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If only we had a government we could trust, we should offer Edward Snowden asylum

Edward SnowdenInstead of pursuing Edward Snowden to the ends of the earth, as the US is doing, we should be lauding him for the huge service he has done us at enormous risk to himself.   He has revealed the nature of our State and the security services which every citizen of the UK needs to know.   What he has revealed is frightening – a degree of mass surveillance which has been going on for years with the full co-operation of Ministers, and we now know that those who should have been our protectors against comprehensive violation of our privacy were actually, if not its instigators, then certainly its co-operators.

We now know that the American Prism and the British Tempora have now made the Orwellian nightmare into a reality.   It destroys trust in the State that perpetrated this, it destroys trust between the US-UK and the rest of the EU whose embassies and offices have been spied on, and it destroys trust in international relations when those participating in good faith now know that all their policy lines and intentions are already known to the other side before talks begin.   We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the man who has exposed all this.   So far from being hounded, he should receive the highest honour that we can bestow.

Of course that’s not going to happen.   But what we should be demanding is that he should be pardoned.

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