Damian Green: careful teasing adds volume

Posted by Tim Ireland at December 1, 2008

Category: Tories! Tories! Tories!

This entry was posted on
Monday, December 1st, 2008
10:00 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.

BBC – Row over Green ‘grooming’ claims: Senior Tories are furious that police who arrested MP Damian Green accused him of “grooming” a Home Office mole to leak him information… When police questioned Mr Green – the shadow immigration minister – they are said to have suggested to him that he had not “simply received leaked” information but “groomed” a civil servant who had allegedly passed him 20 confidential documents. The man, who has been named in newspapers, was a Conservative activist who is believed to have previously applied for jobs in Mr Green’s office. There was Tory anger over the police’s use of the controversial term “groomed” because it is usually used in relation to child sex offences.

Oh, spare me.

What possible reason could the police have to avoid using this word? I mean, apart from the selective hypersensitivity of Conservatives looking to gain recently-lost ground. (Oh, and perhaps mask a bit of misconduct, eh gents?)

FFS, they’re charging about all over the place like hysterical pepperpots; there are causes for concern in this case, but this isn’t one of them.

Don’t wave a six of clubs in my face if you’re trying to convince me that you’re holding a royal flush.

Footnote about a footnote: the following was said about Paul Staines (aka ‘Guido Fawkes’) recently in relation to another matter, but it certainly applies here;

“Footnote: it’s always enjoyable to catch Guido Fawkes in a tizz, the insouciant mask of worldly, non-partisan cynicism dropping as the Tories get into difficulty.” – Michael White

See also: One of the shoutier wannabes from the Paul Staines stable declaring that the alleged mole had been somehow ‘disappeared’ as part of this “audatious” act.

MINI-UPDATE – Another example, and this time we are spelled for spoiling errors. Are these the “window liquors lickers” that Paul Staines speaks of when lamenting the sorry sewer-like state of his comments?

Related Bloggage:
Justin McKeating – That poor oppressed ruling class again
Jim Bliss – Tories living in Stalinist Britain
Septicisle – Green and a very suddenly established police state
This and more in a blogging round-up at Liberal Conspiracy

Teh (Alleged) Mole:
The Daily Pundit – Home Office mole, Chris Galley, claims Damian Green offered him inducements
Telegraph – Damian Green arrest: Chris Galley profile

[Psst! It may be a quiet one this week. A new animation is on the way. That, and I’m being paid by a Stalinist state to keep schtum.]

UPDATE (3:30pm) – Proof, if you need it, that the grooming ‘smear’ is only in the public domain because the Tories brought it into the open and presented it as a smear:

The Times – Damian Green is accused of orchestrating up to 20 leaks: In a welter of briefings from police, ministers, civil servants and Commons officials, the most incendiary came from a senior Conservative who said that Mr Green was accused of “grooming his contact” during his nine-hour detention on Thursday. “Damian was very angry at this clear attempt to provoke him and did not reply. As a party we want to make it clear that this was grossly inappropriate but symptomatic of the cack-handed way the police have conducted this investigation.”

Independent – Arrested MP accused of ‘grooming’ mole: The Conservative MP Damian Green was accused by police of “grooming” a Home Office mole. The accusation came during nine hours of questioning by police investigating at least 20 leaks of secret documents from the department. As details of the investigation emerged, the shadow Immigration minister told friends he was livid that detectives resorted to “provocative” language used to describe sex offenders and suicide bombers.

Somehow, this became a Telegraph headline “Damian Green accused of ‘grooming’ Whitehall mole, claim police” when there is, in fact, no such claim from the police in that article or in any other that I can find; everything comes back to what unnamed sources close to Green have been saying.

The (alleged) accusation of Damian Green ‘grooming’ Chris Galley (for any purpose) is only in the public domain because Green and his supporters chose to bring it into the public domain, and they made damn sure that they and associated it with sex offenders and/or suicide bombers when they did so.

Either the police are devilishly clever in the way they go about smearing someone (and in the habit of leaving a lot to chance when they do so) or this ‘outrage’ has been feigned and fabricated by the Conservatives in order to draw attention away from some or all of the police investigation.

[Psst! Peek in comments for a link to Iain Dale’s contribution.]

UPDATE – Or click here, I suppose.


  1. jailhouselawyer says

    Have you seen the complete and utter tosh on this subject written by Iain Dale in Comment is free?

