Sunday, 30 November 2008

An alternative view

"First they came for Jonathan Aitken, and I didn't speak up, for I had no simple sword of truth. Then they came for Jeffrey Archer, and I didn't speak up, for I thought his books were crap. Then they came for Mark Thatcher, and I didn't speak up, for I had never funded a military coup. Then they came for Andrew Pelling, and I didn't speak up, for I had never assaulted my wife. And then they came for Damien Green, and I wrote that it showed the government was fascist, for I had an internet connection."

I hesitate to post this link, as I'm sure Don could do without the attention, but I think Dave Semple (see comments) has a point. Do people really believe all this 'police state' stuff, all this 'the next David Kelly', or are they just trying to whip up outrage for party political purposes? I suspect it's a mixture of both - to whip up outrage, you need some people who are prepared to be outraged. But there are quite a few professional politicians and party hacks out there who are playing this for all it's worth. Which is not to say I believe the police operation was justified, or proportionate to the alleged offence. I don't. (Although I do reserve the right to change my position if it turns out there is more to this than meets the eye).


Single acts of tyranny said...

Last paragraph, what is the civilian security force to be used for?

LWTU said...

First, you have Jacqui Smith claiming people keep telling her they "can't wait" for identity cards - complete lies. Prove it.

Then you have your national-database-of-everything, ever, that the entire population is going to be placed on for its own good. Nobody asked, but get on there anyway.

You have ContactPoint which lists all personal details for anyone who has a child, whether you want to be on it or not, because of course we're all child molesters by default.

You have endless tales of children being forced (sorry, "encouraged") to give up their fingerprints - FINGERPRINTS! - and biometric data in schools in exchange for library books and food, and of course things are made more difficult for them if their parents refuse.

You have your wonderful "internet black boxes" on the way, with all internet traffic monitored.

You have CCTV cameras that can "predict crime", operated by unpaid volunteers, who have the final say on whether a policeman is dispatched to hassle someone "walking too slowly".

You have endless examples of local councils using RIPA to smack around anybody guilty of the terrible crime of overstuffing their rubbish bin by an inch or two.

I could go on, but its more than three paragraphs so you'll probably miss this important bit that I saved until last:

I am not a tory, nor am I a libertarian. I used to vote Labour, but because you continue to harass, bully and nanny-state me, I choose to vote whoever looks most likely to kick you out of office and scrap all the garbage you've heaped upon us.

Don't like it? Then start asking us what we *WANT*, instead of TELLING US WHAT WE NEED.

pagar said...

I tried to post the following on Don's blog however it seems free speech is not his strong suit and he sees fit to moderate comments. And it's only three paragraphs, Kerry

Your post is amusing but unfortunately makes a bad point very well.

Mr Green's alleged 'crime' is not in the same category as those of the others you name. If he is guilty, the 'crime' was motivated for party political advantage, not by personal motives. His arrest is not seen to be even-handed as the use of leaks is widespread- therefore the fact that he was arrested (rather than Peter Mandelson for example)is viewed as an abuse of power by the ruling political party.

And thank God we have an internet connection as it is the only way we can attempt to organise resistance to an increasingly fascist government.

pagar said...

Three paragraphs

I've Just watched Jacqui Smith on the Andew Marr show.

No apology.

She must go.

inkedbloke said...

Kerry, there's a lot more than blog commenters think this whole thing is dodgy and shows up a dodgy system.

Tony Benn for a start. Jeremy Corbyn.

Listening to Radio 4's Any Answers yesterday, every single caller (except one rapid rebuttal wonk) was seriously worried, many talking about an incipient police state.

Not too late to jump the sinking ship.

Billy Wallace said...

I’m just a number; one of those once upon a time, down to earth people, I see things through a common mans eyes.

Within the next 24 months there will be unrest on the streets of this country.

Old Holborn said...

I've started selling Pitchforks on my blog. Really

westcoast2 said...

On your poll, why is there not an option for 'Ban Banning things!'?

Also two things on the Mr Green matter. Firstly, small steps. Where are they leading?

Secondly, Are you not worried that parliamentary offices were searched and that this was allowed by the speaker? The speaker apparently took no advice from senior MPs, why?

Surely the searching of offices in Parliament is a serious matter and indeed according to Tony Benn amount to a 'contempt of parliament'.

If it is as serious as all that surely the speaker's actions need to be questioned, don't they?

Kerry said...

On the Speaker taking no advice from senior MPs - that's not how the Parliamentary estate is run. As I understand it, it's the Serjeant at Arms who makes such decisions, and she then ran it past the Speaker. It's the S-at-A who is responsible for security, and allowing the police in.

Old Holborn said...

