Monday, October 05, 2015

More police spying in the UK

Something from over the weekend: British police have been spying on its new Labour Party leader:

One of the many unanswered questions hanging over the police’s undercover operations has recently become more acute - to what extent did they covertly monitor Jeremy Corbyn, the new Labour leader, and other elected politicians?

A whistleblower, Peter Francis, has revealed that police compiled secret files on the political activities of Corbyn and nine other MPs, even after they had been elected to the House of Commons.

Francis disclosed that he had read the files on the 10 MPs while he worked for the Metropolitan Police’s special branch.

He added that he had personally collected information on Corbyn, and two other MPs, while he was working undercover infiltrating anti-racist groups in the 1990s. Read this and this for more details of his revelations that were made in March this year.

There seems to have been no good reason for this spying. It is not the role of the police to spy on peaceful rptest movements and those seeking change by democratic means. And to specifically spy on elected MPs is an explicit threat to democracy. This being the UK, of course, it is now the subject of an "independent" inquiry. And this being the UK, that inquiry will no doubt be delayed for a decade before presenting a whitewashed report excusing anyone of any wrongdoing.