Thursday, July 20, 2006

Could this ' pretty straight kind of guy' be the first Prime Minister in living memory to be arrested?
I have been musing on the prospects of the police interviewing Tony Blair under caution at 10 Downing Street ever since Lord Levy was interviewed.

the Independent reports this morning that “..There is a shiver going down the spine of No 10,” one insider said yesterday. “The paper trail is proving stronger than the police expected. They are pretty good at persuading people it is in their best interests to talk.”

I asked a friend who is a senior police officer what he thought and his view is that even a face-to-face interview with the PM is highly unlikely, and an arrest is unthinkable. The Prime Minister would be assumed to be cooperating fully and there would be no precedent to interview him under caution.
They may submit questions to him but they would probably just ask for a written statement in reply.

In fact senior officers say that arresting very high profile 'suspects' is often done merely to knock the stuffing out of them first so that officers can 'cut them down to size' and interview them as equals.

It seems to me highly unlikely that any charges will ever be brought but just the prospect of the Prime Minister having become embroiled in a scandal leading right to his door must be hugely damaging.

At the very least it suggests massive poor judgement to have allowed things to get this far, at worst it could be that there really is some truth in the allegations.


Ellee Seymour said...

He can be interviewed without being arrested, it's called "helping police with their enquiries". He won't have to look far for legal representation.

Barrie Wood said...

'Dave' Cameon likes to portray himself as a pretty straight kind of guy too. Pity then the only firm policy pledge he made [rather stupidly] to leave the mainstream centre-right EPP has been ditched until 2009 at the earliest.

It looks like the Tory balancing act on Europe is dictating affairs rather than principle.

Still you are welcome to political purity and nil influence should you eventually leave the EPP. To divorce yourself from the largest EU grouping, especially with the Angela Merkel likely to become a key player in Europe, seems utterly perverse.

Still one promise made, one promise broken by Mr. Cameron. Oh dear !

Marcus Wood said...

Cameron has not broken his pledge. 2009 is the earliest possible date to leave.

Barrie Wood said...

Do you support exit from EPP ?

Barrie Wood said...

Do you support exit from EPP ?

Marcus Wood said...

In principle, yes.

Unfortunately the reality is somewhat more difficult and I accept that leaving now would be a big mistake.

Personally I am hoping that Andrea Merkel might come to our aid at some point - removing the commitment to a federal Europe from the constitution of the EPP would be best all round.

Barrie Wood said...

I understand your point of view - it is a consistent one. You want to see a **different** kind of Europe. UKIP and their band of 'little Englanders'want us to pull out and the economic [and political]consequence of such a position would be disasterous. Do you agree with that summation Marcus ?

I'm not as Europhile as some LDs, but the benefits of being a member outweigh the disadvantages on the whole. The democratic deficit and often secrecy of the EU needs addressing though.

Europe, for good or ill, rarely excites the electorate and isn't deemed a priority at general election time by the public - take the hint talk about issues that concern folks more...or lose votes as before, when your party seemed obsessed by European issues.

Marcus Wood said...

I was at a lunch recently with a senior frontbencher and during questions someone started going on about Europe (like they always do)...

"Look" he said "Europe is an issue for us but it's one of many dozens of important issues. It's about number 35 on the list of priorities..."

I agree wholly with that, it is an issue but not a big issue. For all that UKIP blather on about the 'billions' we spend on the EU it represents about 2% of Government spending.

As for all the laws that we have to put up with most of the time that is our own fault for gold plating every daft Brussels directive. (Incidentally did you know that an EU 'directive' is only ever a recommendation, the term is used in it's french sense not the English one...)

Barrie Wood said...

So what's your take on UKIP - locally and nationally ?