The Damian Green alleged web misuse case – the employer should investigate and take whatever actions they deem appropriate

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I may be reverting into my sandals here, but I can’t see why Damian Green should be sacked – unless his employer investigates his case (regarding alleged web misuse) and deems a dismissal is appropriate.

We’re assured (by, oddly enough, retired Detective Lewis – I can imagine John Thaw saying “LEWIS!” as I write) that there is no chance that Mr Green has broken the law. The pornography allegedly found on his computer may or may not have got there due to his actions – Mr Green strongly denies any wrong-doing. But the alleged images were, apparently, not illegal, and not even extreme. The case was years ago and the result of a contested search of parliamentary premises. The current controversy seems to be a battle of retired police officers. Retired Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy says unrelated non-criminal events uncovered by enquiries would normally be kept confidential with no action taken.

OK, so Damian Green has somehow got involved in a feud with one retired officer and hence there is a public battle going on here. Fair enough.

But it is entirely up to an employer to investigate any incursions of their disciplinary code, and I believe such an enquiry is ongoing as we speak within the cabinet office.

I am all for stringing up Tories to the nearest lamppost if it is justified, but in this case I find myself taking a very laid-back woolly liberal attitude to the whole thing.

If we’re handing over employer judgements to retired police officers and the Twitteratti, then we really are on a slippery slope to totalitarianism.

Update 3rd December: To be clear, this post was referring solely to the alleged web misuse allegedly found on a laptop in a parliamentary office eight years ago, and not to other matters. The post was written in response to media coverage of this specific issue at the time. The text and title has been modified to make this clear.

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