18 April 2009

The Changeling, Ms Smith and Shami

image Having seen The Changeling sometime ago, I recently purchased the DVD and watched the film again last night.  Angelina Jolie gives an outstanding performance. 

The film tells the story of a missing child, the determination of the Mother and others to find out the truth about what happened, the corruption of a police department determined to close the case down under pressure from a Mayor seeking re-election.  There are other issues explored in the film but they need not detain us here.

Afterwards I discovered that Jacqui Smith would not be making a statement to the Commons regarding the Damian Green affair:

The police operate independently,' said one insider. 'She was not responsible for calling in the police. There is no reason why she would make any statement or comment about it.

This morning, The Times is reporting that Shami Chakrabarti was the target of the police search following Green's arrest:

Police who arrested the Conservative frontbencher Damian Green trawled his private e-mails looking for information on Britain’s leading civil liberties campaigner.

Officers from Scotland Yard’s antiterror squad searched the computer seized from his parliamentary office using the key words “Shami Chakrabarti” – even though the Liberty director had nothing to do with the leaking of Home Office documents that prompted the investigation.


The revelation will fuel claims that Mr Green’s arrest, and the police investigation into Home Office leaks, were politically motivated.

Ms Chakrabarti said she had never been approached by the police as part of their inquiry and was alarmed to learn that her name had been used as a key search word. “I think this raises very serious questions about just how politicised, even McCarthyite, this operation was,” she said.

Watching the film again and reading the news, I began to appreciate that there are parallels with Los Angeles in the 20’s and what is happening to our society and specifically to the police in the UK today.

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