Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes ?
Which is Latin for "Who shall guard the guards themselves?" and is a phrase that is usually written in latin because the issue has been recognised for so many years that it dates back to the days when more educated people wrote in latin than any other language.
But this ancient saying seems rather relevant to another unbelievable but true story about what passes for national security in Britain these days ...
The government has quietly released a written statement that reveals that thirty eight officials working at the Security Industry Authority had not received appropriate security clearance themselves.
The SIA is the body which checks and licences employees working in the security industry. The failure to properly vet its own officials makes a nonsense of what is is doing.
As Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve rightly said, "Thirty-eight officials have not been properly vetted at the very body hired to license those who can hold security positions in this country. And the Home Secretary has absolutely no idea how many licence applications this could have affected."
"This Home Secretary has been so fixated on gesture politics, like ID cards and 42 days, that she has been staggeringly complacent when it comes to getting a grip on basic elements of security policy that are vital to protecting the public."
Quite. Doesn't it show a remarkably skewed set of priorities that in the same week that the authorities use armed police to remind motorists to renew their tax discs, we also discover that the government did not have the basic competence to ensure that the people doing security vetting have passed the same vet themselves ?