Thursday, 4 December 2008

There is a kingmaker in Westminster tonight

Amidst the bluster - something is amiss. Consider for a moment just a dozen of the things we are asked to believe about Greengate.

  • A number of Home office leak enquiries failed to identify the culprit in their midst (despite him being a previous Tory candidate).
  • Despite not knowing the source, the Home Office were able to qualify the leaking as especially systematic, and provide a "full list of relevant leaks, including those involving highly classified material". Since only four were published how did they list the leaks without identifying the source themselves?
  • The Home Office / Cabinet Office did not intimate to police that national security was at risk (if they had, they would surely have had to apologise by now)
  • The Home Office / Cabinet Office did tell police that National security could be at risk in the future (presumably if the leak wasn't stopped).
  • Police agreed to take on the enquiry, without agreeing a protocol for communication. What would they have done if something affecting National Security had been found? Left it until February?
  • At no point before or during the enquiry did the Home Secretary or another minister make any arrangements which would result in them not being updated for political reasons.
  • That, despite there being no special arms length arrangements - at the point when the leaks were identified and their colleague arrested, the Home Office received no further updates from the police? Not even confirmation of the documents identified?
  • At this point no discussion took place in the Home Office as to how the enquiry might proceed? Even with their leaker on bail?
  • The Police were able to guess that they would get consent from SAA (despite having had no Government or Westminster contact in the enquiry) - and were so sure of their guess that it legally prevented them asking a magistrate for a warrant in one out of four of the search locations.
  • The SAA pretended to the police that she had legal and other advice - relieving them of the burden of warning her before she gave consent - but, in the event, failed to take that advice.
Despite the carefully crafted statements - the Government is now stretched out tight and thin like a rubber band over the whole Damian Green affair. In order to make it go away, both the Home Secretary and the Prime Minister have been forced - metaphorically - to put their necks on the block in the statements they have made. So has the Speaker. They know that, should it go wrong for them, it would be enough to bring down the Government.

One suspects that if there wasn't a competition going on for the top job the Met would have blown the story and run a mile by now as well.

Somewhere in Westminster tonight there are a number of people - many suggest a minister among them - who know enough to bring this whole House of Cards down.

2 comments:

kinglear said...

It's going to happen...

Cato said...

And the sooner the better!