with the 'Britain's bankrupt and a Police state' agenda.

November 30, 2008 3:53 PM"


So are you saying that Newsnight could usually be suspected of being government stooges? Never!

Arkangel said...

tomcharris said...

And is this what opposition politics has degenerated to - asking voters to take sides as to whether they "support" or "oppose" police decisions to arrest people?

Totally irrelevant as you well know...or should do.
Why don't you try defending Brown...if you can...for his use of leaks?

norman said...

DB,

You are proving that you are a tribal hired hand for Brown, campbell, Smith and those stinking crowd.

It is clear you are sitting with Labour HQ resources at hand for your rebuttal. What a shame to stick your neck for Stalin Gordo.

Even if Stalin Gordon shoots some one with an AK-47 you would busily blog saying he is innocent.

Do you and Chris Paul take turns
loaded with snadwitches and ready for your rebuttals?

David Boothroyd said...

To Richard Gadsden: Also there was no claim in 1985 that Brown was complicit in the leak; evidently the police do have such suspicions about Damian Green, or else they would not have acted.

jailhouselawyer said...

Kenny Murphy: Funny you should say that, I saw it on there as well. Pity Guido did not source where he got the information. Perhaps, Iain Dale will now correct his original post where he claims wrongly that the BBC did not show this on one of their news programmes?

Erskine May said...

tomcharris: 'But apart from knowing the legislation under which Damien was arrested,...'

What legislation? There is no legislation involved. The police were relying on a common law offence.

David Boothroyd: picking up on your repeated claims about parliamentary privilege, you would be well advised to read Chapter 8 of the current edition of Erskine May. If it were to be held that Damian Green was obstructed in the discharge of his responsibilities to the House (for example, through the seizure of his parliamentary e-mail account), then the House could proceed against the police officers involved for contempt of Parliament.

richard said...

David Boothroyd, Richard Gadsen

This is nothing to do with how the information has been released by Green, but how it was procured; nor was the arrest under any Official Secrets Act (it was in fact under common law). He was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office and aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring misconduct in a public office.

If the police actually arrested Damian Green because of what he subsequently did with the information, or because they suspected he had broken the Official Secrets Act 1989, yet arrested him on other grounds then he has a strong case for unlawful arrest.

The Police can only arrest people for committing or being suspected of an arrestable offence (except i a few circumstances that don't apply - like an offence that is not an arrestable offence but they don't accept the identity of hte offender). They can't just make up an offense to arrest him for because they think he did something completely different!

richard said...

Jailhouse Lawyer

I suggest you read Iain's posts before trying to correct them, you might avoid looking so stupid.

For information Newsnight is not a news bulletin.

David Boothroyd said...

I have read Erskine May, particularly the chapter where it points out that a criminal offence committed in Parliament is not outside the criminal law, and that privilege only comes in if it is a "proceeding in Parliament". As you see the point I make above is that this leak about social security cuts was part of a "proceeding in Parliament", but that it is questionable whether Damian Green can call on that protection.

In point of fact the law under which Damian Green was arrested is a mixture of common law with statute law. Conspiracy to create misconduct in public office comes from the common law offence of misconduct in public office, but while conspiracy was originally common law, after agreement that it was overbroad it was made statutory except in two specific areas.

John M Ward said...

Richard Gadsden is misleading. I signed the Official Secrets Act in 1974: the 1989 Act was only an update, as is a common occurrence with legislation.

I shan't even bother with Boothroyd, who these days gives out the strong impression that he is just as low as Dolly Draper's outfits from his virtually-identical behaviour.

Nigel said...

David Boothroyd,
"Also there was no claim in 1985 that Brown was complicit in the leak..."
Even from a shill such as yourself, that's a pretty pathetic effort to distinguish the two cases. You really believe that a suitably motivated policeman could not have developed a reasonable suspicion that Brown was 'complicit' in the long series of leaks ?

Also, as you well know, the basis for the arrest ("misconduct in a public office") arises entirely from the common law. Without that obscure and in this case utterly ludicrous charge, there is no 'conspiracy'.

jailhouselawyer said...

Richard: Newsnight includes a news bulletin, therefore it's a news bulletin programme.

I have responded to this post over at my place, and expose it for what it is.

richard said...

David Boothroyd

Another point has just occured to me. In 1985 parliament was doing its job; it has teeth and relevance. It is Labour that has taken the business of running the country into the press, not the Conservatives.

