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Political surveillance… March 25, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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...telling isn’t it that even the mild post-social democracy (to put it at its kindest) of the British Labour Party in the 1990s wasn’t sufficiently mild to stop the Met from conducting surveillance on Labour MPs…

a whistleblower has revealed [that he] read secret files on 10 MPs during his 11 years working for the Metropolitan police’s special branch. They include Labour’s current deputy leader, Harriet Harman, the former cabinet minister Peter Hain and the former home secretary Jack Straw.

Peter Hain isn’t wrong:

“That the special branch had a file on me dating back 40 years ago to anti-apartheid and anti-Nazi League activist days is hardly revelatory. That these files were still active for at least 10 years while I was an MP certainly is and raises fundamental questions about parliamentary sovereignty.”

And nor is Ken Livingstone:

“Did they think we were a threat to the western system? If only this were true. What a load of crap. What’s so ridiculous is that we were being subjected to IRA bombings right the way through that period and they were wasting officers spying on me and Tony Benn. It’s a complete waste of police resources. People like me and Tony Benn were sadly never a threat to capitalism because we never had the powers. I’d love to see the files. My kids would love to see the files. They’re most likely full of rubbish.”

Comments»

1. CMK - March 25, 2015

On topic: this is an absolutely fascinating piece on Hobsbawm’s MI5 file. The first part is particularly disturbing. http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n07/frances-stonorsaunders/stuck-on-the-flypaper

And this was a brilliant read.
http://m.bookdepository.com/Undercover-Paul-Lewis/9780571302178

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2. Enzo - March 26, 2015

Do we think that similar happens here with monitoring of groups and politicians?

The Met was pretty famous for infiltrating many groups over the years, with officers even going as far as marrying the subjects of their espionage.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/jan/19/undercover-policeman-married-activist-spy

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shea - March 26, 2015

presume you mean the gaurds and the staters which is probable but mi5 themselves have a base in hollywoood co down with a few hundred staff, supposedly its remit is to take over if london office ever gets hit but is it a leap to see large staff levels running agents in state institutions, political groups, press, commercial interests down here. A bit paro but the divils provoke it.

One of those met officers, kennedy think one of his names is was down in rossport during the protests there.

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3. gendjinn - March 26, 2015

C’mon. Admit it. You’d only be surprised if they had ever stopped spying on Labour MPs. Amirite?

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4. Joe - March 26, 2015

It is mad isn’t it? And that’s the Met and not MI5 or 6 or whatever.
The way they infiltrated the green saboteurs groups and had children with some of them. Crazy.
But has there ever been an exposé of infiltration of Far Left groups down the years? I’m talking Militant, SWP and the other Trotskyist groups in the UK from the sixties on.
Presumably if they put the resources that they did into the green, anarchist fringe, then they put more again into the Far Left. So long term plants could have worked their way up the food chain to leadership positions and then foment splits and generally mess everyone about. I’d love to get those files.

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5. Gewerkschaftler - March 26, 2015

Joe – who wouldn’t like to see them! I suspect that the history of most oppositional groups is significantly shaped by informers and plants.

The German internal secret policemen are fighting a long battle to avoid investigation of what exactly their paid informers / actors did in the neo-Nazi scene around the National Socialist Underground here.

Among the milder suspicions is the probability that some informers were double agents – taking the money and using it to further neo-fascist aims, while feeding their handlers with a few tidbits.

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6. Joe - March 26, 2015

I read an old Russian saying once but I haven’t been able to find it online again. Along the lines of “When three men meet to conspire, two of them are and the other is a police spy.”
Anyone got the correct version?

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FergusD - March 26, 2015

Well there was the old joke about Roumanian policemen:

“Why do Roumanian policeman go round in threes?”

“Because one can read but not write, one can write but not read (surely impossible) and the other one is to keep an eye on the intellectuals!”

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Joe - March 26, 2015

Good one.

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7. Starkadder - March 26, 2015

On the subject on police surveillance, here is an (approving)
piece about Rebecca West and her assisting the FBI in
its anti-communist activities:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Rebecca+West+%26+the+FBI.-a054594851

West’s anti-communism was well known-still, I’m surprised this
didn’t cause as big a ruckus as the Orwell / Information
Research Department revelations of a few years ago.

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Michael Carley - March 26, 2015

Why would it: she wasn’t a hypocrite the way Orwell was.

As for Silone …

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8. workers republic - March 26, 2015

It’s certainly not paranoid to believe that MI5 have agents active at many level throughout this (32 co) Country.And it is not just a matter of belief, but of evidence. There is ample evidence in the public domain of failed attempts to recruit agents.
Agents of influence are far more dangerous than low level informers, which are likely to arouse suspicion, when leaks are evident, though they are usually sacrificed when a replacement is in place. Donaldson was an agent in a strategic position. His assassination remains a mystery. Was he killed because he new to much? Maybe.
Regarding jokes of three. An old joke,get two Irishmen together and you’ll get a
conspiracy, three and you’ll ge
t a split; maybe the third is an agent
Fact is in revolutionary politics,spies and
agents are a ‘occupational hazard’. Bi
cuaramach, ach araigh libh .

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9. British secret police spying on Parliament | Dear Kitty. Some blog - March 27, 2015

[…] Political surveillance… […]

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10. vacation travel - January 2, 2017

Is it true the The Wyndham Rewards program is the best for hotel points? Seems weird to me that it is ranked #1.

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