Our London correspondent Gaia sums up the events of a particularly appalling week in Britain, which culminated in the arrest of a Conservative shadow cabinet minister for political reasons — the first arrest of its kind since at least the time of Charles I.
A Glum Week for Britain
This has to be one of the most sobering weeks in the history of the UK. A succession of events led inexorably to the conclusion that life as we knew it has changed. We are in for a rocky ride.
The first to suffer were the BNP, who were already reeling from the recent publishing of their membership list on the Internet. Thirteen of their activists, aged from 19 to 70, were arrested in Liverpool on Saturday 23 November for handing out their leaflet “Racism Cuts Both Ways” (pdf). Assistant Chief Constable Colin Matthews of Merseyside Police said the arrests were made following the “distribution of leaflets which officers believe to contain racist content” and that “Merseyside Police condemns racism and will take prompt action to support all our communities.”
The thirteen were held in custody for several hours and their homes were searched. They were arrested at about ten minutes to one in the afternoon, but most were not even interviewed until after six pm, and the last was only interviewed well after 11 pm. Andrew Tierney was subjected to violence and physical torture for his passive resistance to providing fingerprints and a DNA sample for the database so beloved of this Labour administration. The oldest BNP leafleter to be arrested was Arnold Brindle, 70 who was denied access to his medication for stage three renal failure.
On Monday 24th the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that £8m is to be made available to equip up to 30,000 police response officers with Taser guns. Smith wants frontline response officers in all 43 police forces in England and Wales to be trained to use 10,000 of the 50,000-volt weapons.
Monday also gave us the Pre-Budget Report with the Chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-meltdown mini-budget increasing public borrowing and doubling the national debt to £1 trillion whilst temporarily reducing the rate of VAT by 2.5% and deferring future tax rises till after the next General Election, an appallingly cynical legacy to be passing on to future generations.
For this, he is roundly attacked by Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, who has recently been a victim of a smear campaign by the twice-disgraced Prince of Darkness “Lord” Peter Mandelson, brought back to shore up Gordon Brown’s increasingly precarious hold on the leadership of the country.
On Wednesday we learn of the outrages in Bombay in which up to 7 British Muslims are implicated, and the idiotic utterances of Stephen Hockman QC, a UK barrister, suggesting that Sharia law should be incorporated into the UK legal system and recommending that a group of MPs and legal figures should be convened to plan how elements of the Muslim religious-legal code could be introduced.
But the lowest point of a very depressing week must be the arrest on Thursday of the Conservative Shadow Immigration Secretary, Damian Green by nine police officers of the counter-terrorism unit.
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His arrest, which lasted for nine hours, followed a series of leaks to the Conservatives about Government policy, including a sensitive memorandum from the Home Office’s most senior official on crime figures earlier this month. It is understood that the inquiry is focusing on four Home Office documents allegedly obtained by the Conservatives, documents from the private office of Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, which were leaked to the opposition last November.
They showed that ministers had known for four months that thousands of illegal immigrants had been cleared to work as security guards, etc. — one even working in the House of Commons — but had not told Parliament.
Counter-terrorism officers conducted simultaneous searches at four locations: Green’s constituency office and home in Ashford, Kent, his office in the House of Commons and his London home.
That an opposition Member of Parliament is arrested for carrying out his duties to his constituents, with the police even presuming to enter into the Commons itself, is unprecedented since the time of Charles I and has provoked an uproar the length of Britain. Even the BBC and The Guardian, normally mouthpieces of the Government, were initially at a loss for words at this Stalinist action. Reactions from the British public express horror at the speed at which the country is degenerating under the jackboots of a police state. A sample of some of the 681 comments following this article:
What next, Opponents of Nu-Labour having a knock on the door at midnight.
Are the Police now an arm of Commisar Browns Political establishment.
What next is Nu labour going to abolish all other political parties?
This is over the top action by the police. If a stop is not put to this action then it is the end of political freedom in this country.
Are we living in a police state? This past couple of weeks have made me think seriously about emigrating.
This country needs to get rid of these stalinists who seem to be absolutely out of control.
A spokesman for 10 Downing Street declared: ‘This is a matter for the police. The Prime Minister had no prior knowledge of the arrest of Mr Green and was only informed after the event.’, a claim so ludicrous as to be laughable. Could this be the tipping point that causes the British people to wake up to the danger we are all facing?