Smith should resign
The last holder of public office in this country who tried to have opposition MPs arrested for embarrassing the goverment was King Charles the first. The Home Secretary would be wise to reflect on what happened to him.
If you want an indication of how little Labour has learned from the past week, you need look no further than the fact that Jacqui Smith was still trying to attack Damian Green this week after he was comprehensively cleared by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
It wasn't just the Conservatives who found this week that the Home office had greatly overstated the national security implications of the material published by Damian Green: it was the House of Commons Select Committee on Home Affairs, which has a Labour majority, and their view was endorsed by the DPP.
It wasn't just the Conservatives who pointed out that much of the information Damian Green was accused of leaking was clearly in the public interest, that much of it was already known by, for example, Labour party officials who were not members of the government, and that none of it put the country of individuals in danger. These things were included in the findings of the Director of Public prosecution.
So for Jacqui Smith to pretend that the DPP findings support the view that Damian Green had fallen below the standard of what is expected of an MP was nearly as contemptible as the Damian MacBride smears.
I was going to write a comment on why she should resign, but the Financial Times - a newspaper which endorsed Labour at the last few elections - has already done so. You can read the full article here, but these are the key paragraphs:
"Ms Smith, meanwhile, demonstrates the nasty habits of a long spell in office. Elected in 1997, she has never known political life in opposition. She confuses her own political desires with the public interest. Ms Smith allowed the police investigation into Mr Green’s leaks to continue – ostensibly on national security grounds – long after it was clear that all he had done was reveal some of her department’s shortcomings.
Ms Smith has proven that she is not up to the challenge of running the Home Office. After an excruciating expenses storm, she has been so politically enfeebled that when her anti-terrorism chief resigned it was announced by the mayor of London. Ms Smith does not even have a commendable legislative record to mitigate these failures; she led the government’s efforts to win the right to hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge. Mr McBride has resigned. Ms Smith should follow him."