Had Damian Green’s computer been found to contain gay pornography, there would have been only a fraction of the current furore. Mr Green would have made a public announcement of his homosexuality, and would have been praised for it. The muted response to allegations about the private activities of Keith Vaz, and the secular canonisation of the traitorous Manning formerly known as Bradley, seem to prove this.
Damian Green remains a red-blooded heterosexual middle-aged male and, in the eyes of the Left, is inherently guilty of possessing many ‘intersectional’ privileges even before his position as a Conservative Cabinet minister is considered. His current troubles stem from the alleged images found on a laptop he once used.
The computer was confiscated by the police nine years ago during a raid on Green’s office in the Palace of Westminster which might have breached Parliamentary privilege. It was part of an official inquiry into the leak of Labour government information concerning immigration.
Green was at the time a member of the Shadow Cabinet. He is now First Secretary of State, second only to Mrs May. If the images were wrong at the time, why wait almost a decade to make the information public? Were the allegations ‘stored’ to be used at an opportune moment? If so, the fallout from the alleged antics of Harvey Weinstein certainly provided that opportunity.
Why was this information divulged by a former police officer? Revenge? Had he remained in the service, would he have disclosed this information? The questions continue. Are we to understand that officers are free to disclose any information they choose once they have left the service? A free-for-all declamation of personal information by former officers cannot be in the public interest by any stretch of the imagination. If the police do not have any mechanism for preserving confidentiality in their former officers, these measures need to be introduced swiftly.
Then there is the question of whether the information disclosed is actually accurate? The nature of the reported images has changed from being borderline illegal to being ‘thumbnails’, essentially miniaturised previews of images. This implies they were never actually sought by Mr Green.
When an image search is performed using a search engine, pages of these thumbnails will be downloaded. It is possible that any questionable images could be the unintended consequences of a reasonable search. Last week, Gyles Brandreth tweeted a picture of a statue, asking followers to guess where it was. I googled ‘British Nude Bronze Statue Woman’ to try to find it. The images returned were in essence pornography. Once I changed the search term to ‘British Nude Bronze Statue Woman Public Space’, the correct image was returned in the first row. The other images remained questionable. But, dear reader, believe me, these were not the object of my search. Thumbnail images will remain in my browser’s cache. This does not mean I was specifically looking for them.
The police revelations provide a convenient balance to the narrative about the questionable behaviour of some Labour politicians and officials who have been accused of far more serious misdeeds against women than Mr Green has. A second Labour politician has been found dead in an apparent suicide following porn allegations, it has been claimed. Three weeks previously, sacked Welsh Labour minister Carl Sargeant apparently took his own life after sex harassment claims. But all the news is now about Mr Green.
The Government has lost two ministers in as many weeks. At no other time could Mr Green’s predicament threaten to bring the administration down.
The revelations of course might also be put down to the strained relations between the police and the Tory government. In the 1980s the police were full-square behind the Conservative government of the day. Mrs Thatcher recognised that putting money into law enforcement was money well spent. She was vindicated when a better-paid and better-equipped police force faced down the miners and printworkers, ushering in a new era in industrial relations.
Times have changed. The Police Federation, the statutory staff association, had the riot act read to it by the then Home Secretary in 2014. Public funding of the Police Federation has come to an end. The person that did all this is now our Prime Minister, and Mr Green is her closest confidant.
There is also the increasing perception that the police are now more concerned to be politically correct than to preserve public order and to protect life, limb and property. While some of the things Katie Hopkins says are unpleasant, the police should be protecting her right to free speech and her audience the right to assemble lawfully to hear her. Recently they failed to do either, letting a mob of thugs decide what constitutes freedom of speech.
Whose side are the police on today? The hard Left have long regarded the police as instruments of capitalism and suppression. Some elements look to their abolition and replacement by a political ‘people’s militia’. It raises an equally troubling question of whether the current behaviour of the police could their way of ingratiating themselves with the Leader of the Opposition, who has been arrested on at least one occasion.
The police are in the first line of defence of our freedom and safety. We honour those who fall in the line of duty as heroes. To serve in the police is to be part of an honourable profession. Officers earn our respect every time they put on a uniform and run towards danger while we run away. The public duty we rightly celebrate them for should not be tarnished by the behaviour of some former officers or a coterie of what could be described as trade unionists. Ministers should not be stabbed in the back by opportunists who have left the job or those who have a beef with the Prime Minister.