How utterly disappointing the Tories have shown themselves to be in the last 24 hours. Whilst not entirely unpredictable, the Tories have made the astonishing decision to back Gordon Brown and the government's wish to prevent courts from challenging government decisions to stop criminal investigations.
The courts on Thursday were clear in their condemnation of the government's decision to abandon the Serious Fraud Office investigation in to bribes and corruption involving the Saudi government and BAE. Yet despite this, the Tories appear to be backing those who believe that bribery and corruption are legitimate parts of a democratic system of government.
In their ruling, the judges said: "We fear for the reputation of the administration of justice if it can be perverted by a threat ... No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice. The rule of law is nothing if it fails to constrain overweening power."
The key words there are "No one, whether within this country or outside, is entitled to interfere with the course of our justice". Surely this statement is one we should all want to stand by, except that is, if you are a Labour minister or a Conservative MP.
Shame on the Tories. Despite their claims to stand up for civil liberties, when actually called upon to make a stand 0n an important issue they instead choose to vote for secrecy and allow people to get away with corruption.
The rule of law should be paramount in this country. It will be interesting to see what some Tories bloggers have to say about the appalling way the Tories have backed the government on this issue.
Update - To be fair to Tony Sharp, he has a good go at trying to justify the Tory position HERE although I think Tony's own arguments are clearer than the Conservative Party's. Where I disagree is that it appears that in a week where we are urging people to stand up to a dictator in Zimbabwe, we will kow tow to the Saudis who themselves are not elected. It is hardly consistent.
Also, fair play to Iain Dale who is also unhappy with the "national interest" arguments employed by the government.