I hear that Damien Green's landline has been siezed, along with his mobile and Email. Iain Dale is in a right tizzy about it.

Big Deal

ZanuLabour are going to start recording all our phone calls and Emails, along with our browsing records anyway, Aren't they Obergrueppenleiterin McCarthy?

How very Stalinist.

Kerry said...

Single AoT - link doesn't work.

Pagar - "If he is guilty, the 'crime' was motivated for party political advantage, not by personal motives." Not career advancement?

Kerry said...

Pagar - what exactly is Jacqui Smith meant to apologise for, given that she had no say in, or knowledge of, what happened?

westcoast2 said...


Doesn't the Serjeant at Arms serve the speaker?

I look forward to the speaker's statement which may clarify matters.

Harriet Harman seems to be calling for a review of the procedures used to allow a search of MP's offices.

Bristol Dave said...

Pagar - what exactly is Jacqui Smith meant to apologise for, given that she had no say in, or knowledge of, what happened?

So she says. I've seen 5 year olds lie more convincingly.

I guess she just doesn't feel the UK population is worth the truth, and indeed, beneath her contempt. Does she honestly, seriously, expect us to believe that she (and others such as Gordon Brown) didn't know?

As far as I see it, there are three options:

* Labour ministers, most definitely including Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown, not only knew the arrest it was going to happen, but requested it did.
* Labour ministers, most definitely including Jacqui Smith and Gordon Brown, knew the arrest was going to happen, but didn't request it.
* No Labour minister knew that this was going to happen, frankly incredible given the other ministers that did.

Neither option is good.

Single acts of tyranny said...

Sorry I missed the suffix off !!

Katabasis said...

p.s. Peter Griffin is sunning himself in France at present in a very nice house.

Have you read that customs report yet Kerry?

Katabasis said...

Kerry - Craig Murray has raised some questions that you need to answer:

Yet when I leaked a number of highly classified documents, openly on the internet with my name and address, did the police come knocking at my door? No, they did not. They consulted Home Secretary John Reid, who consulted Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. They concluded that they should seek to kill the story, and not generate publicity by arresting me.

Old Holborn said...

Kerry, sweetie popple pooks,

You might like to see me call Jackboot Jacqui a liar on my blog.

She is a Stalinist by her own admission.

Guthrum said...

I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as this House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am. - Speaker Lenthall 1642

Where do you want to start ? - Speaker Martin 2008

pagar said...

Pagar - what exactly is Jacqui Smith meant to apologise for, given that she had no say in, or knowledge of, what happened?


If you watch the interview carefully, she did not actually say that. She got Marr to say something like "so that's a no, then" and did not correct him.

But even giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she had no prior knowledge, you yourself have admitted the police handling of the situation was heavy handed. As the responsible minister she should have apologised for that.

And your comment that Mr Green was handling leaks for self advancement is unworthy. Of course everyone does their job to the best of their ability hoping for promotion (you too perhaps) but that does not excuse what happened.

Some bloggers have expressed amusement that an MP has suffered an experience of arrest similar to that suffered by WS in 1984 (I'm sure the scene is fresh in your mind?).

Personally I am saddened.

Reversepsychology said...


To counteract Old Holborns revolutionary talk of pitch forks the like, may I humbly suggest that your own blog counteracts this nonsense with the sale of specially tinted rose coloured spectacles, where once worn, instantly turns Bristol into a Utopian paradise, and the guardian into a quality newspaper.

donpaskini said...

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for the link, and thanks to pagar for two paragraphs of coherent response in between claiming that comment moderation is an affront to free speech and that t'internet is the only way to organise resistance to our fascist government.

On a different note, this game sounds like one you'd enjoy:

"Ever been enjoying in an amusing bit of internet chat, only to have some dork barrel in shouting about how the BBC is a Marxist propaganda tool, whose funding is extorted from the people with the threat of official force?

Ever had some joker explain to you with a straight face that all of Britain's problems are due to the existence of welfare, and felt a mad desire to smash your computer to pieces with a hammer?

Well your time has come peeps, for oddball first-person libertarian-shooter Bioshock is now available on all major platforms, and it offers a variety of vicious weapons with which to blast, impale, burn and electrocute a vast array of deranged right wing fruitcakes.

The game is chock-full of moral and political philosophy and offers the player the opportunity to play as hero or villain, but the core of the game is simple - to whack as many right wingers as possible by exploding them with grenades, braining them with a spanner or setting them on fire with pyrokinesis."

pagar said...

OK, Don, let's have a serious debate.

1) Why do you feel it is necessary to moderate comment on your blog? Kerry doesn't. The only rational conclusion is that, having read them, you will not publish some comments. That is an affront to free speech.