DespairingLiberal said...

I detect a certain desperation creeping in to your prognostications D Boothroyd Esq, Defender of NuLab of This Parish.

I wonder if the law of public misconduct was operative back then? If so, does the Statute of Limitations apply, or can a retrospective complaint about Brown's leaking be brought?

David Boothroyd said...

There was no 'long series of leaks' to Gordon Brown from the Department of Health and Social Services. The misconduct of public office in this case is that of a civil servant; are you arguing there should be no such law?

With regard to John M. Ward, one of the main changes in the 1989 Act was to remove the public interest defence previously available to those disclosing confidential material.

richard said...

Jailhouse

I cannot believe how weak that is! Newsnight has a 5-minute news bulletin. That bulletin did not include the video. Had it done so, that would have been one out of dozens of BBC news bulletins to do so, but it did not.

The remainder of the programme is a current affairs discussion, a very different type of programme. That is where the video was used. However the rest of the piece was very supportive of the government.

Boothroyd

So? He still wasn't arrested for releasing the information to the newspapers. That would not be misconduct, but perfectly proper conduct in his role!

richard said...

Despairing Liberal

There is no statute of limitations. Let's all go and claim citizens' arrest on Gordon!

David Boothroyd said...

Despairingliberal, you're the one with the desperation here. You might want to identify yourself.

As far as Richard's claim about Parliament in 1985, that is ludicrous when Damian Green did not attempt to make use of the documents he received in Parliament. Also if you check the House of Commons debates for July 1985, what do you find but a complaint that the Thatcher government had been leaking things to the press in advance of announcing them in Parliament.

DespairingLiberal said...

Boothroyd, are you arguing then that in principle it is fine for the police to arrest an MP on any charge and then following that to search and remove all his parliamentary papers and correspondence at their sole discretion and leisure and for an indefinite time?

Since this is exactly what has happened, we would be intrigued by your answer.

The answer so far given by Cabinet Ministers appears to be that this is indeed fine.

In which case, our system of constituency parliamentary democracy, one of the bedrocks of which is privileged communication between constituent and MP, appears to be over.

Erskine May said...

David Boothroyd: Parliamentary privilege is the sum of particular rights held by each House. Contempt of Parliament is not confined to proceedings in Parliament. For example, serving or executing civil or criminal process within the precincts of either House while the House is sitting without obtaining the leave of the House is a contempt

MattyT said...

David Boothroyd said...
"I have read Erskine May, particularly the chapter where it points out ---"
How do you 'particularly' read a chapter? Either you read or you don't. You keep popping up pretending to have some special knowledge of constitutional law whereas in reality you are a pathetic shit relying on rebuttal unit feeds. Stalin's apologists all ended up dead and that's the reward you can expect from your disgusting, insane master.

Childprotector said...

Should the charge not be "exposing misconduct in public office

richard said...

Davcid Boothroyd

Much as I hate to repeat myself, so?

Governments leak things to the press. This government has done far worse than any previous (leaking market-sensitive information, both before budgets and relating to its support for financial institutions thus abetting insider trading).

As for Damina Green not taking the issues to parliament, do I really need to explain that one? Government has been sidelining parliament for 11 years. They pay as little heed to it as constitutionally possible, sometimes even less than is constitutionally allowed. What would have been the point of Green going to parliament? The only thing the government cares about is news coverage.

David Boothroyd said...

There is no concept of 'Parliamentary sanctuary'. The police are able to search areas of the Parliamentary estate in pursuance of criminal investigations, with the agreement of the Serjeant-at-Arms. But if she was satisfied that the search was necessary and that there was a valid reason for suspicion, the Serjeant would be very unlikely to intervene and prevent the search.

No Labour Party politician has intervened in this police investigation and it would have been quite wrong for them to have done so.

David Boothroyd said...

"serving or executing civil or criminal process within the precincts of either House while the House is sitting without obtaining the leave of the House is a contempt" - the police did obtain the permission of the Serjeant-at-Arms, as required. So that deals with that.

richard said...

DB

It seems you have lost the plot here.

Let me remind you of Eskine May's comment.

"If it were to be held that Damian Green was obstructed in the discharge of his responsibilities to the House (for example, through the seizure of his parliamentary e-mail account), then the House could proceed against the police officers involved for contempt of Parliament."

That has nothing to do with any sanctuary in the house, just with preventing the police from disenfranchising the people of Ashford.

MattyT said...

