Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Down With Bush

A joke circulating during the Cold War describes how in a dialogue between an official of the USA and his counterpart from the USSR, the American explains to the Russian how in democratic America anyone can demonstrate and yell “Down with Nixon” without fear of retribution.

“Russians too are free to yell Down with Nixon without fear of retribution,” replied the Soviet official.

For those of us who like to watch periodically the debates in the House of Commons on C-Span, and enjoy seeing the democratic process in action, this report from Janet Daley, writing from London for the Telegraph, should give us pause and make us wonder where is democracy heading in the birthplace of the Magna Carta.

The article explains how Damian Green, MP and Shadow Minister for Immigration was arrested by anti-terrorist members of the Metropolitan Police, held for questioning for 9 hours and had his papers and computers at home and in his office in the House of Commons confiscated. Given the dangerous period we are living through, one would think that Mr. Green was guilty or suspect of plotting some horrendous crime against England. It is surprising then to find out that he was incarcerated for doing exactly what a member of the opposition is expected to do; namely, question the ruling party and the prime minister. Mr. Green had the temerity of asking questions and revealing:

* the fact that the home secretary knew that the Security Industry Authority had
granted licenses to 5,000 illegal workers, but decided not to publicize it.
* the fact that an illegal immigrant had been employed as a cleaner in the House
of Commons.
*a whips’ list of potential Labor rebels in the vote on plans to increase the pre-charge terror detention limit to 42 days.
So, here we see that the real crime committed by Mr. Green was humiliating the Brown administration. This is a dangerous development that we in the United States should watch with grave concern. The left wing of the Labor Party, as does the left wing of the Democratic Party seem to believe that freedom of speech was designed to protect what they agree with. Rumors about the resurgence of the Fairness Doctrine, hate crime legislation and intimidation in academia should worry those who want a free exchange of ideas and opinions.

Well, at least we will always be free to yell “Down with Bush.”

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