2)Th LPUK had it's first AGM yesterday. The party was conceived and born on the internet and continues to use the medium to conduct the majority of it's business. It would have great difficulty fuctioning without it.

If you wish you can attempt to characterise it's members as "deranged right wing fruitcakes" but you would be wrong. The left/right paradigm is obsolete and the future political struggle will be between statism and libertarianism.

When I used the word fascist I was referring to a political party that is prepared to use the state apparatus to arrest it's political opponents.

Over to you.

Reversepsychology said...


Nice to note that youve copied the majority of your own "speach" from the webpage to which you weould have us link.

And who says Socialists can't think for themselves?

It's an outrage!

Andy said...

Hasn't it come to something when people have to analyse the words of ministers in a TV interview to such as degree so as to establish whether they're telling the truth? Did they say this? Did they deny that? Did they say "is" or "was"?

Its all a bit heart-renching, a bit pathetic isn't it? If as Hariet Harman said today that "we are accountable to the people" for our actions, why not speak simply?, more plainly? Why are you all so concerned with semantics?

This politic-speak is a significant factor in the breakdown of trust between you (MPs/Executive) and us, the people.

If it continues, I'd suppose that civilised democracy is a dodo.

Dick the Prick said...

LWTU - apparently there's no scanners to read the biometric info on the ID cards - D'oh!

Good blog Kerry - stumbled upon it - good form.

donpaskini said...

Hi pagar,

From time to time members of the Libertarian Party seem to enjoy spamming the comments section of blogs which make points they disagree with. Since I was away from the computer for most of the day, I thought that comment moderation might help to discourage this.

How did the LPUK AGM go?

Kerry said...

OK, SAOT, have read the link - if you read the last few paras properly, it doesn't refer to Govt or Labour policy but to ideas being floated by Progress, which have been drawn up by Alan Milburn - hardly a man at the centre of government at the moment. Perhaps there's more detail on the Progress website?

pagar said...

OK Don.

I accept your point that you do not usually moderate and understand your motive though I should point out that the vast majority of those who have been commenting on this blog over the last few weeks are not party members.

LPUK is a very small, but very rapidly growing party. Yesterday, around 10% of the members took a day out of their lives to travel to York to meet and discuss how we can halt the apparently inexorable movement of our country towards becoming a totalitarian state. Unfortunately, the fact that we live in a democracy does not preclude this.

We have members from both the left and right of the political spectrum but they are united on one point. They value our individual freedom above all else and that crucial value informs our policies.

The Scumbag said...

Kerry - You're an MP, and any MP, no matter how much time they spend propping up a bar rather than either working in the HOC or dealing with constituency work (as mine often did until he retired), will come into contact with information that people in the press / blog community would kill for.
How would you feel (either as an opposition MP or as you are now an MP for the current bosses), if: -
1) you were accosted by inspector knacker in a car park, had your house searched, all your communications devices (phones, crackberry, laptop / desktop etc) seized, you office searched and all your confidential MP correspondence bagged n'tagged,
2) You spent 7 hours cooling your heels in the company of a couple of shoplifters, a cider drinker plus various other associated crims before inspector knacker even got down to having "a chat"
3) You get out, and find all your MP's correspondence is now evidence and is therefore compromised, you can't connect to the outside world; and in effect you're unable to do your job by your constituents
ALL FOR DOING WHAT YOUR JOB IS - i.e holding the executive to account for its failures or shortcomings as a result of being given a document that fingers the executive for being crap.

How would you feel? As many people have pointed out, this is the kind of caper that 400 years ago led to civil war because parliament as a whole took a stand. Aren't you a little bit aggrieved at the principle at least?

Guthrum said...

OK, SAOT, have read the link - if you read the last few paras properly, it doesn't refer to Govt or Labour policy but to ideas being floated by Progress, which have been drawn up by Alan Milburn - hardly a man at the centre of government at the moment. Perhaps there's more detail on the Progress website?

It is a concept lifted straight out of one of Obama's speeches, I beleive he is the chosen one, and even a source of inspiration for your goodself, everybody clapped but nobody knows what this means !

Cato said...

You are one of the 646 who should be jumping up and down with rage at this invasion of parliamentary privilege.
It has nothing to do with whether I vote Tory or Labour but it has a lot to do with Freedom.
Have you forgotten that word?

Trixy said...

The appointment of Miss Pay shows just how damaging positive discrimination is.

Sacking a good, qualified man because he didn't fit the inclusive left wing mould was a really bad idea.

People in the Armed Forces have knowledge and skills the rest of us don't and in positions like this, it's important to have someone like that.

As for that list, it's just irrelevant. Mark Thatcher wasn't an MP for one. For the others, they were civil cases. And for third, Mr Green was arrested for doing his job properly.