Monday, February 04, 2013

The lowest of the low

Just when you thought that Britain's police spying scandal couldn't get any worse, now we find out that police officers spying on peaceful protest groups stole the identities of dead children:

Britain's largest police force stole the identities of an estimated 80 dead children and issued fake passports in their names for use by undercover police officers.

The Metropolitan police secretly authorised the practice for covert officers infiltrating protest groups without consulting or informing the children's parents.


Undercover officers created aliases based on the details of the dead children and were issued with accompanying identity records such as driving licences and national insurance numbers. Some of the police officers spent up to 10 years pretending to be people who had died.

The Met said the practice was not "currently" authorised, but announced an investigation into "past arrangements for undercover identities used by SDS [Special Demonstration Squad] officers".

And that "investigation" will no doubt be a whitewash like all the others. But in the meantime it will have served its purpose of deflecting media attention and public anger from the issue. In the UK, "we can't talk about that for fear of prejudicing the inquiry" is just another way of saying "we won't talk about that, now piss off you dirty little peasant".

But if the government won't hold its agents to account for their institutional abuses of power, who will?