Monday, December 08, 2008

What is the big deal over the Green arrest?

Two weeks on from the arrest of front bench opposition spokesman Damian Green by terrorist squad Police and the subject is still dominant in most of the media. Today Parliament held a debate about the issue, specifically the role of Speaker Michael Martin in allowing the police to enter the Palace of Westminster and search a serving MP's office and confiscate and search through confidential correspondance from constituents without a warrant.

As some have pointed out, is it really that important to be arguing about apparently obscure Westminster protocol at a time when the economy is falling off a cliff?

Well in my view virtually nothing is more important than our freedom, and this shameful episode threatans the very heart of the hard-won democracy, Parliamentary power.

Be quite clear, MP's might not be above the law individually but the institution of the House of Commons is; and so it should be. Aside from the fact the it's now become clear to everyone that there is no suggestion that Green had broken the law in any way even if he had had that been in the interests of the public good then he is and should be allowed to, and should only be judged by his fellow MP's.

Think about this, if the House of Commons is ever answerable to anyone other than us -the electorate- it's power is lost; and the power rests in whoever the Commons ends up answering to.

One of the greatest arguments about the EU is the level to which MP's have derogated power to the EU commission, itself a body appointed by political leaders, in a move that has hampered and hobbled their authority.

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