Richard - no point in trying to debate anything with this (not allow to say). Suspect he's got a plastic degree in law from some ex-poly in the North East and thinks he has a valid point of view. Reminds me of the lawyer joke in Philadelphia.

David Boothroyd said...

Richard, as you ought to know, that is not good enough. The activities of a Member of Parliament outside Parliament are not subject to Parliamentary privilege and no amount of your bleating "they started it" will unilaterally extend privilege in this way.

In any case it is blatantly untrue to blame the present Government for what is, as acknowledged in Peter Riddell's books on Parliament, part of a long-term trend which began long before it came into office.

(PS of course you can read a book and pay particularly close attention to one chapter of it.)

Erskine May said...

David Boothroyd:

"serving or executing civil or criminal process within the precincts of either House while the House is sitting without obtaining the leave of the House is a contempt" - the police did obtain the permission of the Serjeant-at-Arms, as required. So that deals with that."

No it doesn't, as I wasn't saying that they were engaging in such activity. I was using it as an illustration that privilege is not confined (as you appear to believe) to proceedings in Parliament.

David Boothroyd said...

Richard - if Green's Parliamentary email account was suspended (I have no knowledge of whether it was), then that is a matter for the Parliamentary authorities and not something the government has any role in, so I do not know what your point is.

David Boothroyd said...

Now you have me totally confused, in addition to your confusing user name. "I was using it as an illustration that privilege is not confined (as you appear to believe) to proceedings in Parliament."

You were referring to the prohibition on serving or executing civil or criminal process within the precincts of the Parliamentary estate. That would appear to be something "proceeding" in Parliament, at least if the words "in Parliament" are given a physical meaning.

What things, which are not proceedings in Parliament, are in your analysis subject to Parliamentary privilege? Because the real Erskine May hints that privilege does not extend very far, referring to a letter written by a Member of Parliament to a Minister about a Nationalized Industry as having been determined not to be a proceeding in Parliament and not subject to privilege.

Nigel said...

David Boothroyd,
"The misconduct of public office in this case is that of a civil servant; are you arguing there should be no such law?:

Absolutely.
Outside of concerns of national security, it is ludicrous that the criminal law should be relied on to pursue leaks - as Nolan recognised, and as the CPO guidance strongly implies.
"Misconduct in a public office" should be defined (narrowly) by statute. As it stands, it can mean virtually anything.
As far as civil servants are concerned, leaking should be a disciplinary issue.

jailhouselawyer said...

Richard:

" 23:00 – 23:20: Newsnight Scotland

International news bulletin

Comprehensive coverage of the day's important national and international news stories with Gordon Brewer".

Newsnight is news bulletin, current affairs, and reviews.

Mike Hobday said...

So where is the evidence on the video that Brown was procuring illegality? There's no means rea in receiving a leak

strapworld said...

Boothroyd. Mummy is at the door!

Erskine May is procedural. Based on precedents which by its very nature is evolving.

This video shows Brown admitting it on camera in the BBC studio's, That placed him outside the privilege of Parliament. It being, on your own juvenile rants about Mr Green, a criminal offence.

It also shows the adult nature of the then Conservative Administration by not calling in the Special Branch (as they were then!) and searching Brown's records in his Parlimentary Office and his home.....My my what would they have found???

For goodness sake. Unless you worked for or with Brown at the relevant time you cannot say:-

"There was no 'long series of leaks' to Gordon Brown from the Department of Health and Social Services."

You have no evidence whatsoever.

By the way, it should be "There 'were'///terribly bad english 'was' dont you know!

Now, why not just disappear. You are not convincing anyone. Brown may pat you on the back of the head, or somewhere!, but I suspect many observing and commenting on this excellent blog would like to talk a little more directly face to face.

Me? I would just like a little irritant like yourself to go home with mummy.

richard said...

David Boothroyd

Errrm, you've lost the plot again.

My mention of parliamentary privilege was only to remind you of what Erskine May had said. Nothing to do with any of my points, I know nothign of parliamentary privilege.

What I am talking about, releasing the information to the newspapers does not have to be covered by parliamentary privilege, as there is nothing wrong with it. It cannot be malpractice in public office of HM Opposition to challenge the government, in whatever forum they choose. That is their job!

teh parliamentary privilege issue relates tot he police preventing Damina Green doing his job, but I shall leave that to Erskine.

