After yesterday’s revelations has come the counter-spin: a retired Police officer told how he had found significant amounts of porn on Damian Green’s workplace computer, and how he was convinced that Green must have been viewing it at the same time he was engaging in Commons business. This was not the first former cop to make the porn claim about the under-fire deputy PM. So today has come the defence.
That's right Sir, both hands where we can see them
The line taken varies between supporters, but generally passes severely adverse comment on the Police, while looking to brush off the kind of work behaviour that would see those less fortunate than the Political and Pundit Establishment sent down the road in short order. Typical of this genre is the loathsome Toby Young.
Tobes’ opening gambit was to scoff “So Damian Green should be sacked because in 2008 a computer was found in his office that someone had used to watch perfectly legal, non-extreme porn? Why are we even bothering to debate this? Complete non-story”. A “non-story”. In 2009, that was the response to the Guardian’s phone hacking revelations.
But he wasn’t finished. “Would I sack a deputy head if someone accused him of accessing porn on a staff room computer in a previous job eight years ago? No and If I did he’d have me up before an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal”. It wasn’t a previous job.
Then along came Mark Wallace of Conservative Home, who pontificated “Whether Green did what is alleged or not, the behaviour of the police in his case is appalling”. And then came something very revealing: “If this can happen to Green, it can easily happen to others with less power and resources. MPs should be wary next time they're asked for yet more snooping powers”. Dead right it can. But waking up to it now is a bit late.
And the stressing that the porn was not illegal, along with the cops’ behaviour, as described by George Parker of the FT, was echoed by the serially clueless Tim Montgomerie, who told simply “Well said George”. So one might expect these upstanding figures to back any examination of Police misbehaviour. One would be disappointed.
When it comes to issues involving Police corruption, like the Daniel Morgan murder and subsequent search for the truth, they have been silent. And as to the Leveson Inquiry, whose Part 2 terms of reference includes “To inquire into the extent to which the police received corrupt payments or other inducements, or were otherwise complicit in such misconduct or in suppressing its proper investigation, and how this was allowed to happen”, they have all been utterly and totally dismissive.
Just do a Twitter advanced search. Look at Tobes, Wal and Monty all pouring sneering dismissiveness on Leveson. And as for Wallace showing belated concern for the little people, look at his condescending attitude to campaigning groups like Hacked Off, which has made that a cornerstone of its work. Look at the nailed-on hypocrisy.
They now protest because it’s a Tory minister. When it really was the little people being shat on, they couldn’t have cared less. What a complete and absolute shower.