Saturday, 6 December 2008

Lords A-Leaping

How edifying to see the spectacle of the Queen's Speech again this year. I actually smiled at the Sun cartoon on Wednesday, which depicted an open-top tourist bus passing the Houses of Parliament. The tour guide was saying: "And over there you will see the traditional dawn raid of the House of Commons by the police." That I think shows just how much the world has changed. A smile from the Sun cartoon. It has to be a first (though as a child I did enjoy finding the little man and the little bird hidden in the Franklin ones every day. Mind you, I also used to enjoy Hagar the Horrible - how times have changed, and not for the better) for me.

I am intrigued by the current power play over the arrest of Damian Green, and how it illuminates (or otherwise) the debate on the powers of police and Parliament. Terry Pratchett hints at this whole area in his 'Watch' books on the Discworld, and neatly demonstrates how fine a line is trodden by plod as a tool of the state, though he does sidestep a little by turning the Watch into something of a paramilitary organisation, whereas we haven't (yet) got that kind of set-up in jolly old England.

There is a good deal of strenuous and tenuous posturing by some in the Grauniad, about the sanctity of Parliament and the threats to the long-held freedoms enshrined in the democratic representation which we are so privileged to have. The arrest of Green they say - though this did not take place within the precincts of the Houses of Parliament, and which was ostensibly for a criminal matter - is somehow a major threat to this age-old system, on which other 'great democracies' such as Canada and (in part) the US, model themselves. What utter tosh!

At the risk of sounding like a rusty saw, I would simply state that anyone who witnessed the (there is no other word for it) travesty of justice employed as justification for the Iraq war cannot place any faith in the integrity of our politicians. Neither can anyone doubt that they will do whatever they can to further their own causes.

And a merry Christmas one and all.

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