Jailhouse Lawyer

Eh? ... errrrmmmm ... yeeeeees. That's mroe or less what I said. However in the bit that is a news bulletin, the video did not appear.

It is also only one news programme. Iain used the plural, generally considered to refer to more than one, in this case I would guess all relevant news bulletins over a reasonable period.

Trying to defend that point on such weak grounds is so obviously partisan. Don't you care about the BBC's obvious bias?

norman said...

Hi every body

No use in debating with a Labour hired hand like DB whose job is to send rebuttal messages to sanitise his masters devilish deeds. It appears that Stalin Brown and the presumed Deputy PM Lord Sleaze with the help of Campbell have installed these hired rebuttal hands in all blogs (there is one in Nick Robinson's blog who not coincidentally prattles the same messages, quotes law and May's practice and in general serves his masters).
Look at how shamelessly these hied hands apply double standards. One for an Old Labour Fife MP called Brown who solicited leaks from the civil servants and another for Damian. Cofronted with Brown's YouTube evidence ( Guido), see how DB sidesteps it by saying Gordo was concerned with £180 million cuts but at the same time ignores that we are all concerned with the breakdown of immigration controls and the home office
deliberately letting 5000 illegal immigrants to stay in security industry.
This is not of concern that stupid home secretary who was promoted beyond her capability like all Gordo cronies are.
She has no shame and no moral framework.

More we debate with this Gordo rebuttal automaton more he will throw the lines
fed from his masters rebuttal archives.

Jimmy said...

Perhaps Iain can post the video in which Brown admits to procuring, as opposed to simply receiving something? He appears to have either posted the wrong video or not listened to it.

Iain Dale said...

So here we go, the Labour dirty tricks start... Well done Jimmy for descending into the gutter.

Erskine May said...

David Boothroyd: Serving a civil or criminal process within the physical precincts of Parliament is not a 'proceeding in Parliament' - unless you now wish to expand the very definition that you have sought to constrict in your earlier comments on this blog.

Jimmy said...

How is that descending into the gutter? This is abuse as a substitute for argument. For all I know Brown may indeed have procured the leak but it's simply not arguable that he is confessing to it in this video. You asked what the distinction was and there's your answer.

norman said...

DB and Jimmy,
Remember when Jack Straw, the home secretary' son sniffed the white powder and got arrested, the man of Straw obtained court injunction from reporting who this teenager was, and we knew from Irish papers who he was. The man of Straw then went with his son to the nearest police station and got him out with a warning.
Labour stinks as it is filled with these abominable characters.

Iain Dale said...

You know damn well what I meant. You are trying to make an allegation against Damian Green without having the balls to come out and say it. You are your cronies are all over the internet at it this afternoon. Shows how desperate the lot of you are.

David Boothroyd said...

Strapworld, your knowledge of English grammar is no better than that of the British constitution. In the phrase "a series of leaks", the noun "series" is singular.

The criminal offence being investigated in Damian Green's case is whether he brought about regular leaking. Receiving a single document through a leak doesn't come anywhere near that.

Mike Hobday said...

Iain,
What seems to me to be a dirty trick is suggesting that an MP should be arrested without any case that he was procuring.

Jimmy said...

Calm down, I've alleged nothing at all. I merely pointed out that the offence in respect of which Green was arrested (and of which of course he is entitled to be presumed innocent should I need to point this out) is not admitted by Brown in your video. I really don't see what was unclear about that. I don't believe I've smeared anyone ands would certainly not be so discourteous to you as to post a potentially libellous statement on your blog. I wish some of your other posters were as fastidious.

Man in a Shed said...

David Boothroyd - your beginning to sound like a legal version Gordon Brown.

We're not interested in Legal tractor production stats.

We are interested when the police go on a fishing expedition arresting a member of parliament and confiscate all his computers/phones/files.

If anyone needs to argue black is white they will no doubt be in touch with you.

DespairingLiberal said...

Jimmy, do you have any evidence whatever that Damian Green attempted to "procure" anything?

I ask because the entrapment attempt made on him by unknown security officials failed because he refused to be drawn and attempt to procure anything.

There will never be a charge against Damian Green because he has done nothing wrong.

The arrest of Green was purely a tactic, abused by the police to carry out searches and seizures which are in Contempt of Parliament. They also tactically did this (no doubt in collaboration with very senior people including Ministers) at a time when Parliament was not in session and when very bad news was underway elsewhere in the world.

The aim was public and private intimidation.