  2. Manic says

    I assume you mean this:"However, to most people nowadays, the word 'grooming' has only one connotation and it's related to paedophilia."http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/…I'll be over there shortly, I'm sure.I'm also a fan of the patronising tone he takes with Lord Toby Harris:http://www.lordtobyharris.org.uk/some-questions-f

  3. Manic says

    as promised:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/01/damian-green-police?commentid=0810eea0-79a9-4a07-b2c0-80651d0745e1text of my CiF comment:-Search for a definition of the word ‘grooming’ in Google, and you will have to pass over *six* online dictionaries before you reach *one* that offers what Iain Dale is clearly reaching for.And yet Iain Dale assures us that this hard-to-find definition is the one most closely associated with this word.(FFS, even his anecdotal scrap of what might be evidence is sourced from a soap opera!)Using Google to explore Iain Dale’s own neighbourhood, I see that the words ‘groom’, ‘groomed’ and ‘grooming’ have been used dozens of times on his website (by Iain and his audience), but only *once* can I see it being used in relation to paedophilia. The rest of the time it’s about politicians being groomed for this position or that… or about dogs or horses.In this article, Iain himself shockingly speaks of Chris Grayling being groomed for the role of Tory chairman:http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2007/06/telegraph-column-camerons-reshuffle.htmlhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/06/22/do2205.xmlSo Iain is either talking out of his arse* here, or he has suspicions about David Cameron and Chris Grayling that he’d like to share with us.Iain?(*Blatant homophobia! Wahhhhhhh!)-

  4. jailhouselawyer says

    You assumed correctly. Initially, I sat on the fence on this one and watched the state of play. I got the impression that smokescreens had been deployed. As a result some appeared to lose sight of the ball. My top post for a couple of days has been "Damian Green and Christopher Galley are bang to rights". I returned to my initial thought "My first thought when I heard that Damian Green had been arrested and that a civil servant had been arrested for leaking official documents was, 'I thought civil servants were meant to be politically neutral?'". Sometimes, it pays to keep it simple.http://prisonersvoice.blogspot.com/2008/11/damian

  5. Paul.Ferrari says

    Have you seen Iain's response to the Chris Grayling question ?"At December 01, 2008 2:40 PM , Blogger Iain Dale said…If that's the level of your argument, please don't bother contributing further to this thread."Wonderful counter-argument there – classic Iain.

  6. Manic says

    Yes I have, thanks.There's more here:http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-wonder-da…Everything is what Iain says it is. Apparently.

  7. jailhouselawyer says

    Oh dear, the Tories are sensitive on this issue and out comes the red pen of censorship.”JHL, I had to delete your last comment. It was a wholly fabricated account of Chris Galley’s lawyer’s briefing and potentially libellous”.All I said was that he was likely to be even more offended when he learns that Galley is claiming that he was not only led by Green but also misled by him.

  8. Manic says

    Your “wholly fabricated account” looks pretty benign next to Iain Dale’s largely imagined account of Damian Green’s encounter with the word ‘grooming’… but in what way did Galley claim to be misled by Green?

  9. jailhouselawyer says

    Tim: Reading between the lines, I would say that the missing words are "However, Mr Green did not act responsibly"."In providing this information for a shadow minister, Mr Galley believed that it would be used in a highly responsible manner in the public interest." (source Sky News)

  10. Manic says

    Ah, I see.JHL, you can’t expect Iain to read between the lines when he’s just skipped over 6 dictionaries. Be reasonable.

  11. jailhouselawyer says

    LOL. What he fails to realise is that when I speak on criminal justice matters, it is not as a blogger of a couple of years standing, but someone who has spent 35 years within the criminal justice system. I blogged that, in effect, what Galley is saying is “If I go down I’m taking Green with me”. I don’t think the public interest defence is valid, it is just being used by someone who has been caught up to no good. It is no defence to claim, “I was led by Green”, however, it could be used as a mitigating factor if it gets to a sentence stage. Moreover, by alleging he was misled by Green, it is claiming that he acted in good faith and and Green did not, and that Galley was gullible rather than bad.In short, there is more to this than just party politics.

  • NEW! You can now support Bloggerheads by buying handmade firelighters for camping and utility or deluxe firelighters for your home fireplace. Visit fireburngood.com to see my products.

    Fire Burn Good fire lighters

  • External Channels

  • Tim Ireland

  • Page 3 Politics

    Page 3: a short history

  • Main

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

    The Cautionary Campfire Songbook

  • Badges + Buttons