When anti-terror police are used to arrest the shadow immigration minister for the grave "crime" of leaking information to the media, the Tories' use of the term "Stalinesque" to describe events is absolutely justified.
If the police needed to question Damian Green, they could have asked him to drop by with his lawyer. Instead, he was detained for nine hours while his homes, office and business premises were searched before being released without charge. Was it a coincidence that Parliament was not sitting at the time?
There may not have been a direct order from the government to the Metropolitan Police to act against the MP, but such an operation would have had to be authorised at the highest levels. There's nothing like a nod and a wink in these circumstances
The arrest of Green is state intimidation, pure and simple of an elected politician going about his business and is a warning to everyone of where Brown's government is heading. Only recently, the Tories were accused by ministers of being "unpatriotic" for criticising the government over the economy. Now their leading members are being arrested.
The question is: which of New Labour's increasing number of political opponents is next in line for a visit from Brown's boot boys?
AWTW communications editor