I don't recall any past act of government in my lifetime that has been quite so blatantly anti-democratic and totalitarian.

Nigel said...

David Boothroyd,
"Receiving a single document through a leak doesn't come anywhere near that..."

Another pathetic attempt to distinguish.
Clearly your memories of Brown in opposittion have faded.

In any event, your are ignoring the real issue.

David Boothroyd said...

am wondering whether Iain has any actual reason to object to the arrest of Damian Green, or whether it is just all a lot of special pleading that Tories are too grand to be arrested.

Jimmy said...

Dispairing Liberal,

No of course I don't. I assume the police do. If they don't I fully accept they are in deep deep trouble, but that seems to me a hell of an assumption at this stage.

Arkangel said...

Boothroyd and you ZaNuLabor trolls....quit while you're behind!

Iain Dale said...

David Boothroyd, your last comment illustrates how pathetic your arguments have become. It's not as if I am alone in expressing great concern is it? Many Labour MPs are up in arms about it too - have you read whatr Denis MacShane has said? Even Harriet Harman is cleary none too impressed.

I'm not making a partisan Conservative point at all, as you well know.

Mike Hobday said...

Iain,
Denis McShane hasn't suggested that Brown procured leaks. Nor does the video imply that he did.

So what's at issue is why you think he might be arrested.

Iain Dale said...

Nor did I say that it did.

Mike Hobday said...

So the headline for this thread means what?

Man in a Shed said...

David Boothroyd - perhaps you think Labour should be arresting every Conservative politician ? How dare they stand against your great leader, his clunking fist and your political career !

Wouldn't it be just easier for you to head of the Zimbabwe or Iran and see the results of those policies ?

Do you really think you are doing your party (or possible political career ) any good by this sucking up ?

Harriet Harman is already having to concede that something is potentially wrong with the system that allowed these events to take place.

Other Labour MPs and ex MPs understand what is wrong in what is going on. They have put the interests of our democracy and country ahead of narrow party interest. Why can't you ?

Soon Labour will be in opposition, perhaps for two decades based on the utter betrayal into debt slavery that their economic policy has resulted in. Its in your party's interests also that MPs in parliament are free from harassment and intimidation in the future.

The only person who stands to gain by your line of nit picking argument is the few burnt out cynical Labour careerists who are going to be unemployed the day after the next general election.

richard said...

David Boothroyd

You have the whole issue the wrong way round.

The point is not having a reason not to arrest Damian Green. The issue that there was no reason to arrest him. Usually we require teh police to only arrest people they have a reason to arrest, not just arrest everyone unless they have a reason not to.

Mike Hobday said...

Richard
I don't know if there was reason to arrest Damian Green or not. (I bet you don't either). If there wasn't, heads should roll at the police.

But at least be honest enough to accept that the (unproven) allegation against him is more serious than receiving leaked documents.

Iain Dale said...

Mike, you are clearly being deliberately obtuse, provocative or thick. Take your pick.

If Damian Green was arrested for passing leaks to newspapers - which is what the allegation is - then so could Gordon Brown be. Simple as that.

richard said...

Mike

Errrrm, that would not be honest. It would be dishonest, because they are not. If they were, then he would not have been arrested under an obscure area of common law. If it were more serious then he would not be completely protected by a defence of public interest, which he is.

David Boothroyd said...

Iain, I was just trying to respond to your pathetic twitter update.

Mike Hobday said...

At least I'm not being insulting...

So who says that the allegation against Green is merely that he passed information to the papers? Do you have inside access to the police's thinking?

If this is true, why were his bank statements seized?

I'm certainly not saying - or implying - that he's guilty. I'm just wondering why your definition of "procuring" is so lacking in any element of "procuring."

David Boothroyd said...

Richard, the point is that the police evidently did have reasonable suspicion that Damian Green had committed a crime - that's the threshold for arrest. The Serjeant-at-Arms, a non-political appointee, was satisfied that what they had was enough to justify allowing a search of his Parliamentary office.

The police do not have to tell you what evidence they have. If you want to make the case that they are obviously exceeding their powers, you must have some reason for casting doubt that they have evidence. What is that reason?

Dick the Prick said...

Gadzooks, gadzooks and thrice gadzooks! When Michael Howard & Tony Benn completely agree with each other then i'm a toddlin' off to the pub - safe pair of parliamentarians.

I saw Tony Benn at Glasto, half bottle of whiskey down me and I was perhaps one of the most sober and he kept an audience of hard to reach folk by sheer erudition. Class act - don't like his politics but the man is a tower.

richard said...

