If you've read the papers over the past few days you will probably have heard the the police tapped the Labour MP and Government Whip, Sadiq Khan. David Davis has also released a letter he says he sent to Gordon Brown at the end of last year, which Brown denies receiving that noted that Davis had
reason to believe that the [Wilson Doctrine] has been breached in relation to communications between a constituent, arrested and detained as a terrorist suspect since 2003, and his Member of Parliament.From a purely journalistic perspective it is a great scoop but I can't help wondering "who cares"? When you place it in context of the Davis letter, I should, frankly, bloody well hope that the anti-terrorist intelligence services were monitoring what is going on in relation to people they have on watch lists, and that will include the people they come into contact with. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary has said
"Though I have no knowledge of the facts in this case, it is completely unacceptable for an interview conducted by an MP on a constituency matter, or on any other issue, to be recorded."Excuse me? but why is it unacceptable? Why must MPs have a special status that excludes them from being subject to matters that concern the security of the Realm? Some might say that this is a civil liberties issues, but actually, within Straw's comment it is clear that this is about special status for certain people. Would he be saying it was unacceptable if they had recorded a conversation between this person and some who wasn't an MP on the same grounds?
Of course they wouldn't. It would be a matter of national security and would receive no comment at all. Why that would happen would be because we ordinary subjects are not above the law. The Wilson Doctrine however dictates that MPs are above the law, which is why complaining about a breach of the convention being unacceptable is, frankly, bollocks.
There seems to be a common theme in recent weeks with the stories coming from Westminster I'd say. That being that MPs are some how, once they become MPs special people with extra privilege and rights than the rest of us. Whether it be people saying they should be allowed to engage in nepotism; should be allowed to accept donations from people who they later help out; or that they should be exempt from being targeted by the Security Services on matter of national security.
In the current climate where Islamism is of such high concern, and the potential of people blowing themselves on the public transport network is a very real possibility, then MPs should be aware that if they meet with someone on a watch list then they're going to be watched themselves. Do not also be fooled by the fact that Sadiq Khan is a Muslim. That is a red herring, whoever his MP had been they would have listened to him if he had a conversation with this guy.
If MPs are to be above the law on matter of national security and monitoring then what is a potential terrorist going to see as the best position they can hope to achieve in a society they want to subvert? Let us not forget the sort of people we are dealing with here are the sort that send turn two Down Syndrome woman into walking bombs and then blow them up in a public place.