After Max Hastings wrote a column for the Daily Mail arguing that civil liberties groups should not get in the way of government security, Alan Rusbridger took the former Daily Telegraph editor to task for his comments. Speaking at a Big Brother Watch event last month, the Guardian editor offered up four reasons why Hastings was wrong to say that he could not ‘imagine what harm can result from MI5 accessing the phone calls, bank accounts, emails of you, me or any other law-abiding citizen’.
Rusbridger couldn’t resist taking another pop at Hastings this morning for a column in today’s Mail on the police ‘witch-hunt’ which saw Field Marshal Lord Bramall’s home searched. In it Hastings asks: ‘What sort of Britain have we created that such things can happen?’ He goes on to say that ‘it seems almost incredible that in 21st-century Britain, a man or woman’s reputation can be destroyed without trial by unnamed informers’.
The comments clearly struck a chord with Rusbridger, who took to Twitter to suggest that Hastings had inadvertently performed a U-turn on the topic of state snooping.
Max Hastings in Jan: “I can’t imagine harm from state snooping on everybody.” This is Max today pic.twitter.com/lDnp6A7dKu
— alan rusbridger (@arusbridger) March 10, 2015
Round two to Rusbridger?