Mike

What is the relevance of that?

Iain Dale said...

David, isn't it a shame that it's not yet possible to purchase a sense of humour?

richard said...

David Boothroyd

"... that's the threshold for arrest". No it's not.

The crime has to be an arrestable offense, unless specific other criteria are met, for example if the suspect is thought to have given a false identity. Since the CPS guidance says that charges should not be laid if the alleged malpractice is in the public interest, so chargesd would not be brought, this was not an arrestable offence.

Hahahaha, you are joking I take it, that the Serjeant at Arms is non-political? Whose predecessor was forced out for political reasons? Who works for the disgraccefully political, corrupt Speaker Martin?

David Boothroyd said...

Oh I see, it was meant to be funny. You couldn't try writing actually amusing things in future, so that we can work it out? I mean, it can be very difficult doing the mindreading bit.

Jimmy said...

"If Damian Green was arrested for passing leaks to newspapers - which is what the allegation is - then so could Gordon Brown be. Simple as that."

But that isn't what the allegation is, and wishing it won't make it so.

Mike Hobday said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nigel said...

DavidBoothroyd,
"Richard, the point is that the police evidently did have reasonable suspicion that Damian Green had committed a crime - that's the threshold for arrest. .."

Really ?

Can you give a single precedent for the use of "misconduct in a public office" in this manner ?

Mike Hobday said...

Richard
Like Iain, you seem to be assuming that the arrest was in relation to releasing leaked documents, an activity that I personally think is entirely reasonable, even sometimes laudable. The use of the word "procured" in relation to the arrest suggests that your assumption is flawed.

scott redding said...

Did something happen in Mumbai recently? It's hard to tell on certain blogs.

David Boothroyd said...

Richard, you are again behind the times. The Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005, section 110, removed the previous category of 'arrestable' offences and substituted a new legal framework in section 24 of PACE.

Subsection 2 of the new section 24 says "If a constable has reasonable grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed, he may arrest without a warrant anyone whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being guilty of it."

This power is only exercisable if one of the reasons in subsection 5 is applicable; you'll have to look them up for yourself.

richard said...

No. I'm assuming that the arrest was "on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office" since that is what he was told on arrest. If it was not, then his arrest and detention was unlawful, and the police involved could be charged.

richard said...

David

Yes, so this is serious and organised crime? You really are getting confised!

richard said...

confused even

Nigel said...

David Boothroyd,
There are perfectly reasonable grounds for suspecting that severa (if not many)l meetings of the cabinet have been conspiracies to "commit misconduct in a public office".

Unlike you, however, I would view a mass arrest of the cabinet on these grounds to be entirely wrong.

Iain Dale said...

David, the clue was in the exclamation mark. I am surprised you didn't get that, you being such a details man and all...

jailhouselawyer said...

Richard: I take your point, thanks for playing mind games with me, better luck next time.

You referred me to Iain's post. When I revisited it, Iain had already accepted the criticisms and amended his post to reflect this.

Therefore, your defence was pointless pedantry.

Mike Hobday said...

So, surely the thread headliene should have had an exclamation mark too?

David Boothroyd said...

There are precedents where unlawfully disclosing information has been the basis of a charge of misconduct in public office.

In 2001, a Manchester special branch policeman was charged with misconduct in public office after leaking the name of the man suspected of organizing the 1996 bombing of Manchester city centre to the press. The jury cleared him, but that seems to have been because they thought he had not done it. The applicability of the offence to his suspected action did not seem to have been argued in court.

Corporal David James, recently convicted of spying for Iran and jailed for 10 years, faced one charge of misconduct in public office as part of a long charge-sheet.

Last month a Northumbria Detective Constable was tried for misconduct in public office over accusations that he accessed sensitive police information and passed it to a gangland murderer.

David Boothroyd said...

Richard, whether it is 'serious crime', or 'organized crime' is perhaps an academic issue, but it's certainly the Police.

Nigel said...

Really convincing precedents, David.

Not.

But you've clearly been doing your research - or someone has.

richard said...

Jailhouse Lawyer

(I seem to be repeating myself here) So? It still wasn't shown on the main BBC news bulletins, or even in the news bulletin beginning Newsnight. That is the issue.

David Boothroyd

They were hardly cases of whistleblowing were they?

