After Theresa May bowed to the inevitable, and told Damian Green, Ashley Madison non-member and female party-goer toucher-upper with special responsibility for legal threats, that he had to resign, there had to be a backlash. After all, none of those ghastly socialists had been caught with pants down, hands in the till, or exhibiting sackable foot-in-mouth tendencies, and there had to be a scapegoat. So it had to be the Police.
That's right Sir, both hands where we can see them
Why so? Well, two retired cops had blown the whistle on Green, and while whistleblowing was fine when it was done to politicians who have incurred the displeasure of the Press Establishment, for one of their pals to get caught was totally out of order. So today brought the Murdoch Times telling readers “Police turn on officers who brought down Green … Porn leaks attacked as Tory anger mounts”. The paper is not alone.
Indeed, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph goes further, with “Police had Green vendetta, says Boris … Backlash against officers who leaked details of porn on sacked minister’s computer”. The lack of self-awareness is staggering.
So let me put the collected cluelessness of the Press and Pundit Establishment straight. For starters, London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is in no position to call “vendetta” on anyone, nor to pontificate on those who have been caught behaving inappropriately towards any number of young women. Hint.
Moreover, someone is missing the obvious detail: Damian Green had porn on his workplace computer. That, in A N Other Everyday Normal Workplace, would be a gross misconduct offence resulting almost certainly in summary dismissal. Green was not dismissed. He continued to draw an MP’s salary, and later a ministerial one, for almost a decade after being caught. That is not the Police’s fault.
It gets worse: Kate Maltby, who first raised the question of Green’s inappropriate behaviour, has claimed that 10 Downing Street knew about the Deputy PM’s behaviour last year. She has told “Eventually I spoke to a very senior and long-serving aide of Theresa May … I was aware that he was the deputy prime minister and I was aware that No 10 knew about it”. They knew about Green’s behaviour.
She added “I would never, never have told my story about Damian Green if I did not believe I was exposing a pattern of behaviour of which I thought the Prime Minister was personally aware”. Yet the Press Establishment is trying to divert attention on to the Police instead, while the two obvious questions go unaddressed and unanswered.
One is, as Geoff Ho has pointed out, “Staggered by how so many in the Government have their knickers in a twist about Damian Green. It’s simple: he had porn on his WORK computer. That’s a sackable offence in the private sector … Then he lied. He got what he deserved”. Forget what the cops may or may not have done. He’s bang to rights.
And two, as My Sweet Landlord muses, “Kate Maltby; "Eventually I spoke to a very senior and long-serving aide of Theresa May". Did Sue Grey speak to Nick Timothy or Fiona Hill?” That’s why the right-wing press and punditerati want you to look over there.
Because the possibility of cover-up could be bad for the Tories. Don’t be distracted.