SO MUCH for those who “fear” the onset of the police state.
As far as I know, police states are not known for instigating investigations into their own police forces’ investigations. But that’s what has happened, with British Transport Police Chief Constable, Ian Johnston, expected to deliver his report into the way the Damien Green inquiry has been handled some time in the next fortnight.
No doubt, those who insist we’re heading towards totalitarianism will dismiss this new inquiry as a whitewash: Ian Johnston is, after all, a former assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard. But having had the good fortune to work with Ian in the past two years, I know he is a principled and professional individual who has been an outstanding leader of the BTP and will bring an entirely objective eye to this task.
I said, a couple of days ago: “It seems, at the very least, somewhat heavy-handed of the police to treat any MP in this way.” So it seems entirely right that the way in which Damien was investigated should itself be the subject of a brief inquiry.
However, that still leaves us with the substance of the original inquiry itself. It will be difficult for police officers to continue their investigation while Her Majesty’s Opposition is shouting “political persecution” from the sidelines. And even if not a single one of them believes it to be true, it does make it more difficult for the police to do their job.