And are you saying that you are happy for legislation to address serious and organised crime is being used to try and silence criticism of the government, if that is the case?

David Boothroyd said...

My job title is 'head of research'. The above a product of a quick five minute job; a longer search would no doubt turn up more appropriate examples.

Incidentally I do not work for the Labour Party and I have never worked for the Labour Party.

jailhouselawyer said...

Scott Redding: "Did something happen in Mumbai recently? It's hard to tell on certain blogs".

Yes, I heard that the cricket was cancelled.

Nigel said...

David Boothroyd,

I have just been re=reading you 'precedent' post.

Passing information to a gangland murderer ?
Are you serious ?

Or are you a parody ?

David Boothroyd said...

Richard: This is not a case of whistleblowing. All the leaks publicized by Damian Green were problems which were already known about; someone had sent a memo to the Home Office ministers telling them about it so that it could be attended to and fixed.

The civil servant who leaked them was not 'whistleblowing', because that means drawing attention to a problem which is being left to get worse. Whistleblowers are also expected to go public only after raising problems internally and getting no response - is that what happened here?

jailhouselawyer said...

Richard: It is irrelevant which part of the news bulletin the clip was shown, that it was shown on a BBC news programme is sufficient. Specifically to Iain's post I have responded to his point...

A case of Dale's bent question or handbags at dawn?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

This has yet again degenerated into a platform for the narcissistic idol of idiot worshippers, David Boothroyd, who is a cipher, for ZaNuLab.

Please, Mavis, you are embarrassing yourself with lines like, "Would you care to confirm the context of this?" The context of this is that Brown is a hypocritical, mendacious scrote and who of course was kept in touch with the Green affair from instigation to completion. Plausable Denial is not a new idea.

The fact that he can deny knowledge of the arrest is not a denial that he knew nothing of the affair, and anyway, it would all be done on the nod.

The lying bastard is depicted on this clip admitting he is the recipient of a leak from a civil servant.

MattyT said...

The shit Boothroyd said:

"The criminal offence being investigated in Damian Green's case is whether he brought about regular leaking. "

How do you know what offence is being investigated? Who leaked this to you? Come on, tell us you contemptible Brownite apologist. All Stalin's apologists ended up tortured to death - Happy Christmas you sick lying shit.

richard said...

Jailhouselawyer

You are joking, right? They show it on the discussion section of a single news programme. That programme is a lot less popular than the pure news bulletins. They put it in the discussion section, where they then defend the government. They ignore it on all other news programmes. You are trying to claim that is not bias?

David Boothroyd

This is whistleblowing. It is whistleblowing against the government's incompetence and cover ups of that incompetence. The fact that the governmnet already knew about it is hardly relevant; it is ridiculous to even suggest that!

JasonDB said...

So David, you have never worked for the Labour party? Is the entry below about another David Boothroyd or alternatively inaccurate? Or perhaps you operate by way of the same tightrope system of pedantic denial as the Home Secretary, PM, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Boothroyd

David Boothroyd said...

Jason, I am not endorsing that entry and if I had my way it would be deleted. However, that entry also shows that I have never worked for the Labour Party.

strapworld said...

David Boothroyd said...
Strapworld, your knowledge of English grammar is no better than that of the British constitution. In the phrase "a series of leaks", the noun "series" is singular.

This is great!

Boothroyd, it was a direct lift from YOUR comment!! So thanks for the lesson, perhaps you will learn from it.

It is obvious you just do not know what you are writing.

You really are juvenile.

Nigel said...

David,
I don't much care for direct ad hominem stuff, and I couldn't care less who you work for.

It's your arguments that I find disingenuous and offensive.

JasonDB said...

David, David, David,

Nobody is interested in whether or not you endorse the Wikipedia entry. You do not take issue with its veracity, I presume, else you would have taken the opportunity presented to point out inaccuracies.

It is surely disingenuous of a Labour councillor who worked for two Labour MPs to proclaim that he has never worked for the Labour party. You were on the payroll of Labour MPs, paid from their office expenses to which they were entitled as elected Labour Members of Parliament. Due to your successful election under the Labour banner, you remain on the local government payroll. That you were not a part of the Millbank machine is entirely irrelevant.

I do not, actually, care about your political past. Though I disagree vehemently with your opinions and much of your legal analysis (I note you are not a trained lawyer and am impressed at your knowledge of statute), I find its discordance with the general essence of opinion on here provides the opportunity for enhanced debate.

