Andrew "Duffer" MacKay
What has astounded me more than anything about the self serving nonsense that passed for the Speakers' statement in the Commons yesterday, was just how ignorant many of LEGISLATORS are in matters of their own privileges and the legislation they themselves have passed.
To begin with, members and commentators still spout nonsense about MPs privileges. Some still seem to believe that the Palace of Westminster is off limits to lawful police searches. Some believe that MPs should be dealt with differently from others suspected of serious criminal offences. I suspect the Home office mole, Galley, was arrested, his property searched and never saw a plate of digestives and a cup of Earl Grey, before he was bailed. When I listened to the Tory shouting match yesterday, especially from their front bench, that quote from Hamlet came to mind
And then we have Speaker Martin mumbling on about how the police gained access to Damian Green's office without a warrant. As if it was unlawful. Did he not realise the Sergeant at Arms authorised the search and seizure. Did she not read, what I suspect was, the standard police form of consent to entry.
And what was even more amusing was watching this barrack room lawyer, Andrew Mackay demonstrating his complete ignorance when plod sought entry into Green's office. It seems he neither challenged the right of the police to enter and seize items from Green's office. He certainly never requested they produce a warrant! So there we have it. A senior advisor to the boy Cameron, the Speaker of the House of Commons and one of the most important officials in the Palace of Westminster, the Sergeant at Arms, Jill Pay, seeming to know very little about the rights and privileges of MPs. And many MPs themselves seem to know even less about their own rights and the legislation they pass.
As usual Vernon Bogdanor in today's Guardian in less than five hundred words is right on the money.