In a very short term, Daniel Kawcynski has, for me, come to represent everything that is venal about the Conservative Party. I’ve already written about him a couple of times, about his fact-free attack on electoral reform and his equally evidence-lite claim that evil liberals were trying to stir up hatred against Poles. Now he has turned his particular line in smear at the police, already (justly) reeling from the Damien Green affair.
There are several ways in which this is not at all like the Damian Green affair. For a start, it would appear that the police were investigating a serious issue. Sending white powder to a minister, post 2001, is a genuinely big deal. If there was an attack – and we have no reason to assume there wasn’t – then I would expect any MP to cooperate with the police. But even if this wasn’t the case, after the incidents of November last year no MP can be in any doubt about what the police can and can’t do. They didn’t have a warrant and so if Kawczynski didn’t feel like cooperating he should have simply shown them the door.
Except of course he has to have it both ways. So rather than turfing them out, he cooperated with their “intimidating” request while at the same time whinging about it on the floor of the House.
It is hard to see what case the police have to answer here. Worse, while the Green affair genuinely did raise some important questions, shouting about the Kawczynski One threatens to trivialise all that.
At a time when the State is taking a turn for the sinister, it is all the more important not to cry wolf. That Damian Green chose to sit next to Kawczynski and thus symbolically support his complaint to the Speaker, suggests that the Tories as a whole have got this whole business out of proportion.