Whose side is Labour on?”
BLACKLISTED construction worker, Dave Smith, has hit out at Labour’s failure to oppose the Spy Cop bill this week, calling it a “betrayal of the labour movement.“
With the exception of 20 leftwing rebel MPs, led by Jeremy Corbyn, other Labour MPs did not vote as instructed by their leader, former human rights lawyer, Keir Starmer.
The Tory bill will give legal cover for numerous representatives of the state, including MI5, health and safety officers, even police informers, the right to break the law with virtually no supervision or control.
Dave, co-author of the book Blacklisted: The Secret War Between Big Business and Union Activists is one of the blacklisted workers spied on by undercover political policing units.
He said: “I have heard the acronym CHIS on many occasions, usually by well-paid police lawyers defending the ‘spy cops’ who stood on our picket lines.
(Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (CHIS) is a British state spy – anyone from MI5 and Special Branch officers to police informants.
“If passed into law, the Spy Cops Bill will allow the police and the security services to commit crimes against anyone in the UK without fear of prosecution.
“There is nothing in the proposed law explicitly limiting which crimes are permitted; thereby providing blanket immunity from prosecution even for crimes such as murder, torture and rape.
“This has inevitably led to human rights groups such as Amnesty calling the proposed law a ‘Licence to Kill Bill.’
“During the debate, government minister James Brokenshire argued that there was no need for any concerns because the police and security services were subject to the Human Rights Act.”
Yet rabid members of Johnson’s right-wing government have long called for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped – and the government told the Investigatory Powers Tribunal that it does not apply to covert agents.
He added: “In addition, there is no legal oversight required for the state spies within the bill. It only requires an individual officer to believe that committing a crime is warranted. This is less than is required for the police to search your house or tap your phone.
“The proposed law will cover all undercover political police and MI5 officers, plus state informants, including children coerced by police to gather intelligence on genuinely dangerous criminals.
These agents spied on members of the Blacklist Support Group because of our trade union, anti-fascist and political activism.
Carlo Soracchi, an undercover officer from the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), who turned up on our picket lines, has been accused by activists of inciting them to commit arson.
Former head of the SDS, Bob Lambert MBE was named in parliament by Caroline Lucas MP as being responsible for planting the incendiary device that burned down Debenhams in Harrow in 1987.
Operation Reuben, the police’s own internal investigation, has concluded that Special Branch, the security services and other political policing units provided intelligence to blacklist organisations targeted by the right wing Economic League and Consulting Association.
Dave said: “The state colluded in the unlawful blacklisting of trade union members. Workers were repeatedly denied work: many defaulted on their mortgages and, on some tragic occasions, workers committed suicide.”
The documented history of state involvement in high profile cases in Northern Ireland. In many cases, state informants were allowed to literally get away with murder.
Dame Nuala O’Loan, the former Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, publicly stated MI5, Special Branch or RUC officers “operated outside the rules” and were responsible for the deaths of “hundreds and hundreds of people.”
Despite how they like to portray themselves, the spy cops are not James Bond-like figures defending the country from lawlessness. They are themselves a source of lawlessness, and their anti-democratic activities have for many years made working-class, migrant and BAME communities, as well as women and LGBT people, far less safe.
The Spy Cops have snooped on the families of racist murder victims and manipulate women into long-term sexual relationships to bolster their fake personas.
The political police infiltrated environmental groups, social justice campaigns such as the Anti-Apartheid Movement and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, firefighters, miners and construction workers. They have also spied on campaigns supporting victims of police violence.
He believes the proposed bill will allow all future undercover state surveillance to commit serious criminality with total impunity.
“We have been told that Labour MPs intend to table amendments at the next reading.
But the idea that this bill can be made into something useful is beyond any credibility.
“If the complete and utter shambles at Westminster before the last general election taught us anything, it is that most people couldn’t give a toss about supposedly sophisticated parliamentary manoeuvring.
We see a bigger picture and ask ourselves: which side are you on?
Source: Tribune magazine
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