When the police raid the office of Tory front-bencher Damien Green and take him into custody for some hours, it is tempting to laugh out loud. One of the habitual biters bit!
That response would however be a mistake. If a Damien Green can be so treated, think what that says about civil liberties in society as a whole.
Listen to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith when she says that the gob-shite Tory leader, David Cameron, is not fit for office because, instead of backing her, he protests at the raid. That is the psychology that has governed the giant steps taken by the New Labour government over the last decade to turn Britain into a surveillance state, if not into a small-p police state.
Of course the Tories are playing politics with the affair. For instance, their denunciation of Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, whom the Tory snobs call "Gorbals Mick" though he has no connection with Glasgow's Gorbals slums, is part of an ongoing campaign to get rid of him.
Even so, the outcry that has greeted the arrest of Damien Green highlights the growth of Britain's "security state", whose architects in this case felt strong enough to try to repress the activities of Her Majesty's Official Opposition.