British spies accused of secretly colluding with the CIA and foreign governments in a plot that sees people tortured in foreign countries. Not only does it sound like the story line of many a political thriller, take that story and place it in almost any post-war decade and you’d expect it to be a Conservative government doing the colluding and Labour MPs decrying the international conspiracy, with a campaigning left-wing journalist thrown in for good measure publishing scoops and demanding an independent judicial inquiry.
Except, of course, in the topsy turvey political days that we live it was a Labour government that was accused and it is now a Conservative foreign secretary, in a Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition, announcing plans for the judicial inquiry.
The inquiry itself is extremely welcome, particularly given the severity of some of the allegations that have been made. It will also come with an interesting political twist because one of the Foreign Secretaries whose record will be under scrutiny is that of Labour leadership contender David Miliband.