07 March 2009

Not that We Live in a Police State...

...but there is this:

Police are targeting thousands of political campaigners in surveillance operations and storing their details on a database for at least seven years, an investigation by the Guardian can reveal.

...


Police surveillance teams are also ­targeting journalists who cover demonstrations, and are believed to have ­monitored members of the press during at least eight protests over the last year.

Because we know that all journalists are scum, anyway....

4 comments:

Roger Lancefield said...

Well, any lingering pretence that recent authoritarian legislation (detailed in the Abolition of Freedom Act 2009) is chiefly concerned with combating terrorism, is finally over.

Credit to the Guardian, they've really stepped up to the plate in recent months in terms of tracking the growth and effects of the database state and the authoritarian mindset of the current government and security services.

This is definitely amounts to a line in the sand that has been crossed, so what now? I guess the biggest ball is in the court of the judiciary and political opposition, and the next size down remains firmly in our court. I suspect that an organization somewhere is going to attempt to organize a mass protest rally, one that the police will attempt to scupper citing security concerns. It's going to dawn on the hitherto unconcerned public that the police are acting on the basis of political motives rather than in accordance with detached law enforcement, and our domestic political situation is going to become quite tense. These are indeed worrying times.

What do you think the next steps will/should be Glynn?

glyn moody said...

Yes, the Guardian have really got seriously recently. It seems to me that they've been complicit with a lot of the Labour stuff over the last decade, but that finally they're seeing things as they are.

As to what to do, well, if I knew that, I'd be (a) telling everyone and (b) doing it. I'm still working on it, but if inspiration strikes, I'll let you know.

Meantime, the best we can do, I think, is help others realise what's going on. Thank goodness for Blogger and Twitter....

liteswap said...

I think it's clear what's needed: direct action.

Direct action of some sort - by which I mean demonstrating, even though MPs can't see demos since they were banned within a mile of Parliament - is the only remaining option. Politicians in the UK have pulled up the drawbridge behind them, displaying as they do contempt for the people they purport to serve. Witness Jack Straw's recent attempt to keep secret the Iraq war discussions in Cabinet, while increasing surveillance on the rest of us. That's only the latest such event.

Let's face it, when political channels of persuasion fail (who is there to vote for who didn't approve the Iraq war, who doesn't want to increase surveillance?) then only one alternative suggests itself.

Blogging's a good start but it's the equivalent of grumbling in the pub. Experience suggests that politicians only take notice when the serfs start making some real noise.

Poll tax anyone?

glyn moody said...

Yes, I agree, but we need enough people to make it effective. That's what I think the blogging can do, at least in part: get people to understand the seriousness of all this.