However, you do yourself no favours embarrassedly and disingenuously disavowing your political provenance.

Iain Dale said...

To be fair to David, I also claim never to have worked for the Conservative Party. Even though I have worked for three Tory politicians.

JasonDB said...

Iain,

Of course the distinction may be maintained. However, one needs to look at the context of the denial and the lack of positive clarification.

As I say, I welcome David's input into the marketplace of ideas and think it much better to meet his well-constructed arguments head on rather than to seek to dismiss them with abuse, as some correspondents prefer.

However, there did at least appear (as I read it) to be an element of disingenuousness in David's position. Perhaps I have read too much into his comment and he merely did not express himself as clearly or completely as normal.

trevorsden said...

David Boothroyd you are an egregious shit

trevorsden said...

And to emphasise the point Mr Boothroyd ...

"the police evidently did have reasonable suspicion that Damian Green had committed a crime "

They did did they? - -what a pillock you are.

Just like they 'evidently' had evidence to arrest those two muslim brothers , one of whom they shot in the process. Guess what - they were both released without charge, innocent of everyhing.

Tonight the police in Surrey shot a bloke - I wonder was he brandishing his Blackberry

The police had evidence of nothing ... they do not even have jurisdiction because there has been no 'crime'.

Piss off all you new labour bastard socialist trolls. Learn this you have gone too far. We tories are totally totally pissed of with you utter and complete load of shits. And guess what, the rest of the country thinks so as well.

Mostly Ordinary said...

Are the Tory Party now going to suggest it is made legal for people to pass sensitive government documents around to their mates, if they think it's worthwhile?

I suspect that both parties would sack anyone caught doing this, so to defend the recipient of the information seems a bit perverse - to me at least.

jailhouselawyer said...

Richard: "You are joking, right? They show it on the discussion section of a single news programme. That programme is a lot less popular than the pure news bulletins. They put it in the discussion section, where they then defend the government. They ignore it on all other news programmes. You are trying to claim that is not bias?"

No. Yes. Possibly. Did they? Did they? No.

Mike Hobday said...

Nigel,
"I don't much care for direct ad hominem stuff"? With respect to our host, I've gathered you're on the wrong site, then.
Mike

Vienna Woods said...

As Mr Green's arrest took place on the same day as the Sally Murrer case was dismissed, with the Judge's comments still ringing in everyone's ears, it makes me wonder on what grounds the Police followed this through at all!

It's the same old story with the police, in that today we have a police force that no longer operates on common sense and genuine detection skills, but a rabble uninspiringly led by a few dull administrative, politically motivated wasters.

The Penguin said...

It does seem that the police are all adrift.

How much did they spend on the Sally Murrer prosecution, petty and vindictive and pointless.

Then there's the fine spectacle all over the internet of three policemen thumping hell out of a handcuffed Iraq War Veteran for no good reason.

Meanwhile in Essex the plod are prosecuting 4 good men and true who dared to march a thief to the police station - he got off with a caution FFS!

And the shoot the Brazillian inquest reveals just how efficient and honest the Met isn't.

They fail to find enough to prosecute anyone in the Cash for Honours scandal.

And now this.

No wonder they have completely lost the confidence and goodwill of the majority of ordinary people in this country.

The Penguin

Vienna Woods said...

The current prosecution fiasco has been a long time in the making. I can’t for the life of me remember when it all began exactly, but anyway was some time during the mid 70’s. I refer of course to the decision to create the CPS instead of allowing the police the decision to prosecute and to actually undertake the prosecution at Magistrates Courts. For higher court work, retained criminal law solicitors, cooperated with the police to present a case. The CPS was a disaster from day one. Staffed by lawyers not good enough to enter private practice, they were incompetent and unworthy of the role. More often than not, they would only take a decision to prosecute only on watertight evidence, leaving many criminals to get away scott free. Many, many prosecutions were made were evidence was clear but no account was taken of the individual case circumstances, leading to many unfortunate people being criminalised for minor offences, when a caution would have sufficed. Of course the mid 70’s also brought us the swathe of Graduate Policemen, the administrators and the clerks. Spending six months in each department was enough to complete their CV’s as „experienced“ officers and these cloned policemen achieved rapid promotion to executive positions and most of all, „decision making“. Putting these types in the same pot as the CPS sends common sense out of the window. Thirty years down the road and here we are with incompetents at all levels of criminal law decision making! The sad thing is that everyone knows about it, but nothing is done.