Another second reading abstention by Labour, this time on indemnifying police and secret police agents from criminal acts. It, the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill, has become known as the #spycops Bill. It was eloquently opposed by Zarah Sultana, who failed to mention that the remaining protection is the Human Rights Act, which the Tories have at times committed to repealing, but did include the second fatla flaw in that such otherwise illegal acts are to be authorised by senior officers in the agent’s organisation. Much drama has been made of the potential for murder, torture and rape, but the line is that the police must obey the law, all of them. This Bill breaks that principle Here’s Zarah …..


I wrote and moved a motion at my CLP GC on this topic last night i.e. 8th Oct, which was carried. The critical arguments to me is that immunity from criminal charges for criminal acts by secret police is a fundamental attack on democracy, and the rights to a fair trial, free speech, privacy and the right to organise and so I understated the fact that MI5 have strange priorities.

We need to remember that MI5 and special branch have a long history of useless anti-Union activity, and their role in fighting the miners in the ‘80s deserves study, In thinking about what I might have said, I rediscovered this article, “they won’t snoop if you’ve nothing to hide (1985 style”) on my blog, and this review of Stella Rimmington’s (Head of MI5 1992-1996) book. I have been unable to find the Guardian article in which Cathy Massiter documents the spying on the left in the CPSA, but that, in my case, was close to home.

In a democracy, the police must obey the law
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One thought on “In a democracy, the police must obey the law

  • 9th October 2020 at 10:05 am

    I added the last two paragraphs on democracy and MI5.

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